Kasey sat in the chair near her mother’s casket. Every time she looked at the daises decorating the top she felt tears slide down her face. She kept reaching out and running her hand over the top of the casket, wanting more than anything to have her mom back there beside her. She looked up when someone touched her arm.
“Hello, sweetheart. How you holding up?”
Kasey nodded and turned back to her mom. She didn’t know who most of the people were who came to talk to her. Maybe she did, but she didn’t care. She wanted them all to go away and leave her to her misery, but they just kept touching her and trying to have a conversation with her. She only knew one person she wanted to talk to and she wasn’t speaking to her.
“Kasey, honey, can you please come back under the shelter? You’ll get sick if you don’t.” Uncle Jay. She turned to look at him. “Come on, baby, you can’t get sick. Let me help you pull the chair under the shelter.”
She realized it was raining. Not a hard pour, but enough that she was getting soaked. Someone was standing next to him and she tried to stand, but she lost her footing in the wet grass and nearly tumbled.
“I’ve got you. Come on.” She looked up into the face of Royce and tried to pull away. “Let me put you over here and then I’ll let you go. Come on, Kasey, your uncle’s right, you need to stay healthy.”
“My mom is gone. She died and left me. She was doing so much better and now…what am I supposed to do now?”
He didn’t answer her, not that she thought he would. He was there because her family…well, her uncle worked for him. It was nice of him to show up, but not necessary. She didn’t want anyone there, as a matter of fact, and wished again that they’d go away.
She sat in the chair and looked at the casket again. The daisies where getting wet, she realized, and thought someone should cover them up. Then a small giggle escaped her mouth. They were flowers and needed to be wet. She looked up when someone stood in front of her.
Mrs. Hunter, Kasey remembered. She’d only seen the woman a couple of times. But she still remembered her. She stood up and took her hand. When she started to slip again, Mrs. Hunter steadied her.
“Why don’t you have a seat, dear? You look all done in.” She sat in the chair next to the one Royce had put her in. Kasey turned to look at the casket again. “I’m so sorry about your mother, Kasey. She was a nice woman.”
Kasey turned to look at her. “You knew her? She never…at the Christmas thingy. She went with my uncle Jay last year. Yes, I remember now. She told me that you said she had on a pretty dress.”
“She talked about you. She was so very proud of you. She told me that she couldn’t ask for a better daughter."
Kasey started crying again. “I was a shitty daughter. She was alone when she died because I wanted my own place. What kind of daughter turns down living with their mother when she knows she is going to die?”
“Stop that right now, young lady.” Kasey turned to look at Mrs. Hunter. “You know better than that. She raised you to be independent and I doubt very much your mother was anything but happy for you.”
Kasey felt herself being pulled into a warm hug and she lost the little control she had over her tears. She sobbed in earnest now, her heart broken, and feeling so lost she clung to the woman who held her until she had no more tears left. When she pulled away from her Kasey felt stupid and tried to move away as she apologized.
“I’m so sorry. I’ve had a bad few weeks. And my mother would be so…she’d be so unhappy with me if she could see what I’ve been doing.” Kasey blew her nose on her damp tissue. “I thank you for just now. I didn’t realize I needed that.”
“Kasey,” Mrs. Hunter said softly. “Royce told me what happened between the two of you. He said you and him have been fighting and that he wants to talk to you.”
Kasey looked over her shoulder and saw him standing there with her uncle. He turned to look at her. Kasey turned back to the casket and felt her heart pound.
“Did he tell you what we’ve been fighting about, Mrs. Hunter? Did he tell you that…that there might be a child from our act of stupidity?” Mrs. Hunter said nothing and Kasey turned to her. “He…we won’t marry if there is one. We both agree that…that it would be like pouring gas on an already out of control fire. I’m not sure if…I’ve been a little distracted about…”
“Kasey, I didn’t…he said that you two had fought, but he never mentioned that he didn’t…I’m sorry, dear. If there is a baby, I’ll make sure he does the right thing by you and your child.”
Kasey thought he was by not marrying her and turned to tell her so, but the reverend called the short service to order. Kasey barely heard what he said. Barely heard him telling the large gathering there that her mom was one of the sweetest people he’d ever known. That Leah York was proud of her family and that she’d be so embarrassed about the people gathered there to be with her. He went on to tell the congregation that there would be food and friends at Jay York’s house and everyone was welcome. After a short prayer everyone but a few left for their cars while the family said their finally goodbyes. Kasey was still sitting in the chair when Royce came to sit beside her.
“Kasey? I told Jay I’d bring you to the house. Are you ready to go?” He took her cold hand into his warm one. “Baby, come on. You’re frozen through.”
“You told her. You told your mother that I might be pregnant. She pretended not to know, but she did, didn’t she?”
“Yes. I told her last night. When I told her your mother had passed away, I said that I may have gotten you pregnant and that you and I had been fighting.”
Kasey nodded. “But you didn’t tell her you and I weren’t getting married. She knows that now, but I don’t think she believes me.”
Royce didn’t say anything for several minutes. And Kasey realized that the men were waiting for them to leave so they could finish up. She started to stand and he put his hand out to steady her.
“Don’t touch me. Please, just…just don’t touch me.” She started to hobble away when she was suddenly lifted up in his arms. “Put me down right this minute.”
“I’m going to carry you to the car and put you in it. Then we’re going to stop at the closest drug store we can find and I’m going to buy a pregnancy test. We’re getting this solved right now. It’s been more than two weeks and we might know something. After that we’ll have a calm and rational conversation and both of us will decide what we’ll do if there is a baby.”
She was suddenly in his warm car. When he reached across her and pulled the belt across her lap, she wanted to snarl at him to leave her alone, but she started to tremble and couldn’t get the words out. By the time he came around to the driver’s side, her teeth were chattering and she was shaking hard.
“Christ. You’re in shock. Come on, Kasey.” The blast from the heater hit her in the face and she felt something warm covering her. As she tried to get warmth into her body, she felt Royce begin to rub her leg.
“Cold. I’m so cold.” She tried to stop her teeth from banging together, but all she managed to do was bite her lip.
“How long were you out in the rain? You’re soaked through. I’m taking you home and putting you into a warm bath. Don’t move.”
Like she could. Her body’s trembles made her dizzy and soon she was drifting in and out. She didn’t think she should be doing that from just being wet, but was too cold to ask him.
She was lifted for a brief time then she heard someone swearing. When someone started tugging on her clothes, she tried to fight them back.
“Stop it. You have to get out of these wet clothes. I’ve called the doctor and he said to strip you down and put you in the tub. He said that once I get you warm to bring you in and he’ll see about taking the bandages off permanently.”
Kasey was too cold to care what he did, then suddenly she was burning up. When she tried to get away from the heat, he held her firmly while speaking to her. After what seemed like an eternity, she started to feel better. Soon, she drifted off into a deep sleep.
Royce held her until he was sure she was all right. Her body was lax against his, but still he held her in the tub for a little while longer. When he was sure she wasn’t going to start shaking again, he stood up and took her into his bedroom.
He laid her on the floor, mindful about the soaking wraps on her arm and leg. His main concern was that she wasn’t cold and that she seemed to be sleeping well. He wrapped two big towels around the wet elastic and then piled more towels on the mattress after he dried her off. He then put a large towel around her hair and picked her up. He put her into his bed and went to put on some clothes.
He’d worn his boxers in the tub with her and nothing else. His wet clothes were on the floor and he bent to pick them up as he dialed his mother. She answered on the first ring.
“Where the hell are you two? I’ve been worried sick that you’d had an accident on the way here. When are you coming?”
“She got a chill. Bad. I called Doctor Carmichael and told him what was happening and he told me to put her in a tub of water. My house was closer than hers so I brought her here. When she wakes up, I’m to take her into the emergency room and he’ll make sure her injuries are all right.”
“Is she all right now then?”
Royce looked down at Kasey’s sleeping face. “I think so. She’s sleeping. Mom, I’m sorry, but I’m not going to marry her. All we ever do is fight and I don’t love her.”
She didn’t say anything for a few seconds. “All right. We should wait like you said to make any kind of arrangements for the child…if there is one.”
He sat on the edge of the bed and watched her. He told his mom that he’d talk to her later and hung up. He brushed his fingers over Kasey’s cheek and smiled at how soft it was. “Oh, Kasey,” he said softly. “What am I going to do with you? You come into my life demanding that I badge in and set my entire world on its side. Now you could be carrying my child and all I can think of is whether it will have eyes the same as yours or your temper. And I don’t even know if there is a kid yet.”
Three hours later, he took her to the emergency room. The doctor decided that even though she was doing fine, he didn’t like the sound of her lungs. He wanted to keep her for a bit longer. He also agreed to do a pregnancy test.
Royce was pacing the hall outside of the little room she was in when he saw the doctor. Doctor Carmichael had a straight face as he approached him so Royce wasn’t sure if it was good news or…or something else. Royce started to follow him in the room when he stopped him.
“You can’t hear the answer, Royce. The results are hers and hers alone. If she wants to tell you then that’s fine, but you’ll have to wait until then.”
“But it’s my kid. I have a right to know as much as she does.” The doctor merely raised a brow. “Ask her. Ask her if I can hear.”
“Okay, but wait out here until I ask her. I don’t want it said that you forced her in any way.”
It seemed so long from the time since the doctor left him in the hall until he came back out. But it was probably only a few seconds. Before he let him in, the doctor held him still.
“She said you can come in, but you’re to keep your mouth shut—her words not mine. She said if you piss her off any more than you have, she’ll hurt you. Do you understand?” Royce nodded, but the doctor wasn’t finished. “This is from me. You make her cry and I’ll castrate you. She’s been through a lot in the past few days and I won’t have you upsetting her. You understand that?”
“Yes, sir.” Royce repeated that he understood and they went into the room.
She looked so pale lying there. He wanted to hold her hand, touch her in some way, but the way she was covered up, her arms under the blanket, screamed to leave her alone. He sat on the couch somehow knowing that either answer was going to be hard to take.
“You’re pregnant, Kasey. If what you’ve told me is correct then you should be due right around the tenth of February. I can recommend a good doctor if you’d like or you can find one on your own.”
Royce leaned back on the chair. Pregnant. Kasey was carrying his child. He stood up suddenly and then sat back down. He wasn’t sure what to do.
“She’s been…with all this going on, is the baby going to be all right?” He hadn’t realized he’s asked the question until they both turned to him. “I know it’s early, but the stress, it won’t hurt it, will it?”
Doctor Carmichael turned to Kasey before answering. “No, but I want you to try and rest a bit more. Get in to see a doctor as soon as you can. That’ll start you off on the right foot. Do you have any questions, honey? This is a lot to take in.”
“I’m fine. I’m…can I go home now? I want to go home now. Please.” She sounded slightly panicky, but then took a deep breath. “I think I’ll feel better about this after I let it sink in. I would like to go now, please.”
“Of course. I would really like for you to stay, but I can understand that you need to be alone. You take a few days and get used to the idea. And let me be the first to congratulate you. You’re going to be fine, Kasey, just fine.”
The doctor walked out and left them, assuring them he’d have the nurse bring in her paperwork so she could get on her way. Royce stood up, walked over to her, and laid his hand on hers. She moved away.
“I want to go home. My home. If you’re going to give me a hard time about it then I’ll call a cab. I don’t want to argue with you tonight.” She turned her head away from him. “Tell me right now so I can call someone.”
“I want you to come home with me, but I understand. But I’ll come by tomorrow. We have things to discuss and how things are going to play from now on.”
She nodded, but he wasn’t sure she was listening. “Just take me home, please.”
Stay Tune for Next Week Chapter 10
Books In the series
THE HUNTERS -
1 ROYCE – http://smarturl.it/royce
2 CURTIS – http://smarturl.it/curtis
3 JESSE – http://smarturl.it/jessethehunters
4 DANIEL- http://smarturl.it/danielthehunters
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Two Men Joined By Fate...
Asher and Kiaran were joined at birth by the dying decree of the Dragon King?literally. Asher had his own bit of magic as a 3,000 year old immortal, and Kiaran was his dragon shifter. Out in society Kiaran was a part of Asher?absorbed into Asher's body?only being able to separate in dragon form. At their birth home, the two men could exist apart from each other as men. They protected each other, and would until their dying breath if it ever came to that. They shared everything...that is until Essie came along....
Essie was doing her best to hide from a mother that didn't even recognize her own daughter. The witch had poisoned her with a scratch and if Essie wasn't healed soon she'd die.... Sick or not she didn't want anything to do with that handsome, overbearing barbarian, Asher, nor that rude dragon that protected him. She was doing just fine on her own.
But Asher had other things on his mind and after a while brings Essie around to his way of thinking and makes her his wife, but Kiaran brought up a valid point?Essie was his mate too....
Could Essie find it in her heart to love both men equally? To share the bed of both?together?
Asher's five brothers and their dragons watched the scenario unfold with bated breaths. The subject had never been broached, and all their futures hung on the outcome....
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Fated Destiny Chance Encounter
Andrea Marshall finally had her life together. She didn't need anyone in her life, least of all a man. But there was something about that handsome stranger that sat down next to her on the plane that had her thinking anything but pure thoughts.
It was fate that had Trevor Dean on that plane in the first place. He had thought to sue the idiot that damaged his plane, but now he thinks he'll send him a gift instead. He could tell by her scent that the beauty next to him was his mate.
He was going to tell her too just as soon as she sat back down, but the unthinkable was coming to pass...the plane had lost an engine...
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