Home > Dirty Bastard (Roughneck Billionaires #3)(13)

Dirty Bastard (Roughneck Billionaires #3)(13)
Author: Jessica Clare

She was just . . . ideal for me. And she wasn’t interested. I’m still comin’ to terms with that. When I met her, I knew she was the one, just like Clay knew Natalie was his, and Boone knew Ivy was his. I don’t like the thought of her not bein’ in my life. With the last month being a hellish mess because of Seth’s death, I haven’t had the time to pursue her, to see what I did wrong. See what I can do to change her mind.

Or maybe I’m stalling because my pride’s been wounded. Either way, I’ve waited long enough. I need to get in touch with her. Talk to her again. Let her know that what we had was special and I ain’t about to let it go.

BOONE: Is this a joke?

I glance back down at my phone, distracted.

KNOX: Is what a joke?

BOONE: This card.

BOONE: Roses are red, violets are blue. I’ve got a bun in the oven, the dad is you?

BOONE: What the fuck, Knox?

BOONE: There’s another note at the bottom. Says she’s not interested in child support and just wanted to let you know.

BOONE: What the hell is going on?

BOONE: Who did you knock up?

BOONE: Knox?

BOONE: Damn it, if this is one of your pranks I’m going to rip your tongue out of your throat.

BOONE: Knox? Answer me!

My phone starts ringing a moment later. I’m sure it’s Boone, calling to try and shake the answer out of me from afar. I just stare at it. That’s all I can do. My brain is fried.

Lexi’s pregnant.

She must have missed one of her pills . . . or lied about it entirely. For a moment, I briefly wonder if she even has a latex allergy. If this isn’t all some sort of ploy to wrangle me out of child support. I discard it immediately, though. Lexi would have sent documents through a lawyer if she thought there was a payday attached. I don’t think she’s the type to lie. She told Boone—told me—that she wasn’t interested in child support. So why the flowers and weird poem, then?

Unless she’s joking? And this is some sort of prank? But no. This feels . . . different.

The phone rings again and this time I grab it. “Is there a return address?” I ask immediately, before Boone can speak.

“You wanna tell me what the fuck is going on?”

“You wanna tell me if there’s a return address?” I retort back.

“No. There isn’t. It’s from a florist. It’s not even a woman’s handwriting on the card. What’s this all about?” Boone sounds tense, irritated.

“Sounds like I got Lexi pregnant is what it sounds like.” I can’t stop the slow smile that crosses my face. Holy shit. I’m going to be a father. A father to Lexi’s child. This is the best thing that could have ever happened to me.

“Goddamn it, Knox. Do I need to get the lawyers on this? Is she shaking you down?”

“No. No lawyers. I’ll get it settled on my own terms.” And the first thing I’m going to do is track Lexi down. Nat will have her address. “I’ll handle things.”

“Great.” My brother doesn’t sound enthusiastic at all. “You know Clay and Natalie are having a baby, too? He just told me yesterday.”

And Ivy’s due to have hers any minute. It’s a population boom—

The realization hits me like a ton of bricks. Ivy and Boone are married. Clay and Natalie just ran to the JP a short time ago and had a shotgun wedding. I’m not married to Lexi. My child’s going to be a bastard. Just like me. He’s going to grow up with the stigma of knowing his parents weren’t married. That they were just fooling around and he was an accident. It’s going to fuck with his mind like it fucked with mine. I always knew growing up that my dad didn’t want me. He loved me, of course. He loved all his boys. But he also loved sticking his dick into any woman that headed his way. Boone’s the son from his first wife, Clay from his second. I’m the third kid, but he wasn’t married to my mom. Gage was a few months after me—another bastard. Seth a few years later. Bastard.

Maybe it’s never bothered them, because by the time you get to bastard number two or three, you’re used to it. You’re just another Price kid.

But to me, it’s always mattered. I’ve always been the illegitimate Price boy. Just like Seth was the youngest Price boy, and Gage was the Mexican one. I don’t want my kid going through the same stigma I did. And I sure don’t want Lexi touching anyone else. Or letting someone else raise my kid. He’s gonna be mine, like she’s gonna be mine. That possessive streak sweeps over me again.

That’s my family. And for a Price, family’s everything.

“Don’t tell Clay or Nat that Lexi’s pregnant,” I say to Boone. “I’ll tell them once I get stuff sorted with Lexi, but let me work things through with her first. Let’s let them have their moment.”

“All right. But . . . you’ll keep me posted?” Boone sounds reluctant but he knows he can’t win this one. When a Price has his mind on something, ain’t no stoppin’ him.

“Yup.”

“Don’t abandon Gage,” he tells me before I can hang up. “That little shit needs someone to keep him on track.”

I hate that he’s right. Everything in me is screaming to go after Lexi right now, but I can’t. Not with my drunk brother determined to kill himself with the bottle.

* * *

* * *

I can’t get to Lexi right away, but that doesn’t stop me from Googling the hell out of her. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before—wounded pride, I guess. I start by searching Luka, Texas—her hometown—and yoga studios. After that, it’s ridiculously easy to find her online. Luka Yoga is her studio. The website is pretty basic, and when I click on “Instructors” it shows a black-and-white picture of her in a yoga pose from behind. But I recognize those lovely shoulders and the smooth sweep of dark hair down her back. Her profile reads:

Lexi Brandon, RYT 200. Specializing in therapeutic yoga for beginners and advanced alike. Yoga helps me stay fit and alert, and there’s nothing I like more than starting the day with a sun salutation and a good crow pose to end the day. Allow me to help you achieve your goals. One-on-one classes available!

It sounds nice and all . . . but it also don’t sound much like the Lexi I know. I figure she didn’t write that herself or it’d be more like she specialized in whatever yoga would make people cry the most. That seems more like her. Now that I have her name, though, I continue searching online to see what I can find. There ain’t much, though. She doesn’t have a Facebook page, and she ain’t on Twitter, or Instagram, or any of that shit. I can’t find anything, and I can’t decide if that’s smart or frustrating. Probably both.

That’s all right. Just means I have more to ask her about when I see her again. I close my eyes and tilt my head back, thinking of those dark eyes and that sly smile that’s so full of fun. Her gorgeous little tits and those long, supple legs. The taste of her on my tongue.

Fuck. Now I need to go whack off or I’m going to be sitting here all night with a raging boner. Gage better enjoy his sleep while he can, because I’m waking his ass up at the crack of dawn so I can shove him back to Clay and Boone and free myself up to pursue my woman.

My Lexi.

The mother of my child.

Shit, now I’m really damn hard.

Chapter 8

Lexi

“All right, now I need you to slowly relax your muscles,” I tell Mrs. Bateman. “We’re going to do the cow pose, bitilasana. We did this one last time, do you remember?” I keep my voice smooth and level and as sweet as I can make it, because I’m officially in saccharine mode during classes.

“No,” Mrs. Bateman tells me. “Is that the one where I’m a mountain?” She claps her hands and slaps them to her sides like she’s on drill team or something.

My mouth twitches and it takes everything I have not to laugh, because she wouldn’t appreciate that. Mrs. Bateman is ninety if she’s a day, not very flexible, and cranky as fuck. Her doctor suggested yoga for her, though, and so she shows up at every class and argues with me.

She’s my favorite.

“No, the one where you’re a mountain is called mountain pose,” I say. “Cow pose is where we get on all fours and work the muscles of our core and back. We’re going to alternate it with cat pose so we can open our chest and strengthen our spines. How does that sound?” I get down on my hands and knees on the mat.

“I think my doctor said no to this pose,” she tells me, surly. “None of this cat or cow shit.”

“Really? We did it last week.” I keep my voice mild. “Let me show you.”

I get down on my hands and knees and demonstrate the pose to her, instructing as I move my body. It’s one of the simplest to do, just hands and knees on the floor and flexing the back, but she looks at me as if I’m asking her to do a handstand of some kind.

“I’m pretty sure my doctor said no,” she repeats again. “Let’s do the resting pose. I like that one.”

Of course she does. You don’t do anything but rest. I bite back my amusement and keep my serene yogi smile on my face. “Of course.”

I sit down on the mat and she follows me, as if she doesn’t know how to lie down on her own. We both get into the corpse pose, savasana, lying flat on our backs on our respective mats with our hands at our sides. “All right,” I tell her. “Close your eyes. Take one deep, cleansing breath and then we’re going to breathe naturally and just relax. Let all your stresses go away. Clear your mind.”

Mrs. Bateman doesn’t respond. I’m pretty sure I’m going to hear her snoring in a minute. She always falls asleep in savasana. I love this cranky old coot. She gives no fucks. I want to be her when I get old.

Sure enough, she starts to lightly snore. I hold back my smile and focus on clearing my own mind, but it’s not that easy. I keep thinking about babies and what the hell I’m going to do about mine. How am I going to run a business when I’ve got a baby underfoot? I could send him or her off to day care, but that’ll pretty much drain any money I make running my studio. More than that, how much will diapers and formula cost? Health care? Will I breastfeed? My breasts are already so sore I feel like amputating them. I was expecting to get sick to my stomach or have weird food cravings that would alert me to pregnancy, but so far all I have are really, really sensitive nipples. This is not how I pictured it going.

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