Cole couldn’t stop sneaking looks at Katie as they drove to the mall. She was just so damn adorable. It
was all he could do not to burst out laughing when she came down the stairs in Liam’s basketball
shorts. They looked like capris on her tiny frame. Cole held it in, though; he knew that hormone city
was only a stupid, thoughtless comment away. And it was torture when those big blue eyes filled with
tears. Cole didn’t want to go through that again.
“Is there something on my face?” Katie began brushing the side of her cheek. Katie had noticed Cole
sending her strange glances ever since she got into the car with him. When he didn’t answer, she
glanced up at him and saw a faint pink on his cheekbones. Was he embarrassed? Undoubtedly, it
would be embarrassing to go shopping with her. Katie grimaced. “Thanks again for taking me, Cole.”
“No problem, Katie-cat. You know we really should work on getting your driving hours in.”
Katie groaned, causing Cole to laugh. “I don’t see why I need a license.”
“I don’t know why you are so afraid,” he responded. “It’s not like we don’t love going to your
appointments, and taking you places. But I think that you would like to know if you needed to be
somewhere you could just drive yourself. It’s worrisome if Liam or I are not at home.”
Katie felt a familiar churning in her stomach, the thought of driving always made her ill. “I will consider
Cole looked over at her. “You always say that.”
“And I’m considering it!” she snapped.
Knowing when to leave well enough alone, Cole turned up the radio. But he was worried about her not
being able to drive. What if something happened to her or the baby? He and Liam tried to be there as
much as they could, especially now that Katie was pregnant, but there were times when she was left
alone. He knew that obsessing over Katie was a bad idea. That only led to him having other kinds of
feelings, ones that he didn’t much want to explore.
“We are finally here; are you just going to wait in the car?” Katie asked hopefully.
“Hell, no,” he unbuckled his seat belt and unclicked hers. “There is no way I’m sitting in the car while
some idiot in the mall tries to pick you up.”
“That only happened once, Cole!”
A few months ago, they had all gone over to the mall. Liam and Cole had gone to look at the music
store. Katie had stopped at Victoria’s Secret; while she was walking out a guy tried hitting on her. At
first, she was flattered, he seemed a little older, though, and so Katie decided to shut it down. But the
guy didn’t want to take no for an answer; he grabbed her arm tightly, and suggested they find
someplace quiet. Katie was feeling real panic when she heard her brother yelling at her to hurry up and
join them. The guy looked around and saw Liam and Cole; he dropped her arm and took off. Katie was
Cole gritted his teeth. “Once is all it takes.”
They walked in together and went to the one and only maternity store in town. Money wasn’t an issue,
Liam had given Katie a credit card to use. He knew that she was responsible and wouldn’t buy the
place out. They had been left fairly well situated with the life insurance policies from their parents. But
Liam was careful just the same. He knew that life threw unexpected things at you. It was better to be
safe than sorry.
“I cannot wear these tents.”
At Katie’s horrified tone he looked over and saw she had a t-shirt that said, ‘baby on board’ with an
arrow pointing down. Cole snorted; he couldn’t see her wearing that either. Just then the saleswoman
came up to them. You could tell from her expression she was not thrilled about their age.
“May I help you?”
Katie immediately said, “No!”
Just as Cole replied, “Yes.”
The saleswoman looked at Katie to Cole. “How far along are you, dear?”
“Sixteen weeks,” Katie mumbled.
The woman's judgment slammed into, “And are you the father?”
The first time someone asked this question Cole about wet himself. It was at Dr. William’s office when
they had first heard the heartbeat.
Katie said the same thing then that she did now, “My baby doesn’t have a father, this is my friend,
The saleswoman eyed him once again, and Cole felt the urge to stick his tongue out at her. But then
she turned to Katie, “I see. So, I would imagine that at sixteen weeks the things in your closet are
getting a little bit tight.”
Katie nodded. “I can’t get into any of my jeans.”
“Come with me, dear, we will find just the things for you.” The saleswoman started leading Katie to the
Cole wasn’t sure if he was supposed to follow them. This looked like female territory, and he wondered
if males were even allowed in.
But then Katie turned around and gave him an exasperated look, “Cole, come on! I’m not doing this
Cole grinned; he would follow her just about anywhere.