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Tempt Me: A secret baby romance (Family Ties Series - Book 3) by Scarlet Ellis (1)

1

Ruby

I can’t believe it.

I’m sat here staring down at a pregnancy test pee stick. I took it not thinking that there was even the slightest chance of it being positive. But there were little signs here and there, and I couldn’t really ignore them anymore.

My best friend and fellow diner waitress extraordinaire Kendra kept bugging me to take this test. Of course, I kept telling her that she was overreacting, until finally today she shoved a pregnancy test in my hand when we started our shift.

”I don’t need this!” I’d tried to tell her, but she was having none of it and instead just to placate her I took it, and I stashed it away in my locker with the intention of not wanting it to see the light of day ever again.

But it’d been on my mind for this whole shift so far, and I just couldn’t get it out of my head. This stupid little stick was taunting me from afar. Until finally, I broke and I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had to know once and for all.

And that’s how I got here. Right now, I’m perched on the toilet in the bathroom at the diner where I work. In other words, the most un-glamorous and depressing place I could possibly have done this.

I stare back down at the stick. I’m still in disbelief and hoping that somehow I’ve misread it. I pick out the little instruction sheet from the pregnancy test box and quickly glance over it to make sure I haven’t got it wrong. Nope, I haven’t. It’s definitely positive.

I feel like the wind has been knocked out of me. This wasn’t planned, this definitely wasn’t supposed to happen. I thought we had been more careful than that. But here I was, staring at the evidence that would suggest perhaps we weren’t as cautious as I thought.

Thump…thump…thump!

“Ruby! We need you out here to serve some customers, you know…if you think you could spare us any of your time that is. It’s getting kind of crazy, please can you hurry up?!” My boss yells at me through the bathroom door.

I role my eyes and I stare back down at the pee stick. I don’t think he quite understands what kind of a terrible personal crisis I’m having right now. The busy Sunday lunch period is so far down my list of problems right now.

That being said, I don’t know why on earth I thought now was a good time to take this test. I know its been on my mind all morning, but now I don’t see how I’m going to get this out of my mind for the rest of my shift.

Thump…thump…thump!

“Ruby! It really is getting quite busy now. Are you planning on staying in there for all of your shift or what?” My boss yells at me through the bathroom door again.

“Okay, okay. I’m coming! Can’t a girl get any peace going to the bathroom anymore?” I yell back sarcastically, even though I’m pretty sure he didn’t stick around to hear my answer.

I stare down at the stick one last time hoping that it’s magically changed somehow and that the positive line has somehow changed to a negative one, but no it’s still there, and no matter how many times I look at it, it’s not going to change.

This one stupid little line has changed my life forever, and there is definitely no going back now.

I let out a long sigh, and I rest my elbows on my knees, hold my head in my hands and run my hands through my hair. As it turns out, It hasn't helped to know the truth at all, and I’ve still got to finish the rest of my shift. At least I know for sure now, maybe that’s a good thing?

I throw the test away in the waste paper basket in the bathroom, and I frantically unravel more toilet paper and stuff it on top in the hope no one will notice it. The last thing I want is anyone finding the test and asking questions. I need this job, and I don’t want my boss to have any reason to think that I’m any less committed than I usually am.

But I feel sick. No actually, I feel really sick. And now I don’t know if it’s just the shock of my pregnancy discovery or if this is morning sickness kicking in.

I’m usually the bubbly and happy kind of waitress. My customers love it, and I swear it’s what gets me great tips. But I sure don’t feel like putting on my happy face again this afternoon. On the other hand, I’m sure as hell going to need as many tips as I can get now I’m going to have to provide for a baby too. So I’d better just put a brave face on this afternoon and get on with it.

I think back to the only night of passion I’ve had in the past few months. So I know that there’s only one possibility of who the father could be. I know exactly who it is, and he’s the last person on earth I would choose to have a baby with.

I seriously can’t believe that I’ve managed to get myself into this mess. What an idiot! I feel so damn stupid.

I stand up, pull up my panties and wash my hands. I Smoothe my uniform down, look at myself in the mirror to make sure I look somewhat respectable and take a deep breath before I face the world again.

I open the bathroom door and stride straight back out into the busy diner like nothing has even happened. Right now is not the time to freak out about this, even though inside I’m panicking like hell.

I serve the customers who haven’t yet been dealt with before carrying out some of the more mind-numbing tasks that’ll keep me busy.

“Hey, Ruby! Earth to Ruby are you receiving?” I vaguely become aware of a voice behind me.

I’ve been so lost in my tasks and in particular filling this coffee pot that I hadn’t even noticed that Kendra was trying to get my attention.

“Did you take the test?” she whispers.

“I don’t really want to talk about it Kendra,” I reply. Hoping this will deflect her attention. It won’t, of course, it won’t. I was naive to think it would.

I turn around to look at her, and I think my face says it all. Kendra doesn't suffer fools gladly, and I couldn't lie to her even if I tried.

“Ok, I might have,” I reply.

“And?” She replies urgently under her breath, having first looked around to make sure no one was eavesdropping on our conversation.

I nod slowly. That's all I needed to say.

Kendra looks at me, and I can see her breathe in while acknowledging the news that she probably already knew was true. I’ve been feeling really off for the last few weeks, and she’s been bugging me to take the test all week.

I kept putting it off, sure that I couldn't possibly be pregnant. I'm not the type to sleep around, and I'm usually so careful.

Kendra moves in for a hug, and as she does so I feel like she's squeezing me within an inch of my life, but I just go with it. I don't mind admitting that I'm feeling quite worried about this right now and Kendra’s warmth puts me at least at a little ease.

“It'll be ok Ruby, honest. It really will be.”

I nod slowly, but I don't know if I look even slightly convinced about that. Kendra is an awesome friend, but I'm pretty much alone with this, I know that. I'm used to that though, I just hadn't planned this at all. I mean, what the hell am I going to do? How the heck am I going to afford this by myself?

And then my mind wanders to the other implications of this pregnancy. It’s been my dream for as long as I can remember to open up my very own bakery. Kendra and I were always talking about going into business together. I dream of big glass counters featuring trays of brightly colored, intricately iced cupcakes. I know now that my dream is going to have to be put on hold for a very long time to come.

“Are you going to tell the father of the baby?” Kendra asks, suddenly snapping me out of my now hastily abandoned daydream.

“No, I highly doubt that,” I reply.

“Seriously?” She replies. “Why the hell wouldn’t you tell the guy that got you pregnant? After all, he should face up to his responsibilities. You can’t afford to do this alone. Do you even know who the father is?” She asks.

“Errr…well, I’m not totally sure. I need to check some dates maybe.” I lie.

I think back to the only possible candidate for the father of the baby. I might come across as vague to Kendra, but that’s because I know exactly who the father is. Noah Lee. If I told her, Kendra would probably flip out.

Because let me tell you, Noah Lee would definitely not be my prime candidate to be the father of my baby. Actually, not only would he not be my top candidate, he wouldn’t feature on any list where you needed someone to be a responsible candidate for anything at all.

Noah was fun, I can’t deny we had a great time together. A small involuntary smile plays over my lips as I remembered the night a few months ago that’s produced this tiny little thing growing in my stomach. Noah took me and made me his for the night. It was as if no other girl had ever existed in his life, but sadly, I know that isn’t true.

Unintentionally, I place my hand gently on my stomach and look down and realize that my body will change so much in the coming months.

One thing is for absolute sure though. Noah is definitely not father or partner material.