The Baby Battle

Free The Baby Battle by Laura Marie Altom

Book: The Baby Battle by Laura Marie Altom Read Free Book Online
Authors: Laura Marie Altom
consulted the laminated menu tucked behind the sugar shaker. “Okay, little man, what’s it going to be?”
    “I’ve only introduced him to organic fruits. Pleasedon’t feed him toast or anything. His one tooth couldn’t handle it.”
    “And you think I’m strange?” To his son, he said, “We need to get you out more. There’s a whole world of good, gummable stuff out there you need to try.” When tickling Flynn’s stomach brought on a drooling grin, Tag’s heart swelled to a degree he hadn’t believed possible since losing Maria. Debbie Downer across the table was a drag, but his son was just about the best-looking kid he’d ever seen. “When your momma’s not looking, we’ll get ice cream and chili-cheese dogs. Maybe even chocolate frosting right out of the tub.”
    Flynn giggled with an excited bounce.
    “You’re a bad influence already.” Holding her arms out, Olivia said, “Hand him over. Everyone knows it’s not good for an infant to have this much stimulation so early in the morning.”
    Ignoring the warden, Tag jiggled Flynn. “Who’s the man?” he teased in a singsong tone. “Flynn’s the man. Yes, you—”
    The little man opened his mouth and spewed his breakfast all over Tag’s white oxford shirt.
    Without a word spoken, Olivia’s satisfied look said it all.
    “I know,” he said, mopping his boy’s face with a wad of paper napkins. “You told me so.”
    She laughed. “Not that I’m happy you got thrown up on, but I know my own son.”
    Had a buddy ralphed on him, Tag would’ve beenticked, but something about having his own son do it made it quite all right—especially since Tag himself had jiggled it out of him. “How about next time you tell me the reasoning behind your rule? That way, I won’t be so determined to break it.”
    “Will do.” She folded her newspaper and reached into a blue diaper bag she’d stashed on the seat beside her. Setting a travel-size box of diaper wipes on the table, she said, “Let me take him so you can run to your cabin for a quick change.”
    “Thanks,” he said, handing over his son. “But alas, due to the nature of my abrupt departure, I have no other clothes.”
    She at least had the grace to redden. “They sell T-shirts in the lobby. My treat?”
    “I’ll take you up on that offer.” While she fished in her wallet and pulled out a twenty, he stood.
    Pocketing the money he ordinarily wouldn’t have taken, he said, “Thanks. This covers about one-thirtieth of the expenses I’ve incurred to chase you.”
    In the lobby, from the same woman who’d checked him in, he bought an extra-large green Rolling Rock Resort T-shirt featuring a brown cabin on the front and a trout on the back.
    “You know the lady with the baby?” she asked, pointing toward Olivia.
    “Yes, ma’am.” He squared his shoulders with pride. “We share a son.”
    “You’re married?”
    “No, ma’am.”
    Making a face, she said, “I don’t understand.”
    “It’s complicated.” He took out his wallet. “Do you have another one of these shirts in a baby size?”
    Apparently still mulling over his relationship with Olivia, she silently took a shirt from the shelf behind her.
    Once he’d paid and she’d given him his change, she said, “You all aren’t in my cabins alone after dark, are you? It’s plainly stated on the rules on the back of the cabin doors that late-night commingling of unmarried guests isn’t permitted. We run a family establishment here.”
    “Trust me,” he said with a wink. “There shall be no co-anything going on with that woman. She’s like ice. Brrr.”
    Grinning over the woman’s shocked gasp, Tag headed for the men’s room to wash up.
    Back at the table, wearing his dorky green shirt and black suit pants, Tag presented his son with his first gift. “I thought it might be fun if we match.”
    Olivia looked at the shirt and then at Tag before laughing. “You’ll look like the Jolly Green Giant and his

Similar Books

Keeper of my Heart

Laura Landon

Carter Finally Gets It

Brent Crawford

Femme Fatale

Carole Nelson Douglas

Code to Zero

Follett Ken