Her Journey (Her Series Book 2) (3 page)

BOOK: Her Journey (Her Series Book 2)
6.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub



Ellis, Ryan and I had seen the doctor then they’d gone on their way leaving me to do my thing. Too bad my thing was nothing. I was still in shock from the appointment and while I had played it down at the doctor and for Ryan and Ellis. Being alone, it was weighing on me. I drove to the park near my apartment and found a quiet bench to sit on and watch the people lounging and the kids playing.

Not only was I pregnant, I was pregnant with twins. We had known the chances of having multiples was higher doing in vitro but it was still news I had to let settle in. They’d shown us the two little black circles on the ultrasound where the tiny little babies were. They were even too small to have heartbeats yet, but there were definitely two individual circles. I was excited we wouldn’t have to go through the process of retrieving eggs and implanting them again, but now
Ryan and Ellis were there still, but it was me alone who had to care for these babies until they were born. It scared me, but I also felt like my mom was there giving me a tight hug saying it was the right thing.

After feeling sorry for myself for a few minutes, I stood and brushed away those feelings. I could do this. I
to do this. After enjoying the beautiful weather for a while, I decided to go back to my apartment and get my camera so I could snap a few shots for work. Ryan had already warned me it was going to get hotter than Hades in a few months, so I wanted to enjoy the weather while I could. Once I returned to my apartment I grabbed my camera bag; setting it on the counter, I put a cold water bottle in each of the side pouches, then pulled it on my back. Locking the door behind me, I left my car parked and walked back towards the park.

I saw a beautiful, brilliant red cardinal flying through the air, landing on a tree branch directly in front of me. Stopping, I slipped my bag off and pulled my camera from it. As I kneeled on the ground, I brought the camera to my face and zoomed in on the bird with the tree branches and sunlight filtering in behind it and snapped a few pictures. Just as I was lowering my camera to put it back into my bag, something hit me from the side causing my camera to go flying, banging noisily as it hit the sidewalk.

“FUCK!” I yelled, crawling over to my camera. I grabbed it and turned to glare at the idiot who had hit me. “Watch where the fuck you’re going!”

I stood, letting my eyes trail up from a pair of dress shoes to a pair of finely tailored pants, up to a suit jacket, only to end at a breath taking face with brilliant blue eyes. Even with a face and eyes like that I would’ve had more choice words to say to him, but there were very large, very scary looking men on either side of him. An impatient look crossed his face as he slipped his phone back into his pants pocket.

“Me? You’re the idiot kneeling in the middle of a busy sidewalk,” suit man said in a deep, gravelly voice.

“Whatever, asshole.” I rolled my eyes, throwing my camera in my bag, quickly zipping it up. “Don’t worry about if I’m okay or if you broke my
expensive camera. Self-centered dick.”

I slung the bag over my shoulder as I quickly walked away from the trio. As soon as I was around the corner, I stopped and caught my breath. That had been stupid on my part. I’m lucky they didn’t drag me into an alley and kick my ass or something. The two men with him had looked more than willing and able, but I couldn’t help it. He didn’t even care that I was a woman and that he’d most likely broken my camera, which meant I’d have to get it fixed or replaced soon.

Trying to put the encounter behind me, I returned to my bench in the park, placing my bag next to me. I pulled my camera out again and turned it on to see if it still worked. Thankfully it did, however, looking through the eye piece I could instantly see the lens was destroyed. It wouldn’t come into focus at all. Cursing under my breath, I unzipped my bag all the way to reveal another lens I owned. It wasn’t as nice as the one I normally used, but it would work until I had the money to replace the broken one.

Just as I was going to start snapping some pictures of kids chasing bubbles, my phone rang. Sighing, I lowered the camera and pulled out my phone to see it was Ryan. So much for de-stressing and losing myself in my camera and pictures. Sliding my finger across the screen, I brought the phone up to my ear. “Hello?”

“Melia?” Ryan’s voice came through the line.

“Hi, Ryan. How are you?” I asked leaning back on the bench.

“I was wondering if you’d like to go to lunch with me. Just me, no Ellis. He has to go out of town for a few days for business and I wanted to see if we could spend some time together,” Ryan said. We had spent time hanging out in DC, but very little since I’d come to Arizona. Most of our time had been spent talking about my mother, chemo or the process of getting pregnant. It probably wouldn’t be bad to get to know her a bit better, since I was carrying her babies.

“Sure. When?” I looked at my watch to see it was just after noon. Funny, Ellis hadn’t said anything about having to go out of town when I’d seen him earlier that morning.

“Now? I can come by and pick you up or we can meet somewhere if that’s easier.”

“I’m not home. I’m down the street at the park,” I said, watching cars drive past.

“Great. I’ll be right there.” Ryan ended the call and I dropped my phone into my lap and picked up my camera again. I was determined to get at least a few shots I could play with later that night. I was still snapping pictures of the kids chasing bubbles and the puppy who was right under their feet, running along with them, when I heard someone approach and sit next to me on the bench. “Hi there.”

I lowered my camera and smiled at Ryan. She had her beautiful blonde hair styled in a spiky do since it was just starting to grow in after her chemo had made it all fall out. I wished I could pull off such a fun look, but I always kept my brown hair long; it fit my heart-shaped face best. Her golden brown eyes were much more beautiful than my dull blue ones. Then again, I think it was quite possibly what was inside that made everything about Ryan glow and seem beautiful. She was a tough bitch but a wonderfully sweet lady at the same time. Plus, the love of a man like Ellis kept her glowing all the time.

“Where do you want to eat?” I asked, putting my camera away and zipping my bag up.

“You’re the pregnant one, you get to pick from now on. At least until the babies are born.” Ryan’s eyes glittered. If I didn’t know any different, I would swear it was her that was pregnant, not me. I was feeling tired, worn down and just plain dull.

“So, that’s how it’s going to be? You know, I might have to milk this whole pregnancy thing.” I folded my hands behind my head and leaned back on the bench.

Ryan just laughed and shook her head. “Now if you are going to act like that…”

“Nah. I’ll get tired of you fawning all over me. I’m not that kind of girl.” I usually preferred to be alone rather than having people constantly bothering me. That was partially why I had a hard time with my mother’s illness. She constantly needed someone to be there, and I liked to be by myself. I enjoyed the quiet and peacefulness that came with being alone. “There’s a little bistro over there. They have excellent sandwiches, do you want to go there?”

“Sure.” Ryan reached for my camera bag. “Let me carry that for you.”

“Nah, it’s okay. I’m pregnant, not disabled. Plus some asshole ran into me and destroyed one of my camera lenses so I only have one good one. It’s old, so it’ll need to be babied while I save up money to replace the other one.” I rolled my eyes again at the jerk from earlier.

“I swear, finding a good man is so hard.” Ryan shook her head. We finished the walk to the restaurant in a comfortable silence. Once we were seated, she grabbed my hand. “Please, let me replace the lens.”

“I can’t let you do that. Really, it’ll be okay. I just have to get a few more pictures up for sale. I’m still adjusting to the move and haven’t been working as much as I should.” I shrugged and pulled my hand from hers. “Don’t worry about it. It’s that jerk that should be replacing it.”

When she asked what happened, I gave her a quick run down of the incident on the sidewalk, ending with my nearly running away.

She laughed and slapped the table. “That’s great. I would’ve said the same thing!”

“It was stupid. He probably works for the mob with the looks of those two bruisers with him and the suit he was wearing.” I shook my head at my darn mouth; it always got away from me. I looked at Ryan curiously. “Is the mob in Arizona?”

Again she laughed and shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe. I’ll have to ask Patrick. If anyone knows, he probably would.”

She ordered a sandwich and I ordered some soup. As the bowl was set in front of me, my stomach instantly flipped. I jumped from the table and ran for the bathroom, barely making it in time. As I emptied my stomach, I felt a small set of hands wrap around my hair, pulling it back for me before rubbing up and down my back. After I felt better, I sat back on my heels and looked up to see Ryan smiling softly at me.

“I’m sorr…” I started, but she cut me off with a wave of her hand.

“Don’t worry about it. Really. Ellis had to do this for me so many times, it’s only fair I do it for you now.” Ryan rubbed her hand over my head pushing a few loose strands back. “I used to have long hair like you. I miss it. I guess just one more reason for me to be jealous of you.”

“You? Jealous of
? Whatever. I’m jealous of
. You are so much stronger and more beautiful than I’ll ever be.” I stood with Ryan’s help.

“Nah. You’re strong in your own way. And trust me doll, you are beautiful.” Ryan handed me a glass of water that had been sitting on the counter near the sink. “Grabbed this on the way in. Figured you would need it.”

“Thanks.” I swished some of it around my mouth before spitting it in the sink, then drank down the rest of what was in the glass. “I guess this is my introduction to morning sickness. Congratulations on being there for my first time.”

“Lets go see if we can get some food into you this time around.” Ryan wrapped her arm around my shoulder. I felt like we had just bonded in a way other women never would. I felt like maybe I could learn to love Ryan the way my mother had.

I had jumped into the situation without knowing either Ellis or Ryan as well as most people probably would have, but I knew my mother and I knew it wasn’t often she talked about someone like she had Ryan. My mother was the one who made me want to be a surrogate and she was the one I was really doing it for, not Ryan and Ellis. However, if I came out at the end of the pregnancy with a close friend, all the better.



I was barely on time to a business meeting in town after taking a quick shower and putting on a clean suit. The meeting hadn’t gone as planned, so I was already pissed off. Then to top it off, I had to text Ryan to see how the appointment had gone, since apparently she didn’t think to call me on her own. Walking to the truck to head back home, I could hear Slam and Piro behind me giving each other shit over something that had gone on the night before. Not paying them any attention; I was replaying the meeting in my head trying to figure out exactly when the meeting had turned sour.

So lost in my thoughts I didn’t notice the small brunette kneeling on the sidewalk and I accidentally kicked her in the leg. The impact made her fall onto her ass and the camera in her hand went flying. What the fuck was she doing on the ground anyway? Grinding my teeth at another thing that just wasn’t going my way, I put my phone back in my pocket and waited to make sure she could get up on her own and wasn’t injured. I wasn’t going to help her stupid ass up. She was the one who thought it was a good idea kneel in the middle of the sidewalk.

Although I had to admit, I did notice her tight little ass as she bent to retrieve the camera, and again when she was putting it in her bag. She snapped at me and I said whatever had come to mind back at her. It didn’t matter because the moment her eyes met mine, it felt like I’d been sucker-punched. I sucked in a breath as I gazed at her beauty. Her long hair had fallen over her shoulder, shielding part of her face as she stood, but those eyes of hers were simply stunning. They were an unusual shade of dark blue, emphasized by her dark eyelashes and dark hair. Her curvy hips were encased in jeans and a t-shirt covered her breasts. When she stood she came up to my shoulder, making her over five foot seven inches tall compared to my six foot two.

BOOK: Her Journey (Her Series Book 2)
6.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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