Beneath Her Heart – Ch 10
Brody blinked. Was it her or did the man in front of her stare at her body? She mentally shook her head.
When her tortillas arrived, she looked at the untouched snack before raising her eyebrow at Collin.
“Feel free to start eating. And order anything else you may like.” His crooked smile was back, giving her heart a thump. She ducked her head and concentrated on spooning the delicious gooey snack and folding her tortilla into a triangle. The first bite made her hum appreciatively at the spicy bite of the sausage.
“You have a bit of cheese on your chin.” She felt the touch of a napkin to her lips and met eyes of the man gently rubbing the speck away. They continued to stare at each other.
Collin was the first to break, covering his confusion with a cough. Falling back on safer ground, he threw out the first question in his mind.
“So, are you seeing anyone?” He nearly bit his tongue and felt like slapping his now-warming cheek.
“Why does it matter to you? We are virtual strangers.” A defensive note entered her voice as she put down her snack, no longer hungry.
Thankfully, he thought of an excuse. “I meant I wondered if anyone was helping with the baby. Any sort of coach or anything. Because, if you don’t, I would like to volunteer.”
Brody was taken aback. This man? The thought was laughable and yet… He was the only living relative of her baby’s biological parents. Despite their recent rancor, she didn’t think he would try and take her baby. Nonetheless, if he was already part of the process, maybe there would be less friction between them. Still, she felt cautious.
Collin could see her reluctance. Hell, he wasn’t planning anything like this. But on a second thought, perhaps this would be a good time to talk about the future a bit. It doesn’t hurt that they were both mostly relaxed and out of any corporate environment. He decided to test the waters.
“For the needs of my niece, I would like to be part of the process. It’s not that I don’t trust you to do what’s right, I feel…” He swallowed. “I…feel…like this is part of my sister’s choices, something I can be part of too.” He looked down, embarrassed.
He felt a small hand cover one of his, and looked into those hazel eyes, now filled with understanding.
“I’ll tell you what. Let’s exchange contact information, and I’ll call you with my next doctor’s appointment. If you have the time, you can come with me.”
She gave a warning squeeze he could hardly feel. “And no jerk comments or caveman behavior, okay?”
He grinned. “Yes, ma’am.”