[BookStrand Contemporary Romance, HEA]
Baylee Gallagher is a successful attorney in San Francisco. She's met her career goals and now she's ready to start a family. And, she has specific criteria for that family. Namely a baby, but no husband. She's set to use a sperm bank until she sees Doctor Grant Blackhawk. He's perfect, and in her direct way she decides to just ask him to father her baby. With no prior warning she arranges to meet him.
Dr. Grant Blackhawk is blindsided when Baylee propositions him. He's against single parenting by choice. He doesn't see her request as a compliment and makes it crystal clear. So why can't he get her out of his mind? Long after she is back in San Francisco, she is still haunting his dreams. Adding to his torment is the fact that the totem he denies exists is asserting itself. Its surreal instincts know Baylee is Grant's mate, or in the pure human vernacular, his soul mate.
A BookStrand Mainstream Romance
Baylee cleared her throat. She needed to get with it. She wasn’t sure how he would react if she started discussing the weather. “The reason I called you is that I saw you over the holidays when I was visiting a friend at the clinic. I went to school with Alicia.”
He nodded. His next words told her he’d noticed her that day, too. “So you weren’t there for a medical appointment then?”
His eyes went to her left hand and the wedding band she wore. When he raised his eyes, his gaze held hers. It was so strong that she felt like he held her head between his hands. “I’m not married. I wear this for professional reasons.” Not being completely honest, she winced when he smiled. He knew. It was like he sensed that she didn’t usually encourage advances from men.
His gaze again found hers and held it. She glanced away and tried again. “I was visiting my mother in Missoula for Christmas. We’re not close.” Now why did I say that? It’s not relevant. Darn, the man had her flustered, and Baylee Gallagher didn’t do flustered. She’d taken on a lot better than this in the courtroom and held her poise.
She straightened her shoulders. This wouldn’t do. She needed to keep control and show strength. She didn’t feel physical attraction… ever. “Yes, well the fact is I went to see Alicia about artificial insemination.”
The screech sounded from the woods again. The breeze had turned from cool to cold. The man didn’t say anything nor did he look away.
When Baylee didn’t say more, he wrenched open the truck door and leaned against the seat.
Where did she go from here? She wanted to just stop, but then she would have no chance to convince this man to contribute his sperm. If she’d never seen him, she would have been content to pick a donor from the sperm bank. Now she wanted Grant Blackhawk.
He held up his hand. “I don’t like where this is going. First, you’re so nervous you look like you’re about to fly off. Second, if it was medical advice you wanted, you’d have made an appointment at the clinic. Are you really sure you want to continue this conversation?”
Baylee swallowed. “I want a baby.”
He interrupted her. “Let me guess. A baby but no man, right?”
She nodded. “I’m an attorney and can well afford to support a family. The baby would have every opportunity.”
“Except no father.”
“Yes, well I’ve found fathers overrated.”
“Let me guess again. You’re a divorce lawyer.”
She laughed, but it came up short. “You’re good. I’ve represented both parties, and seeing what these once loving couples do to one another, I’d be a fool to venture into a relationship. In short, Doctor Blackhawk, I don’t believe in love. People, by nature, enter relationships for what they can get. This bull hockey of loving someone and wanting to make them happy is just that, bull hockey.”
Grant let out a low whistle. “Wow! Bull hockey! And what did I do to deserve all this?”
Baylee felt her cheeks grow hot. Her dark complexion usually saved her from blushing or at least from any one seeing it. To make matters worse, when his gaze traveled over her again, she knew he’d noticed her heightened color. “I’m sorry. This is hard to explain. It certainly isn’t a subject for casual company.”
“No, it isn’t. So why don’t you get to the point, Ms. Gallagher.”
She didn’t correct his use of her last name. It was better not to be on a first-name basis. This way, it would be less intimate. She shook her head. Less intimate, how did that work? Climb into bed, have sex, get up, and say, “Thank you, Doctor Blackhawk.” And he’d answer, “My pleasure Ms. Gallagher.”
“Okay, I know it’s getting late, and I’m sorry. Like I said, I’d intended to be here earlier.”
He’d been leaning against the seat of the truck. Now he pointed toward the other side. “Get in. It’s getting too cold to stand out here.”
When the doors closed, she knew that she’d made another mistake. The cab of the truck filled with intimacy so thick it felt like she could slice it.
He shifted so he was angled toward her. They weren’t touching, and yet, like before in the meadow, she could feel him. She swallowed. She didn’t want to sound desperate. He was a doctor, so he should be able to look at the procedure clinically. “This isn’t easy for me. I guess the best way is too just ask.”
He smiled and perfect white teeth gleamed in the dusk. Again, he didn’t say anything. Did he think this was amusing?
“Like I said, I’m an attorney. I own a firm in San Francisco. I had intended to use the sperm bank, but when I saw you, I knew you would be perfect.” She was speaking too fast. She’d practiced what she was going to say, but she couldn’t remember half of it. The last thing that she wanted was to ramble. Maybe it would have been better to do this over the phone.
She took a deep breath. “When I talked to Alicia, she explained the procedure. It wouldn’t take very much of your time…”
He glared over at her. It looked like she’d finally gotten a reaction. That was good, now they could move it along. “If you’d rather not used artificial insemination, I’m open to other options.”