The Things I Do for You Page 1

Author: M. Malone

Series: The Alexanders #2

Genres: Romance

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CHAPTER ONE

RAINA WINTERS OPENED her eyes to the sight of the neon numbers on her alarm clock. She reached out her arm slowly, trying not to raise her heart rate too much.

After she plucked the digital thermometer from the edge of her nightstand, she stuck it under her tongue and waited for the beep to sound. She grabbed the notepad she kept on her nightstand and jotted 98.2 next to the date. Her temperature was still roughly the same as it had been for the past ten days.

It won’t be long now, she thought.

She’d just finished her most grueling year since she started modeling, taking on twice as many bookings as usual to earn herself some much-needed time off. In her modeling career, Raina was used to working doggedly when she wanted something, and she had been just as strategic when planning her next goal. She took those awful horse-pill vitamins religiously. She’d cut out alcohol, swordfish, and hot baths. It wasn’t even that big of a pain keeping track of her temperature anymore. Nothing was too much if it helped her achieve what she’d been planning for the last six months.

A baby.

If everything went as planned over the next few days, she could be holding her child nine months from now. Everything inside her softened at just the thought of a chubby little bundle with big, brown eyes.

“Rise and shine, sleepyhead.”

The door to her room pushed open an inch, then her Chief of Security, Sam Gannon, stuck his head in.

“Sorry to wake you. But you have a doctor’s appointment today. I wasn’t sure if you remembered.”

Not many people knew about her fertility issues. It wasn’t something she felt comfortable discussing with anyone other than her twin sister, Ridley, and her doctor. But Sam, as her most trusted advisor and constant companion, had a front row seat to the entire process.

Whether he wanted one or not.

“I definitely didn’t forget that,” she remarked dryly. The thought of more poking and prodding was enough to make her want to roll over and go back to sleep.

But this is part of what you’re signing up for, she thought. If she wanted a baby, regular doctor visits were something she had to get used to. Due to her ongoing fertility issues, it was going to take a minor miracle or some serious medical intervention for her to get pregnant. Once she was lucky enough to be pregnant, there was no way she would risk her or the baby’s health by skipping prenatal visits.

Sam crossed to the window and pulled the drapes open, his muscular shoulders rolling beneath the tight black shirt he wore. With his deep summer tan and his dark hair razored off in a short brush cut, he looked like a model himself. She could definitely see him gracing the cover of some magazine for bodybuilders or something.

“What? Do these jeans make my ass look big?” Sam teased.

Raina laughed, not even embarrassed to be caught staring. “Just admiring the view. Why couldn’t I be smart enough to fall in love with you, Sam?”

Sam grinned. “You couldn’t handle me.” He walked over to her handbag sitting on a chair next to the bed and pulled out her cell phone.

“You have a missed call from Silvestre. Do you need to call him back and let him know you’re running behind?”

Oh boy. Raina pushed back her comforter, figuring if they were going to fight she might as well get up. Sam had made no secret of his disapproval of her fiancé. Or rather, the fact that they rarely saw each other and their relationship was more like a business deal.

“He’s not coming with me. He’s still in New York.” She didn’t meet his eyes. She was going to get up in just a minute. It just felt so heavenly to lie amongst the jumble of pillows. The world could wait for a little bit.

Sam shook his head. “I really don’t get you sometimes.”

She huffed and sat up. It felt like it took a herculean effort but finally she was upright. “What, Sam? What? I already know you don’t like him. You’ve made that abundantly clear.”

He knelt next to the bed. In this position it was impossible to avoid looking at him.

“This isn’t about him. It’s about you. I don’t get you. You can have any man you want. You’ve turned tons of other men, better men, down. But you hook up with Silvestre? Why? That guy would sell his own mother to make a buck.”

“Sam, come on. You don’t think that’s a little harsh? I’ve been accused of being mercenary myself.”

“He’s a weasel.”

“Oh, is that your professional assessment?” Sam had been her bodyguard since her early days of modeling. Now he was her Chief of Security and her best friend.

Possibly her only friend.

“No, that’s my man-to-man assessment. You can do better than him.”

“Steven is educated, sophisticated, and successful. By anyone’s standards, he’s a real catch.”

“He doesn’t love you.” Sam stilled. Neither of them spoke for a moment.

“I don’t love him, either. I don’t need love. I’m probably not even capable of it.”

Sam tipped up her chin until their eyes met. “I think you and I both know that’s not true.”

Raina closed her eyes and after a moment, Sam cleared his throat.

“You still don’t want to talk about Alexander? Fine. I’ll leave you alone so you can call Lover Boy back.”

“Stop calling him that.”

Once he was gone, she punched her pillow a few times. It was funny that Sam thought she could have any man she wanted. If she were just looking for guys who wanted to hang out and have a good time, it would be a different story. But when you were asking a man to get you pregnant, the pool of interested candidates shrank considerably.

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