A SPECIAL SUMMER BY SUZETTE RIDDICK
Summer Jackson is inexperienced when it comes to love. That’s until she meets wealthy playboy, Nicholas ‘Nick’ Stiles, who teaches her everything she’s been missing. The only problem is, Nick isn’t the settling down kind. Devastation rocks Summer when Nick walks away, leaving her to pick up the shattered pieces of her life.
Months later, Nick reappears and is in for a massive shock. A love that once was pure is plagued by betrayal, deceit and heartbreak. Will Summer and Nick find true love again?
(The Love Conquers All series has been previously published under the author’s former pseudonym. This is a revised version.)
Nick stood in the doorway, content as he watched Summer sleep. Though he hadn’t been prepared to be under the same roof with her until she delivered, the thought didn’t bother him as expected. Besides, the arrangement made sense. Once his housekeeper Joan arrived Summer wouldn’t be alone during the day.
A sigh escaped Nick’s lips. Joan wasn’t going to be happy with having to look after Summer. He could already hear the older woman’s ranting. Going over to the bed, Nick decided he’d worry about dealing with Joan later.
Gingerly, he sat beside her and tenderly stroked Summer’s cheek with his knuckles. Next, he placed his open hand on her belly. A smile curved his lips at the slight movement beneath it. “Your momma thinks you’re a girl. I know you’re a boy,” he murmured before brushing his lips against her forehead.
At his tender touch, Summer’s eyes fluttered open. Unconsciously, she laid her hand on top of his.
“Wake up, sleepyhead. Time to eat.”
“Do I have to?” Summer pouted, rolling on her side away from Nick.
Nick chuckled. “Yes. You hardly ate anything at the hospital.”
She turned over to look at Nick. “I was too scared to eat.”
“Baby, I know. So was I.” He admitted softly, staring into her eyes.
Sitting up, Summer wrapped her arms around Nick’s neck. “I’m glad you were with me.”
“Me too.” Nick held her and quenched the urge to ask why she hadn’t told him about the contractions. Does it really matter? He supposed it didn’t since he was aware now.
Nick released her and stood. “Come on before the food gets cold.”
“Okay, give me a second. I have to go to the bathroom.”
Waiting until he left, Summer scooted to the edge of the bed with a goofy grin. She didn’t know what came over Nick, but she liked it. If he stayed this way until she was free to go home maybe they would at least end up being friends.
After she took care of her needs, Summer found Nick at the kitchen table patiently waiting for her. The aroma of something wonderful caused her belly to rumble. Standing, Nick went to the other side of the table and pulled out a chair for her to sit.
“Thanks. Sorry, I kept you waiting,” she apologized as she slid her phone on the table.
“No problem,” he commented as he took his seat and filled a plate with brown rice, beef, and stir-fried vegetables.
“Thanks,” Summer said when he passed her the plate and prepared one for himself.
The couple said grace before eating. They were silent as they ate, except for when Summer complimented the meal. When she had enough, she laid her fork on the plate. The action seemed to be Nick’s cue to push her to do what she’d been avoiding since she got there.
“When are you going to call your parents?”
Summer glanced up from her plate. Oh, I guess I should do that. When she didn’t say anything, Nick pressed, “Why don’t you call them now?”
“Okay,” Summer said with a shrug. Better to go on and get it over with now.
Wiping her mouth and then her hands with the napkin that was on her lap, Summer picked up her cell phone and dialed her parents.
Nick pushed his plate back and listened as Summer talked to her mother. After several minutes of pleasantries, she finally got around to telling her mom about the scare and her new living arrangements. He would never pry by asking for details about their conversation. But the lull of Summer’s words and facial expressions were getting to him. If he’d known her mother was going to give her a hard time, he wouldn’t have suggested it. His intention had been for her to let her folks know she was okay. Frustrated, he needed something to drink
When he stood, her eyes pleaded with him not to leave. So instead of going to the bar in the den, he went to the fridge to get a beer.
“Yes, Mommy. I know, Mommy.” Summer said, sounding exasperated. It took everything out of Nick not to take the phone from her and have a few words with her mother.
Nick’s hand froze on the refrigerator handle when Summer shrieked, “I’m not telling him that!”
He crossed his arms and leaned against the counter to stare at Summer. A frown marred his features when she pushed herself back from the table.
A weak smile curved her lips as she looked at Nick. “Mommy, I have to go. Please tell Daddy I’ll call him later,” she said in a rush before disconnecting the call.
“Is everything okay?”
She didn’t see the use of sugarcoating the conversation with her mom, so she told him the truth.
Summer shrugged when she said, “My mother doesn’t want me here with you.”
“Why?” he clipped out.
“Nick, you’re not my parents’ favorite person.” Summer said unapologetically.
“They’ve never met me,” Nick snapped as he got a beer out of the fridge.
“And whose fault is that? My parents came to visit me for a whole week and you stood them up for dinner.” She reminded him.
“I was in the middle of an important deal,” was all he said while twisting the cap off the bottle.
Summer wondered if he would be too busy for their child. She’d been on the receiving end of Nick putting his livelihood ahead of her. But she always brushed it off because it wasn’t like she sat at home twiddling her thumbs. A quick call to Ava or Starr and Summer was off to the hottest restaurant, the movies, or chilling out drinking wine and talking for hours. Would she be able to brush off Nick making their kid second fiddle?
“You were always in the middle of a deal,” Summer mumbled, wondering how things had gone completely left.
The glass bottle in Nick’s hand slammed on the counter. His eyes narrowed. “And what’s that supposed to mean?”
“Nothing,” Summer answered as she wobbled away.
“Where are you going?” he asked sharply.
“To the bathroom.”
“You just went,” Nick said, a hint of disbelief in his voice.
Summer stopped and turned to glare at him. “If you had a tiny person jumping up and down on your bladder, you’d have to pee all the time too.”
Nick didn’t say anything as she went about her business, and Summer was glad he couldn’t see the smirk on her face. For once, she shut him up. After she relieved herself, she didn’t bother going back to the kitchen. Instead, she made herself comfortable on the bed and pulled up a book on the Kindle app on her cell phone.
Suzette Riddick is giving away
Losing the Bid (ebook) & Sultry Nights (ebook)
ABOUT SUZETTE RIDDICK
Suzette Riddick is a wife, mother and nurse practitioner who enjoys writing about flawed characters on a quest for love. She is an Amazon Best-Selling Author and was a featured author in USA Today ~ Happy Ever After. A native of Philadelphia, PA, Suzette loves to travel, read, and is addicted to Chanel parfum.
To learn more about Suzette visit her website at http://www.suzetteriddick.com