Stolen Goods: A Secret Baby Romance

BOOK: Stolen Goods: A Secret Baby Romance
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Lola White

 

Stolen Goods

 

She just wants a
baby… But he wants it all

 

FBI agent Nolan
Findley is on the hunt. There is a woman out there who just might be pregnant
with his child. Possibly. He’ll do whatever it takes to find her, learning
everything he can about her past regardless of how it impacts her future.

 

Weslyn Moon just
wants a baby—not a man. But it’s hard to deny her attraction when Agent Findley
shows up at her motel room and manhandles her back to the scene of one of her
many crimes…the reproductive center where she stole his sperm.

 

 

Stolen Goods
© 2016 by Lola White

 

All rights
reserved. No part of this book
may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or
mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage
and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names,
places, characters and incidents are either the product of the author’s
imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual
persons, living or dead, organizations, events or locales is entirely
coincidental. All sexually active characters in this work are 18 years of age
or older. This book is for ADULT AUDIENCES ONLY. It contains sexually explicit
scenes and graphic language which may be considered offensive by some readers.

 

 

1

 

 

 

“I must be insane.
I really must be.”

“What about the
cameras?” Weslyn Moon glanced up at the small, black box hunkering in the
corner, but didn’t see any tell-tale red light to get a clue as to its working
order.

Her current
partner in crime jerked and flinched. “They’re just dummies. Not real. Jesus,
I’m insane.”

“How many times
are you going to repeat yourself?” Pausing out of pure reflex, Weslyn looked
down a dark, deserted hallway. Nobody there, nobody anywhere, except Doctor
George Milliken who was ready to have kittens on the floor of the Barre Birth
and Reproductive Center. Which, all things considered, seemed fitting.

Weslyn was just a
little creeped out by the nighttime hush of the clinic. Used to living as
anonymously as possible, predominantly in cities where people went unnoticed by
law enforcement every day, she’d been unprepared for the quiet she’d found in
Vermont. She didn’t like it all. Silence made her feel exposed and George’s
choppy breathing was making her paranoid, but this was where the man worked, so
Weslyn had little choice in facilities.

“I can’t believe
we’re doing this,” George muttered.

“Ooh, variety.
Nice. Much better than repeating yourself incessantly.” Weslyn tiptoed behind
the doctor, following as he made a sharp left into a bland office decorated
with a table, a chair and an oversized, dull and lifeless beach-view watercolor
that made her heart break into a thousand pieces. “You know,
with my eyes
closed
, I could paint you something way better than that monstrosity.”

“That’s how we got
into this mess in the first place,” George snapped. Without giving Weslyn a
chance to set his delusions straight—because she was about to point out that
he’d definitely had a starring role in the prequel to that night’s caper—he
threw a heavy binder onto the desk. “Here, look through this and pick someone
out.”

“Wow. Made to
order, huh?”

“Not exactly. You
get whichever specimen you choose, but anything that goes wrong is on you.”
George suddenly gripped his hair. “This is just going much faster than it
should and—”

“I took the
medicine you sent. It’ll be okay.”

“Yeah? Great,
wonderful.” Doctor George shook his head. “One fucking secret and it all comes
down to this. Look, Moon, I’m just telling you upfront that I have no control
over the outcome, and the way you’re going about all this—”

“Yeah, yeah, I
heard you the first twenty times you told me. It might not work.”

“And I’m not at
fault! You can’t come back here thinking to do this again.”

Weslyn cocked her
head and took a long look at the doctor. His eyes were wide and his skin was
pasty in the glow of the few overheads he’d dared to keep on. George was a step
away from total meltdown, more paranoid than even Weslyn, sweaty and shaking,
his breathing a touch too fast and his pulse pounding hard in his neck.

Poor guy—not that
Weslyn felt all that sorry for him. After all, he gave her the tools for his
own downfall. She wished him well and hoped he didn’t get busted, but only
because him getting caught would probably get her caught, too.

“We’re straight,
George,” she finally said. “I won’t come back here looking for your help again,
and I won’t have to. This is going to work.”

“Nineteen
percent—”

“I know the odds.”
She waved off his warning. “You’ve told me a hundred times. I got it, George, I
really do. Now, let me pick out a baby daddy already.”

The doctor glanced
at his extremely expensive watch. “Hurry. We don’t have much time.”

“We’ve got all
night, George.”

“The security
makes rounds, Moon. Plus I have to thaw the sperm, fertilize your egg and
implant—Jesus! Just get on with it!”

Rolling her eyes,
Weslyn turned back to the binder and started paging through. Each thin section
was devoted to a single man and fronted by a facial close-up in full color of
the donor in question, followed by a black and white photo of their whole body.
Reports of the testing the clinic had done came next, complete with genome
charts and medical histories No names on any of the pages. There was nothing to
guarantee the outcome of a pregnancy, but Weslyn figured that sort of promise
was impossible anyway, and settled down to make her decision as quickly as she
could. She focused on appearance rather than medical history or educational
status—after all, poor health precluded men from donating and anyone with
enough money could buy an education, so neither were important markers for
successful pregnancy.

Some donors were
too old, some too young. Considering that the guidelines of ideal candidacy
kept every contributor around the same general age, it wasn’t a rational reason
to reject a man, but little was rational about the situation anyway. Weslyn
didn’t like this one’s mouth or that one’s nose, some had a jaw that she found
unappealing, others had a chin too pointed for her taste. Page after page,
section after section, donor after donor.

And then she found
him.

Dark hair. Hazel
eyes somewhere between silver and green in the photo, so warm with a spark of
kindness shining within and surrounded by a faint network of laugh lines. He
looked happy, and for a wild moment, Weslyn felt happy looking at him. His ears
were well-sized, his jaw square and strong without being bullish, his nose long
but not large, his cheekbones high and sharp enough to slice cheese. His mouth
would give any woman a whole slew of dirty fantasies—even a woman like Weslyn,
who would rather gnaw off her own lips than have another’s pressed against her,
anywhere.

She turned the
page. Male beauty, laid out in black and white. Broad shoulders, nice hands and
still
that sparkle could be seen in the man’s eyes. Weslyn tamped down
the sliver of anxiety worming through her at the thought of how big the guy
looked in comparison to the medical equipment next to him. It wasn’t as if
she’d ever meet him, and if she had a boy that turned out just as big as his
biological father… Well, Weslyn would have raised him right, and he would love his
mother unconditionally, and would therefore never even think of hurting her.

She ran through
the whole checklist again, and came to the conclusion that the genes of the
donor in question would make a beautiful baby. The man was attractive, strong
and compelling. He seemed nice, from his picture, and she really was taken with
the look in his eye, the laughter she imagined he must experience every day.
The rest of his file wasn’t as complete as the others had been, but the date at
the top also marked his donation as the oldest in the facility. Two years, and
no takers for the single sample they had left in storage.

You snooze, you
lose
, she thought. All in all, the donor was perfect.

“This one,
George.” Weslyn tapped the photo with a confidence that echoed in her gut. She
knew that feeling—she’d been living by it for years now. Everything within her
went prickly with excitement, but also still with assurance that she was on the
right track. “Donor A-00176.”

 

2

 

 

 

Nolan answered the
phone on the second ring. “Findley.”

“Agent Nolan
Findley?”

“Yeah.”

“Good afternoon,
sir. My name is Sarah Long and I’m calling from the Barre Birth and
Reproductive Center. In Barre, Vermont?”

Searing anger
followed on the heels of disbelief. Just the name of the place that had become
Nolan’s private hell was enough to have him seeing red, and the utter gall of
the woman to call him up—

“I paid that
bill,” he snapped. “Two years ago, in fact, right before my wife left me. I
have my receipts to prove it.”

“Oh no, sir,
that’s not why I’m calling. Well, you see, I’m the assistant to Doctor
Trentham, the new director of the clinic? Well, it has recently come to our
attention…”

Nolan gritted his
teeth, prayed for patience and glared at the clock, silently condemning it for
not moving faster. It had been a hellish day, and though there was precious
little to go home to in his apartment, he’d like to at least get the fuck out
of the stale air of the dismal office the FBI had assigned him to.

Why Buffalo,
anyway? Why couldn’t he have scored big with a transfer to Florida? Jesus, he
couldn’t take another winter like the one he’d just lived through.

“And now it’s
gone, Agent Findley. We’re so sorry, but we do assure you that every measure is
being taken to increase security.”

“Whoa!” Nolan
shook his head, realizing he’d missed something extremely important in Sarah
Long’s rambling explanation. “What did you just say?”

“Your semen sample
is gone. We have contacted the police, of course, but, quite frankly, we don’t
expect
them
to contact
you
, considering the…sensitivity of
the…donation. I wouldn’t
think
they’d contact you, at least—”

“Stop. Go back.”
Nolan rubbed his eyes, hoping if he did it hard enough his brain would
jump-start to the appropriate focal point. “What the hell are you talking
about?”

“The missing
samples.” Sarah’s sweetly regretful voice took on the bite of annoyance. “Agent
Findley, I just told you—”

“Are you reporting
a crime? This is the Buffalo office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
ma’am. If you’re trying to report a theft in Vermont—”

“We
did
.”
Sarah was definitely getting snappy. “And we took measures to solve that crime,
only to end up with another one!”

Nolan worked his
jaw, counted to ten—though he should have counted much slower—and breathed
deeply. “Look, Miss Long, it’s the end of a very long day. Exactly what is the
problem?”

“It is the end of
a very long day for me, too, Agent Findley. As I’ve just explained, we’ve spent
a lot of time going over our video surveillance footage of an illegal in-vitro
fertilization attempt of an unknown woman. Yours is one of the samples that’s
missing, therefore—”

“See, and that’s
where you keep losing me, Miss Long. I don’t have a
sample
in storage at
your clinic.”

“Not anymore,” she
agreed. “We believe your deposit was used to potentially impregnate our little
criminal.”

“But that’s
impossible.” Nolan felt as if his head were about to float away from his
shoulders. “I’ve never donated a sample to your clinic, Miss Long. The only
reason I was ever even in your clinic was to get a sperm count done to satisfy
my ex-wife’s need to blame anything other than her own medical issues for our
lack of children.”

“Please, sir,
there is no need to…exaggerate. Please don’t feel embarrassed, we have many
donors on record and I assure you, your name is never associated with your
sample except in a password-protected file on Doctor Trentham’s computer. Until
this…event, we have guaranteed anonymity and efficient practices and I assure
you that, in future, we will be increasing our security measures.”

“I have never—”

“Sir. I am looking
at your paperwork as we speak. Really, you should have informed us when you
changed address, but your old office gave us the number for your current place
of employment. You have signed all the necessary documents for storage of your
semen sample, as well as permission for your spouse to use it at a later date
should she so desire.”

Nolan grew dizzy.
“Permission?”

“She has
permission to use your sample, yes,” Sarah Long said brusquely. “It is, of
course, the only reason I’m contacting you directly. Your sample is gone. Would
you care to replace it?”

“No.” Nolan shook
his head. His throat closed around the rising sickness and his heart did its
best to kick through his ribs. His fingers ached with the grip he used on the
phone and he shot to his feet on shaking legs. “You tell Director Trentham I
want to speak to her. Right now.”

“She’s busy with
the police chief. He’s taking her statement.”

“Statement for
what?”

“For the illegal
procedure Doctor George Milliken performed last week. We are almost certain
yours was the sample used, though we’re double-checking the details of his
confession. Haven’t you been paying attention? The doctor was caught on
camera—”

“My sample?” Nolan’s
brain finally kicked into gear. “You have video footage from security cameras?
You have clear images of the procedure performed? Can you identify the people
involved?”

Nolan grabbed for
his notepad and started scribbling Sarah’s answers. Another thirty minutes of
conversation with her gave him all the adrenaline he needed to get him through
the coming night. He added up the mileage in his head as he listened to her,
multitasking efficiently, mentally plotting his route and estimating that the
drive would take him nearly eight hours—still faster than a bus or a train and
he didn’t have the tolerance to take a plane just then. No telling how long
he’d be in Vermont, so he’d have to pack a bag and grab something to eat, too.
A glance at the clock told him he had just enough time to inform his supervisor
of his plans before they all went home for the night.

“You tell your
boss I’ll be there first thing in morning,” he warned Sarah. “I’ll want to see
the security footage,
and
the paperwork I supposedly signed.”

His hand shook
around his coffee cup as caffeine battled adrenaline and came out the loser.
Nolan was beyond exhausted, bleary-eyed and angry all at the same time. He felt
certain he’d have no molars left after his impromptu trip back to the place he’d
hated above all others—he ground his teeth almost constantly while listening to
Doctor Trentham drone on and on with patently false sympathy.

He glanced at the
police chief, who at least had the decency to sit still and expressionless in
the chair next to Trentham’s. The man adequately represented everything Nolan
hated about Vermont—the silence, the stoicism, the underhanded nosiness of
‘well-meaning’ neighbors and the tolerance for breaking the law that all-too
often led to lax punishments or outright forgiveness for criminals Nolan would
sooner see rot in jail. Like Doctor Milliken and his unidentified female
patient. Unfortunately for Nolan’s peace of mind, the jail Milliken would end
up in was more like a country club, and the woman would disappear into thin
air, with no one but him concerned enough to look for her.

Director Trentham,
a well-put together woman of indeterminate years, pursed her lips until faint
lines could be seen around them. “I’m fairly new here, but within weeks of my
arrival, I noticed the disappearance of semen samples. Not so many to cause an
uproar, until I demanded a complete accounting of our inventory. For too long,
this clinic was poorly run, and I aim to change that.”

“Looks like an
uphill battle, from where I’m standing.” Impatience hardened the edges of
Nolan’s temper, but he fought to remain calm and in control. He struggled to
listen to every word through his shock and rage…and fear.

God, the fear was
tearing him apart. He couldn’t understand his own emotions beyond the negative
reactions crowding his chest, but somewhere in the back of the strange mix
heating his blood was a thread of
what-if
.

What if the woman
had been hired by his ex-wife as a surrogate? What if the woman was
successfully fertilized with Nolan’s sperm? What if they came to him, looking
for financial assistance, child support, college funds…

What if the
pregnancy was viable, went all the way and produced a tiny little person Nolan
could physically hold, hug and care for? God knows, he’d gone through hell to
have a child with his ex-wife, but it clearly hadn’t been meant to be.

Feeling like he
was breathing underwater, Nolan got to his feet and tried to expend the
restlessness in his legs by pacing before Trentham’s desk. “Right. The sample
count was off, the current inventory different than the records you had in your
personal files.”

“I knew
immediately that something underhanded was happening,” Trentham agreed.

Nolan saluted her
with his coffee cup. “I bet you did.”

Doctor Trentham
adjusted her posture and cleared her throat. “Without informing the staff of
anything—after all, we do have signs posted warning that the premises are under
surveillance—I had the real cameras installed.”

“Hidden behind the
dummy ones you’ve got strewn about this place. The staff never knew the
difference.” Nolan pointed to the fake recording device bolted to the top of
the wall in the corner behind the doctor. “You hoped to figure out who had been
stealing semen samples, but instead caught an illegal IVF procedure?”

The police chief
nodded a single time. “Doctor Milliken is in custody. He claims the procedure
was the first he’s performed outside proper protocol, and he says he was
blackmailed by the patient.”

“Did he now?”
Nolan’s fingers clenched, causing real damage to his paper cup. He willed his
grip to ease before he spilled his coffee.

“Apparently,” the
chief explained, “Milliken got his nose out of joint back when he and his wife
got divorced. The court ordered them to sell all the possessions they’d bought
together and split the proceeds, except Milliken had a Lepine he was pretty
damned attached to.”

Nolan hefted a
brow. “A Lepine?”

“It’s a painting.”

“Actually,
Stanislas Lepine was an artist, but, please, continue.” Nolan waved the man on.

“Well, Milliken
didn’t want to get rid of an original work of art, so he hired a forger to make
a new one to sell.”

“Netting him the
money from the forgery and allowing him to keep the original.” Nolan nodded as
the crime started taking shape in his brain.

“Milliken claims
the woman he saw last week was the forger, name of Moon, but that’s all he
knows about her. He says she threatened to let it be known that the painting he
sold for a hefty, five-digit sum was, in fact, a forgery, and that he
knew
it was a forgery.”

“That does make a
difference in sentencing, yes. If he specifically commissioned the forgery for
the sole purpose of sale, duping the buyer, well, that comes with extra
penalties.” Nolan mentally ran through the ramifications. “Okay, so he was
blackmailed. He still committed a crime.”

“And we’re looking
into that,” the chief agreed.

“Uh-huh.” Nolan
spun on his heel and gulped his coffee. “You didn’t catch the sperm thief,
though.”

“No. Just Doctor
Milliken’s illegal procedure.” Director Trentham grimaced. “In his confession,
he confirmed that the woman, Moon, chose your sample for the insemination.”

Nolan came to a
stop in front of Trentham and slammed his paper cup down on her desk. Leaning
low, he braced his hands on the edge and purposefully gave her his most
intimidating glare. “For the record, I’ve never donated a sample to this
clinic. I’ve never signed anything that gave permission to store my little
army, or to give it up to my
bitch
of a lying ex-wife who must have
forged my fucking signature so she could hold on to a goddamned
pipe dream
.”

BOOK: Stolen Goods: A Secret Baby Romance
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