Cancel anytime. Three cases - two missing persons and one apparent suicide - are pushing PI Jessie Cole and crime reporter Ben Morrison closer to the edge. Private investigator Lizzy Gardner believed in law and order once. But after losing a loved one to a killer and watching too many vicious predators game the system and walk free, she's traded flawed justice for perfect vengeance. And those who do - including his father, imprisoned for a shocking crime - are stirring disturbing memories given up for dead.
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All he wanted was a couple of ibuprofen and a few minutes to himself, but the moment he walked through the side door, what he got instead was a high-pitched shrill that pierced his skull and made him forget all about the pain in his right knee.
Bypassing the kitchen, he made his way toward the noise, favoring his bad leg now that no one could see him. The awful sound was coming from his old bedroom. He opened the door, frowning when he saw a portable crib in the middle of the room, the room he planned to sleep in tonight. He leaned over the crib. The baby looked fine: No horrible smells. Nobody bothering it. And when he thought about babies he also thought about love and marriage and Maggie.
He would be thirty soon. As he watched the baby, he found himself hoping his tiny niece would stop crying. Not because the sound bothered him, but because it scared him. Was she in pain? At closer view, he realized babies were, indeed, sort of scary. They were fragile and wiggly. Hopefully somebody would come to the rescue.
If he picked the kid up, he might accidentally hurt her. Footballs he could handle—babies, not so much. Maggie had lived across the street when he was growing up. He had learned recently that Aaron and Maggie were planning to be married before a Justice of the Peace, sooner rather than later. Apparently, they had recently moved in together too. Garrett, his second brother to marry so far, was the first to have a baby.
Garrett was making them all look bad, making it appear as if finding a soul mate was easy. Finding a soul mate was like looking for a lost diamond on a twenty-mile stretch of crowded beach. The baby continued to cry. Her name was Bailey. It could have been worse.
His brother and sister-in-law could have named her Apple or Saturn. He was number five of ten kids. It even had light fuzz on the top of its skull. He looked over his shoulder, surprised to see Maggie standing there watching him with those big blue eyes of hers. Her arms were crossed in front of her, her blonde hair all shiny and soft around the top of her shoulders. And now he knew why. Looking at her made his gut twist and his heart ache. Are you going to help me change her, or are you going to go back to sulking instead of celebrating like everybody else?
He and his brothers used to play flag football in the street with Maggie. She was one of the boys back then. It was hard to wrap his mind around the idea that Aaron had gone and proposed to her after they had all vowed to keep away. Derrick knew he should let it go. He was an adult, all grown up. He felt betrayed. Mom showed up and stopped him before he could escape. Her gaze swept past him and zeroed in on the baby.
How is she? Mom laughed and then reached out toward the baby before she realized her hands were full. Derrick found the envelope, put the rest of the mail to the side, and opened the letter. I know. He skimmed to the last paragraph as he wondered why CryoCorp would contact him after all these years.
Besides, years ago he had sent a letter asking to be removed as a donor. Here at CryoCorp we strive to enable recipients to attain their goals. Therefore, we would like to thank you for your donation and for helping to make dreams come true. Making dreams come true? His heart rate kicked up another notch as he read back over part of the text. I even sent their money back. She was at his side before he could curse under his breath again.
She opened her mouth, closed it, then opened it again. Did you donate your sperm to CryoCorp, or not? Their gazes locked and some sort of weird staring war ensued until he purposely let his gaze fall downward, past her small upturned nose and onward to her perfectly formed lips.
Long before any stupid vows were made, he had kissed her. But it was their last shared kiss he remembered now. His mother, baby in hand, must have picked up on the tension in the room because suddenly she stepped between them. Maggie belongs to Aaron, your friend and mine…our brother. Remember him? Maggie picked Aaron, not you. Get over it. He never should have come.
Apparently that sperm has been chosen by recipient A. I also sold my blood back then. He had come to the conclusion that if he ever had children of his own, he wanted to be a part of their lives. Nothing against families who needed donors; without sperm donors, many couples would never realize their dream of having a family.
The chances of finding a copy of the letter were one in a million. Derrick had only seen Maggie on a few occasions since she left for college.
Maggie used to be a goofball, the kind of girl who climbed trees and rolled in the mud. But watching her now—back straight, eyes unblinking, serious voice—she had lawyer written all over her.
My Reading Box. She cried harder. Her screaming increased an octave. Do you want to hold her? Vows did not have an expiration date. Nobody could have Maggie—it was only fair. Back then, every male within a five-mile radius had a crush on Maggie. Dear Mr. The recipient of your sperm has met all required standards. Derrick looked over at the door and glared at Jake.
She held up the letter from CryoCorp. Maggie looked at Derrick. How long does sperm last? Jake laughed. Jump to a chapter chapter 1 chapter 2 chapter 3 chapter 4 chapter 5 chapter 6 chapter 7 chapter 8 chapter 9 chapter 10 chapter 11 chapter 12 chapter 13 chapter 14 chapter 15 chapter 16 chapter 17 chapter 18 chapter 19 chapter 20 chapter 21 chapter 22 chapter 23 chapter 24 chapter 25 chapter 26 chapter 27 chapter 28 chapter 29 chapter 30 chapter 31 chapter 32 chapter 33 chapter 34 chapter 35 chapter 36 chapter
Having My Baby
All he wanted was a couple of ibuprofen and a few minutes to himself, but the moment he walked through the side door, what he got instead was a high-pitched shrill that pierced his skull and made him forget all about the pain in his right knee. Bypassing the kitchen, he made his way toward the noise, favoring his bad leg now that no one could see him. The awful sound was coming from his old bedroom. He opened the door, frowning when he saw a portable crib in the middle of the room, the room he planned to sleep in tonight. He leaned over the crib. The baby looked fine: No horrible smells.
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