Promises on the Beach
Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Kathy Kalmar
Word Count :35768
Publication Date :2020-07-31
Series : Beach#0
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-4874-2948-5
Mellie, who has sworn off all men after a shark of a man attacked her heart, prefers to study real sharks in Hawaii, but she could fall overboard when TJ, bandleader of TJ and the Sharks, circles her with his promises of oceans of love on the beach.
Spunky Mellie Wheaton, recovering from a case of terminally bad judgment when it comes to men, is determined to concentrate on her new job in Hawaii as a marine biologist. That is, until her fishing line tangles with handsome hunk TJ, lead singer in the boy band TJ and the Sharks at her brother’s wedding. Dismissing him as simply another hot surfer dude who sings, she sees he has his sights set on her.
TJ is more than meets the eye. He’s an up and coming expert in oceanic ecology and heads a prestigious research study Mellie joins. While serious about sharks─ especially tiger sharks─ he finds himself nibbling a fish here and there but has yet to land the catch of his dreams. Soon he’s entangled in Mellie’s line and becomes hooked by her charms, but Mellie isn’t that easily captured.
Time spent together on the ocean conducting research under the balmy trade winds and hot Hawaiian sunshine lures them toward love until Wolfe, her ex, follows her to Oahu determined to capture and land her heart once and for all. It’s all up to Mellie. Can she survive her tsunami of feelings? Keep her independence? Or will one of the men become her catch of the day?
Dean Chance Matthew’s desk phone rang. He pressed talk.
“Zach is on line three,” his secretary’s voice announced.
He immediately picked up the receiver, and Zach started babbling before he even said hello.
“She’s what?” Chance screeched. “Your mother isn’t due yet.”
“Sounds to me like she needs to go to the hospital,” Zach, his thirteen-year-old stepson said.
Chance blew out a breath. In-out-in-out. Just like the birth classes taught us.
“It’s three weeks too early!” He ran his hand through his slightly long hair. With the babies coming, he just hadn’t had time to get a trim. If things had gone according to plan, he’d have kept his hair appointment. But the surprise baby shower had put the kibosh to that.
He was still dealing with the haul from the baby shower held the previous day. There was a ton of stuff to up pack, assemble, and put in place.
Caren can’t be in labor now! His breathing was fast and shallow. He began to perspire. He wiped a hand across his sweaty forehead and noticed his hand was shaking. He inhaled, but letting the air out again was not as easy as actually doing it.
Calm down. Women have babies every day. But the woman having a baby this time wasn’t just any woman. It was Caren, his love, his life, and she was having his baby—early! Snap out of it. Pay attention!
Zach was talking. “I know, but Mom said to call you, cuz it’s happening now. Hurry up and get home.”
“Okay. I’ll be right there.” He snatched his keys off the desk and barreled out the door, the receiver still in his grip. He pulled the phone off the desk in his hurry. It hit the floor with a bounce and disconnected. Shit! “My phone! Where the hell is my damn phone?”
His secretary, hearing the commotion, rushed into his office, grabbed his cell phone, handed it to him, and said in a dry tone, “In your hand now. Settle down. Babies are born every day. “
“My babies aren’t!” Chance glanced at the cell phone and grinned. “Call my sister-in-law, Nikki Nolan. You have her number. Tell her to call Grandpa Gus, and Grandma Daisy, too.”
“Done and done. They’re all on their way over. Settle down. Drive safely.”
Heart in his stomach, Chance Matthews sped home to his pregnant wife. Let them be okay. His first wife, Angie, and the baby she carried had died in a car accident. He could not lose Caren. Not after all we’ve been through. Hell, we’ve been through enough.
Chance had been ready to give up when Angie had died at the hands of a drunk driver. He had gone a little crazy then. It had been a daily struggle to keep going. For years afterward, he’d led a half-life. But he’d found a reason to live again after he met Caren on a Hawaiian vacation they had both won.
Caren had nearly drowned on that trip, getting caught by a rogue riptide. And if that wasn’t enough, an erupting volcano had threatened Chance’s life. They needed to catch a break. Chance only hoped God saw it his way. Please!
He pulled into their driveway as Nikki, Caren’s sister, was getting out of her car.
Their adoptive grandparents, Gus and Daisy, were calming Emily, his stepdaughter, standing on the porch.
Caren stood next to them, gritting her teeth and holding her abdomen, obviously struggling to bite back screams as the pain doubled her over. Low groans escaped through her clenched lips.
“Take her and go,” Gus said grimly. “Daisy and I have the kids, they’ll be fine. Get out of here!”
Caren’s pregnancy had been normal. Until this. She was approaching her mid-thirties, but she wasn’t technically a high-risk pregnancy. If I lose her now… and the baby…
His wife struggled to give him a smile, but it came across more like a grimace.
Chance helped buckle her into the car while Nikki got into the back seat. Then he sped off, barely registering the stop sign as he barreled right through it. He took the next corner on two wheels and barely noticed the red light. Then, at last, he skidded to a stop in front of the emergency room entrance.
“I’m fine,” Caren said. “Relax. Breathe. I gave birth early with both Zach and Emily.”
“Are you trying to reassure me or you?”
“Both.” She grinned.
The security attendant helped Caren into the nearby wheelchair while Chance dealt with the paperwork.
Mark Wheaton, his soon to be brother-in-law, met Chance on the maternity floor.
“Nikki joined Caren in the labor room,” he told Mark, gesturing down the hallway. Chance again raked his hands through his hair as he paced the confines of the hall. A nurse finally showed up to take him to the labor room.
Someone was yelling at the top of her lungs. “Drugs! Give me drugs no matter what my birth plan says.”
Chance winced and glanced at Mark. “Caren has a set of lungs on her.” He would recognize her voice anywhere.
She had warned him she might cave in to the pain.
He wasn’t allowed to let her give in. Those were his marching orders.
Nikki was not under those orders, so she dashed out of the room and went off to find someone who could help. She had been with Caren for the births of both Zach and Emily.
Caren had gone without drugs the first two times, but she was seven years older now.
Chance threw up his hands. Should I talk her off the ledge?
No one argued with her, but by the time Nikki found someone, the first baby had crowned. Drugs weren’t an option any longer. They transferred Caren to the delivery room.
Chance accompanied her, stroking her arm, trying to support her.