An Accidental baby from a Fake Engagement is just asking for trouble…
The last thing I expected was to have an insanely gorgeous older man walk into my life and ask me to marry him.
Back up, it wasn’t a real proposal.
He wants me to fake it so he can win a lucrative business deal.
After all, what would a rich playboy want with a single poor mom?
For now, he needs me and in return I’ll be able to turn my life around and give my daughter a better life.
When it’s all over he goes back to his bad boy ways and I can stop struggling.
All I have to do is play the dutiful fiancée. Sounds pretty easy, right?
If only I didn’t break my own rule- to keep it casual.
It’s hard to resist a man that’s so good with your child – or is this fake too?
His heated kisses and the way he holds me in his protective arms seem so real.
The lines between fake and real are beginning to blur.
But I can’t ignore his baby growing inside of me.
I just need to find the right moment to break the news.
Jeans! That’s all I need, just a simple pair of blue jeans. No holes, no gimmicks, not too small, so my butt sticks out. Just a simple pair of jeans. How hard can that be? I flip through another rack and roll my eyes. Presumably harder than I anticipated before stepping into the small boutique. And this has been my seventh store.
“How about these?”
I look up and see Sabrina holding up a pair of jeans. I eye them up and down, then scrunch up my nose. “Too old.”
“How can jeans be too old?” Sabrina asks, snickering, slipping the jeans back into their spot on the rack. “If you’re talking about the ragged holes in the knees, that’s the style. Haven’t you heard?”
I smirk, shaking my head. “The jeans aren’t too old. But I’m not sixty years old. I’ll leave it at that.”
Sabrina sighs, falling against a rack. “I feel like we’ve been at this for days, weeks, months even—all for a pair of jeans. I’d much rather be shopping for makeup. Or men.” She snickers, raising her eyebrows up and down, a devilish smirk on her lips. “Where was the conversation before I got caught up in jeans’ talk?”
“I don’t recall,” I mumble, turning back to another rack. A rack that I already perused. What was one more time?
“Ah yes, I recall. Your blind date last night.” I look up to find Sabrina grinning from ear to ear. “I believe you were about to tell me what an amazing friend I am because I found you the love of your life, and you can’t possibly say enough fantabulous things about him. Is that right?” She arches an eyebrow, that grin still as wide as it was the first time she said those words.
I tilt my head. “Don’t recall the conversation going there.” I shrug, grabbing a pair of jeans and looking them over, then shrugging and putting them back in their place. “If memory serves me well, and I do believe it does, I was about to tell you that if you ever even consider setting me up again, I just might have to unfriend you.”
“Ouch,” Sabrina grumbles. “That bad, huh?”
“Bad is an understatement. If the guy wasn’t talking about his ex-girlfriend, he talked about his mom. Don’t get me wrong. If I were to start dating someone, I would love him to have a great relationship with his mother. I mean, who wouldn’t? Nothing compares to a guy that treats his mother like a queen, but all night? He didn’t want to get to know me. It screamed trouble from the moment I said hello.”
I grab a pair of jeans off a shelf and head for the dressing room. “What’s this, folks? Is Kelci Wiley actually going to try a pair on?”
I look over my shoulder and smirk as Sabrina drops her fist from her lips, removing her makeshift microphone. “Just trying to change things up.” I push through the dressing room curtain and stare at the jeans I took from the table moments ago. They are plain, just what I was looking for, with just a slight flare at the ankle. It didn’t hurt to at least give them a try. It’s more than I’ve done the rest of the morning, and the day has already flown by. After all, I have to be at work in less than an hour.
I start undressing, hurrying through the motions to get them on, make sure they fit and then buy them before rushing off to work.
“Spoke to Cat last night,” Sabrina says, hollering just outside of my dressing room.
“Oh yeah? What’d she have to say?” I ask, pulling my jeans up. The moment I get them on, I can tell they’re not quite the cut I’m looking for. For starters, they’re just a little too snug in the rear. I waste no time pulling them off and grabbing my clothes.
“Wanted to know when we’re going to get together. The last couple of times, something has come up, and someone has had to cancel. She went on and on about missing us and….” I pull the curtain back and step out of the room. “That was fast.”
“Not for me,” I mumble, walking back over to the shelving unit and dropping them to the pile. “I miss Cat and Anastasia as much as you do.”
“We’re only a city away,” Sabrina snickers. “And that equates to thirty minutes. I’m with Cat. We need to do better with making sure we get together. When you moved to the Big City, we all promised that we wouldn’t let time pass us by. Life is short.”
I nod. “But we all have our own lives.” Sabrina scrunches up her face, and I can see the disdain in her eyes. They darken, and her eyes suddenly drop. “We need to do better,” I mumble. “I agree.” Sabrina glances up, the grin finally returning. “Let’s get a group chat going later tonight, and we’ll make plans. No matter what happens, there’s no backing out.”
“That’s the attitude!”
Since elementary school, Sabrina, Catalina, Anastasia, and I have been friends. It’s impossible to fathom. The moment we sat down together at that lunch table, I knew we would be lifelong buddies. They welcomed me with open arms when Mom moved my brother Daniel and me to Berry Heights, New York. It’s a small city, with exactly what Mom needed to start her life after Dad left us. While I thought I was losing a world of friends, I never knew what friendship was until meeting these three.
I glance down at my watch. “I have to dash before I’m late to work. Text everyone and let them know that we need to chat tonight. I get off at seven-thirty.”
“What about your jeans?” Sabrina inquires.
I shrug. “Work won’t care if I have new jeans or not. Besides, I’m a fashion designer by day. I’ll whip up some of my own.” I wink and then hurry toward the door.
Sabrina laughs behind me, and I can still hear her chortling just before I step out into the sun. I reach into my purse and fumble around for my sunglasses, latching my fingers around them, then dig my keys out of my pocket.
My phone rings as I step off the sidewalk and into the road to cross the street. I look both ways to make sure no cars are coming, then hurry across the street, reaching for my phone. I smile when I catch the caller ID.
“Hey, Mom. I was just thinking of you.”
“All good, I hope,” she teases, softly laughing.
“Thinking of old times, so of course.” As I walk to the parking lot to grab my car, I settle into a light stroll. I still have plenty of time to make it to work. “What’s happening on your end?”
“Not much. Got some new fabric that I’m dying to use.” I smirk. It’s where I get my love of fashion from. I know only the two of us can find it thrilling to experiment with new textures, but I can’t imagine my life without the creativity gene she’s instilled in me.
“Looking forward to seeing pictures once it’s all completed.” I step up to my vehicle and reach in my pocket to find my keys. My keys? I frantically switch to the other pocket, flipping my phone over to my other ear.
“How’s Cece?” I reach down into my purse, but my hand only goes deeper, the keys nowhere to be found. “Kelci? You there?” I barely make out the fact that she inquires about my daughter as I continue to reach down into my purse: Nothing but lint and loose change.
“Yeah, um, I’m here. But I gotta run. I’ll call you later.” I quickly disconnect the call and turn around, hurriedly retracing my steps. The closer I am to the boutique, the more the memory comes rushing back to me. I recall pulling the keys from my pocket and…I gasp.
I must have dropped them. I pick up the steps, hurrying back toward the store. As I settle into a jog, I crash right into someone kneeling next to the street. Unaware of my surroundings.
“Excuse me,” I mumble, looking at him before wandering haphazardly into the street. My head’s a mess. The faint sound of horns blaring interrupts my thoughts, and someone wraps their arm around my waist and tugs me back toward the sidewalk.
“You really shouldn’t cross such a busy intersection, especially when the light is green.”
“Huh?” I ask, glancing up into the deep brown eyes of the same stranger I nearly plowed over moments ago. He motions toward the light, and I follow his finger with my gaze. My cheeks burn, and I glance back at him. “Oh,” I murmur. “I guess my mind is elsewhere.” I look over my shoulder to the boutique and skim my eyes across the ground. “But they’re probably lost forever. I might as well admit that I’ll need to take an Uber.”
I look back at him, and he tilts his head. “I’m sorry?”
My face flushes, and I look down. “Never mind. I just lost my keys. No biggie. It’s not like they can’t be remade. Sure, I’ll have to first go to the dealership, and who knows how long that will take, but I shouldn’t have made such a stupid mistake.” I shrug. “Not your problem. Thanks for saving my life, though.”
I turn, but he reaches out and touches my arm, causing me to jerk back in reaction immediately. “Didn’t mean to startle you.”
“You didn’t,” I lie. Not much anyway. He holds up his hand, and in his clutches are my keys. My jaw drops. “I don’t understand. Where’d you find those?”
“Practically right where we’re standing.” He drops the keys into my waiting hand. “With your ramblings, I assumed they had to be yours.”
“I don’t ramble,” I argue, then snap my mouth shut. That’s a joke because ever since glancing into the handsome stranger’s face, I’m left rambling. That, along with the fact that I thought my keys would be lost forever.
He smiles. “Just steer clear of the street, especially when traffic is barreling down the road. That’s my tip of the day.” He winks and then turns and walks away, my head spinning as I stare after him. Hands down the most handsome man I’ve ever seen, and now he’s just walking away. I look down at my keys and shake my head. I’ve left him with some memory, the woman that can’t stop talking. Maybe it’s a good thing I will never know who he is.
I write contemporary romance novels about alpha heroes who fall for strong sassy women. I love mixing in some family drama, conflict and real human emotion. My stories always end in a happy-ever-after. I feel blessed to be doing something that I have so much fun with. When not writing I love working in my garden and playing tennis with my peeps. Sign up for my exclusive reader club to receive advance reader copies, previews, and lots of freebies! https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/q2h5y7
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