Read The Power of Love Online

Authors: Kemberlee Shortland

Tags: #Contemporary, #Romance, #Contemporary Romance, #Ireland, #christmas, #Irish, #Irish romance, #christmas romance, #limerick, #limerick city, #limerick ireland, #ireland romance

The Power of Love

BOOK: The Power of Love
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When Elaine discovers she's
pregnant, she hesitates telling her husband, Ethan. They're
newlyweds and want to wait until they're ready to start a family.
Ethan surprised her by accepting early parenthood, embracing the
idea more fully than either of them expected. But when they receive
bad news after a prenatal exam, both must face that their charmed
lives were about to come crashing down around them.

 

Do Christmas wishes really
come true? Elaine would stake her life on it!

 

 

THE POWER OF LOVE

Kemberlee Shortland

 

 

Published by Tirgearr
Publishing

 

 

Smashwords Edition

 

 

Author Copyright 2012 Kemberlee
Shortland (http://www.kemberlee.com)

Editor: Anne Lugo
(http://www/tirgearrpublishing.com)

Covert Art: Amanda Stephanie
(http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com)

 

 

This ebook is licensed for your
personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or given away
to other people. If you would like to share this book with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If
you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not
purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com
and purchase your own copy.

 

 

Thank you for respecting the hard work
of this author.

 

 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE

 

The Power of Love was originally
published in October 2006 as part of a themed collection of short
stories. This version of The Power of Love been rewritten and
extended into novelette length and includes scenes and situations
not included in the original story.

 

 

♥ ♥ ♥

 

Always for Peter

 

♥ ♥ ♥

 

 

The Power of Love

by Kemberlee Shortland

 

 

Limerick City,
Ireland

 

The best feeling in the world had to be
lying in a lover’s arms, completely exhausted after a night of
lovemaking, totally and absolutely sated.

Elaine went with Ethan as he fell back
onto the mattress and snuggled close to him, weaving her legs with
his and grinning at how his leg hairs tickled her.

The warm, masculine scent of his
body—the lingering hint of his cologne, the smell of his skin damp
with fine perspiration, the heady aroma of sex—permeated her
senses.

In a word, he smelled delicious. So
much so, she had practically gobbled him up over the last several
hours. Perhaps she would again, she thought, trailing her
fingertips across the ridges of his broad chest and boldly circling
his nipples.

His strong hand grasped hers and
brought it to lips framed with dark stubble, kissing the backs of
her fingers. “Please, love. I can barely move.”

Elaine glanced down the solid length of
him to the twitch beneath the sheet just covering his hips. “Could
have fooled me.”

Ethan leaned over, propped himself up
on an elbow and looked down at her. He nestled her head in the
crook of his arm.

“Isn’t it enough you kept me up all
night,” winking at the double meaning, “but you want to make me
late for work, as well?”

“You weren’t complaining an hour
ago.”

He bent to kiss her. His lips echoed
the passion they had shared through the night.

When he leaned away, his deep voice was
soft, his blue-eyed gaze intense. “And I never will, Lany. I love
you and will always be here for you.”

Tears welled and threatened to spill
down her cheeks. “Will you?”

Nodding, he said, “Aye.
Always.”

“And you truly want this baby?” she
asked, rubbing her belly but not breaking her gaze with him. When
he nodded again, his grin answering more than his voice could, she
added, “Oh, Ethan! You make me so happy.” She slid her arms around
his shoulders and he came to her instantly, burying his face in the
curve of her neck, kissing her there. Familiar tingles shivered up
her body and threatened to rekindle the passion she felt hovering
just beneath the surface.

All too soon, he pulled away. “I still
need to go to work. Now let me go or we’ll be raising our child on
the Dole.” He winked again before placing a quick peck on her lips
then rose from the bed.

Elaine laughed lightly. "As if you'd
accept unemployment money."

When the sheet fell away as he left the
bed, she leaned up on her elbow and watched his firm ass flex as he
strode out of the room. Something inside her swelled with
admiration. Yes, no matter how exhausted she was, she could eat him
up over and over again.

A moment later she heard the shower go
on then splashing and she imagined the water sluicing over him,
wishing she could be in there with him.

She cocked her head at another sound.
He was actually singing! He must really be happy, she thought. She
considered joining him, but he was right. He had to get to work—so
did she—or they would both be raising their baby on the
Dole.

As she rose and threw on a robe, she
laughed at her feelings of dread last night. She had been so afraid
to tell Ethan she was pregnant. They had only been married a few
short months and were trying to plan their future and keep to an
agenda. That included birth control— at least for a while. But
nothing was one hundred percent effective, as her current condition
proved.

She could barely contain her joy that
Ethan welcomed the baby much sooner than they had planned that she
felt she was floating down the stairs.

In the kitchen, Elaine put the coffee
on then turned her gaze out the kitchen window to their back
garden. She tried imagining a swing set, sand box and Wendy house
rather than the clothesline, spotty lawn and tool shed. She wrapped
her arms around her waist, wondering how they were going to give
their child the life he or she deserved. If money was tight now, it
would only get tighter once their child was born.

A moment later, strong arms encircled
her, pulling her against a broad chest. Ethan kissed the curve of
her neck and she melted against him.

“You okay?” He turned her to face him.
“You’ve been standing there for a while just staring
outside.”

His dark hair was damp and shaggy,
hanging just above his shoulders. Dark brows and lashes framed his
crystal blue eyes. His gaze was both concerned and sexy. She wanted
to rip his shirt from his shoulders and . . .

Instead, she just nodded. “Aye. I’m
trying to imagine a swing set in the garden instead of the clothes
line.”

Ethan chuckled. “Everything is going to
be grand. We’ve a perfect life. Nothing’s going to change that.” He
kissed her on the forehead before releasing her to pour himself a
cup of coffee.

Even as she watched the man she loved
more than anything move about the kitchen, she could not quell the
feeling of dread suddenly beginning to eat at her.

 

 

Six months later

 

He’d practically killed himself getting
to the hospital. When Ethan got the call saying Elaine had
collapsed at work, he panicked and dropped everything to get to her
side. He still had not been allowed to see her, as she was still
undergoing tests, so he waited in the private room he had made sure
their health insurance covered.

A moment later his pacing was
interrupted when the door pushed open and Elaine was wheeled in on
a gurney. As assistants helped her into bed and the nurse made her
comfortable, his heart pumped hard in his chest, stealing his
breath. Elaine looked pale and groggy. He wondered if she even knew
he was in the room.

Then he was alone with his wife. She
lay so still. The rise under the covers told him she had not lost
their baby, but his chest tightened anyway, fear pumping blood
though his body at a fierce rate.

“Are you going to stand there all day?”
Her voice was thread, her eyes just barely open. She lifted her
hand off the bed, beckoning him over.

Ethan instantly went to her bedside and
kissed her clammy brow, stroking her once lustrous golden hair that
now fell in limp strands around her shoulders. He gazed into her
tired green eyes and his heart squeezed again.

“How are you feeling, love?”

Elaine grasped his hand as he stepped
back, encouraging him to sit beside her on the bed. He did so and
kept her hand in his, leaning in to kiss her forehead once again,
as if his kisses could rouse her out of whatever had weakened
her.

“I’ve been better.”

“What happened, Lany? They said you
collapsed at work.”

She shook her head lightly. “I-I don’t
know. I don’t remember much. I was helping a customer—talking about
babies . . . you know how I am. The next think I knew, I woke up
here.”

“Have you spoken with the doctor? What
did he say?”

When she shook her head once more, he
rose with the intention of going to find the doctor to get the test
results. Just then, the door swung opened and an authoritative
balding man with glasses perched on the end of his nose strode into
the room. Dressed in black trousers and a white lab coat, a
stethoscope around his neck and a clipboard in his hands, he had to
be the doctor. He moved to the foot of the bed, going over the
papers on his clipboard. It seemed he stood there for hours before
he finally looked up.

“Are you the husband?”

The husband? “Oh, aye,” said Ethan, not
even trying to disguise his annoyance. “What’s wrong with my
wife?”

The doctor turned to Elaine. “I’m
Doctor Gibbons, Mrs. O’Donovan. How are you feeling?”

Before she had a chance to reply, the
doctor bent his face to the clipboard once more, flipping the pages
one after the other. He finally looked up again and sighed heavily.
He was certainly not making Ethan feel any better. And by the way
Elaine squeezed his hand, she was not doing well either.

“Doctor—” Ethan finally started, tired
of not only the delay, but also the doctor’s less than impressive
bedside manner.

Doctor Gibbons put his hand up to
silence him. “Please, have a seat.”

Ethan reseated himself on the bed,
never once releasing Elaine’s hand. When Doctor Gibbons stepped
around the bed, Ethan assumed so he and Elaine could see him
easier, Ethan realized the man’s demeanor stemmed more from
agitation than rudeness.

“By the look on your face, Doctor, you
might as well just come right out and give us the test results.”
Ethan really didn’t think he wanted to know, but if they were going
to help Elaine get better, they had to know what they were facing.
The sooner the better.

“Yes, Doctor. Please, what’s wrong with
me?”

Doctor Gibbons again sighed heavily.
“There is never an easy way to tell patients when their test
results are unfavorable. But you need to know you do have
options.”

“I’ve only fainted. I’m tired, but
surely there isn’t anything seriously wrong with me. Tell me what
the tests say so we can discuss the options you
mention.”

“The test results show a weakness in
your heart, Mrs. O’Donovan.”

“A weakness?” Ethan and Elaine asked
together. Ethan spun to look at his wife and saw bewilderment in
her eyes. He was sure her expression echoed his own.

With obvious reluctance, she turned
back to the doctor.

“I’ve been healthy my whole life. Why
is this weakness only now showing symptoms?”

“As your baby grows, it’s pushing on
your insides and diaphragm, and ultimately your heart. With the
weakness, the heart is unable to function properly. Other things
can also affect the heart’s function, such as genetics, diet,
exercise, trauma, even stress. The simple movement of bending over
puts pressure on the heart which can totally prevent functionality.
You may not have noticed it over the years, but your advance
pregnancy has exacerbated your condition.”

BOOK: The Power of Love
5.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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