I smiled into the bathroom mirror as I pulled on one of his shirts. “Keep your pants on.”
“If you don’t hurry the fuck up, I’ll be keeping them on,” Isaac called back to me from down the hall. “Permanently.”
I snorted. “Well, if I had my own clothes here…” I trailed off, waiting for him to bite back, knowing this conversation – one we’d had many times – annoyed him.
“I’ll go start the car,” I heard him mumble, and I laughed. Then the front door closed.
“Isaac!” I stumbled out of the bathroom door, hopping on one foot, trying to put on my shoe, trying to stop him from getting in behind the steering wheel and starting my car. I almost fell down the hall, with my shoe half on and my jeans undone, to find Isaac still standing inside at the front door.
Looking gorgeous in his pricey jeans, expensive shirt and tight-fitted, designer sunglasses, the self-righteous bastard smiled. “Thought that might get your attention.”
Standing up straight, wedging my foot into my shoe and doing up the fly on my jeans, I looked at my boyfriend. My blind boyfriend. Then I looked at the golden Labradorat his feet, his guide dog. “Well, Brady,” I said to the dog. “It seems Isaac thinks he’s funny.”
Isaac grinned, smugly. “Are you finally ready?” he asked, again. He held out my wallet and keys. “You know my sister doesn’t have a baby every day, Carter. I’d like to get to the hospital some time before my niece starts middle school.”
Instead of taking my wallet and keys, I took his face in my hands and kissed him. “Shut up and get in the car.”
By the time we had Brady harnessed into the backseat and were on our way to Carney Hospital, he was still complaining. “Seriously, Carter. How long should it take?”
“I was at work,” I said, again. “I had to get changed! I could hardly turn up in my work clothes.” Spending my days as a vet, tending to an array of animals, didn’t make for clean work clothes. I changed gears and weaved through some traffic, looking from the cars in front of me to Isaac. “You know, if I had my own clothes at your place, it wouldn’t take so long. I wouldn’t have to go through your wardrobe to find clothes that fit me.”
Isaac sighed dramatically. “Haven’t we had this conversation?”
Yes. Yes, we had. But he didn’t want me to move in with him. At all. It had stung when he’d first told me he didn’t want me to live with him. I’d brought it up, considering we’d been together for a year, thinking it was the next step for us, thinking it was what he’d want. But he didn’t. He liked his independence, he’d said. He liked things just the way they were. He didn’t want us to be in each other’s pockets, he’d said. It hurt to know he didn’t want me to move in, but since then, the subject had now become a bit of a joke between us.
Usually, I’d make a joke of it and he’d sigh or change the subject. Or tickle me. Or throw something at me.
“And how long are we going to continue to have it?”
“Until you agree for me to move in.”
“So a long while, then?”
I chuckled and shook my head. “Apparently.” I reached over the console and took his hand. “What time did you get the call about Hannah?”
“Carlos phoned me at work this morning to say she’d gone into labor, but not to hurry, because they thought it’d be hours,” he said. “But then he called me again after lunch to tell me it was all over.”
I looked at the clock on the dash, and like he could see what I’d just done, he added, “That was over an hour ago.”
I knew he was anxious. His sister meant the world to him, and the new addition to the Brannigan clan was the best news they’d had in a long time. I lifted our joined hands and kissed his knuckles.
“I did leave work four hours early. I got to your place as fast as I could.”
He sighed again, and squeezed my hand. “It’s okay. The bus took forever anyway.”
“Why won’t you let me drive you to work?”
“Because you don’t need to be driving out of your way for me, when you live five minutes from your work,” he said. “And I’m a big boy. I can catch the bus to work if I want to.”
I looked at the man in the passenger seat beside me, at his dark brown hair, his chiseled jaw and trademark Armani sunglasses. The beautiful, stubborn, completely infuriating man. “It’s hardly out of my way. It’d take me twenty minutes tops,” I started, but he cut me off.
“Carter,” he said sternly, in that I-can’t-believe-I-have-to-say-this-out-loud tone he gets when he thinks he’s stating the obvious. “Brady and I are just fine on the bus, thank you.”
I held in a sigh and bit back the exasperated comment that threatened to snap at him. You’d think after being together for over twelve months I’d be used to it by now. But no, I wasn’t really. I wasn’t often offended by his snide comments anymore, but the frustration still weighed in.
Dropping any conversation pertaining to how independent he was, I asked, “So did Carlos tell you what they called the baby?”
“No,” he shook his head and smiled softly. “Just that mother and daughter were doing well.”
When I pulled the car over and to a stop, Isaac turned his face toward to me. “Why did we stop? We haven’t been driving for long enough to be at the hospital. Carter, what the hell are you doing? We’re late enough!”
I waited for his little tirade to be over. “I’m aware of that, Isaac,” I said slowly. “I stopped at a florist so we could bring Hannah some flowers. Is that okay?”
Isaac sighed. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Because I just saw it and decided it was a good idea.”
He sighed. “Just don’t take long.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it.” I rolled my eyes dramatically, though that silent trait was lost on him. Two minutes later, I opened the passenger door of the Jeep and handed Isaac the ridiculously overpriced teddy bear and bouquet of pink flowers with matching balloon. He pulled his face back in surprise, so I kissed his cheek. “Now you can’t say I’ve never given you flowers.”
I got back in behind the wheel and Isaac was smelling the flowers. After I’d pulled the Jeep out into traffic and we were nearly at the hospital, he said, “You haven’t, you know.”
“I haven’t what?”
“Given me flowers.”
I looked from him to the traffic in front of us, back to him, trying to decide if he was serious… I mean, no, I’d never brought him flowers, but I was trying to decide if he cared. “Would you like me to? Bring you flowers?”
“Not if I have to ask you for them.”
“Then I shall bring you flowers.” I chuckled, and shook my head. “When you don’t expect it.”
“Well now you’ve mentioned it, I’ll be expecting it.”
I sighed out a laugh. “Will I ever win an argument?”
Isaac smiled. “Not if I’m the one you’re arguing with.”
I laughed as I drove my Jeep into the parking lot of the hospital. Pulling into a spot, I turned the ignition off. “Well, come on. Let’s go meet the newest Brannigan.”
In other news, Total e-Bound has said they’d love to have my other books!!!!
Yes!! So that means Taxes and TARDIS, Three’s Company and Point of No Return will have a new home soon!!
Breaking Point (Point of No Return 2) and Starting Point (Point of No Return 3) as well!!!!
I will be adding about another 10K to PoNR 1, so the new release will be a little longer, but essentially not different.
I’ve been waiting for months for this very good news, so I’m very excited to share it with you all!!
I can’t wait to move forward and start my writing career over with a new (to me), exciting publisher such as TEB.
Thanks for all staying with me, and I hope to have some more news on release dates soon.
Oh, and speaking of which, Through These Eyes (Blind Faith 2) should be up in a few days!!