Quinn dipped his head and kissed her. For a good long time.

When they broke apart, she murmured, “My roommate is in a class right now. Wouldn’t it be fun to mess around? Especially when there’s a chance we’ll get caught?”

“Sounds like my kinda fun.” Fun. That reminded him. “What did you mean when you said you thought it’d be a fun surprise and we’d never done anything like it?”

Color tinged her cheeks. “Oh. When I saw those papers, I thought you’d found the tropical island

‘couples only’ getaway packages I’d printed out on Sunday. I wanted to tempt you into taking a real vacation, just you and me, the sand and the sea.”

Quinn brought her hand to his mouth and kissed her knuckles. “Is that another one of your untold fantasies? Jetting off to a tropical island?”

“Only if it’s jetting off with you.”

“Then the week after you get outta school for the summer, we’ll hop on a plane and be sippin’ drinks on the beach by sunset. You can call it a fantasy. I’ll call it our second honeymoon.”

“Really? You’d do that for me? Even though you hate to fly?”

Quinn touched her, the woman he’d loved most his life, the woman who was his everything, the woman who loved him enough to give him a second chance. “Libby, I love you. I’d do anything for you. I wanna make you happy. I want us both to be happy. Not just for a week, or for a weekend, but for the rest of our lives. Let’s go home.”

Libby stepped back and gave him a wicked grin. “Right after we test the bounce factor of the mattress in my room.”

Yep, he was really grateful for second chances.


Six months later

Libby barely made it to the toilet before she threw up.


Damn flu.

She managed a sip of water. The liquid stayed down for a change. Good. She wiped her mouth and let the sink cabinet hold her up, hoping she could climb back in bed before Quinn returned home from checking cattle.

Yeah, she’d pop to her feet and walk those twenty steps to their bedroom. In a second. She just needed to rest her eyes for a minute or two.

“Nappin’ in the bathroom again?”

Her eyes flew open, giving her an instant case of vertigo. Dammit. She’d dozed off. Worse, he’d caught her dozing off.

Quinn crouched down, his face lined with concern. “Libby—”

“I’m fine.”

“No, you ain’t. You need to go to the doctor.”

“It’s the flu, Quinn.” When he scowled, she added, “It’s flu season. I work with coughing, hacking, feverish kids every damn day. Do the math. I’m bound to get sick a lot.”

“I have done the math, which is why I know it ain’t the damn flu.” He stood and stalked out of the bathroom.

Libby yelled, “I am not going to the doctor.”

No answer.

Crap. She hated arguing with him. It’d been a rarity since their reconciliation, but not because they weren’t communicating. They talked all the time. In fact, her formerly strong, silent type of husband had become downright chatty. Libby wasn’t complaining. She’d never been happier and Quinn felt the same.

Their life wasn’t perfect, but it was damn close.

Now, if she could just get over the flu that’d been hanging on for the last month.

Paper rustled and she looked up at Quinn leaning in the doorway. A white pharmacy bag dangled from his hand. She managed a wan smile. “You went to town and got me medicine? That’s so sweet.”

“No, I went to town and got you a pregnancy test.”

Her stomach lurched. She crawled to the toilet and threw up again.

Quinn held her hair back and wiped her face. After he situated her on the floor, he stretched out across from her. “Better?”

When the queasiness subsided, she said, “I’m not pregnant. I’m never pregnant.”

“This time is different.”

“How do you know?”

“Pregnant is pregnant. I recognize the signs.”

Indignantly, she snapped, “I am not a heifer! You cannot judge me by the way I twitch my backside or behave erratically whether or not I’m pregnant for the first time.” To Libby’s utter dismay, she began to cry.

“Ah hell. Take a deep breath or else you’ll be right back hangin’ over that toilet after gettin’ so worked up.”

“Shit. Shit. Shit. I hate to bawl. I hate to whine. I hate to throw up. I hate that I’m sitting on the damn bathroom floor again doing all three.”

“I know you do.” He ripped off a chunk of toilet paper and handed it to her. “Lib, what’s really goin’


She sniffled and blew her nose. “I’m scared.”

“Me too.” He paused, but his silences no longer made her nervous.

“It’s just…things are so good between us now. I don’t want anything to wreck it.”

“You think havin’ a baby could do that?”

“Me wanting one so badly did before.”

“Yeah, but it wasn’t the only thing that caused our problems. We’re different now. We’re probably better prepared to deal with all the issues involving a baby. So maybe there was a reason we didn’t get this gift until we were both ready to handle it.”

Libby stared at him. “You really think I could be pregnant?”

Quinn took her hand. “Come on. Indulge me. I believe in my gut and in my heart we’ll be fine no matter what the stick says.”

She did too. “All right.”

“Good.” Quinn cracked open the pregnancy test kit, read the directions a billion times and watched her like a hawk so she didn’t screw it up. In all the years she’d locked herself in the bathroom and conducted multitudes of pregnancy tests, this was the first time she’d involved Quinn in the process.

They left the urine-soaked stick on the back of the toilet and Quinn set his watch.

Holding her close, he gave her a reassuring kiss on the top of her head and murmured, “I love you.

Nothin’ll ever change that. Baby. No baby. Don’t matter as long as I have you.”

“I feel the same. I love you. God, I love you so much.”

The watch beeped.

“Ready?” he asked.

“Ready,” she answered.

They held hands as they peered at the indicator.

Finally, Quinn said softly, “I’ll be damned.”

The results window read…a plus sign in big, bold type.

Not the flu after all.

Libby didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

“You okay?” he said.

“Uh-huh. I’ll probably freak out once it sinks in.”

“That’ll make two of us, darlin’.”

“Don’t you mean, three of us?”

“Three. Right. God. A baby. We’re havin’ a baby.” His body went ironing board rigid. “Now that we know, get your butt back in bed, pretty mama. I’m callin’ Doc Monroe and you’re goin’ to see her first thing tomorrow. But today you need to rest.”


“No buts. I’m gonna make sure you don’t move, even if I hafta hogtie you to the headboard. ’Cept I know how much you love bein’ tied up.”


“No arguin’, Lib, I mean it.”

She sighed. “Are you gonna be one of those hovering, overbearing husbands who obsesses about every little thing during this pregnancy?”

A beat passed. “I reckon so.”

Libby leaned into him, grateful to have him standing behind her, holding her up, in every possible way. “I can live with that.”