Authors: Kathy Clark
Copyright 2013 © NightWriter93
Original ebook published November, 2013
This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any place or person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
The challenge for Indie Authors is not only to write a great book but to make sure the grammar, punctuation, spelling and continuity are as perfect as possible. Since we don’t have traditional editors, we have to find people w
ith an eye for detail.
We are lucky to have a wonderful group who nitpick our work until we want to scream, but the results are always amazing. Thank you to all, but especially to Steve Barker who is a fearless firefighter by day and an eagle-eye editor by night. He’s a stickler for detail, so all the fire and bomb scenes are as accurate as possible. We and the City of Denver are fortunate to have him on-duty. Go Broncos!
This series is dedicated to
all the parents in the world who have been surprised with an unexpected pregnancy. The decisions that follow are complicated and long-term. This is Killeen’s story. Make sure yours is the right choice for you.
Baby Daddy is also dedicated to our own children, all of whom were very much wanted. They’ve faced and are still dealing with the challenge of growing up, surviving and finding themselves in today’s crazy world. We love you unconditionally and are always there for you.
OTHER BOOKS BY KATHY CLARK & BOB KAT
Life’s What Happens (under pen name of Bob Kat)
Baby Daddy (Book #1 of Scandals Series) November, 2013
Tramp Stamp (Book #2 of Scandals Series) scheduled May, 2014
OMG Oh My God! (under pen name of Bob Kat) (#1 CUL8R Series)
WINNER OF BEST INDIE YOUNG ADULT BOOK OF 2013
BRB Be Right Back (under pen name of Bob Kat) (#2 CUL8R Series) April, 2013
READER’S FAVORITE 2013
BION Believe It Or Not (under pen name of Bob Kat) (#3 CUL8R Series) July, 2013
RIP Rest In Peace (under pen name of Bob Kat) (#4 CUL8R Series) scheduled January, 2014
After Midnight (#1 Denver After Dark Series)
WINNER OF BEST INDIE SUSPENSE BOOK OF 2013
READER’S FAVORITE 2013
Cries in the Night (#2 Denver After Dark Series)
Graveyard Shift (#3 Denver After Dark Series) scheduled August, 2014
ROMANCE & CONTEMPORARY WOMEN’S FICTION
Angel of Mercy (#3 Angel Series)
Another Sunny Day
Born to be Wild
Cody’s Last Stand
Cold Feet, Warm Heart
Count Your Blessings
Golden Days (sequel to Another Sunny Day)
Hearts Against the Wind (Crystal Creek Series)
Kissed By an Angel (#1 Angel Series)
Passion and Possession
Phantom Angel (#2 Angel Series)
A Private Affair
Stand by Your Man (Crystal Creek Series)
Stroke of Midnight
TABLE OF CONTENTS
He left me with two
broken DVD cases, a pair of worn-out Nikes and a plus sign on my pee stick.
I was sitting on the floor, leaning against the couch with my legs stretched forward under the coffee table. Sunlight filtered through the crack where the drapes didn’t quite meet, which told me it was morning
… the morning after the worst night of my life.
A banner saying “Congratulations Graduate”
strung between the light fixture and the curtain rod. A dozen maroon and gold balloons that had been bouncing on the ceiling last night now lay sadly on the floor, no longer buoyant. I knew exactly how they felt…deflated and totally used. Their short, happy lives were over. Just like mine.
Bottles, beer cans, red Solo cups and other trash
covered every surface imaginable. Somebody was going to have to clean all this shit up. That somebody was not going to be me.
Fuck Brandon! I thought we were going to be together forever. Well, apparently, he had a different definition of
than I did. Last night was supposed to have been really special. His graduation party and
pregnancy. I’m just glad I was smart enough not to announce it at the party. No, I waited until everyone had left to tell him. I wasn’t sure what his reaction would be, but I hadn’t thought he would have a meltdown.
I knew it would be a surprise. It had been for me. A baby was the absolute last thing I needed in my life right now. Brandon was the only guy I’d ever gone past second base with in my life. Imagine that! I was an eighteen-year-old virgin two years ago when we met. That’s like finding a unicorn in a used car lot.
I was a freshman and he was a junior. Tall, athletic and gorgeous, he was very popular. We bumped into each other at a fraternity party. I wasn’t much of a partier, so it was unusual for me to even be out after hours. I’m here on a full-boat athletic scholarship because I can throw a softball 75 mph with enough accuracy to pick a dragonfly off a barbed wire fence. I know this because it was one of the ways my dad used to make me a better pitcher. Actually, he was my step-dad, but he married my mother when I was three, so he was the only dad I’ve ever known.
. He’d been a dad because he wanted to be. Brandon was going to be a dad and he definitely didn’t want to be. Anyway, we met at a party and sort of hit it off even though he was way out of my league. When I told him that, he had laughed and hugged me and told me that I looked the part, but didn’t act like a snob. I hadn’t been sure what he meant about that, but I loved the way he seemed so proud of me. We dated for over a year before he asked me to move in with him. I had free room and board with the team, so I couldn’t really move out of the dorm. But who, in their right mind, would stay in a stinky, crowded dorm when they could live in a roomy one-bedroom apartment with a real kitchen and a private bathroom? Well, almost private. Of course, I had to share it with Brandon, but that was better than jostling for position with twenty other girls in front of the mirror.
for all practical purposes I had been living here, with him for the last six months. I even spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve at his family’s house. I mean that was pretty serious stuff, wasn’t it?
He told me he always used protection.
I’d seen him put the condoms on. I had even helped him sometimes. Did the protection fail or had we just gotten lazy in the heat of the moment? I wasn’t much of a drinker, strict training and all, but there had been a couple of nights that I didn’t remember. Could it have been then? I wasn’t sure. Math isn’t one of my strong subjects, and I hadn’t tried to figure back to the exact date it happened. It didn’t really matter when, did it? All that mattered was that I was pregnant and the baby daddy had split. I was truly screwed.
“I’m a dollar short and two weeks late. Yeah, I feel sorry for me.”
I remembered those words from a country song I’d heard. That’s me.
God! This really sucks!
My legs started to cramp. I vaguely remember sinking to the floor after Brandon left last night. I must have cried myself to sleep, but at least for now, all my tears were gone. I stared at the front door that led outside.
ould still hear him yelling, “You’re not going to trap me with a baby. I’ve got plans for my life.” He had jerked the door open with such force that the door knob had punched a hole in the wall. “I’m spending the summer in Europe, then I’m going to stay in Minneapolis and work with my dad. That baby is your problem, Killeen, not mine. Let me know how much it costs to take care of it.”
“Take care of it?” I repeated, not really sure what he meant.
“Go to one of those women’s clinics and get rid of it.” He paused and leveled a cold look at me. “I paid the apartment up through the end of June. Leave it clean. I want my security deposit back.”
What an ass!
He had acted like it was all my fault.
I didn’t do this by myself shithole!
Out from under the party debris in front of me on the coffee table I picked up the small terracotta donkey statue we had bought in Mexico last summer and threw it full speed at the front door.
It shattered into a gazillion red clay pieces and left a satisfying stain on the door. That felt so good that I looked around for something else that was at arm’s length.
I reached for a beer bottle but as it got closer, the nauseating smell of stale
, sour beer reached my nose. I felt my stomach roll and the bitter taste of bile filled my mouth. Frantically, I scrambled to my feet with one hand over my mouth and ran for the bathroom. Dropping to the floor on my knees, I barely made it before I tossed my cookies…and everything else I had eaten yesterday. This had, unfortunately, become a daily ritual.
Funny thing about morning sickness, as soon as everything was out, I felt better and was crazy hungry. I brushed my teeth and splashed cold water on my face, avoiding looking into the mirror. I knew I looked like shit, and I didn’t need that humiliation on top of everything else.
I returned to the scene of the crime and looked around critically. The place looked like a bomb had gone off. I had spent hours cleaning it yesterday and getting everything ready for the party.
Leave it clean!
Not a chance.
The trays on the counter that had held meat and cheese were completely stripped clean except for some wilted lettuce leaves. There were still a few celery sticks on the fruit and veggie tray, and I picked them up and started mun
ching on them. I hadn’t really expected anything to be left. College kids were like locust. They showed up, ate everything in sight, then moved on.
A look inside the refrigerator confirmed my worst fears
…it was empty except for a cardboard case that had once held 24 cans of beer. Of course, there was no beer left. Not that I could have drank it anyway. Damn. I had zero money for groceries, and I had maxed out my credit card for Brandon’s friggin’ party. I nibbled on another celery stick and considered my options.
Just yesterday we had been talking about th
e summer and part-time jobs and maybe spending a week at Lake Powell again. Now he’s sitting on the Left Bank, eating a brie sandwich, drinking wine and gazing at the Eiffel Tower. And I’m eating shriveled, leftover vegetables and wishing he would fall into the Seine and drown.
I sighed. With the end of June less than
three weeks away and the baby on automatic, I knew I would have to reach deep down and take control of my life rather than just sit here and get beat up by it. I was going to have to find a job and a place to stay until they opened the dorms in the fall.
I lifted the hem of my t-shirt and spread my hand on my stomach. It was still flat and tight. I worked out every day, along with hours of softball, so I was in great shape.
The guys who came to our games always whistled and yelled whenever I took the mound. Brandon hadn’t been jealous. In fact, he liked that he had something other guys wanted. He often told me how hot it was when my uniform pants stretched tight across my ass when my leg kicked up and then stretched out to deliver the ball. Now? If I go through with this, I’ve got at least ten months of extreme non-hotness.
I knew so little about pregnan
cy or babies. I’d never actually been around a pregnant woman or held a baby. Obviously, I hadn’t paid enough attention to my basic biology and health classes. How long would it take before I started to show? How big would I be in the fall? Would I be able to hide it so I could stay in school? Or do I want to find a women’s clinic and end this pregnancy like Brandon had suggested?
This was so far from what I thought I’d be worrying about
at the end of my sophomore year that I simply couldn’t wrap my head around it. A baby would definitely complicate my life. I can’t imagine being responsible for another human being. I can barely take care of myself.
an’t really blame Brandon for running away. If I could run away, I would, too.
just needed time to think. I’d known about the pregnancy for almost a week. He’d had it dropped on him yesterday. Once he let it sink it, surely he’d see how lucky we are, how lucky he is, and he’ll come running back to me. Possibly even today. Together we can talk this through and consider our options. I can change his mind…change his heart. I’d point out how much his parents liked me and that this baby would be their first grandchild. We’d have really cute babies together. I’ll just convince him to take me with him to his parents and we’ll talk with them. I can’t believe they would want their grandchild given up for adoption…or aborted. They’ll help him see the light.
looked at the clock on the microwave. By now he’s awake, wherever he is, and he’s thought about how much he misses me. You just don’t say
I’m out of here
in the same breath as you said
Do you? Really? What kind of person would do that? Not the Brandon I knew.
I should call him. I
went back to the coffee table and shuffled through the pile of bottles, cans, glasses and plates, then got down on my knees, searching for my phone. It had somehow managed to fall off the table and slide under the couch. As soon as I retrieved it, I checked to see if he had called.
. No messages. No missed calls. His number was on my favorites list and my finger hovered over it. Still, I hesitated. The fact that he hadn’t called me spoke volumes. Was I willing to beg? Was I willing to agree to an abortion just to placate him? Was I willing to promise him anything if he would come back?
No, I didn’t want to be one of those girls.
I put the phone down on the table. I didn’t know what I was going to do yet, and as much as I wanted him to help me make a decision, I knew this one had to be all mine.
I needed to take care of myself and work through this, one way or the other. I should assume he’s not going to come back and that he doesn’t want anything to do with me or our baby.
What to do first? Pitching softball is straight forward. My catcher tells me what pitch she wants, locates the target with her glove and I throw the ball. Batters swung and missed. I felt powerful and in control.
Hah! Joke’s on me.
It would help if I had someone to talk to.
Let’s see…no parents, no brothers, no sisters, and definitely not my coach or the school counselor. I want to hang on to my scholarship as long as possible. Depending on my decision, they might never need to know anything. I need to check and see if my student medical insurance covers kids…abortion, adoption, childbirth? However, my first priority was to get a job.
I looked around the apartment, hoping in his haste to pack his things, Brandon had forgotten his laptop. I dug through the debris on the desk, and underneath a pizza box, there it sat. Relief rush
ed over me. That would make my search much easier because I wouldn’t have to go to the computer lab on campus. I opened the pizza box and smiled. Score! There was one slice of pepperoni and mushroom left. Okay, that didn’t turn this sucky day into a winner, but at least I had something to eat. I picked it up and sniffed it. It smelled semi-fresh, so I took a bite and headed to the bathroom. Cold pizza…breakfast of champions.
I turned on the shower so it would have time to get hot while I finished my pizza. A glance in the mirror told me that crying myself to sleep last night didn’t sit well on my face. My eyes were puffy
and there were mascara streaks down both cheeks. Even my long blond hair that was usually one of my best features was tangled and limp.
I stripped out of my rumpled clothes and stepped into the shower stall. The shower head in Brandon’s apartment was so much better than the one
s on campus. High pressure and you didn’t get scalded every time someone flushed a toilet on the floor. I reached for the shampoo and saw that jerk-face Brandon had taken it. Oh well, shampoo was a fair trade for a laptop. I squeezed some body soap into my hands and used that on my hair.