Expecting Ty's Baby
Abandoned by her father at a young age, beauty therapist, Patricia Owusu, has learned the hard way that men can’t be relied on. She’s determined to make it on her own without falling into the cultural trappings of marriage. However, when she finds herself pregnant after a torrid love affair with African-American financial consultant, Ty Webber, she discovers one man’s resolve to stick around.
When Ty discovers Patricia is carrying his baby, he offers marriage, because real men take responsibility for their actions. He isn’t prepared for Patricia’s stubborn determination to make it on her own. But nothing will prevent him from claiming his child or the woman he considers his.
Can Ty convince Patricia to take a chance on him to help provide a loving home for their baby, or will Patricia’s mistrust lead her to miss out on true love and rob her child of the type of father she never had?
Series: From Ghana With Love, #2
Patricia Owusu flicked a coin into the air, deftly catching it between her palm and the back of her other hand. “Heads, I tell Ty he’s going to be a father; tails, I don’t.”
Across the table in their usual corner of the Infusions Café where they met for breakfast one Sunday every month, her best friend and blushing bride-to-be, Naaki Tabika, quirked an eyebrow. “Pat, don’t even joke about something like this. Ty has a right to know.”
“Who says I’m joking?” Patricia lifted her hand to reveal the coin and her heart sank.
“Heads,” Naaki said with a smile. “Clearly, fate knows what it’s doing.”
Patricia waved the pesky coin. “Best two out of three.”
Naaki laughed, and despite herself, Patricia gave into a smile. Okay, so maybe she was half-joking, because deep down inside—if she let herself think about it, allowed her mind to reach past the pregnancy hormones and the nerves jangling in the pit of her stomach—she couldn’t deny the temptation to tell Ty. An idea that sounded good only in theory, because in truth, Ty wouldn’t want to know.
“The last thing I want is to noose a lifelong commitment around a guy’s neck.”
Especially one resulting from a liaison that lasted all of one week. They had both known—agreed—their relationship had no future.
Naaki looked doubtful. “I don’t know. Ty struck me as a responsible guy, and I’m sure he’d like to be involved in some way.”
That was the problem. He hadn’t said it in so many words, but Patricia had sensed Ty to be the kind of man who took obligation seriously, so telling him would mean forcing his hand.
“I can’t let him take responsibility for something he didn’t sign up for. Besides, his life is in America, mine is here. What kind of life would he be offering my child?”
“You know it’s no excuse,” Naaki said. “Remember when I didn’t want to get involved with Thane because he would be returning to America? Look at us now.”
As Naaki refilled her cup, the diamond solitaire on her engagement ring caught in a ray of sunlight, which had managed to slip through the branches of moringa trees lining the side of the quiet street their table overlooked.
It paled in comparison with the gleam in her eyes.
“I’m happy things worked out between you and Thane, but it’s not the same. For one, you two were in love pretty much from the start. Ty and I aren’t.”
Even though their attraction to each other had been instant, the passion between them seemingly insatiable, there had been no gray areas in their agreement: one week, no strings attached.
A baby came with major strings.
Pushing aside those thoughts, she concentrated on her tea as though she’d find some secret solution in the dark brew. “I told him I was safe. I thought I was safe; and now to tell him I’m pregnant? He’s going to think I’m a liar. Or worse, one of those women who get pregnant to trap guys into marriage.”
“Hey.” Naaki’s hand closed around Patricia’s arm. “You’re neither a liar nor one of those women, and if he
spent any amount of time with you, he should know. Besides, you’re both consenting adults. It’s not as if you forced yourself on him.”
Warmth spread through her veins, and her heartbeat quickened as the memories came back in vivid color. They’d been cuddling in the king-sized bed in Ty’s hotel suite. After going through their pack of condoms during the night, she’d thought the multiple orgasms he’d drawn out of her had been enough to last a lifetime—or at least a few years—but she’d woken up to his kisses on her shoulder and gentle caresses along her thigh.
He’d nudged her backward, bringing her butt in contact with his hot, throbbing arousal and all previous orgasms were promptly forgotten. She’d wanted him with a fierceness she’d never experienced with any other man. She’d turned, thrust her pelvis against his hardness, and practically assaulted him. Not that he hadn’t been a willing participant. Au contraire. He’d been—
“Uh, Earth to Pat,” Naaki’s voice broke through her lustful recollection. “Wow, it’s been what? Three months? And you’re still spacing out at the mention of his name.”
Patricia blew out a breath of pent up frustration then sipped her tea in favor of wasting any effort in trying to deny the truth of her friend’s words. She was no prude, but sex with Ty had been beyond her expectations.
She sighed. He’d been so attuned to her needs, touching her as if he’d known her body for much longer than a week. He’d branded her in a way she wasn’t sure could be replicated. Would her body ever get over him?
She shoved the thoughts out of her mind, squaring her shoulders in a false show of indifference. “It doesn’t matter. We’re never going to see each other again, so what’s the point? What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.”
“Him or you? Don’t assume Ty is going to make the same choice your father did.”
Despite Naaki’s gentle tone, her words delivered a heavy dose of tough love, its sting worse than a back-handed slap. Patricia steeled herself, forced her mind to move past it.
“My parents married because my mother got pregnant with me and look how well that turned out.” Sarcasm. An ineffective shield against the torment of unanswered questions simmering beneath the surface, but it helped in a way she couldn’t explain. “All I’m saying is men have to be ready for a baby. Otherwise, they run in the other direction.”
“Who says Ty isn’t ready?”
“Trust me, he isn’t,” Patricia said with conviction, her mind going back to their conversation one early dawn as they pillow-talked after a night of mind-numbing, limb-weakening sex. How had he put it again? Not in my ten-year plan. The words echoed in her head, along with the rich timbre of his laughter as he’d said them.
Absentmindedly, she fiddled with the coin she’d flipped as those thoughts continued their torturous flow. She wasn’t an indecisive person by nature, but she had a huge decision to make, and the consequences would be far-reaching whichever direction she went.
“I still think you should tell him,” Naaki said. “I mean, hopefully you wouldn’t be showing yet, but as my maid of honor it would be a little obvious if you have to excuse yourself every few minutes to go and throw up.”
“What are you talking about?” Patricia’s mind whisked past the barb, reading between the lines. “You don’t mean he’s—”
A prickly sensation skittered up her spine—something between dread and excitement—at the thought she
didn’t want to speak into existence.
“I do,” Naaki answered. “Ty is coming to the wedding. He’s the best man.”
Patricia buried her face in her palms. This complicated things. Big time. It would be easy to keep the truth from him when they lived thousands of miles and an ocean apart. It was an entirely different story to share the same space with him and not blurt it out—a definite possibility if he trained those haunting green eyes of his on her, eyes which tempted her to say things she shouldn’t.
Like the morning they’d made the baby now growing inside her—the only time during their weeklong affair they hadn’t used a condom. She’d asked him to make love to her, and he’d whispered in his deep baritone, “We’re out of condoms.”
With disappointment crawling up her stomach, she’d done a quick calculation, determined her period had ended about a week earlier, just before they had met. She’d deduced she was still safe for another couple of days—at least. Since they’d already had the all-important HIV status talk before they had sex the first time, she’d confidently uttered the four fatal words. “It’s okay, I’m safe.”
“You know, the best man and maid of honor have to spend a lot of time together,” Naaki teased. “If last time was anything to go by, then you won’t be able to resist him.”
But Patricia had to.
For his own sake.
“Like you said, I won’t be showing yet,” she persisted stubbornly. “I’m sure I’ll survive a few weeks without cracking.”