The Pregnant Bride

Free The Pregnant Bride by Catherine Spencer

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Authors: Catherine Spencer
center’s back garden, and the older children played in the sandbox, “is wait to see if he contacts you again. If he doesn’t, the message coming through loud and clear is that the guy’s not interested in pursuing…whatever it is the two of you have going, and you’d be asking for trouble if you’d tried to force the issue.”
    “And if he does call?”
    “Play it by ear. Heck, Jenna, you know the drill—ask him why his marriage failed, scope him out about having more children some day, get him to tell you more about his work, his lifestyle.”
    “More?” Jenna’s laugh was strained. “I don’t know the first thing about his work or where he lives or what he does in his spare time. I don’t know how old he is, where he was born, whether he has all his own teeth, if he’s an only child or one of ten, a foundling, an heir… I don’t know the man, period!”
    “Seems to me you’ve got some homework to do then, before you even think about springing the news that he’s going to be a daddy again. You’ve been through enough this year, Jenna, without winding up with another loser.”
    “But it’s his baby! Don’t you think he has the right to know that?”
    “Look around you,” Irene said. “More than half these children spend their days with us because their mothers are out working full-time, and why is that?”
    “They have no place else to leave them.”
    “Right. The women married deadbeats who didn’t stick around to carry their share of the load so that mommy could stay home and look after her kids herself. How often have we heard those same women say that today’s the day the father’s supposed to pick his child up after work and spend some ‘quality’ time with him? And how often have we had to phone Mom to say Dad was a no-show, and her little guy’s huddled in a corner, sobbing his heart out with disappointment?”
    “Too often.”
    “Exactly! So no, I don’t think this Edmund Delaney has the right to know a thing, just because he happened to get you pregnant. You’ve got to be sure he’s willing to go one step further and be a father as well, before you invite him to get involved in raising the child. If he’s not, spare yourself the possibility of unpleasant complications down the road.”
    Jenna agreed with everything Irene had said—except for one part. Every child deserved to know his father if it was remotely possible, and she wasn’t willing to risk denying her baby that opportunity by leaving matters to chance. When a week passed and she still hadn’t heard from Edmund, she took matters into her own hands, looked up his number in the phone book, and called to invite him to dinner the following Friday.
    She lived in an older apartment near English Bay, one with high ceilings and fancy molding around the doors and windows. The mantel over her fireplace was Edwardian, the light fixture in her dining room classic art deco, the leaded windows of a quality not to be found today. They’d immediately caught his eye, the first time he’d seen them, and were one reason he’d been happy to fall in with her suggestion that they get together again. He was interested in the history of the building and any plans that might be underway for modernizing it.
    The other reason was to make sure she’d recovered from food poisoning. Nothing more. She wasn’t ready for another heavy-duty relationship and even if she were, he wasn’t the man for the job. But that didn’t mean they couldn’t engage in a purely platonic relationship.
    Parking was tight along her street but he’d driven the convertible that night and managed to squeeze it into a parking spot better suited to a motorcycle. She’d said seven, and it was only ten to, so he took his time strolling through the gates and past lush gardens planted with old-fashioned roses to the stone portico at the main entrance of her building.
    She buzzed him inside the building so promptly that he figured she must have spotted him

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