Runaway: The Sequel to Secrets, a sexy and dramatic western romance (Finding Love ~ THE OUTSIDER SERIES) (17 page)

BOOK: Runaway: The Sequel to Secrets, a sexy and dramatic western romance (Finding Love ~ THE OUTSIDER SERIES)
13.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Doctor Richardson, I’m not sure what’s going on here, but we need to go.” The young doctor had a look on her face that was scared and alarmed. Andy could only presume she was terrified of him and maybe wondering what kind of paranoid nutcase he was, but then, they didn’t know the whole story.

“I would never do anything like that. I have no idea who told you something that sick

“My wife heard you with my mother. She was so upset she snuck out
, thinking and believing that I had some part in it. But what convinced me was the nursery.”

Dr. Richardson’s face paled
, and she stepped back as the elevator door slid closed. Andy wanted to pound the elevator door and yell and scream, but he didn’t, as a few seconds later, the elevator door opened and he followed his daughter into the neonatal unit, where they settled her in and cleaned her up.

Chapter 2

Andy was waiting for Laura in the private room they’d just moved her to. The babies were in the nursery,
a son and a daughter. He still couldn’t believe it. Laura had lost a fair bit of blood but hadn’t needed a transfusion, as they quickly got the bleeding under control after the emergency C-section, where they delivered his son.

baby boy was smaller, at four pounds three ounces, but he was doing well with his sister, both breathing on their own. When Dr. Richardson had shown up, he felt the icy chill and worry that Laura had screamed and cried and worried over, so he’d called Brian, his private detective, and ordered him down there. Brian was now standing outside the nursery, making sure no one went anywhere without his permission. Maybe he was being paranoid, but after what happened last night, with Laura sneaking out, finding the nursery, hearing her unbelievable story, he wasn’t about to take any chances. Right now, he still needed to speak with Dr. Richardson, find out what kind of sneaky shit that woman was involved in.

Dr. Caldwell tapped on the door softly and stepped into the room. She was wearing blue scrubs
, and her hair was sticking out here and there from the ponytail she had shoved it in. “How’s she doing?” She grabbed the chart at the foot of the bed and perused the notes the nurses had scribbled.

“She hasn’t woken up. Should I be worried?” Andy asked
, and he was sure he was doing a damn poor job of hiding his feelings.

, everything looks good.” She stepped around the side of the bed and pulled a penlight from the pocket above her breast. She opened Laura’s eyelid and shone the light, and Laura flinched. Then she moved her hand and groaned.

Andy was on his feet right beside her
, touching her face, her arm, her hand. “Hey, come on. Wake up, sleepyhead. Laura, it’s a boy. We have a son and a daughter. They’re both doing well.”

She blinked and opened her eyes slowly to Andy’s voice
, smiling at him groggily. Then her eyes widened, and her expression changed to something he thought was terror as she reached for him and tried to move. “Andy, where are our babies?” she cried out.

Shh, it’s okay. They’re fine. They’re in the nursery just down the hall. I have someone watching them. He’s not letting anyone near them.” Andy smoothed back her hair, and she watched him and then let out a breath, something that sounded like relief. Even the shadow of fear that had flickered around her eyes relaxed. She nodded.

Dr. Caldwell was watching Andy
with a look that seemed puzzled when he glanced up. “Andy, can I have a word with you?” She gestured toward the door. Obviously, being as sharp as he was, even when he was so damn tired, he realized that whatever it was, she didn’t want it being said in front of Laura.

,” he said, but Laura seemed unwilling to let go of his hand. “Hey, I’ll be right back. Everything’s fine.”

Laura was still so pale
, and she tried to move onto her side. The IV tubing stuck out of her hand, and she winced.

, I’m going to have the nurse come in and give you something for the pain,” Dr. Caldwell said.

“I don’t want to go to sleep again.
Nothing strong, please. Andy, don’t let them put me out,” Laura muttered. She really was depending on him.

, you’re getting something to stop the hurting, okay? You just had major surgery. I’ll make sure they don’t knock you out.” He pulled away and then leaned down and kissed her. “I’ll be right back.”

e strode to the door and stepped out in the hall to where Dr. Richardson was standing with a tall, dark-haired man wearing glasses and a suit. “What the hell is this?” He shot an accusing glance at Dr. Caldwell, a look that usually had people cowering in front of him. But not her, she merely crossed her arms as if intimidation by strong alpha-male types was something so old and done that she gave it no attention at all anymore.

“There is something you need to hear.” Dr. Caldwell gestured toward Dr. Richardson.

“Andy, this is Michael Tanner. He is the chief counsel for the hospital,” Dr. Richardson said. “After your accusation at the elevator that I would behave unethically, I thought it would be wise to bring Michael in.”

, you are right about one thing: You need a hell of a good lawyer with what you were plotting with my mother,” Andy snapped, and a few passing nurses turned and watched. Andy knew they were probably trying to hear what was going on, but then, everyone on the floor knew something was up, especially when his hired man showed up outside the neonatal unit where his babies were and told the head nurse that if she had a problem with it, she could call security. She did, but security was more than willing, after hearing Andy Friessen’s name, to allow the man to stay.

Mister Friessen, I think there may be a misunderstanding here. Doctor Richardson showed me that your wife signed over all rights to the baby, in effect terminating her parental rights and saying she wished to not see the babies after they were born.” The lawyer handed over a notarized document to Andy. When he stared down at Laura’s neat, legible signature, he couldn’t get one intelligent word to form in his brain.

“I was served this by your family lawyer
,” Dr. Richardson said. “When I called, he advised me that Laura chose money, a rather large amount, in exchange for walking away. She didn’t want to discuss it. I never asked Laura. Frankly, I was disappointed that she found it so easy to just walk away.” Dr. Richardson didn’t move, and she spoke with such conviction that Andy could only wipe his open mouth roughly with his hand and then pump his hand into a fist once, twice, stifling the urge to drive his fist through the wall behind him.

“My wife did not sign this. She wouldn’t have signed something like this
,” Andy said as he waved the papers in the air.

“Is that not her signature?”
the lawyer asked.

Andy folded the legal document and stuff
ed it in his back pocket. “Excuse me. I think maybe it’s time I call my lawyer.” He hurried to the nurse’s station. “I need to use your phone.”

The older
, dark-haired nurse behind the counter shook her head. “Sir, I’m sorry. You’ll have to use the payphones at the end of the hall.”

“Let him use the
phone, Donna.” It was Dr. Richardson who spoke up, and then she said to Andy, “I think there is more going on here then both of us realize. I hope you find out the truth, Andy. The fact is that I like Laura, and I like you.” Then she walked away.

The phone was set on the counter for Andy
. He dialed, and the number was answered on the first ring, as if they were sitting and waiting by the phone.

, it’s Andy. Diana awake?”

“She’s still asleep. The first thing she’s going to ask when she wakes up is about the babies.” Andy could hear Gabriel and Danny in the background, and then Jed saying something to them. “The kids are awake
, and Gabriel is a little worried, keeps asking for you and saying something about a wicked witch?”

“I’ll talk to Gabriel
later, but first, we have a boy and a girl. They’re small but both doing good. But we have problem I need Diana for. There is a lawyer that showed up with Doctor Richardson, the hospital lawyer. They have a termination of parental rights apparently signed by Laura, and it’s her signature on it.”

Andy could hear only the clatter of dishes in the background and then Jed’s heavy sigh.

“I’ll wake Diana. We’ll be right down.”

Andy handed the phone back to the nurse and headed back to Laura’s room
. When he stepped inside, the bed was empty, and he was about to yell and demand someone tell him where she was when he heard a toilet flush and the bathroom door opened. Laura stepped out with a nurse at her side, wheeling the IV rail, with Laura holding her abdomen as she shuffled her feet as if she were ninety years old.

“Hey, how
’re you doing?” Andy slid his arm around her and helped her back to bed.

“Just gave your wife a couple
of Tylenol 3s. They’re strong, but it’ll only dull the pain. She won’t take anything stronger.”

Laura looked to Andy for help
. She had dark circles under her eyes, and she took his hand, looking like she was about to fall over. “I want to see my babies.”

“You bet.” He glanced at the nurse, who nodded her head.

“I’ll get a wheelchair, and you can take her down.”

The nurse was out the door
, and Andy sat on the bed beside her.

, I need to ask you something. Did you ever sign something for my mother? Anything recently?”

She frowned
. “Andy, I haven’t spoken with your mother. Why would I sign anything?”

, I was just handed this.” He pulled it from his back pocket and unfolded the paper, showing her the signature.

She reached a shaky hand for the legal document. “What the hell is this
, Andy? Termination of rights, I...I don’t understand?” She had a wild-eyed look, and even his touch didn’t calm her. She looked about ready to claw out someone’s eyes.

“Is that your signature
, Laura?” Andy asked, pointing to the neat script that hadn’t been copied but done in fresh blue ink.

“It looks like it, but I never signed anything like this.” She jammed her fingers in her hair and tried to scoot off the bed.

“I’ve already called Jed. He’s waking Diana. They’re on their way down. How did your signature get on this? Did anyone have you sign anything recently? Think, Laura. I know you’re tired.”

Laura shut her eyes
, and tears popped out and slid down her cheek. “Just some healthcare forms Jules said you...” She weaved on the bed, and Andy slid his arm around her and laid her back in bed. He pushed the button to raise the head.

“What healthcare forms
, and when was this?”

“I don’t
know. It was a while ago. It was a few days after I was back at the mansion. Jules brought me lunch, and I’d just woken up, and she had an envelope and pulled out some papers and said that they were for healthcare, to make sure I was covered under you, to cover the doctor. I just signed, Andy. Jules held the paper and turned the pages, and I signed where she said. I didn’t read anything. I thought you sent her up?”

“I would never send anyone up
, especially a servant, to have you sign anything. And healthcare, I take care of all that for you.” Andy was irritated and stung by betrayal. He couldn’t believe Jules would do something this despicable to his wife. Hell, she’d all but raised him. She was like family. Why would she do this to him? To Laura?

There was a tap on the door
, and the nurse pushed a wheelchair inside. “Okay, Mister Friessen, do you want to help your wife and take her down to see your babies?”

“I do. Ready?”
he asked her, then helped her up and lifted her into the chair. The nurse set a cotton blanket over Laura’s legs, and Andy pushed her out of the room and to the nursery, to the two tiny infants side by side with the nametags taped to the clear plastic, baby boy and baby girl Friessen. A nurse lifted a baby each to both Andy and Laura.

“Oh my
God, Laura,” Andy said. “They’re absolutely beautiful.”

Chapter 25

Laura was doing her best to nurse the babies, with a pillow across her lap and the lactation consultant still in the room. She finally had both babies latched on a breast at the same time. It had been three days since Jeremy and Chelsea were born, three days since all hell had broken loose at the Friessen mansion, at the hospital, and three days since Andy walked away from the family he’d been born into, stood side by side with, honored, and blindly belonged to. The Friessens were about family, blood lines, looking after your own, and belonging. It was just that his family, namely Todd, and Caroline, who his father married, had brought in greed and power, aligning their families through marriage.

Laura had woke
n to Diana, her lawyer and now Andy’s lawyer, telling her not to worry, she’d look after everything, and Jed hovering like the overprotective husband he was.

BOOK: Runaway: The Sequel to Secrets, a sexy and dramatic western romance (Finding Love ~ THE OUTSIDER SERIES)
13.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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