Having the Rancher's Baby

Having the Rancher's Baby by Cathy McDavid

Book: Having the Rancher's Baby by Cathy McDavid Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cathy McDavid
jeans and a T-shirt. With clothes on, she had a much better chance of being able to face him, to sit across from him at the table, without losing her thinly held composure.
    She placed a mug in front of him, coffee black, the way he liked it. They’d shared enough breakfasts at the ranch house for her to be familiar with his tastes. The morning after their night together, she’d been in such a hurry to get him out of the house, she hadn’t offered him so much as a glass of water.
    The muffins, three of them, fit nicely on a paper plate. They went onto the table, along with a tub of butter, two glasses of orange juice, Violet’s prenatal vitamin and a couple bananas. She didn’t care much for the fruit, but she’d been bothered by nightly leg cramps lately and read somewhere that the potassium in bananas helped.
    â€œYou’re too good to me,” he said, helping himself to a muffin and the knife. He broke the muffin in two and slathered a huge glob of butter onto each half.
    Thankfully, conversation flowed easily over breakfast, perhaps because it centered on work and not on the two of them. She almost wished they weren’t getting along. Her choices would be easier then and she could insist on Raquel or Cara staying with her rather than Cole.
    They were just finishing when Violet’s cell phone went off, playing a familiar ring tone. She groaned, scrubbing a cheek with her hand.
    â€œSomeone you’d rather avoid?” Cole dusted off the crumbs that clung to his shirt. He’d wolfed down a banana and two of the muffins like a starving man.
    â€œIt’s my mother.” For a moment, Violet considered not answering, but at the last second, she got up and went to the counter where she’d left her phone. She swiped the screen and put the phone to her ear. “Morning, Mom.”
    â€œHoney, tell me,” her mother blurted in a rush. “What’s wrong?”
    â€œNothing. Why?”
    â€œAre you sure? Some woman just called to confirm your doctor’s appointment. When I told her you didn’t live here, she apologized and hung up. Are you sick?”
    Violet shook her head in confusion. She’d listed her mother’s number in the event of an emergency, not as a primary contact. Someone at the doctor’s office must have made a mistake.
    â€œI’m not sick, Mom. I’m—” Violet’s phone beeped, signaling she had another call. Checking the screen, she saw it was Dr. Medina’s office. “Let me phone you right back. It’s the doctor on the other line.”
    â€œI’m not going anywhere. Don’t you dare hang up on me.”
    â€œFine.” Violet placed her mother on hold, then took the call from the doctor. After confirming her follow-up appointment and correcting the phone number mix-up, she returned to her mother. “Sorry about that.”
    â€œYou still haven’t told me what’s wrong.”
    Violet caught Cole’s eye. He remained seated at the table. In fact, he appeared permanently rooted in the chair. Didn’t he have to be at the ranch soon? She supposed, as one of the owners, he could set his own hours. But there were a hundred pregnant cows left to check, and that would take most of the day, even with help.
    â€œDon’t you have work?” she mouthed.
    â€œIt’ll wait,” he mouthed back.
    Drat. She either ended this call with her mother, asked Cole to give her some privacy, left the kitchen and sought refuge in her bedroom, or bit the bullet and leveled with her mother in front of him. Well, at least he’d see firsthand how persistent her parents could be.
    â€œIt’s a follow-up exam, Mom.”
    â€œFollow up to what?”
    In the background, she heard her mother drawing on an electronic cigarette. Violet wasn’t sure she approved of the practice, but quitting smoking was hard for her mom, who’d tried countless times in the past. The

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