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One Perfect Night

Written by Teresa Southwick

Chapter Nineteen

Ben had asked Julie to give him a chance to show her that they could have a perfect date without him disappearing, and he hadn't let her down. Until now.

She'd gotten home from shopping in the late afternoon and all the things her friend had said about him considering the daddy request replayed in her head. She tried housecleaning and laundry for a distraction. It kept her hands busy, but part of her was tensed and waiting to hear from him.

There was no good way to say that she didn't want him to be a father to that baby boy. But if he decided it was what he wanted, should she disappear and not get in the way? She already knew how much it hurt not to have him in her life. She wanted to be there for him in anything he chose to do, but could their relationship survive him being a parent to another woman's child? For hours those thoughts raced through her mind. Now it was past eight o'clock with no word from him. Something was wrong.

When the phone finally rang, she picked it up without checking caller ID, expecting to hear the familiar deep voice that never failed to make her heart beat wildly. But there was a woman on the other end of the line.

"Hi, Mom."

"Hey, kiddo. How's it going? Am I interrupting? Is Ben there?"

"No."

There was a long pause before her mother asked, "What's wrong?"

Julie had long ago stopped asking how the other woman always knew when something was bothering her. The truth was she needed to talk about this. After explaining everything that had happened, she said, "I haven't heard from him since yesterday. He said he'd call me, but I've been waiting and there's been nothing, Mom."

"It hasn't been that long, sweetie."

"It is for Ben." Whether she'd wanted it or not, her heart had made a commitment. With every fiber of her being she wanted to be with him, have his arms around her. Hear his voice.

"Look, honey, I know I didn't set the best example for you in handling relationships. I always picked the wrong guy, then waited around for a call that never came."

"Mom, it's okay—"

"Let me finish. This has to be said. You're a much stronger woman than I am. You don't suffer jerks, and Ben Carson isn't one."

"You're right about that. He's never not called when he said he would."

"There's a good explanation. You just have to trust him."

It was reassuring to hear the words, especially from her mom, but she already trusted Ben. That only made the bad feeling worse. She heard a beep on the line. "Hold on, Mom. I've got another call. Probably Ben."

But when she pushed the button it was Katie. "Jules, I'm on call. One of the night nurses is sick and I'm here at the hospital."

"I'm sorry you had to go in—"

"That's not why I called. Ben's here. In ICU. He was in an accident."

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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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