An all-new novella in Kylie Scott’s amazing Stage Dive series is out this week—revisiting the couple that started it all in Lick, David and Evelyn—and I have a little sneak peek for you.
“Everything’s going to be okay.”
“That’s not an answer,” I mumbled with a pained laugh. My body felt bloated and leaking, but everything would be okay. It would be.
The two big buff bodyguards, Ziggy and Bon, stood ready and waiting. And there’d be more waiting to see us safely through to the vehicle. Sam had run through everything with us earlier.
While I’d gotten used to handling the spotlight over the last seven years, letting any of that near our child did not appeal to me. Despite starting rumors about our exit happening via a back door and stationing a bodyguard and decoy vehicle there, some people were still loitering near our true exit point. Dammit. We moved out of the elevator, and I put on my big dark sunglasses. A trick my best friend Lauren taught me early on. Ziggy took point walking in front of us while Bon watched our backs.
The flashes were blinding, and the questions being shouted at us were overwhelming.
“Evelyn, did you really not know you were pregnant?”
“Is it true you were in denial about the baby?”
“How does it feel to be the cause of canceling the tour?”
Anything that might cause a reaction, that’s what they yelled. Assholes.
When someone got too close, I all but growled at them. A tiny wail came from the baby, and I wanted to bitch slap all of them. So this is what it felt like to get my mama bear on. Because how dare they upset my child. Regardless, we all kept moving briskly toward our waiting SUV.
We climbed into the vehicle quickly. The car door slammed shut, and thank God that was done with. For the time being, at least.
David placed the baby in the infant car seat thingy and had him secured in no time. Which was impressive. “Jimmy gave me lessons. I buckled in one of the twins’ teddy bears about a hundred times before the girls okayed me to do it on a real baby. They’re pretty hardcore taskmasters.”
“Nice. Love me some strong women,” I said, relaxing back against the seat. With the windows tinted, we had a modicum of privacy, at least. “I’m so ready to go home.”
“Me too. If I had to sleep on that chair one more night…”
The car started moving, and apparently our little one liked the motion. Any and all crying stopped, and he stared wide-eyed at the ceiling. Though it’s not like babies can see much at his age. I’d managed some Internet research over the past day. Not enough to make up for nine or so months’ worth of preparation and study, but it was a start.
“Can you believe they just let you walk out with a baby?” I smiled. “We only have a vague notion of what we’re doing. We could spiral at any moment.”
“Speak for yourself. My diaper changing skills are perfection.”
“You’ve come a long way in two days. I’m impressed.”
“Thank you.” He gave me a tired smile. Truth be known, David seemed to be handling this sudden parenting challenge better than me. He even managed to give our still unnamed son a bath this morning. “You worried about not having a doctor or nurse nearby?”
I sighed. “Logically, I know we’re going to be fine. I’ve just never been in charge of a little human before. What if something happens…like if he gets some tiny sore or something and we don’t notice and then it gets infected and—”
“Ev,” he said, voice firm.
“I’m borrowing trouble, aren’t I?”
“Just a little,” he said. “You’re going to drive yourself crazy if you start imagining that bad things are waiting around every corner.”
“You have a point.”
“We’re two reasonably capable and intelligent adults. Things are going to be okay.”
“Yes,” I agreed, shoving aside my mountain of doubts. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly as Portland slipped by outside. “Everything’s going to be okay.”