Sample: Baby Blue

Mark stared into the fridge, looking for ideas. He’d been planning to just microwave a frozen burrito and have a beer, but now Leah was coming home. Frozen burritos just wouldn’t do.

His eyes fell on the bottle of capers. He could do that old tuna and caper pasta dish. He dug out the little three by five card from the recipe box. He had the rest of the ingredients. With a little salad, some wine, and maybe some ice cream for dessert?

He snorted softly. When was the last time he’d tried to impress his girlfriend?

Maybe that was part of the problem.

He checked the clock. He had enough time if he worked fast.

He started by clearing all his work papers off the table. There were way too many of them. He glanced at the marketing plan he’d been working on when Leah’d called. Did he really need to turn it in tomorrow? His boss had wanted it Monday. Monday would be good enough.

While the pasta water boiled, Mark made the salad and set the table. He found a chianti in the cabinet that he’d picked up before Christmas and opened it to let it breathe. He was back at the mise en place when the front door opened. He wiped his hands on a towel and headed into the living room.

Leah’s face was long and worn. She gave him a small winsome smile as she set her suitcases down. Mark’s eyebrows rose.

“Yeah,” she said. “I’m back for good. Christy’s doing a lot better.”

He just pulled her into his arms and hugged her tight. She returned the clench, her head on his shoulder. Finally, reluctantly, he pulled back.

“Don’t wanna to overcook the pasta.” He grinned and nodded toward the kitchen. “Join me? You can have some wine while you watch.”

“Oh?” she smiled.

“C’mon.” He led her into the kitchen. She smiled, less tired and forced, when she saw the table was set.

“It’s not much,” he said as he returned to the stove, “but I figured it was better than ordering a pizza.”

“I’ve had too much pizza lately.” She chuckled. “It was the easiest thing with Christy and the girls.”

“She’s doing better?”

“Much.” Leah poured him some wine, and then hesitated. Instead of pouring herself some, she filled her own glass with water. “It was time for me to come home.”

So you didn’t do it for me. He pushed that momentary stab aside.

Leah sensed it anyway. She moved to his side and stroked his shoulder.

“I’ve missed you,” she said. She leaned in for a kiss.

“I’ve missed you, too.” He fished a fusilli noodle out of the water and offered it to Leah. She took it and chewed and then nodded.

“It’s ready,” she said.

“I’m glad you can stay,” he said as he drained the pasta in the sink.

“If you’ll have me.” For the first time, her smile betrayed her own fears.

“Why wouldn’t I? I know we both need to change some things, but…” He shrugged.

“Oh,” she darkly chuckled, “things are gonna change.”

He raised an eyebrow, but she didn’t explain.

* * *

?Dinner started with small talk, mostly about his day. Leah shared stories of taking care of Christy’s babies while she napped, though Laurie really wasn’t a baby at three. Some of them she’d already told him, but he didn’t call her on it. He just waited for her to work through her nerves.

“So…,” she eventually said with a more serious tone. “I’ve really enjoyed spending time with Paul and the girls and my career’s going well enough so… I was thinking…”

“You’re pregnant.”

She rocked back in surprise. “How’d you know?”

“Good guess,” he shrugged. She wouldn’t have spent so long working up to anything less.
“And in case you were worried—”

“I wasn’t. I’m not.”

“Paul and I didn’t—”

“You said it wouldn’t be fair—”

For you either.”

He shrugged.

“You could’ve called someone. Wren. Or Mindy.”

“It wouldn’t have been fair to you.”

“I wouldn’t’ve minded.” Despite her smile, there was still a bit of uncertainty in her eyes.

“It still wouldn’t’ve been fair. Besides, I don’t want Wren or Mindy. I want you.”

“Even after everything?” Her eyes started to cloud.

“Even after everything.” He dropped his eyes to her tummy. “And especially now.”

Her small wry smile contained a glimmer of hope.

“You want this baby?” she asked.

“I do. More than anything. Except… maybe her mother.”

Leah raised an eyebrow. “Her?”

“Of course,” he gently teased. “There aren’t enough Coulter women around. The world needs more of you. Of course it’ll be a girl. The universe demands it.”

Leah actually chuckled.

“Your mom’s gonna be thrilled.”

“I don’t want to tell her yet.” Leah’s jaw tightened. “We need to be sure. I don’t need to give her another reason to be disappointed.” The again went unspoken.

“After the first trimester,” he agreed. “Then we can tell everyone.”

“You’re really happy about this.” It wasn’t quite a question.

“I…” His heart trembled as he looked for the words. Raw honesty seemed best.

“I’ve been doing a lot of thinking,” he said, “while you were staying with Paul and Christy. About us. About my job. About what I really want. And… I want you.”

Tears formed in her eyes as she smiled at him.

“Whatever you want,” he said. “I’m in.”

“Will you make love to me?”

Mark smiled. Then he stood and offered her his hand. The rest of dinner could wait.

To be continued…

Cover for the book Friends and Benefits

 Want more of  Baby Blue?

Ah, the challenges of swinging as a new parent…

Mark’s gonna be a dad. Christy’s recovering from the birth of her second child. Finding naughty time together is going to be a trick…

This slice of life story continues Mark and Christy’s special friendship in Nick Scipio’s Summer Camp Swingers Universe. If you enjoy low key relationships mixed with erotic scenes, you’ll enjoy Baby Blue.