Home > Dirty Bastard (Roughneck Billionaires #3)(10)

Dirty Bastard (Roughneck Billionaires #3)(10)
Author: Jessica Clare

I just glare at him. “I want it to say no, of course.”

“Feet in the stirrups, please.” When I do, he moves forward and puts a blanket over my abdomen and one of the nurses discreetly enters the room.

“Test results, please,” I say back immediately.

“What your test said,” Dr. Keppler continues in a mild voice, “is that someone remembered her latex allergy but didn’t remember her birth control.”

Shit. Shit shit shit. “I’m pregnant?”

“Yes.” He sticks fingers in inappropriate places and continues my exam. I remain quiet, staring up at the kitten posters on the ceiling and trying to figure out what the hell I’m going to do.

Pregnant. Jesus. Me, a mother. God has a very ironic sense of humor if he thinks this is a good idea. I’m barely capable of taking care of myself, much less a baby. The stacks of unpaid bills and the sheer number of credit cards I have can attest to that. Or my fridge, considering it’s empty of everything but expired yogurt, some wilted greens, and kombucha. Even I don’t want that shit.

He finishes the exam and beams at me from between my thighs. “Everything looks great. You’re about six weeks along. Congratulations.” He pulls the gloves off and turns to one of the rows of pamphlets on the wall. “Unless you don’t want to keep it. I don’t judge, of course. It’s your body and I can’t tell you what to do with it. But if you need information on terminating it, I have some pamphlets.”

Terminating it? That sounds so . . . awful. Ugh. “I’m still coping with the fact that I’m pregnant. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.”

“I’d advise you to take a few days and think everything over. Nothing has to be a snap decision.” His voice is soothing and calm, and he gives me a fatherly look. “If you’re still taking the birth control, you need to stop. Once you get dressed, you can talk to the front desk about a follow-up appointment and we’ll decide how to proceed from here.”

That’s it? That’s all I get?

I lick my lips and pull my feet out of the stirrups, sitting up. The gown’s hanging loose around me and I hug it close like a blanket. “I can’t believe I’m pregnant.”

“Did you miss any of your pills?”

“A few days.” More like a week. Okay, maybe two. I’m normally diligent about that sort of thing, but the last while has been a bit of a mess. I lost my pills when Keith ripped my purse out of my hands and I was too chickenshit to get it back. I didn’t think about the consequences until a day or two later, when I realized I didn’t have any. I couldn’t get my prescription refilled without a credit card to put it on, and my credit cards were gone. My bank account is always close to zero thanks to the monthly rent on my studio and my apartment, so I hoped that nothing weird would happen. I even had my period last month. Well, kind of. It was spotty and light, but I told myself it was because I was stressed and not eating so well.

Oh god. I bury my face in my hands. “I had sex with someone and we didn’t use condoms because of the latex. And then I lost my pills and didn’t get them back for a while. So yeah, I’m an idiot.”

“One time is all it takes. I’ve had young women get pregnant even while on the pill. It’s not infallible.”

I give him a miserable look. “You’re not helping.”

Dr. Keppler grimaces. “I guess I’m not. Do you need to talk to someone?”

Oh god, do I ever. I feel a desperate need to talk to someone. Anyone. I want to call Nat . . . but oh my god, she’d freak. She doesn’t even know that I slept with Knox, and I haven’t felt like there’s been a good time to bring it up. Not after I ghosted him and then Knox’s younger brother died. The entire situation is hella awkward. As for Knox himself, that’s another can of worms entirely. If I’m this freaked out at being a mother at twenty-eight, I can only imagine what he’ll think of being a dad at twenty-three.

Another realization hits me and I go cold with fear. How’s Keith going to react when he finds out I’m pregnant with another man’s baby? I know it’s none of his business and I know I shouldn’t give a shit, but the thought of Keith finding out makes me break into a damp sweat. “If anyone asks, I came in here for a routine lady-business exam.”

Dr. Keppler’s expression goes from genial to sour. “Lexi, you’re my patient. What we discuss is confidential. I won’t tell anyone what this is about, because that would violate HIPAA laws.”

“Okay.” He says that, of course, but I’ve seen too many people bend the law when Keith puts on his “gosh, shucks, I’m harmless” routine, like all his cop buddies that seem to look the other way every time he amps up his harassment.

“I’m not allowed to disclose your medical records to anyone unless you give them written permission.”

“Well, no one has permission,” I say defensively. “What goes on in my vagina is only my business and your business.”

“And possibly the father’s,” Dr. Keppler agrees with a pat on my shoulder. “Bring him in next time. I’d love to meet your young man.”

“Boy, you don’t know the half of that, Doc,” I tell him, thinking of Knox. “Young man” is a little too on the nose for me.

I get dressed as the doctor heads out and I’m barely paying attention as I offer the front desk my credit card. Me. Pregnant. So not only do I have to worry about what I’m going to do about this—and Knox, and Keith—but I also need to think further ahead in the future, like how I’m going to run a one-woman failing yoga studio when I’m obscenely pregnant, or after I have the baby.

“This one’s declined.” The girl in pink scrubs behind the counter gives me an apologetic little grimace. “I’m sure it’s just a glitch in the system. Do you have another we can try?”

“More like a glitch in my wallet,” I tell her, and hold out three more credit cards, all of them near the max limit. “Pick a card, any card.”

Luckily, card number three is a winner, and I leave the doctor’s office with a follow-up appointment, a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and dread churning in my belly. Pregnancy is the last thing I need.

I have to amend that statement when I get to my apartment and the door’s hanging open. I can hear someone moving inside and whistling. I glance down the hall, but there’s no one around, and I sure wasn’t expecting a visit from maintenance today. “Hello?”

“Lexi? Come in.”

It’s Keith. Motherfucker. I head inside, my mind whirling with a mixture of anger and confusion and hormones. “How nice of you to invite me into my own apartment.”

He looks over at me in surprise, a wounded expression on his face. He’s wearing a handyman belt and has the cabinet under my kitchen sink pulled open, pipes spread on the floor. “I’m sorry, Lexi. Did I scare you? Was talking with Jim today and he mentioned that his knees were hurting him, so I thought I’d help out.”

“Help out with what?” I clutch the book closer to my chest, trying to protect my hammering heart. Keith is in my apartment. In my apartment. God knows what he’s peeked through. I feel the urge to wash everything in my lingerie drawer just in case. “Why are you taking apart my sink?”

“Oh.” He glances back at it. “Like I said, Jim needed some help, and you know me. I like to help out.” He’s all smiles, as if he’s not stalking me or anything. “Jim said that the pipes aren’t up to code and some of them have to be replaced. Told him since I was off duty today that I’d be happy to help out, and here I am.” He spreads his hands, a wrench in one, and does his best to look helpless.

I’m not fooled. My entire body is tense and alert. I’m not going to relax until I have the door shut safely behind me and the dead bolt thrown. “No one told me the sink needed to be fixed.”

“He was trying to do it while people were at work.” He turns back to my sink and squats on the floor again. “I’ll be done soon enough and out of your hair.”

“Just like a lice combing. Neat.” I keep my voice flat. “I’ll just be sitting over here staring uncomfortably until you leave, then.” I sit at one of my bar stools and slap my purse on the counter, giving him my best glare. I’m close enough to the kitchen knives to grab one.

Keith looks back at me and gives me a grin like we’re bestest buddies. “You have the weirdest sense of humor, Lexi. You shouldn’t say shit like that.”

“Can’t help it. It’s the demons inside me.”

“Or shit like that.” He frowns and then nods at the book I’ve slapped down on the counter. “Who’s pregnant?”

Oh, fuck me. I’ve been so rattled at the sight of him in my kitchen I forgot I was carrying a pregnancy guide. “One of my clients,” I tell him, keeping my face expressionless. “I need to know what stretches she can do without rupturing something.”

“For your dance class?”

Now I’m about to rupture something. “Yoga.”

“Right.” He turns back to the sink. “If you don’t mind me saying, you’d be better off teaching dance around here.”

“I do mind you saying. I mind you being here, too. In fact, I pretty much mind all of this, and I think I’m going to complain to the office that you’re in here without my permission.” I dig through my purse, looking for my new phone, and pull it out with a wave.

He just shrugs his big shoulders. “You can call Earl, but he knows me. He knows I won’t do anything to harm you. He knows I’m sweet on you.”

“Is that what we call ‘stalking’ now days? I’ll update my lexicon.” But I put down my phone, feeling helpless. He’s right. Earl’s the owner of the building, and he’s a volunteer firefighter. They’re drinking buddies, which I didn’t know until after I moved into this building.

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