Working from Calls: Six Degrees of Separation at the Loose Ends Blog
Introvert Remade? at Three Wicked Writers.
That's right...one of my rare contemp stories released from LooseId TODAY (Dec 8th).
All I Want For Christmas Is You- Two years after losing her fiancé Zach in a car accident, Robin is moving on. She's set her priorities, and one of them is following through with a life plan she and Zach made together...having a baby. It would be best if said child shared some of Zach's genes.
Enter David, Zach's older brother. He's Robin's best friend, her confidant, the one person who won't think she's crazy to do this...she hopes. Since there's no chance the ladies' man will fall for her, she hopes sex with him will stop the dreams where David takes Zach's place.
It's the invitation he's been waiting for, three years of watching Robin with his little brother, then watching her grieve Zach. If only she wanted David for himself and not a convenient sperm donor to conceive his brother's child. Then again, in such close quarters, maybe he'll be able to convince her to something more permanent...if his parents don't catch wind of the whole thing first.
HEA-yes, VIOLENCE-mild, LANGUAGE-graphic, SEX-erotic...BDSM overtones, anal sex
“I want to have a baby.”
“C-come again?” David managed to stutter out. Overall, it was a better response than she’d anticipated to the announcement.
Robin took a calming breath and prepared to explain. Despite how many times she’d rehearsed the speech, it deserted her in the heat of the moment, just as she’d feared it would. Just as it often had with Zach.
“Well…Zach and I had planned to have a baby right away.”
He nodded, setting his beer on the table between them. “He mentioned it.”
That would make things easier. I hope. “I still want to.”
Robin hesitated and then nodded. He thinks I’m insane. Then again, she thought she was insane some days. How many weeks had she argued this with herself? How many times had she reversed course? More than Robin cared to count.
David gulped down another few mouthfuls of his beer, seemingly steeling himself for something unpleasant before he answered. “Robin, I know you love Zach.”
And she loved David for phrasing it that way. Anyone else would have said “loved Zach,” marginalizing her feelings, dismissing them. Putting the nails in the coffin of her love for him. She winced at the pun.
“But, baby… Much as we both love Zach, he is gone.”
Anyone else would have ended up with a faceful of red wine at that blunt statement, but David had always been honest with her when no one else would.
“I know,” she replied with all the dignity she could muster.
“The plans you made together…” David sighed. “They were meant to be carried out together. I’m not saying you’re incapable of doing this without him,” he hastened to add.
“What are you saying, David?”
He darkened a notch. “Be sure, before you do something this…big. Be certain you’re not doing this just to hold onto a piece of what you and Zach planned.”
She stiffened, offended that he’d think her capable of it. “I’m not.”
“Just be sure,” he insisted. “Holding onto the past just to --”
A couple at a nearby table slid a glance at them at her outburst. Robin pretended not to notice it, and they went back to their conversation.
David took her hand, stroking his thumb over the back and his fingers in the bowl of her palm. With that little provocation, her body responded.
It seemed to be happening more and more often. Touches he intended to soothe her aroused her senses. Shared looks made her heart pound in excitement. Whispered words had her wet and aching.
His voice dragged her back to the present.
“You’ve thought this through, then?”
“For months.” That was no exaggeration.
David raised her hand and pressed a chaste kiss to her knuckles. “Then I’ll help you.”
Her breathing hitched. That simply? I ask the seemingly insane, and he agrees nearly without question. David was a rare man. Zach would have demanded weeks of negotiation on the subject. She pushed that thought away before she started second-guessing herself again. “Thank you.”
“So what’s it going to be? A sperm bank?”
Her face burned in embarrassment. Now comes the moment when he says I’m insane. Robin didn’t doubt that his offer to help was about to be rescinded.
“Robin?” There was an edge of steel in that question, and he stopped stroking her hand.
“I was hoping…” She couldn’t form the words. Damn! Why did I spend all that time practicing the logic if I can’t speak coherently enough to say it?
One dark brow arched at her hesitation. “Hoped?” he prompted her.
“To have…ah…a donation from someone who shared chromosomes with Zach.” She knew she was pleading with him with her eyes. Not so much for his agreement; it was unlikely she’d get that much. Robin would be lucky if he didn’t walk away and wash his hands of her.
The beer came up in David’s free hand, and he drained it. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and set the empty glass back on the table. After a tense moment of silence, his eyes opened, and he forged on.
“You want me to… What? Leave a sample with your doctor or something?”
It sounded horrid, when phrased that way. Besides that, it wasn’t what she wanted. She tried for humor, her heart aching. “If that’s the only way you will.” At least, she’d get the baby that way, which was better than not, she supposed.
His eyes widened, and dark patches of color bloomed in his face. “If… If…?”
She stared to speak, uncertain what would spill out. It had been too much to ask. It was time to let him off the hook and get therapy for her fascination with him.
He put up an index finger, an unmistakable order for a moment of silence.
Robin snapped her mouth shut while cursing herself for not dropping the whole idea. She’d argued it was crazy at least a hundred times. Why had she bothered to pursue it?
David dragged out his wallet and tossed a twenty on the table. A whirlwind of a moment later, he was ushering Robin out of Mik’s and into the crisp winter air outside. She zipped her jacket and, averting her eyes, anticipated the lecture to come.
He turned to her, and she looked up against her better judgment. His face was all harsh lines. Oh, yes. The lecture was coming.
“If that’s the only way I will?”
There was something manic couched in his tone, but he wasn’t shouting at her or suggesting a shrink. To her surprise, he seemed to want answers, so she organized her thoughts, seeking out the reasons she’d so carefully prepared.
“I’ve investigated every --”
“Robin,” he warned.
She stared at him, confused. What had he been asking, if not the reasons why he should consider a more intimate donation to the cause?
“Are you saying you’d prefer another option?”