Wanted by Her Lost Love(8)

By: Maya Banks

“My, my, one would think you cared,” she mocked. “But we both know that isn’t true. Don’t worry about me, Ryan. I’m taking care of myself and my baby just fine.”

He stalked toward her, his eyes blazing. “Oh, I care, Kelly. You can’t accuse me of not caring. I wasn’t the one who threw away what we had. That’s on you. Not me.”

She held up a hand and hastily backed away. Her fingers trembled and she felt precariously light-headed. “Get. Out.”

His nostrils flared and his lip curled up as if he was about to launch another offensive. Then he took a step back and blew out his breath.

“I’ll leave, but I’ll be back at nine tomorrow morning.”

She lifted one eyebrow.

“You have an appointment to see a doctor. I’m taking you.”

He’d been busy while she was gone, and he worked fast. But then for a man like Ryan, all he had to do was pick up a phone. He had countless people to do his bidding. She shook her head in disgust. “Maybe you don’t get it, Ryan. I’m not going anywhere with you. We are nothing to each other. You aren’t responsible for me. I have my own doctor. You aren’t hauling me to another one.”

“And when was the last time you saw this doctor?” he demanded. “You look like hell, Kelly. You aren’t taking care of yourself. That can’t be good for either you or your child.”

“Don’t pretend that you care,” she said softly. “Just do us both a favor and leave.”

He looked like he was going to argue, but again, he bit back the words. He walked toward the door and then turned around to her again. “Nine o’clock tomorrow. You’re going if I have to carry you there myself.”

“Yeah, and maybe hell will freeze over,” she muttered as he slammed out of her apartment.

She woke up early as a matter of habit. A quick check of her watch, however, told her she had overslept by fifteen minutes. She would have to hurry to get to the diner by six. After a brief shower, she pulled on her loose-fitting jumper over a shirt and headed for the door.

She held her breath, almost expecting Ryan to be outside. She shook her head and walked down the stairs. He was messing with her head and making her paranoid. Any thought that she was over him and moving on had been shot to hell the moment he showed up in her diner.

A few minutes later, she hustled into the diner to see that Nina was already at work serving their early-morning breakfast customers. Kelly donned her apron, picked up her order tablet and headed toward her section of tables.

For the first hour, she forced thoughts of Ryan and the dread that he’d make another appearance to the back of her mind. Unfortunately, it was obvious that she failed miserably after she messed up three orders, spilled coffee on a customer and retreated to the kitchen to get herself together.

She’d just given herself a stern lecture, calmed her shaking hands and was preparing to return out front when Ralph burst through the doors, a scowl on his face.

“What the hell are you doing here?”

Kelly frowned. “I work here, remember?”

“Not anymore you don’t. You’re out of here.”

Kelly paled and stared at him as panic rolled through her chest. “You’re firing me?”

“You walked out yesterday during our busiest time. No word, no nothing. You didn’t come back. What the hell did you expect? And now you’re back here this morning and I have a diner full of pissed-off customers because you don’t have your head on right.”

She took a deep breath and tried to steady her nerves. “Ralph, I need this job. Yesterday… Yesterday I got sick, okay? It won’t happen again.”

“Damn right it won’t. I never should have hired you in the first place.” He curled his lip in disgust. “If I hadn’t needed a waitress so desperately, I would have never hired a pregnant woman to begin with.”

Oh God, she didn’t want to beg, but what choice did she have? The chances of her finding another job at this advanced stage of pregnancy were nil. All she needed was a few more months, just until the baby was born. By then she’d have enough money to stop working and take care of her baby. She’d have enough money to finish the rest of her classes.

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