Wicked choice, p.19
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       Wicked Choice, p.19

         Part #4 of Wicked Horse Vegas series by Sawyer Bennett
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  Last night, Rachel said, "We can handle anything as long as we're together."

  I pretty much attacked her after she said that. She does that a lot lately. Says things that catch me off guard and are very "un-Rachel-like". They make me fucking horny as hell. My busted elbow has done nothing to slow me down in that respect. I've just had to get creative, that's all.

  "Rachel, Bodie," Dr. Anchors says lightly as he smiles at us. "I'm not going to beat around the bush. All testing from the amnio is fine. The baby doesn't have any detectable chromosomal abnormalities."

  I let out a huge sigh of relief, and Rachel giggles nervously. Our hands reach out and clasp without even looking at each other.

  "Let's get that ultrasound done, shall we?" Dr. Anchors says.

  "Let's," Rachel agrees. She lays back on the examination table, dragging her t-shirt up to expose her belly. She doesn't even wait for Dr. Anchors, but also pushes down the waistband of the yoga pants to clear the path for the gel and wand.

  Dr. Anchors chuckles as he adjusts the machine and pulls out the bottle of gel. I step in closer to the table, my hand taking Rachel's again.

  I suck air into my lungs and hold it there. Impossibly hold it forever as Dr. Anchors squirts the cool liquid on Rachel's stomach, which is starting to round beautifully at seventeen weeks. She hisses slightly from the coldness, and then her hand squeezes mine as the wand starts gliding over her stomach.

  An image appears on the screen... it looks like blobs to me at first, but--is that the head? I think it is. As the wand slowly moves, it becomes so clear what we're looking at. The wonder of it all overwhelms me. The 3D technology gives so much detail it's absolutely magical.

  "There we go," Dr. Anchors murmurs as he moves the wand slowly and taps a few keys on the keyboards to take measurements. Then my heart practically explodes when he points to the screen. "Right there. You were right, Rachel... it's a boy."

  "A boy," I whisper in awe as I look at Rachel.

  "A boy," she says in an "I told you so" tone punctuated with a nod of her head.

  Dr. Anchors marks two spots on the screen with the mouse. "Those are the little boy parts in between those two dots I just marked."

  "Holy cow," I wheeze. "Is it me or is he already well endowed? A chip off the old block."

  Rachel's hand slips from mine before popping me in the chest. I give an exaggerated oomph while Dr. Anchors laughs.

  For the next ten minutes, Dr. Anchors records the images and takes measurements. We ask him to focus time and time again on the face, which has amazing clarity given how little our kid is.

  "He has your nose," I tell Rachel.

  "Your smile," she says. I mean... you can even see the baby smile.

  "I'd normally print a few of these off for you to take along with a DVD I'll give you, but this stupid printer isn't printing." As if to punctuate his frustration, he taps extra hard on a button on the small printer below the ultrasound machine. "I'm sorry. I'm going to get someone to come in and look at this. Why don't you get dressed and wait out in the lobby, and we'll get it figured out?"

  "It's not a big deal," Rachel says lightly. "We can come back later."

  "Of course it's a big deal," I scoff. I turn to Dr. Anchors. "Thanks. We'll just wait out in the lobby."

  Dr. Anchors leaves to get a technician, and Rachel gets dressed. She chatters up a storm about the nursery and picking a name. We've already developed individual lists of names we like. I, of course, did a list for boys and girls. Rachel only did boys, convinced she was correct about the gender.

  We sit out in the lobby, heads bent toward each other and whispering about baby shit. It's filled almost to capacity with pregnant women, some with their partners. I wonder if any of them are having as good a day as I am. Rachel practically jumps in her seat she's so excited, and it almost threatens to unman me.

  Seeing her like this.

  She's come so far in such a brief time. My biggest joy was when she realized she wanted to be a mom, but her telling me she loves me was a close second. If all goes well, today's going to be fucking amazing, too.

  "Miss Hart," the receptionist says from the front desk.

  Rachel stands up and practically skips up to the front. I don't walk with her. Instead, I stay just a few feet behind her.

  When she grabs the manila folder the receptionist hands her, I know she won't be able to resist tearing it open. Her fingers rip at the seal, and she reaches in like a kid reaching into their Halloween bucket to pull candy out.

  She pulls a single sheet of paper out, turning it around to look at it, and I almost laugh when she gasps so loud several people in the waiting room turn to look at her.

  I reach in my pocket and drop to one knee as Rachel slowly turns around to look at me.

  You see, Dr. Anchors and I were cohorts today. His little act in the examination room telling us he couldn't print the 3D ultrasound pictures was really good.

  Rachel's eyes are wide and blinking as she stares at me. The picture she'd pulled out of the envelope slips from her fingers and flutters to the ground. It lands face up right by my knee, a photograph of the engagement ring I'd bought the day after I got out of the hospital last week.

  I pop the box open that holds the actual ring and hold it out to her. Her eyes flick down to the ring, and then back to me. "The nurse at the hospital said I should make it more romantic and put a little more thought into the engagement, so... here we go."

  "Oh, Jesus," Rachel murmurs as her hand comes up to cover her mouth. I'm totally stoked when I see her eyes start to glisten with tears. A woman to my right sighs loudly in appreciation of my gesture, and the air crackles with electricity when I clear my throat.

  "Rachel... this is not where I thought my life would take me. But I've always been a believer in accepting the gifts that are handed to me. And you are the greatest gift I've ever been given, our baby being the next greatest. The only thing that could ever be better is if you trust in what we have between us, and agree to share your life permanently with me while we raise our baby together. So, Rachel Hart... please, please... will you marry me?"

  She doesn't make me suffer. In fact, she had started frantically nodding at about the time I talked about raising our baby together as husband and wife. Rachel drops to her knees and carefully slides her arms around my neck, so as not to bump into my elbow that I've got secured with a sling. I bobble the box but quickly secure it in my fist, pressing my cheek into hers.

  "Is that a yes?" I ask, even though she's still nodding her head exuberantly.

  "It's a yes," she says on a half sob, and everyone in the waiting room breaks out in applause.

  Rachel presses her face into my neck, laughing with a mixture of embarrassment and delight. When she pulls back, she's shaking her head in bemusement. "I can't believe you did this."

  "I've totally got romantic skills."

  "You should have just asked in the hospital room," she says before pressing a quick kiss to my mouth. "I would have said yes then."

  "But then you wouldn't have this cool story to tell our kid," I point out.

  "Or have fodder for all the guys at Jameson to harass the shit out of you for," she returns with an evil sort of giggle.

  "You're rotten," I tell her, holding the box out in front of her face. "But regardless, let's get this puppy on your finger and make it official."

  Rachel holds her left hand out, and it trembles slightly. I'm dexterous enough to wrangle the ring from the box one handed, but I have to drop the black velvet carrier to the floor to do so.

  The ring is beautiful. My mom helped me pick it out. She was thrilled that things worked out, far preferring me to be happy with a woman I love and the mother of my child than me moving back home to the farm. I expect I'll want my kid to be as happy one day, and will have to let them go.

  The 3-carat yellow diamond slides on perfectly, and Rachel gets her first good look at it.

  "Holy shit, Bodie," she gasps as she takes it in. "This is
too much. I don't wear jewelry, you know."

  "You wear this," I say emphatically, pulling her hand to my mouth where I kiss her knuckles. "Unless you're on a mission. Then it goes in a safe-deposit box."

  Rachel laughs and nods. "Okay. I'll do that for you."

  "That's my girl."

  Again, her arms go around my neck. She presses into me carefully, ever aware of my injured arm. It sucks I can't crush her to me, but there will be time for that later.

  We have, as a matter of fact, the rest of our lives.

  "I love you," I whisper into her ear as we hug it out... on our knees in the lobby of Dr. Anchors' office while his patients watch.

  "I love you, Bodie," she says, the quaver in her voice betraying just how emotional she is right now.

  "Going to have a great life together."

  "The best."

  "Better than the best," I counter.

  "Shut up and kiss me," she replies, and I give my girl what she wants.

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  About the Author

  Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released multiple books, many of which have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.

  A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.

  Sawyer likes her Bloody Marys strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active daughter, as well as full-time servant to her adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or even better, both.

  Sawyer also writes general and women's fiction under the pen name S. Bennett and sweet romance under the name Juliette Poe.



  Sawyer Bennett, Wicked Choice

  (Series: Wicked Horse Vegas # 4)




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