Preview of Waiting to Play


I toss my phone onto the menu lying on the table just as my brother arrives.

“What’s up with you? That phone is getting the treatment of an empty beer can at a kegger,” he observes as he takes a seat across from me, leaning across to touch my shoulder as a hello.

“Sorry, I just bought a house.”

His face turns puzzled. “You only got here yesterday, and you already saw a house to buy?”

“Nope. Didn’t see the house, just purchased it, all cash. I’m sure it’s a great house, at least the pictures look like it.” I grab my glass of water to drink.

Stone gawks at me. “You what? That doesn’t sound like you.”

I tip my head slightly to the side and flash my eyes. “Well, a house is a small problem right now, and I need one ASAP. And quite frankly, I don’t particularly care if the walls are green or blue.” Or pink if that’s what Isla is going for.

Stone stares at me blankly. “Okay, what am I missing? You look like you’ve seen the eye of a storm.”

A humorless laugh escapes me. “That’s a wonderful reference considering my predicament.”

“I thought you were completely excited for this move, plus your new job.”

I scratch my nose before I lean into the table with my arms. “I sure as hell hope I’ll be able to focus, considering I just discovered that someone I slept with is pregnant.”

My brother’s eyes instantly grow into saucers. “As in… you’re the dad?”

“Yeah, as in I’m the dad. It’s not just that… she’s already about to pop, which means she never told me, with no plans to tell me.”


The waitress arrives with a bright smile then looks between my brother and me, sensing the tension. “I’ll come back in a jiffy.”

“It’s okay.” My brother looks at his watch. “It’s twelve o’clock, I’ll have a beer. This guy here looks like he needs a clear mind, so bring him an iced tea.”

She offers a polite smile and scurries away.

My brother snaps his gaze back to me. “What do you mean she was never going to tell you?”

I hold up three fingers. “I’ve seen her three times since the night we conceived a child. All of those times, she didn’t mention a word, not even a clue. If it weren’t for the fact that by accident I showed up to the hospital, then I don’t think I ever would have known until I saw her on Main Street carrying a kid.” I sound livid because I am.

He blows out a breath. “Holy hell, this is… big news.”

I scrub a hand across my face. “I’m so furious.”

My brother studies me for a few good seconds. “Do you know why she didn’t tell you?”

I scoff a displeased sound. “She said she tried but every occasion there was a reason not to, not the right time.”

He nods in understanding. “Now that you do know, what does she want? Wait, who is she?”

“Isla Chase.”

“As in… Briggs Chase’s…”

“Little sister, yep. Give me another point for making this more complicated.”


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