But apparently one of his super-sperm had sneaked out and had been hell-bent on finding its own happy ending. With her egg.
Remy muttered a series of silent curse words as tears pooled in her eyes.
In his wooden crib Callum snuffled and Remy tensed, thinking that he was about to wake up. She stretched her neck to look at him. Crap! She was going to have one of … of those! They didn’t even look all that interesting to have around; all Callum seemed to do was cry, eat and sleep.
She wanted to send hers back… Why didn’t life come with a remote control? Whoops, didn’t mean to do that—rewind. Don’t like that channel—swap.
Remy banged her head lightly against the wall. Life doesn’t work that way, chicken. She couldn’t duck, ignore or rewrite her life or her past … no matter how much she’d like to.
Remy stared at the carpet between her knees. She was her mother’s daughter in more ways than one: stupid when it came to condom use, apparently, but brilliant academically.
Like her brainy mother—a professor in mechanical engineering—she’d been in an accelerated learning programme most of her life and at sixteen had started at the same Ivy League college Jan was a lecturer at. She’d spent her entire undergraduate degree years feeling that she was an exhibit, her mum’s pet project … paraded around when she was in favour, held at a distance when she wasn’t.
After completing her PhD in computer science she’d been headhunted by Tiscot’s, the biggest media and PR company in the country, to be their Chief Information Officer at a stupidly massive salary. Her desire to please and to achieve had followed her into the workplace, and she’d given the company, and her boss, more than a pound of her flesh—part of her soul as well.
Her life had been consumed by work, and such dedication, obsession, such stupidity, had caused her ulcer to perforate and she’d landed up in hospital—which had given her some much needed time to think.
Lying in that hospital bed, she’d never felt more alone. She’d had no visitors—why would she? She had no friends—and the only flowers she’d received had been from the firm, probably ordered by the junior receptionist. Long, long hours on her own had given her the time to examine her life and she had come to accept that she was twenty-five, lonely—because she never made an effort to make friends—perpetually single—because she never took the time to date—and desperately unhealthy because she never took the time to eat properly.
She was also burnt out and possibly depressed. And every time she thought about returning to Tiscot’s the flames of hell fired up in her stomach.
That had been a freaking big clue that she’d had a choice to make: she had to change her life or allow hell to move permanently into her stomach. She’d chosen to save herself and her sanity and had walked away from her corporate, high-pressure, immensely demanding job.
From New York she’d flown to England, but that hadn’t quite been far enough to silence her mother’s voice in her head constantly reminding her that she was making a huge mistake, that she was being a coward, a cop-out. That she wasn’t good enough, wasn’t working hard enough, wasn’t achieving enough.
The rest of Europe had still been too close, so she’d headed for Asia, and by the time she’d got to Africa Jan’s voice had been quieter. But sadly it still hadn’t disappeared entirely.
Leaving her corporate life had been the right decision, Remy thought. And she’d seen some amazing places, met some extraordinary people. But travelling hadn’t filled all the holes in her soul. She was still looking for …
Remy racked her brain. Why couldn’t she define what she was seeking? Why did she have this belief that she would only know what it was when she found it? It wasn’t love, or a man, or a relationship—love was conditional, an iffy emotion that wasn’t steadfast and true. And, as she’d been shown all her life, it could be used as a weapon or a bribe. She had spent her life chasing it, catching it and then having it ripped from her grasp. She was so over it.
As a result, she didn’t buy in to the premise that love, or a man, would make her happy. So what would? She wished she knew.
Was she looking for a new job? Possibly. A new passion? Definitely.
What she hadn’t been looking for was pregnancy or incipient motherhood. That was taking her whole turn-over-a-new-leaf attitude a forest too far.
But a baby was on its way, she was keeping it, and she had to adjust. She had to make plans—start thinking for two.
But before she could make plans she had to tell Bo—tell him that she was pregnant and expecting his child. Bo deserved to know he’d fathered a child, and her child needed to know who his or her father was. She knew this because nearly thirty years ago, in a rare display of loss of control, her mum had gone to a party, got totally high, and couldn’t remember exactly who she’d slept with that night.
As a result Remy didn’t have a cookin’ clue who her own father was.
Telling Bo was the one thing she was sure of. She owed him that. She supposed that she would also have to tell her family … which meant—unfortunately—having a conversation with her mother.
Remy sighed and pushed her hair back off her face as she stood up. That was going to be fun. Jan would respond as if she’d told her that she was intending to juggle with vials of something lethal. It was going to be ten times worse than telling her mother that she had given up her job to go travelling to ‘find’ herself.
Way. Way. Worse.
Unlike travelling, she couldn’t just give up a baby and resume the life Jan had spent so much time planning.
Remy walked over to the crib and stared down at the tiny, tiny little bundle who was her mother’s latest little project. Unfair, Remy thought, biting her lip. Her mum loved Callum and she loved her. Sort of …
‘I’ll try to shield you as much as I can, little brother, but I’m warning you she’s a force of nature. Don’t be too smart, okay?’ she murmured, touching the back of her knuckle to his satin-smooth head. ‘I’m going to leave Portland now—tonight. I’ve got to get out of here. And, no, I’m not quite brave enough to tell her yet.’
‘Tell her what?’ Jan asked from the doorway, her arms folded against her already flat stomach.
Her body wouldn’t dare rebel and hold on to its baby fat a minute longer than it should, Remy thought.
Remy pushed the pregnancy test wands back into her pocket, hiding them, before turning to face her mum. ‘Nothing much,’ she lied. ‘Just that I’m leaving. It’s time.’
Jan nodded briskly. ‘Good. I was about to suggest the same thing. But before you go I want to tell you about a VP position that I hear is vacant at Repcal Tech. It’s a step down from where you were before, but beggars can’t be choosers …’
Back in Bellevue, Remy thought as she pulled into a spare parking space in front of the diner on the corner of Main and First. Looking down, she saw the open notebook next to her on the cracked bench seat of her old Ford 150. There were just two bullet points on the blank page.
Fill up with gas.
Find Bo and tell him you’re pregnant.
Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy, she assured herself. Once she told Bo that he was going to be a daddy and that she expected absolutely