Delicious(Buchanans, Book 1)(54) by Susan Mallery
He didn’t like that question. Or the gleam in her eye. “It’s an ultrasound. They rub goop on your belly.”
The nurse called her name. Penny stood and smiled at Cal.
“Sorry, no. We’re not doing it that way.”
“What other way is there to see the baby?” He frowned as he followed her.
“From the inside,” she said smugly.
The inside? How the hell would they get a probe…
“YOU WERE GOING to let Reid see this?” Cal asked fifteen minutes later as Penny lay on a table in a small room filled with equipment.
“He was going to stand by my head, which is where you’ll be standing.”
“I’m fine with that. Better than fine. Happy, even.” He might have recently seen Penny naked and touched every inch of her, but he wasn’t excited about watching an intimate medical exam.
“If you start to get queasy, close your eyes and think of England,” she said with a grin.
“I’m not British,” he muttered as the door opened and the doctor stepped into the room.
“Good morning,” she said. “How are you feeling, Penny?”
“Good. Nervous. This is Cal. He’s a friend.”
“I know you’re not the father,” the doctor said. “I did the IVF procedure. Hi. I’m Dr. Robins.” She shook hands with Cal, then turned her attention to Penny. “Don’t be nervous. We’re only doing this to check on the baby. There’s no reason for any of us to think something’s wrong.”
“I know. It’s just…you know. What happened last time.”
“Yes, I know.” The doctor checked her folder, then reached for the paper sheet covering Penny’s bottom half. “All right. Let’s see what your little guy looks like.”
Cal did his best to ignore what was happening. He held Penny’s hand, only half listened to the conversation and thought about the restaurant. When that didn’t work, he considered the yearly question of whether or not the Mariners would make it to the World Series. Now that Reid wasn’t playing baseball, he didn’t have to worry about divided loyalties.
“There we go,” the doctor said.
“Oh, look,” Penny whispered.
Cal turned to the screen and saw something moving. It was just a bunch of light and dark patches. Not anything he recognized. Then the picture shifted and sharpened.
“Is that the head?” he asked.
“Uh-huh. There we go. A head, the body. Arms and legs.”
“Just two of each, right?” Penny asked anxiously. She tightened her grip on Cal’s hand.
“Just two. Everything looks normal.” She clicked a switch and the room filled with the sound of the baby’s heartbeat.
Seeing the infant move, hearing its heart, was incredibly profound. Until that moment, Cal hadn’t connected Penny’s pregnancy with actual life. Her first pregnancy had ended before they got to this stage and he realized now that in some ways, it hadn’t been real to him, either.
She was having a baby. A real baby who would grow up to be an actual person.
He stared down at her, seeing her smile, watching tears fill her eyes. How could she be so damn confident that she was willing to take this on by herself?
But he already had the answer. He could see it in the love in her eyes. She’d always wanted children. At first with him, and when he screwed that up, then any way she could.
The magnitude of what he’d lost slammed into him. A wife. A family. They had all been his to lose and he had. She’d truly loved him. Sure, intellectually he’d known but until this exact second, he hadn’t gotten it down deep.
Why hadn’t he believed? Why hadn’t he known how much he’d let drift away? She’d accused him of letting her go, of almost not being surprised that she’d left and she’d been right. He’d been waiting for her to walk out from the first day they met.
PENNY FELT a profound sense of relief. It was as if she hadn’t been able to draw in a deep breath for weeks.
“Pretty amazing,” she said from the passenger seat of her Volvo.
“The picture was detailed,” Cal said. “You could see everything.”
“And more than you wanted to,” she teased. “Were you completely grossed out?”
“No.” He hesitated. “Okay, I didn’t need her showing us the hole that was going to be the stomach.”
Penny laughed. “That was a little strange,” she admitted. “But very cool.” All of it had been a miracle. “The baby seems so real now. I knew I was pregnant before, but seeing it like that while hearing the heartbeat…”
“It changed everything,” he said.
“Exactly. And I was very tempted to ask about the gender. It would help with getting the nursery ready. The clothes and stuff.”
“Do newborns wear clothes?” he asked.
“Oh. Good point. There’s not a formal wardrobe, but they do have things to sleep in. I have some books on babies. I guess I should start reading that part.”
“The chapter on fashion accessories?” he asked.
She smiled. “Sure. I don’t want my baby being out of step with what’s in style.” She angled toward him. “Thank you for coming with me,” she said. “I would have hated to do this alone.”
“I’m glad I was there, too,” he said. “But Reid would have come.”
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