I wasn’t pissed because she was pregnant.
The problem was she kept it from me.
So independent. Could she ever rely on me? Need me like I needed her?
How was I supposed to offer her my help if she wouldn’t take it?
Fear of scaring her away almost matched the dread of failing to save someone from a burning building. I softened my voice.
“Faith? Is this really happening? Are we going to have a baby?” I parked myself on the bed beside her, stroked her leg, and angled my body towards hers.
“We?” As she sat up, her lashes flipped full-open, eyebrows jogging up her forehead. Her arms crossed over her chest, and she continued, “Last time I checked, men weren’t capable of shoving out a baby the size of a watermelon.”
Amusement rippled in my abdomen as I thought of what to say next. We’d had a fling, no commitments made. What if the child wasn’t mine? I mentally backed away from the thought, not trusting my reaction if I found out it was someone else’s.
But I wanted so much more from her.
I craved it all.
But now wasn’t the time to unleash the beast.
I gently brushed aside her hair and kissed her forehead.
Her nature was one that required discipline and rules. All of that would have to wait until the matter of that pregnancy test was resolved.
“I need you to be real with me for a minute. You can go back to bratting after we finish this conversation. Not before.” I speared a hand through my hair, knowing I had to proceed carefully.
No matter how hard I attempted to remain calm this was heavy stuff.
God help me if I didn’t have the urge to punish her until she spilled her secrets while struggling and squirming on my lap. “First, confirm. Is it your test?”
Faith’s typically lively demeanor vanished, replaced by a slouched stance and downcast gaze which revealed the extent of her dejection.
A relentless gnawing started in the pit of my stomach as I waited for her to answer, and a cold, leaden feeling spread through my chest. My heart sank when I realized things weren’t going as planned.
She ignited an inner spark in me, the kind of warmth and ease that I hadn’t felt in years.
I loved her spunk. Her refusal to conform to the edicts of this small town, which could be cruel on a free spirit like her.
Being around Faith gave me a purpose I’d been missing and now there was this twist to our courtship before we even had a chance to explore our dom/sub dynamic. I should have known better than to speak critically over such a delicate matter, but I needed to find out what the fuck was going on.
She inhaled a shuddery breath and began speaking, “I’m not the relationship type. To a certain extent because of my personality, but part of it is because I…” A quiver ran down her delectable frame and the sight made ice trickle up my legs.
I took my place beside her and patted my lap. “Come here, princess.” I opened my arms up to her, encouraging her to have a seat. She put her head to one side in a questioning manner and finally snuggled into my embrace. I grabbed the covers and pulled them around her, stroking her hair with my hand. “You can tell Daddy everything. In fact, I’m not going anywhere until you do.”
Something skittery crawled over my muscles as I watched her gather the courage to speak. This wasn’t the Faith I knew. My girl wasn’t afraid of anything. She spoke her mind, didn’t hold back.
Her heart went haywire, and I felt it thudding through her bones as I held her.
“It’s true. I’m pregnant and the baby’s yours.” Her shrug rolled over her shoulders and relief whooshed through me. Sure, I’d take care of her regardless, but another man in the picture was a complication I didn’t care to have.
My angel deserved the powerful protection of her daddy’s arms.
But that fact alone wasn’t doing the trick. I longed to create a safe harbor for her day-to-day life issues. I was here for it. But my attempts fell short.
“Faith, we barely know each other—” I began.
She cut me off. “You mean boff each other, right? It was only supposed to be a hook-up, Riley. This was never meant to happen.” Biting her lip, she looked away. “I’ve never been able to control my impulses. I’m so forgetful.” Her gaze flitted about her room, then she dropped her forehead in her hands.