The Cowboy's Virgin Baby Momma - Page 91


“Mark my words, missy, the minute you tell him you got his bun in your oven, he’s gonna drop down on one knee and beg you to marry him, just to prove a point.”

“What point is that?”

“To own all my land!”

Never mind your granddaughter’s heart.

“What if he did ask? You’d rather kill Austin than have a shotgun wedding just so you can keep your precious land out of Carson hands, wouldn’t you?”

His nonanswer was answer enough.

Tucking the envelope back in her purse, Paige fought back her tears and stood, then bent and kissed him on the cheek. “I’ll call you when I get home.”

“I know you think the worst of me, but I love you, Paige,” he softly whispered.

“I know you think the worst of me, too, Grandpa, but I love you, as well.”

But love wasn’t enough. It had never been enough.

Not enough for her mom to want her.

Not enough for her grandpa to keep her.

And certainly not enough for Austin to believe her.

Paige barely made it out of his room, out of the hospital, and into her truck before the dam burst. When she’d cried all the tears she could muster, she started the ignition and headed home.

She didn’t even bother to look for Austin when she passed his house, just drove down the road and numbly went inside. After Paige called her grandpa, like she’d promised, she climbed into bed and pulled the covers over her head.

The next morning was a rinse and repeat of the last. Instead of driving to Denton, she simply called her grandpa and bowed out of her daily visit. He assured her he was doing fine, doing a lot of thinking, and that he wanted her to take a day for herself and relax. She didn’t argue.

After packing a little cooler with some water and half a sandwich, she grabbed a blanket and headed to the big shade tree at Miller’s Pond.

Slapping on a pair of imaginary blinders, she drove past Austin’s house without even a sidelong glance. As if she’d just climbed Mt. Everest, Paige felt empowered and strong.

Humming with confidence, Paige unloaded her truck, spread the blanket under the tree, and plopped down when her cell phone rang. Instantly she was tumbling down the rabbit hole again as her heart rate spiked right along with bubbles of hope. She quickly checked the ID, then instantly cursed herself for being so foolish and weak, and answered the call.




“Hi. It’s Judy Bohannan from Sunburst Pharmaceuticals. I can’t tell you how excited I was to hear you’d changed your mind and accepted our offer. How soon can you start?”

“How soon do you want me?” Paige asked, forcing a happiness she didn’t feel.

“How about two weeks from today? And if you can stop by on Friday, the sixteenth, we can get all your paperwork processed so you can hit the ground running the following Monday. Will that work?”

“Sounds perfect.”

Not only would her grandpa be home from the hospital by then but Paige could hopefully secure a cheap apartment and get settled in before starting her new job.

It seemed strange that the sales position Sunburst had offered last February was still open. Then again, maybe Fate had everything planned out, and Paige had simply been groping around in the dark.

When the call ended, she was exhausted from expending so much feigned enthusiasm. But now that her timeline was ticking, she didn’t have the luxury of moping and mourning or lounging in depression. Paige had to get busy and start preparing for her new life, and the life of her baby.

Ignoring her broken heart, or rather trying to, she sat on the blanket and nibbled her sandwich while tapping out a to-do list on her phone. When she finished, she began weighing the pros and cons of telling Austin about the baby before she relocated or after. She’d been pondering the question so long the sun was starting to set, and she still hadn’t decided which option to choose.

After gathering up her things, she drove home. As she passed Austin’s house, Paige wasn’t as strong as she’d been earlier; in fact, she’d misplaced her blinders, big-time, and glanced at his house.

When she saw him sitting on the back porch, tipping back a beer, her heart nearly exploded from her chest. She slammed on the brakes and watched as he lowered the bottle and pinned her with an angry glare. Then he stood, turned, and walked into his house like she’d never meant anything to him.

Tags: Jenna Jacob Romance
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