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One Perfect Night

Written by Teresa Southwick

Chapter Three

Julie heard a knock on her door and tensed.

Somehow she was sure it was Ben. After peeking out the peephole, her guess was confirmed.

She'd been thinking about him all day, her emotions swinging between flattery and anger that he was trying to get closer to her again. Well not physically closer, at least not yet. But if she opened the door…

There was another knock. She knew he wasn't going away so it would be best to get this over with. If only she wasn't wearing baggy sweatpants, an oversize sweatshirt and scruffy old slippers.

Not that it mattered. Even though he clearly hadn't been discouraged when she'd turned him down earlier, it would be a big mistake to allow his determined pursuit to make her glow inside.

She finally answered and stood in the doorway. "Ben."

"Please don't shut the door in my face." Obviously he'd noticed the lack of warmth in her greeting.

"I wouldn't do that. It would have been easier not to answer at all."

"I'm glad you did." He looked at her expectantly for several moments, then asked, "May I come in?"

"Not a good idea."

"I disagree."

The last time he'd had something to tell her, he'd broken her heart. But it didn't appear he was going to leave without saying his piece. Hopefully she wouldn't regret listening. "Okay. Just for a few minutes."

"Thanks."

She remembered their perfect evening from what felt like a lifetime ago. Then, as now, this big and masculine man had made her small, girly house seem even more girly, but it hadn't diminished his masculinity. He was in the same dark suit she'd seen earlier at work, but the top button of his white dress shirt was undone and his red tie was loosened. There were lines of stress and fatigue on his face and he'd passed a five o'clock shadow several hours ago. There was something so manly and endearing about him, and the look tugged at her heart. Already she was beginning to regret letting him in.

"So—" He slid his hands into his pockets. "Are you going to close the door?"

"You don't want the neighbors to hear what you have to say?"

"Only if it would help."

"That depends on what your goal is," she said.

"Like I said today at the hospital, I want another chance with you."

Julie had never had the same instant connection to a guy as she had with Ben, but he had hurt her. Giving him an opportunity to do it again wasn't especially smart. But oh, how she missed him.

How could it hurt for him to say whatever it was before she asked him to leave? It was unlikely he could tell her anything that would make a difference.

"Tell me why I should—in twenty-five words or less."

He nodded and took a deep breath. "The baby isn't mine."

Those were the only four words in the dictionary that could have made Julie shut the door and listen to what he had to say.

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About the author

I discovered my love for books through being lazy. In a high-school hi...

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Teresa Southwick

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