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One Perfect Night

Written by Teresa Southwick

Chapter Seventeen

Julie wanted to hate Penny Manning. She'd cheated on Ben then put him through hell waiting for DNA tests to see if he'd fathered her baby. But after meeting the woman and her little guy, she couldn't manage it.

She both dreaded and needed to know why his ex and the mother of some other man's child had been in Ben's office today. What could Penny possibly have to say to him besides "I'm sorry"?

She felt for the cell phone in her pocket and wondered when she'd become that woman who waited by the phone for a man's call. Not just any man. Ben. Just thinking his name sent need pulsing through her.

She'd been home from work for a half hour and yearning to hear from him. Her heart had indeed opened up and love had found its way in, but that didn't seem like such a good thing right now.

A bell rang, but it wasn't her phone. She hurried to answer the door. He was standing on her porch, tie loosened, his hair looking like he'd dragged his fingers through it more than once.

"Ben—"

His mouth cut off anything else she was going to say and he pulled her into his arms. She clung to him like a safe harbor in a storm as he kissed the living daylights out of her. Liquid heat poured through her and she ached for his touch on her bare skin.

But he pulled away. "We need to talk, but I just had to do that first."

It was pathetic how easily he'd made her forget the scene in his office and all her questions. Just one kiss and she was hopeless.

"Come in." She closed the door and faced him.

"Penny wants me to be a father to Caleb." No small talk. Directly to the point.

"You mean marry her?"

He shook his head. "Just a positive male influence for her little boy."

"But he has a father."

"The guy ran out on her. She said that from the time she found out about the pregnancy she knew I'd make a better dad, and it crossed her mind to let me believe I was."

"But she couldn't do that." Again she wished she could hate the woman but couldn't manage it. "Do you have feelings for her?"

"Yeah." His mouth twisted. "Anger. Annoyance. Resentment."

But she remembered the expression on his face when he'd looked at the baby boy, the gentle way he'd held the carrier. And she suddenly got it. "You're considering it, aren't you?"

"Yes."

"She cheated on you."

"Caleb didn't."

"And you love children." She was crazy about him for that. Darn it.

"But it's not something I'll do if it costs me you. Would it?"

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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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