Egads. Once again I’ve lost track of time and haven’t posted anything. Rhetorical question: How can I build a following if I don’t post??
Sooo- here is short piece from The Jury Scandal, the romantic suspense I’m working on these days. Here the protagonist, who’s discovered she’s pregnant from a one-night stand and a broken condom, confronts the ‘father,’ wishing she didn’t have to.
After class, Marilise returned to her office and sat staring at the lake. Her heart pounded when she considered contacting ‘what’s-his-name.’ Although she really wanting to avoid having anything to do with him, she had no choice. With a huge sigh, she dragged out her phone and searched for his number. Before she lost her nerve, she called it. God, I hope he doesn’t answer. Her mouth dry and her stomach clenched, she waited, ready to leave a message.
“Hello,” he answered.
Unable to speak at first, she tried to swallow. Finally, she managed to say, “Hello. John?”
“Yes, who’s this?”
“It’s Marilise. Have you got a minute?”
“Marilise D’Antonio. We met at PJ’s Coffee Shop a few weeks ago.” Oh, Christ, this is so hard. He doesn’t remember me?
“Yeah. What do you want?”
His abrupt tone sent a wave of nausea through her. “I’m sorry. We need to talk. Would you meet me for coffee this afternoon or tomorrow, please?” She swallowed back the bile that threatened.
“What for? I’m busy.”
She sucked in a big breath. “We have to talk. I’m pregnant.”
“Ha. And this is my problem how?”
Hell. What should I do? “Listen, John. I don’t want anything from you except information. But if you want to play hardball, I can.” Aware of her wall clock ticking and students talking in the hall, she gripped the phone with a sweaty hand.
“How do I know it’s mine? You feminists jump into bed and then blame the guy.”
Shocked at his harsh words, a tear slipped across her cheek. What a bastard. Unable to think of a response, she paused. Then as heat flushed across her chest and neck, she said, “I know my rights here. I can force a paternity test that will prove you’re the father. And believe me,” her voice rose. “If I have to go that route, I’ll demand child support from you for the next eighteen years.” She emphasized each word using her strict professor’s voice.
“Now hold on. You don’t have to get so upset,” he whined.
“Fine. I’ll have my attorney send you the papers, relinquishing your rights to the child in exchange for a detailed family medical history. There will be no demands for child support. Just your name on the birth certificate. Deal?”
He blew out a breath and muttered, “Deal,” and hung up.
Elise says hello and is complaining about being neglected.