Authors: Anne Leigh
This novel is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to peoples living or deceased is purely coincidental. Names, pigments, and characters are figments of the author’s imagination.
The author respectfully acknowledges all registered trademarks and owners of trademarked products that may have been included in this work of fiction.
the most beautiful little girl I met 13 yrs ago, I imagined what your life would have been like if leukemia didn't win and you met the sweetest boy.
To fans of Z & S, this one's for you.
To football fans, this may or may not be for you. I've created a world where all football players are hot; the games are played at the oddest times; and the football teams have the weirdest names.
The first time I saw your face; you robbed me of my breath, my thoughts, my words.”
Sir, I love your daughter.
Sir, I want to marry her.
Sir, I got her pregnant.
If it was possible to sweat more than I did in this 75 degree room, I probably would have. I've had to change my dress shirt twice before I arrived here. Finally, I settled on a dark blue shirt tucked under my black suit.
How did one ask a father for his daughter's hand in marriage? Was there a secret rule? Was there a better way to say it than, ‘I got your daughter pregnant?’
I've been waiting here for fifteen minutes, but it felt like five hours. The time on my watch was ticking by way too slowly. Shouldn't they be here by now? Sedona and I had talked about meeting her dad, and telling him at the same time about our news. It was a day before graduation. He had arrived this morning from a travel assignment in Belize. How long did it take for Sedona to get her father settled in at her apartment and meet me here for dinner? Granted, I was early by fifteen minutes. The last text that she sent me was ten minutes ago. She said they were on their way, which meant that they'd be here in five minutes.
I kept staring at the entrance of the restaurant, willing my girlfriend to show up already. If not, I'd have to order another shot of whiskey. I hated whiskey, but I needed it to bolster up my courage. I had no problem telling her dad I loved his daughter. The problem that I had was telling him that his precious only daughter was carrying my child.
Maybe I should ask for another shot.
Before I could call the server, I saw the familiar figure of a woman wearing a knee-length, silver dress and high heels. I stood up. She was entrancing. Her face was glowing, her lips were damp from her lip gloss, and her violet eyes were shining. Her long, dark hair hung loosely over her face. She was wearing the tennis bracelet that I gave her two days ago as a graduation gift on her right wrist. It was a matching bracelet for the necklace I gave her for Christmas.
A tall, broad-shouldered, man with dark hair was matching her strides. He had a smile on his face. I wondered if he would still be smiling after what I had to say.
As they neared me my heart swelled at the woman who was so dear to me. Her waist was slightly bigger, almost imperceptible. Her breasts were fuller, her cleavage evident. God, the things I did to those twins last night.
. I could not get a hard-on right now.
"Hey babe," she said with a smile, reaching up to kiss my cheek. "Have you been waiting long?"
"No, about fifteen minutes," I replied, inhaling her strawberries and peaches scent.
She turned towards her dad, gesturing with her hand. "Dad, this is Zander. Zander, this is my dad, Sloane."
I reached out my right hand to her dad and her dad shook mine. He had a very firm grip, enough to break my hand in two when I tell him that his baby is having a baby— my baby.
His blue eyes crinkled. "Nice to meet you, Zander. I've heard so much about you." He had a powerful voice, one that took command. His hair was as dark as Sedona's, but that was where the similarities ended. Whereas Sedona was all delicate curves, her dad was all angles. He had a square jaw, a slightly crooked nose, and looked like a linebacker.
Sedona had no clue that I was going to ask for her hand. I had been thinking about it since we got back together. She was all I could have ever asked for. I knew that we hadn’t been together for a long time, but I believed that she was the only one who could make me feel this way. I wanted to give her everything I had. My body she claimed. My heart she owned. The only thing left was my name.
Sedona Lee Zobowski
. Even her middle name sounded nice with my last name.
Sitting here with her dad, who was busy chatting away about his trip, I had thought of when the best time would be to talk to him alone. I wanted to let him know about my intentions of marrying her. Sedona would raise her eyebrows if I asked for some time for privacy with her father. She was smart like that. She would definitely know that something was up – which was why I had asked Kieran to help me out.
Sedona sat to my left, leaving her dad to face us. She reached for my hand under the table; I could tell she was nervous. I gripped it tighter, trying to reassure her that it was going to be okay.
Sloane asked, "So, Zander, when are your parents flying in?"
"They're arriving tomorrow around nine. I know it's cutting it close, since grad ceremonies are in the afternoon, but my dad has some business to attend to," I replied.
He nodded and smiled. "I can't wait to meet them. I’ve heard so many great things about them from my daughter."
"You will definitely meet them, sir."
"Call me Sloane, Zander." His eyes grinned as he continued, "‘Sir’ makes me feel ten times older." He continued, smiling at the both of us. "This definitely calls for a celebration. Sedona’s graduating tomorrow with the highest honors. And you, Zander, are gaining a degree in architecture and you’re the number one draft pick. Whew! Which wine do you want to order Angel?" Sedona had mentioned that her dad often called her ‘sweetie’ and ‘angel’ ever since she was a little girl; those were his nicknames for her.
I looked over at Sedona. Her face was pale. Her hand was clutching mine under the table.
She gulped and said, "Dad, I don't feel like drinking wine tonight."
He looked surprised. "Why not? You love wine. And this definitely calls for a bottle or two." He lifted his right hand to call our server.
"Sloane, I don't think I'm in the mood for wine, either." I sucked in a breath. Sedona could definitely not have a bottle of wine.
He looked at us strangely, the server now standing by our table.
"I'd like to order a bottle of my daughter's favorite wine, Lambrusco Riunite,” he told the server. The server nodded and left.
Sedona's hand was now sweaty in mine. Her right foot was tapping uncontrollably. She was emitting loads of nervous energy. She had to calm down.
Her voice was soft as she said, "Dad, I love wine...I just can't have any right now."
"Sir...Sloane, Sedona and I have something to tell you." I took charge. She was a bundle of nerves. I had to do this for us.
He was now looking at me expectantly. "Okay, what is it? Are you sick, Angel? Is that why you can't have any wine? I'll call back our server. We can have it at another time. Maybe tomorrow, at your grad party?”
I gathered up all the courage I could and said, "Sloane, she can't have any wine for nine months. Actually, seven months now."
Her dad was grinning. "Nine months? Seven months?" Then I knew the moment he realized it, because his whole face went pale and shock was reflected in his eyes. "Are you...pregnant?"
From the minute my dad arrived at the airport I could hardly concentrate on anything.
Zander and I decided that tonight was the night we were going to tell him.
I missed my dad. I hadn't seen him for almost three months. The last time I saw him was when I went to Costa Rica during the Brennan incident. Now he was here, with me. I was so happy. I just hoped that he would also be happy with our news. Actually, I just hoped he would be accepting of our news.
When we arrived at the restaurant I took in my fill of my boyfriend. He looked so handsome in his black suit. Zander in everyday clothes was hot; Zander in a suit was scorching. With his broad shoulders, freshly showered hair, and molten blue-green eyes, he could be the model on how a man was supposed to look like in a well-tailored suit.
My first glimpse of Zander was of him looking at the time. He was wearing the watch I had given him as a pre-graduation gift, with the engraving, ‘Z, my mighty one’. He laughed when he first saw the engraving. I thought it was funny too. But he really was my mighty one, in all aspects of my life. He was my strength, my life, and my love.
His eyes lit up when he saw me and my dad walking towards him. I held his hand under the table after kissing his cheek. I found myself looking for that connection all the time. He was an extension of me. Now, with our baby inside of me, he would always be a part of me.
This was the first time he was officially meeting my dad. Zander didn't show any signs of anxiety. He was excited to meet my dad. I was more nervous than he was, all because of what we had to tell him. So when my dad started talking about ordering wine my anxiety went into overdrive. Zander tried to calm me down, but my heart was beating rapidly. This was definitely not good for the baby. I needed to calm down. I needed to get some alcohol in my system. Oh, well, scratch that. Alcohol and pregnancy didn't mix.
Breathe Sedona. According to Boyle, the amount of space that gas takes up decreases as pressure is applied. The more you breathe, the lesser the pressure is. So breathe.
I heard Zander start to tell my dad that I couldn't drink any wine. My dad laughed it off, and then his face dawned with bewilderment. "Are you...pregnant?" His blue eyes were round and wide, his mouth agape.
I replied softly, "Umm, yes daddy. I’m pregnant.”
Two servers came in to deliver the chicken marsala that I ordered, the steak for Zander, and the shrimp carbonara for my dad. Plus the bottle of wine my dad had ordered. I reached for the glass of water with my trembling hands.
Zander leaned in to me, steadied my hands, and whispered, "Babe, it's going to be okay."
My dad was still in shock. He had barely moved. He didn’t even blink. Finally, he came out of his stupor to say, "How? I mean, when?"
Zander answered for me. "She's about two months along. We learned about it a few weeks back." He was covering for me. I learned about it a few weeks back after our big argument. He learned about it a week ago.