Enjoying the Chase, страница 1часть #2 серии Nothing Left to Lose
As a subtle vibrating started against my leg, I looked up at my captain, wondering what he would do to me if I pulled out my cell phone and checked my incoming message. No doubt he would be seriously pissed if I got caught not listening to his briefing about the raid tomorrow.
Unable to resist peeking to see if it was from Sarah, or Sasha, or whatever the girl’s name was I was supposed to be taking out tonight, I pulled my phone out and took a sneaky look beneath the desk. I already knew that even if I got caught I wouldn’t be taken off point for the operation tomorrow. I was the best sharp shooter he had, so that afforded me a little leniency.
But instead of seeing a message from my date for the night, there were two picture messages from my best friend, Ashton Taylor. As I opened the first one, I was greeted by a cute little scrunched-up and messy-looking baby. My eyes widened as my breath caught in my throat. A moronic grin slipped onto my face as I scrolled to the next message. I saw Ashton’s wife, Anna, holding the baby and smiling proudly. The message underneath read:
‘Anna and baby Cameron both doing great’
“Oh, shit yeah!” I shouted excitedly, forgetting where I was as I leapt from my seat and pumped the air with one fist in celebration.
“Nate Peters, what the hell do you think you’re doing interrupting my briefing?” Captain Elder snapped as all eyes in the room turned to me.
I swallowed, shifting on my feet. “Ashton and Anna had their baby,” I announced, holding the phone up proudly, showing the rest of the team the photo as evidence.
“Yeah? What did they have?” Captain Elder asked, his face softening. He had always liked Ashton, and of course, the whole world was waiting with baited breath on the birth announcement. To say that Anna’s father was an important man would be the understatement of the century. Her father, Tom Spencer, was currently serving his second term in office as President of the United States. Anna, as first daughter, was a celebrity in her own right because of that. The press hung on every word that she and Ashton said and it seemed as though the whole world was gripped with ‘Annaton’ fever, and had been for the last five years since they were first photographed together.
“Little boy,” I answered.
“Well, that’s awesome; I take it everything’s fine? How is Annabelle holding up?” Captain Elder checked.
I nodded in confirmation. “Apparently she’s doing good.”
“That’s great. Now can you sit the fuck down so I can finish my briefing?”
“Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.” I slumped down in my seat, trying to look chastised but, to be honest, I wouldn’t have pulled it off. I couldn’t help but smile proudly. Ashton deserved this; I’d never seen him as happy as his wife made him. Anna was an incredible person, and I couldn’t help but be a little jealous that Ashton had met her first. She was beautiful, smart and funny – everything I hoped I’d find in a girl one day.
I could barely concentrate on the rest of the briefing. All I wanted to do was go to the hospital and meet the newest member of the Taylor family. When we were finally dismissed, I headed into the middle of the team in a bid to get out of the room before Captain Elder spotted me and kicked my ass down to the filing room as punishment for the interruption. Luckily for me, I made it without being called back.
As I walked out of the building, I called the hospital to find out what time visiting hours began in the maternity ward. I was told it wasn’t until seven thirty, so I had a couple of hours to wait. That would give me just enough time to buy a gift for the baby.
As soon as I walked through the door, I knew I was out of my depth. My twenty-five years of life had not prepared me for walking into a baby store. There were all sorts of baby clothes surrounding me: sleep suits, body suits, normal-looking outfits, bibs, blankets… I had no idea what to buy. After looking around hopelessly for ten minutes, I spotted a young, pretty blonde saleswoman standing at the counter.
My game smile slipped onto my face as I headed over to her, leaning on the counter.
“Excuse me, ma’am, do you think you could offer me a little help? In return, I’d love to take you out to dinner.” I smirked as a subtle blush covered her face and a little giggle escaped her lips.
“Sure, Officer, what were you looking for?” she replied, leaning in closer and twirling a lock of her hair around her finger. I wouldn’t even need to buy this girl dinner to get her into bed.
Staying on track and remembering what I was here for, I stood back up and gestured around the store helplessly.
“My best friend just had a little baby boy, so I wanted to get a present or something. Is there anything in particular that I’m supposed to buy?”
She smiled and pushed herself out from behind the counter, swaying her hips as she walked. I couldn’t help but let my eyes slide down to her ass. “How about this?” she suggested, grabbing a little blue and white outfit from the rail, barely even looking at it. “Or we have a bigger selection out back.” She raised one eyebrow suggestively.
I grinned at that. Sure, she was easy, but I wasn’t going to turn down a little backroom action if it was on offer. I knew what this was about – it was the uniform. Chicks dug my S.W.A.T uniform. It probably helped my cause that I was a good-looking guy, even if I did say so myself. I kept myself in shape because of my job; my blonde hair was always styled, my blue eyes stood out and a lot of girls complimented me on them.
“I’d love to see what you have out back,” I replied.
When we were finished fooling around, I made my excuses and headed out of the store without even buying anything for the baby. The girl – Carly she had said her name was – was getting all clingy and kept asking when she was going to see me again. I’d ducked out of there as fast as I could.
A loud groan escaped my lips when I looked at my watch to see that it was already a quarter to seven. I didn’t have time to go anywhere else now so I’d just have to show up without a gift today.
On the way to the hospital, I pulled up and jumped out at the corner store, buying Ashton the biggest, fattest cigar they had. I chuckled as I shoved it in my pocket. He hated even the smell of them, but I was confident I could get him to smoke it if I told him it was tradition.
When I finally arrived at the hospital, I was directed to the maternity ward on the fifth floor. My insides were churning with excitement as I pressed the buzzer on the outer door and waited for the ward sister to let me in. After explaining who I was, and watching her check my name on her ‘approved visitors’ list, she motioned down the hall. As I looked down that way, I spotted Anna’s secret service bodyguard, Rick, sitting on a chair outside room three.
“Hey, man, how you doing?” I greeted, plopping into the seat next to him.
“Yeah good, Nate. You?” He smiled, running a hand through his hair.
“Awesome. You seen him?” I asked, nodding at the door to Anna’s room.
“Yeah, I saw him a couple of hours ago. He’s cute.”
“Did the birth take long?” I asked, genuinely curious.
He winced and sucked in a breath through his teeth. “Yeah, I was in there with her for a little while, while we were waiting for Ashton. Damn, I don’t ever want to see that kind of thing again. It looked fucking painful. The screams… damn.” He shook his head as if trying to shake the memories of it. “She went into labour this morning at about eight o’clock and we came to the hospital at about two. She looked like she really felt it, if you know what I mean.”
I frowned at his answer. Anna has been in labour all day? Ouch! Mental note: don’t make fun of Anna today. “Wow, that’s a long time. I guess I’d better head in and see what all the fuss is about,” I joked.
I pushed open the door to her room. I was so excited to see the baby
Anna and Ashton were sitting up on the bed as I walked in. Ashton’s head snapped up as the door opened – ever protective. He smiled and moved off the bed as I walked in the room and wrapped my arm around him, patting his back proudly.
“Holy shit, you two are parents!” I enthused. “Come on, Ashton, move out the way and let me seduce your girl,” I joked, shoving my best friend out of the way as I leant over and kissed Anna’s cheek. She smiled up at me wearily – it was clear she needed to rest; I wouldn’t stay long. “Well done, Anna,” I congratulated. “So, where is he, can I see him?”
“He’s here.” Anna beamed proudly, motioning towards the side of the bed at the plastic crib.
Okay, first it’s time to tease the new dad! I gripped Ashton’s shoulder tightly and pulled the cigar from my pocket, holding it out to him.
He laughed nervously, subconsciously scrunching his nose up in distaste. “A cigar?”
“Tradition.” I nodded, trying to look serious; I couldn’t wait to get him to smoke it. He’d probably puke his guts up.
“Dude, I hate cigars and so do you.” He looked a little horrified, and I knew just by his face that it was worth the seven bucks I spent on it.
“Taylor, it’s in the movies; the dad and his best friend have to smoke a cigar to welcome the baby into the world. I also have to take you out to get you drunk to wet the baby’s head.” I grinned and turned to walk around the bed to see the baby.
“I guess if it’s in the movies then it must be true,” Ashton mumbled sarcastically.
Anna smiled. “I’ve seen that movie too. Nate’s right, it is tradition, Pretty Boy.”
When I got to the little crib, I looked down at the tiny sleeping baby. “Damn, he’s so small,” I mused. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He was just so perfect. I’d never really looked at a baby before and thought it was cute; usually all I thought about was the responsibility and the expense that went with one. “He’s so beautiful. I’m so glad he looks like you, Anna, and not his dad,” I joked, sneering at Ashton with mock disgust.
Anna chuckled and shook her head. “Want to hold him?”
“Hell yeah. Can you pass him to me though?” I asked, wincing and wondering how I would go about picking him up. I knew you needed to support a baby’s head, but that was about as far as my knowledge went. Instantly, she slipped her hands under Cameron’s little body, lifting him effortlessly and holding him out to me.
He didn’t even stir in his sleep as he was placed in my arms. I smiled down at him affectionately as my heart swelled in my chest. I would make sure that this little kid never wanted for anything.
Ashton sat back on the edge of the bed. “So, Anna and I have been talking, and we wondered if you wanted to be Cameron’s godfather?” he asked, cocking his head to the side and grinning at me.
My mouth fell open in shock. “Seriously? Me?” I asked, looking to see if they were joking. I wasn’t exactly the best role model for a child.
Anna nodded. “Yeah you, Uncle Nate.”
I couldn’t help but laugh when she called me that. Uncle Nate had a certain ring to it. “I’d freaking love that! Thank you, guys, that really means a lot to me.” I looked back down to the little baby in my arms. “Hey, Cameron, I’m your Uncle Nate, and when you’re old enough, I’ll show you all my best moves to help you get girls,” I said quietly, hoping that Anna wouldn’t hear me.
When I looked up at her I saw her and Ashton smiling at each other so tenderly it almost felt as if I was intruding. I’d never really wanted to settle down, but seeing them look at each other like that, while I held a tiny little baby in my arms, I couldn’t help but want that too. I wanted someone to look at me that intently and share their secrets with me without even saying a word.
The door opened behind me, so I turned expectantly, just as an extremely hot girl walked in. She had reddish-brown hair pulled back into a messy twist with tendrils escaping around her pretty face, and big brown eyes. Her body was incredible. Her jeans clung to her pert little behind in a way that made my stomach muscles tighten and my chest puff out unconsciously. As she walked up to the bed, I could do nothing other than stare at her while she kissed and hugged both Anna and Ashton in congratulations.
My mind was whirling, trying to work out who this would be. She had to be someone important to them because she had made the approved visitors list, but I certainly hadn’t seen her before – I would have remembered if I had!
When she turned back to me, she had a beautiful smile stretched across her lips. She held her arms out for Cameron expectantly. “Hi. Stop hogging the baby,” she joked. Her voice was just the right amount of husky, which piqued my interest even further.
“Who the hell are you, and why don’t I have your number?” I smirked at her, waiting for her to giggle and blush. She didn’t. Instead, she rolled her eyes and sighed.
“Uh-oh, slut alert,” she replied sarcastically.
I recoiled, shocked at her brush off. That never happened to me before; girls never turned me down – especially not while I was wearing my uniform! I raised one eyebrow, going for the sexy, cocky approach. Girls really fell for that.
“Excuse me, extremely hot woman that I don’t know, I’m offended by that. You don’t even know me. How can you just come in and make judgment on me based on one thing I say?” I asked, faking hurt.
Her smile turned teasing. “I’m pretty good at reading people, and my gut’s telling me you’re a player. If I’m wrong then I apologise. Getting back to the matter in hand, can I please hold my best friend’s baby?” She stepped closer to me and held out her arms again for Cameron.
Holy shit, she did it again! Another brush off. Had I lost my Nate Peters magic? Or was I actually dreaming? She wasn’t even looking at me; her eyes were firmly locked on the baby in my arms. I frowned, disgruntled. It was a little scary how uninterested this girl actually was in me. She stepped closer, and her sweet perfume enveloped me.
“One date and he’s all yours.” I grinned, hoping to convince her and win her over.
She took her eyes off Cameron long enough to look up at me then. “Sure, how about February 30th? I’m free that day.”
I stared at her, digesting her words. Now that the shock of her knock-back had faded slightly, I realised that I actually quite liked her turning me down. It was a definite first for me.
Without waiting for me to agree, she slipped her hands under Cameron’s body and plucked him effortlessly from my arms. I laughed; still a little bemused by how unaffected she was by me.
“You’re funny and hot, I like it,” I admitted.
She didn’t respond, just looked down at the cute little bundle in her arms. Her face softened, her eyebrows knitted together and tears swam in her eyes. Her lips pursed as she let out a breathy sigh.
“Hi, baby,” she whispered, stroking Cameron’s face with the side of one finger. “Oh, he’s so beautiful.” She shook her head in awe as she sat down on the edge of the bed and stared at him adoringly. “I want one!” She laughed breathlessly.
I decided to turn on my A game. This approach never failed, girls loved commitment comments. “I could help you out with that if you want,” I offered.
She grinned up at me. “Sure. You gonna steal me one from the nursery?”
“Yeah. You want a boy or a girl?” I subtly let my eyes slide over her. “So how come we’ve not met? Who are you, by the way?”
Anna answered before the hot girl could even open her mouth. “This is Rosie, my best friend from college. Rosie, this is Nate Peters,” she waved her hand between us in introduction.
I nodded in understanding. I’d heard of Rosie before; she and Anna had met at school and had been friends ever since but didn’t get to see each other very often because Rosie lived a couple of hours away. Had I known she was this hot I would have paid more attention to Anna when she talked about her.
“I’m gonna let you guys have some peace.” I stood up and looked at Rosie. “Want to get some late dinner or something?”
She smiled up at me and stood too. “Sure, I’m pretty hungry actually.”
She leant over, hugging both Anna and Ashton before bending over and kissing my little godson.
When she was out of the way, I shook Ashton’s hand, beaming at him proudly before kissing Anna’s cheek. I turned back to Rosie and she smiled, heading out of the door. I followed eagerly, watching her pert behind sway as she walked.
Damn, that is one fine ass, and I am definitely going to tap that!
As soon as we were outside of the door, I spotted Rick still sitting exactly where I’d left him earlier. “Hey man, still here?” I asked, frowning.