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.It’s new for me, these feelings and emotions.”With a kiss to her forehead, he then pressed his to hers.“Never alone, Mercy.Not ever again if I have any say in it.I have no clue what the future might hold, but I know I’m not letting the best damn thing to walk into my life get away, not easily.I’m not talking about some huge commitment, not now, maybe not for a good long while, but I’m not walking away from you or us.”“Good, because I don’t think I would be able to let you go.” Which was the honest truth, something she felt to the tips of her toes.“For now, why don’t we get our drinks and then we will head out, eat with your brother and sister-in-law, and enjoy the rest of the day…night…hell, I don’t even know what time it is.” She laughed.“It’s technically the evening,” he told her.“Not quite night time, but close.” He walked back outside with her to the table, pulling a chair out for her to sit on.“Do you want more water, or one of the juices I know is in that cooler?”“Water for me.Sweets just really make me want to puke—twenty-four seven and not just in the mornings.Juices are just too sweet.” She slipped her hand into his after taking a seat at the table.“I think your child is going to be stubborn and make sure that his or her mother can’t have chocolate.” She was teasing…at least she hoped like hell she was teasing.“According to Mama, she couldn’t eat anything even resembling a dessert the entire time she was pregnant with any of us,” Joshua said.Mercy glared at first Josh and then Brant.“I’m going to be a very cross woman if I have to give up chocolate for the next eight months.I will do it if I don’t have a choice, but you and I will have words, mister, and then I’m going to have them with our child.” Her lips twitched and she smiled.“Although, honestly, they are likely ones I will forget the first time I hold our babe.” She couldn’t believe how fast she was accepting this fact of life.She had been so tense this morning and now she was happy, very happy.He was laughing as he pressed a kiss to her fingers.“There are ways of fooling you into thinking you’re having chocolate without actually having any so your body doesn’t revolt.Don’t ask how, it’s a secret, one that has come across whole continents for this very moment.”“Yeah, well.” She shrugged.“Just keep that in mind if I become testy later.” She loved teasing him.“I’m sure that it’s only one of a hundred things we will have to figure out in life, right?”“That one’s a no-brainer.The rest of it we will need to figure out, but not that.”“Okay, you two, knock it off and let the pregnant lady eat.” Joshua handed her a plate with a steak on it.“I figured I wouldn’t test your limits too badly and gave you one of the smaller ones.If you want more, there is more, but I’m guessing you’ll want something other than just steak.”“Okay, now, please don’t shoot me for saying this, but know that in the last week I’ve had to learn fast what I’m eating and what’s making me ill.” She held the plate up and said, “I want a big steak, but one without fat on it.” Just saying that F word made her stomach roll.“I don’t want to see it, at all.Can you cut it off and give me a big juicy steak? I’m starving and, in the evenings, I eat a lot of red meat, but can’t have that F word on it, at all.”“Uh, okay,” Joshua said.The look he was giving her as he passed the plate to Ali said she was weird at best.“Hold your horses,” he said, getting to his feet.When he came back a moment later, he handed her a steak without any fat she could see on it, and it was big.“Will that do, ma’am?”“Yes, thank you,” Mercy said with a bit of a smirk.“I know it’s like sacrilege to do that to a steak, but I thank you.” She took her knife and fork, took a bite, and sighed happily.“Oh God, this is good.” Then she didn’t speak again.She instead ate.A lot.Once dinner was over and she was stuffed to the gills, they all helped tidy up before going to sit by the fire pit.Brant sat behind her, his arms wrapped around her with her back to his chest.It was getting good and dark, the sky starting to reveal the stars as only the fire crackling and a couple coyotes could be heard along with some soft noises from the horses in the nearby paddock.Mercy’s eyes were closed and she smiled.Part of her was upset with herself because they had slept the day away and she hadn’t had a moment to call the doctor, but the biggest part of her was beyond happy.She was thrilled that she was where she was in that moment in time and had spent the day as she had, with Brant.“This is nice,” she said finally.“I could become very, very accustomed to this, Brant.”“Mm, me too, sweetheart,” he said softly.He shifted slightly, his cheek coming to rest against hers as he gave her a light squeeze.“How are you doing? Are you warm enough?”“I am.With you at my back and the fire at my front, I’m good.” She shifted slightly so she could lay her head on his shoulder.“How about after the fire dies down a bit you take me home? I would stay here, but we talked about this, and since I don’t have clothes, it wouldn’t do any good.”“Deal,” he said softly.“Do you want to take just the one vehicle? I know you drove out here, Mercy, and you’ll likely need yours.Will you be okay to drive home, or should I just drive yours and pick my rental up some other time?”“It’s up to you.I’m good to drive, but I wouldn’t be too upset if you wanted to drive with me.I would totally give over my keys so that I could ride with you.” She enjoyed his company, so why not? “Leave your rental here if you want, or you can have Josh bring it to town tomorrow.Either way works for me.”“Sounds good.I’ll worry about it tomorrow then.Even if he doesn’t drop it off right away, I doubt I’ll need it if you’re keeping me captive.” When she looked up, he had a big smile on his face.Brant didn’t look like he was opposed to the idea in the least [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]