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Authors: Elizabeth Lennox

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BOOK: Intimate Secrets (The Love and Danger Series)
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In hindsight, they should have waited, gotten to know each other before having sex.  She should have talked to him more, understood what he was about, where he came from and his values.  But that hadn’t happened.  And as Lilly eagerly gobbled up the remnants of her peas and
a jar of pears, Amy wondered if the heartache and pain of the past year could have been avoided if they’d just gotten to know each other.

After
Lilly’s dinner, Amy rocked her while they read stories.  Lilly listened intently, only nibbling on the edge of the book occasionally.  But Amy had gotten several books with textures and Lilly loved to feel the various fuzz or sandpaper. 

Amy had just finished Lilly’s bath and was about to sit down to nurse Lilly for the last time before bed when the doorbell rang.  Both Amy and Lilly were ready to nurse.  Amy’s breasts, used to this nighttime ritual,
had filled up with milk, becoming almost aching as they prepared to feed her daughter.  Lilly knew the routine and was already reaching for Amy’s breasts, eager for the warm milk that would fill her belly. 

When she didn’t answer the door immediately, Walker banged on the door
again, worried that something might have happened to his newly discovered daughter.  The lights were on inside and he’d made sure to lock the door before walking out earlier, but Amy wasn’t answering the door.  It was only eight o’clock, too early for them to be asleep.  At least, he thought it was too early.  What time did a baby go to sleep?  He had no experience with babies, no idea what their daily schedules were.  He could generally read the minds of a criminal, anticipate their next move and hunt them down when they tried to harm someone.  But a baby was a mystery. 

He banged on the door impatiently.  “Amy, are you okay?  Answer the door, honey!” 

Amy heard the worry in his voice and closed her eyes as the aching need increased inside of her.  She’d heard that tone before and it had always warmed her heart, knowing that he would care for her and protect her.  She would have done the same for him and many mornings after he’d left her, she’d said a silent prayer, asking for a guardian angel to watch over him as he investigated the latest homicide or attempted murder. 

Hearing that tone
again, knowing he was just on the other side of the door, she couldn’t keep him out. 

She pulled the door open, staring at Walker with wide,
grey eyes, unaware that Lilly had the exact same expression but with his brown eyes. 

“I couldn’t stay away,” he told her after the shock of seeing his daughter
again subsided slightly.  “I know I still need time to come to terms with…” he looked at the daughter in Amy’s arm, her chubby fingers holding onto the edge of Amy’s sweatshirt, “Lilly,” he said, almost sighing with the name.  He swallowed the lump in his throat as he said his daughter’s name for the first time out loud.  “I know I need to come to terms with the fact of Lilly’s existence.  And we need to talk, to figure out what really happened a year ago, but I need to do that close to her.  I can’t stay away.”

Amy heard the words and something inside of her cracked and melted.  But the pain and sheer terror of facing a pregnancy
alone, single and with very little money wasn’t going to go away instantly.  She’d trusted him so completely a year ago and his words had hurt her more than she’d ever admitted, even to herself.  Not until she’d seen him again yesterday had she truly understood how hurt and angry she was at his betrayal. 

Looking at him now, watching him drink i
n the sight of his daughter, she wanted so desperately to tell him to go away.  She wanted to think about the conversation they’d had earlier, to figure out if she believed him or if he was just twisting things around to suit him now.  But with the hungry look in his eyes as he watched Lilly squirm in her arms, Amy couldn’t deny him the sight of his daughter. 

She still wasn’t sure what the future would hold, but at the moment, she opened the door wider, allowing him entry to her house. 

Lilly wasn’t willing to be as patient.  She was opening her mouth and trying to get to the food source that she desperately wanted.  Never a very patient child, Lilly was creating wet spots on Amy’s shirt.

“What’s she doing?” Walker asked, always so observant of everything. 

Amy shifted Lilly on her hip, patting her back and blushing when Lilly tried to snuggle down again, reaching for her favorite food source.  “She’s hungry.  I’ll be back down after I’ve fed her.”

Walker watched in fascination as Amy walked up the stairs and disappeared into what used to be a storage room.  He knew from being in her bedroom a year ago that
there were only two rooms upstairs so he assumed that the storage room had become Lilly’s nursery. 

When there was only silence coming from that room, Walker couldn’t ignore the need to look at his daughter again.  The idea kept going over and over in his mind. 

He took the stairs two at a time then stood outside the doorway of the smaller bedroom, feeling his heart rate speed up just in anticipation of seeing Lilly again.

When he looked inside, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.  Lilly was looking up at Amy and the infant was suckling on Amy’s perfect breast.  Walker couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe and if something exploded outside of this
room, he would not have been able to react.  Simply because he realized that his baby girl was nursing at her mother’s breasts.  It was possibly the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen in his life.  He stood there motionless while Lilly nursed and Amy’s gentle fingers soothed the baby girl’s cheek or hair.  He was startled when Amy shifted the tiny infant and exposed the other breast, doing the same thing.  Lilly obviously understood the process because she simply opened her mouth, eager for round two.  When she was happily settled on the other side, Walker cleared his throat and that was the first time Amy realized that he was in the room.

She quickly covered her breast, her cheeks turning that glorious pink he remembered so well from the first few weeks of their relationship.  She’d been so beautiful back then and he suddenly realized that motherhood had only made that beauty more intense.  She still had those freckles but they were lighter now.  Her cheekbones more
defined, her hair fuller, softer looking.  He understood now why she’d cut it.  The long length was probably difficult to maintain while trying to care for a baby. 

“What are you doing here?” she demanded softly while struggling to do something with her bra.  It was a contraption he definitely didn’t understand but his eyes hungrily watched as her fingers fumbled with a clasp. 

“I wanted to see Lilly.” 

She was usually pretty adept at closing the ugly nursing bra but with Walker standing there in the doorway, her fingers became all thumbs and she could barely get the clasp closed. 
“I’m nursing her.  In a few moments, you can rock her,” Amy stated with embarrassment. 

“I’ll just watch,”
he said, his voice barely above a rumble now as he looked down at Lilly’s downy, black hair. 

“You need to go downstairs,” she told him, praying he would leave her at least until she wasn’t as exposed. 

But had he ever done what she’d asked him to do?  No way!  He simply shook his head and continued to stare at her breast.  Okay, so maybe he was looking at Lilly and not her breast, but it still was disconcerting. 

Amy had been sitting here thinking about Walker’s words and she had to admit that perhaps she had jumped to conclusions
last year.  Maybe even disastrous ones.  But in her defense, she’d been in an emotional state herself, trying to figure out how she felt about the pregnancy. 

When Lilly was finally finished, her eyes starting to close as she gently nodded off to
sleep, Amy knew that she had to relinquish her time with Lilly.  “Here,” she said, trying to be fair even though this was her favorite time of the day with her daughter.  Amy stood up and nodded to the chair, indicating that Walker should take the seat.  The look of horror in his eyes was almost priceless and he started to shake his head.  But she gently placed her almost-sleeping daughter in his strong arms, sure that he wouldn’t let anything happen to his precious cargo. 

“Sit down and rock her.  She’s almost asleep and she’ll start to understand that you’re a safe person.”

Walker didn’t know what to do, too confused by this tiny infant who was looking up at him with sleepy, trusting eyes. 

Amy smiled at how unsure he looked.  Just today, she’d been thinking about how confident he looked as he’d walked out of the coffee
shop.  Well, it only took a baby, she realized, to knock that confidence out of him.  “Just sit down and rock her for a few minutes.  She’ll fall asleep and then you can put her in her crib.”

Walker looked at Amy, then at the rocking chair.  The room was too small for anything other than the chair, a changing table and the crib.  So he sat down in the chair, feeling like a giant in the small room.  He sat down, cringing when Lilly jerked in reaction.  With slow, even movements, he pushed back in the chair, soothing the little girl as best he could with the rocking motion of the chair. 

With awe, he watched as the tiny being slowly fell asleep in his arms.  Even after she was asleep, Walker continued to rock, just looking down at the face relaxed in sleep.  He couldn’t see any similarities between himself and Lilly, but when her eyes were open, they were the same color as his and he liked that.  He’d never cared about, or even thought about, leaving a legacy to the world.  But as he stared down at this sleeping child, his mind automatically thought ahead to what this child might become, what he could teach her, what they could share. 

And all the boys he’d have to beat the crap out of because they dared to touch his precious daughter! 

That thought startled him and he looked up angrily, already prepared to fight them off.  But only the eyes of the stuffed animals caught his angry ones and he calmed down, reminding himself that his newly discovered daughter was six months old.  He had plenty of time to teach her how to fend off overly zealous men. 

“I think she’s asleep,” Amy whispered from the doorway.

He looked around, startled to see her standing there behind him. 

Although he was reluctant to let her go, he stood up and carried her over to her crib.  “Just lay her down?” he asked, not sure how to do even that without waking her up.

“Yes.  She’ll be fine if you move her slightly.”

Walker shifted so that his hands were holding her instead of his arms,
then carefully lowered her onto the mattress.  He stood there looking down at her for several more minutes.  “Where’s her blanket?” he asked, wanting to tuck her in before leaving. 

Amy shook her head.  “No blankets.  The fleece material of her pajamas will keep her warm.”

He looked horrified, but then saw the calm reassurance on Amy’s face and relaxed.  “Why no blanket?” he asked.

Amy smiled while she looked down at her precious daughter.  “She might suffocate herself.”

With that, she walked out of the room, leaving Walker to stand there in stunned silence for another long moment.  It was evil of her, but she wasn’t in the mood to be fair.  She’d spent the last twelve months worrying about every part of this girl’s life, putting together her crib and changing table by herself, reading every book she could find on raising a child, not to mention all of the pregnancy books and talking to every woman with a child or two to gain insight. 

It was his turn now.  She walked down the stairs and filled the teapot with water while she waited for him.  Not even in her wildest imagination did she think this conversation was over.  She expected him to have numerous questions and she knew that, to be fair, she had to answer them. 

As the water heated up, she heard him walk down the stairs, his extremely large frame coming into the kitchen and dwarfing the room. 

“Would you like some tea?” she asked.

Walker sighed as he sank down into one of the kitchen chairs.  “Coffee if you have it.”

Amy shook her head.  “Sorry.  I only have herbal tea.  I can’t drink coffee so I haven’t had a reason to buy it.”

His eyebrows drew low over his eyes.  “Why don’t you drink it?”  He remembered bringing her coffee in bed many mornings, and she loved to sip the brew while reading the newspaper.  On the weekends when he hadn’t been called out, he would lay beside her, sipping his own cup of coffee and reading the sports section or grunting at the political essays. 


Caffeine,” she said, her cheeks turning red again.  “Lilly can’t have it, so I can’t either.”  When he continued to stare at her as if she’d gone crazy, she gestured to her breasts. “What I eat, Lilly eats!” she explained with exasperation.

When his eyes dropped to her breasts, she tried to cover them with her arms, which only earned her a glare from him in response. 

“Okay, so let’s have it,” she finally uttered, which effectively pulled his gaze away from her breasts.  “What do you want?”

He leaned back, breathing out a heavy
sigh.  “I have no idea what I want, Amy.  This is all a pretty big shock so I think I need to take it all in, figure it out overnight.  I’ll tell you this though.  I’m going to be a part of her life.”

Amy knew that he was going to say that.  It didn’t help to hear it though.  For so long, Lilly had been all hers.  All the decisions and problems, but also the joys and the excitement of watching her grow and
change, learn and smile.  All of those giggles had been hers.  Now she had to share?  That was going to be hard. 

BOOK: Intimate Secrets (The Love and Danger Series)
3.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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