Stranded With The Boss(61)

By: Elizabeth Lane


 Seattle, one year later

 Holding one twin by each hand, Dragan stood next to the mayor to watch   his wife cut the ceremonial ribbon on the new women and children’s clinic. He   couldn’t have been more proud of her. The Markovic Foundation, using invested   money from the settlement, had been Tessa’s idea. The idea of building free or   low-cost clinics in poor neighborhoods had been hers, too. She’d done everything   from finding the site and choosing the architect to hiring the contractor. Now   that the first clinic was a reality, there would be more scheduled.

 He suppressed a smile as she reached around her swollen belly   to manipulate the scissors. At nine months pregnant, she hadn’t been sure she   would make it to the ribbon-cutting. Just to be safe, Dragan had the new family   Volvo parked close by.

 As the ribbon parted and the applause broke out, two-year-old   Maddie tore loose from his hand and ran to her mother’s side. “Pretty!” she   said, grabbing a cut end of the red satin ribbon. “Mine!”

 Laughing, the mayor took the scissors and cut her a two-foot   length of ribbon. But Maddie wasn’t finished. She pointed to the other half of   the ribbon. “Missy!” she demanded.

 “I’m sorry,” Tessa said. “She wants a piece for her sister,   too.”

 Still laughing, the mayor cut more ribbon. Maddie took it and   scampered back to her sister. Tessa was laughing, too, but suddenly a startled   look came over her face.

 Dragan’s heart dropped. Scooping up the twins, he reached her   side in three long strides.

 “Now?” he asked, leaning close to Tessa’s ear.

 She gave him a pain-laced smile. “I’m afraid so. Get me to the   car.”

 Still holding the twins, he bulled his way through the crowd,   reached the car and helped her into the passenger seat. “Let’s go, girls,” he   said, buckling them into their safety seats. “I think we’re about to meet your   little brother.”

 Dragan eased the car onto the street, driving fast but   carefully. He had precious cargo aboard—his family.

 Tessa’s hand tightened on his knee, gripping hard as a   contraction passed. She’d had a worry-free pregnancy. The baby was healthy, and   their doctor had assured him all would go well. Still, it would be a great   relief to see the baby delivered safely and a joy to hold his son in his arms   for the first time.

 They hadn’t planned to have the twins along when they went to   the hospital. But there was no time to drop them off at home, so Dragan would   have to figure out what to do when they got there. That was typical. Things   seldom went by plan in the Markovic household.

 The past year had been a crazy roller-coaster ride, with the   small, private wedding, the passionate honeymoon, the move to a new home, the   pregnancy and the ongoing chaos of raising twin redheads. What would the coming   year be like with a new baby in the house?

 Never mind, bring it on, Dragan told himself. For twenty years,   until Tessa and her twins had dropped into his life, he’d been emotionally   frozen. He’d forgotten how to feel, how to live. Now every day was a new   adventure, and he faced each morning with gratitude—so much gratitude. It was as   if Tessa and her little ones had brought him back from the dead. They had saved   him.

 Her hand tightened on his knee again. “I love you,” she   whispered.

 Dragan felt the welling of tears. “I love you, too,” he said.   “All four of you.”

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