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Excerpt for Flirting With Ranch City (Ranch City Book 1) by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Flirting With Ranch City

Ranch City Book 1


Copyright © 2018 by Bridgitte Lesley

Published by Bridgitte Lesley

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review or scholarly journal.


Publishers note:

FLIRTING WITH RANCH CITY (RANCH CITY BOOK 1) is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or locations is purely coincidental. The characters are a creation of the author’s imagination and are used fictitiously.


First Printing: 2018

Bridgitte Lesley

P O Box 612, Uvongo, 4270, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Republic of South Africa

www.bridgittelesley.com


Acknowledgement

I would like to thank my Mom without whose help this book would never have been completed.


Thank you for your patience and guidance, your use of the editor’s red pen…

Chapter 1

Carol felt as though she was lugging her body around. She parked her van and carefully climbed out and closed the door. She was glad she could find a parking near to the entrance of the restaurant. Carol slowly walked from the van. She didn’t know why Jacob wanted to meet her for lunch. He knew she was feeling out of sorts. As she walked closer, she reached for the pole holding the advertising board for a little support as she took a few breaths. Her back had been sore the entire day. Her body ached. Adam raised his glass and something caught his eye. He watched Carol as she seemed to straighten up and slowly start walking. Adam looked at her tiny protruding tummy. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her she was so beautiful. Carol slowly walked up the stairs. Trying to muffle her huffs and puffs. She was glad to reach the top step, and she stopped. It felt as though everyone was watching her. Adam watched as she walked along at a slow pace. He felt something inside his body react to her. He wanted to get up and help her. Just hold her and make sure she was fine. He felt his whole body as it came alive. Not sexually, but in a more caring way. She suddenly stopped and stood still as she reached his table. Carol watched as Jacob stood and kissed a woman. It wasn’t a peck on the cheek but a proper kiss. She gasped as she looked at him with the woman in his arms. The women kept chopping and changing daily but she drew the line at married women. He slowly released the woman and nodded and she looked at Carol and stared at her. Carla knew she had been caught red handed. She almost rushed out of the restaurant and flew past Carol. Adam watched everything that was going on. Carol held on to the table. “Please call an ambulance,” Carol whispered. She turned around and started walking the same way she had walked minutes ago. Jacob ran up to her. Carol turned and put her hand up as if to ward him off. “I don’t want to hear another excuse. I am so sick and tired of you. If you were a woman, I would call it whoring around. Jacob, I have had enough! Married women? Oh that is looking for trouble!” Carol yelled.

“But—” Jacob said.

“Why on earth am I here? You can sleep with anyone you choose. But it won’t be me. Keep your girlfriends out of my bedroom. I need to go. Goodbye,” Carol said and felt as though she was walking on jelly. Adam got up and put his hand beneath her arm and held her to support her. He lifted her up in to his arms and almost sprinted to his van. David was hot on his heels. He took Adam’s keys out of his pocket and opened the van. Carol puffed and panted as she almost lay on the front seat.

Jacob stood at the door. “Carol!” Jacob yelled.

Adam looked at him. “Not now, bud. I think you have already done enough damage,” Adam said and climbed in to the van. “David, I will catch up with you later, son.”

“You okay, Dad?” David asked.

“Going to be fine. Phone my office and let them know I am on my way,” Adam said as he sped off.

David stood and made a call to the hospital. After requesting that they prep for an emergency delivery it sounded as though excitement was crackling in the air. He phoned his sister. “Alice, this is kind of weird. So, we were out to lunch, and this lady walked in. Very pregnant. Dad could not take his eyes off of her. A weird set up because the chap she was meeting was having a bit of a romp in the restaurant with another woman. Dad got up and carried the woman and put her in to the van. I guess he is going to deliver the baby,” David said.

“Dad vowed he would never deliver another baby,” Alice said.

“Yeah, so, you see. That is what I am saying. His team is on standby,” David said.

“An oldish woman?” Alice asked.

“Young. I reckon my age,” David said.

“Must I pick you up?” Alice asked.

“Alice. Pick me up and we are going to the hospital,” David said and Alice gurgled with laughter as she cut the call.


“You okay?” Adam asked.

“Yes,” Carol whispered as she squeezed her eyes shut. “He isn’t the father. Just a menace to society. I rent one of his rooms. I am a surrogate,” Carol said and gasped for air. “I was a surrogate. Then they were killed in an accident three months ago and I am walking around with a baby no one wants. So I am keeping her. Her father was tall, dark, and very handsome. He looked a bit like you,” Carol said and took a deep breath. “She looked a lot like me. Same hair coloring and height. Very much like me. I have to keep her. I am not married. Jacob was a poor excuse of a friend in time of need. He likes the ladies. I am employed. I clocked up a lot of hours and took off a year as paid leave. I am a pilot. My name is Carol,” she said.

“I am Adam. I am a doctor. I delivered my last baby six months ago. She was stillborn, and I said never again. But I feel drawn to you and your little girl,” he said.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

“Don’t be. Carol who?” he asked.

“Carol Right. The way you spell left,” she said and Adam grinned.

“Adam Patterson. Just the way you would spell Patterson. We are here and the wheelchair is waiting. I am going to deliver your little girl,” he said and pulled up to the entrance of the hospital. Carol was in the wheelchair within seconds. Adam didn’t even switch his van off but sprinted to surgery. He knew the guard would park his van for him. He was prepped and ready within minutes. Carol lay on the bed and Adam smiled and looked at her. “Just relax and do as we say,” he said, and she nodded. Half an hour later Adam and his team delivered the tiniest little baby girl they had ever seen. The team whooped with joy.

Carol lay and laughed. The tears poured down her cheeks from sheer joy. She held her little girl in her arms. “Eve. Evelyn for short,” Carol said and closed her eyes and passed out from exhaustion. The nurse smiled and took Eve and held her.

“Doctor Patterson?” she asked.

“Wheel Carol in to one of my wards. Let’s get Evelyn May Patterson cleaned up and put in to a bassinet and in to Carol’s ward with her. I’m back. I feel whole,” Adam said and put out his hands and took Eve and held her. “What a beautiful little girl. She looks just like her Mummy,” Adam said and everyone hovered around him. They all looked at him as the little girl’s name seemed to register.

“Does this mean we can start delivering babies again Doctor Patterson?” Tanya, one of the nurses asked.

“What do you think, Tanya?” Adam asked.

“I think so,” Tanya said and Adam smiled and nodded. “We will contact Miss Right’s parents. Their details are in the file.”

“Yes please,” Adam said and Tanya took Eve from him.

He stood and thought for a while. He took Carol’s details and a copy of her documentation from the file and walked out. He didn’t know what possessed him but he walked out of the hospital and over the road to the home affairs offices. He registered Evelyn May Patterson as his daughter. He walked back and went straight through to Carol’s ward. He sat on the edge of the bed and held Carol’s hand. He admired Eve as she lay fast asleep. She had been cleaned and was wrapped up in a blanket.


Alice opened the door and whispered. “Dad.”

“Come in sweetheart. Carol is fast asleep. Meet your sister,” Adam said and Alice stared at the basinet. She didn’t even hesitate but lifted Eve up and held her.

“Oh Dad. I want to cry,” Alice said and felt as the tears trickled down her cheeks. She moved and stood next to Adam and he put his arm around her.

“Alice, don’t ask,” Adam said, and she shook her head and smiled. “I need you to take my bank card and go and buy premature nappies and vests, suits and blankets.”

David walked in and smiled. He walked up to Adam and hugged him. “Swell, Dad. Babies are your thing,” David whispered.

“David, take my bank card. Carol is going to come home with us. She needs to rest for a while. I suppose we should tell Mavis to get the cot dusted off,” Adam said.

“Dad, my cot is twenty years old. Seriously?” David asked and chuckled.

“Built properly. If you can buy a little carrier please. But she needs premature suits and nappies. Her name is Eve. Evelyn May Patterson. Her grandparents will be here in half an hour,” Adam said.

“Well then we had better move,” Alice said and Adam took Eve in to his arms. They quietly walked out.

David and Alice walked out and walked faster and faster. They stood at the lift and looked at each other. Alice put out her arms and hugged David. “David, this is serious. I think something has been going on for a while and we didn’t know. Eve looks so much like Dad it is uncanny. A little of you and a little of me. Carol is a stunner!” Alice said.

“Yeah, when Dad spotted Carol you could see the love in his eyes,” David said and grinned.


Carol sat up and looked at Adam. She put her hands out and he put Eve in her arms. “She had her first feed. She is supposed to be sleeping in the bassinet. Adam, thank you. What do I do now?” Carol asked.

“Nothing. I registered Evelyn May Patterson just after she was born. The documentation is in your file. Your parents will be here shortly. How do you feel?” Adam asked.

“I feel bewildered. I am so proud and I am in love. I love her. I tried not to fall in love with her but when her parents both died I couldn’t help myself. I vowed to be the best mom in the world. They didn’t tell anyone about her. What now? I want to be her mom,” Carol said.

“You most definitely are. I think something happened inside your body because she looks a lot like you. She even has your fingers and your nose,” Adam said.

“Please put her in to the bassinet. I need to get up,” Carol said.

Adam took Eve in to his arms and held her. Carol slowly got up and sat on the edge of the bed and smiled. They both looked at Eve’s long fingers. “My housekeeper is busy getting things ready for you and Eve. My son and daughter are out shopping. Eve is rather small, and she needs tiny things. I take it you were living with Jacob,” Adam said.

“Purely as a tenant. Can we erase that name? Even though his is a biblical name he is not biblical at all,” Carol said.

Adam bellowed with laughter. “You are coming home with me. Your parents should be here any minute now,” Adam said as the door opened.

Sheila gasped and Adam handed Eve to her. She sat down and oohed and aahed. She looked at Adam. “I rather like you. She has your curly hair. The Right family’s long fingers and where is her suit? Carol, didn’t you pack an overnight bag? Details please,” Sheila said.

“Mom and Dad, meet Eve May Patterson. This is Adam Patterson. Her full name is Evelyn but please don’t call her that. Just Eve,” Carol said.

“Congratulations Carol. Nice to meet you Adam. Congratulations Mom and Dad,” Sheila said.

Adam grinned and looked at Carol. “My first granddaughter. I hoped it was a little girl. Boys are fine but I wanted a little Eve. Well done my girl,” Roger said.

“Thanks Dad,” Carol said and smiled.

“You still have three months of leave. You are most welcome to stay with us. We can help,” Sheila said.

“Carol is coming home with me. We have been in limbo for a while. Eve’s bedroom is being spruced up as we speak,” Adam said.


Mavis shrieked as Alice phoned her. She ran out of the house and called a few of the men to help her as she spoke to Alice. “Baby powder, lotion, hair shampoo, nappies, and bedding!” Mavis yelled as she ran.

“Mavis slow down. I am trying to get everything as you speak,” Alice said.

“Just think lotions. From the head to the toe. Buy lots of nappies. You say Eve is petite so buy everything for a premature baby. Just load the trolley. We need a lovely fluffy towel and we need lots of baby blankets. I have the boys taking the bed out of the bedroom. Oh wait!” Mavis yelled as she ran in to the bedroom and had the men move the bed to one side. The cot was carried in to the bedroom. “Okay. The room will be ready for Eve and Carol. Your father is naughty not telling us. I bet Eve is beautiful. Everything will be here and ready by tomorrow morning. And I mean everything,” Mavis said and gurgled with delight.

Alice laughed as she cut her call. They walked up and down every single aisle and filled the trolley. David carried the little carrier. They chose a special suit for Eve to come home in. After shopping they made their way back to the hospital. David and Alice walked in to Carol’s ward and laughed. Adam sat chatting to Sheila and Roger. Carol was fast asleep and Eve was in Adam’s arms. Alice took Eve and put her nappy on and dressed her in a new suit. Eve opened her eyes and seemed to give a big sigh. Carol sat up and Alice handed Eve to her and pulled the curtain around the bed. Adam got up and helped and made sure Carol managed. Although Carol was a little shy, she didn’t feel embarrassed. Adam winked and closed the curtain and joined the family who were already in conversation. Carol finished feeding Eve and covered herself up. She held Eve against her chest and the tears suddenly flowed. She kept wiping them away. Adam went to check on Carol. He pulled the curtain closed and took her hand in to his. “Don’t cry sweetheart,” Adam said.

“Eve didn’t have anyone. Now she has us,” Carol said and smiled and wiped her tears away.

“No, Eve now has a mummy and a daddy. A brother and sister, grandparents and aunts and uncles too. You and Eve are going to live with me and the family. You touched my heart, Carol. I couldn’t take my eyes off of you. My parents are on their way. I introduced you as my other half. My Dad is so excited. Mom is in tears. Jake and Sally are coming too,” Adam said.

“They mustn’t know,” Carol said as he took Eve in to his arms.

“That Eve is our baby girl? Oh sweetheart we can’t hide that fact,” Adam said and smiled. “Ready?” Carol nodded, and he opened the curtain.

Jake and Sally, Carol’s brother and sister walked in to the ward. They were immediately swept up in to the conversation and holding Eve. Mya and Ralph, Adam’s parents, walked in to the ward. Mya took Eve in to her arms and wiped her tears away. “Adam, this is what I need. I had lost all hope of you ever bouncing back,” Mya said and walked over to Carol. She held her hand and smiled. “And I see why. Well done. And thank you,” Mya said. She smiled and looked down at Eve. “Thank you for a beautiful little granddaughter,” Mya said as Ralph walked over and carefully took Eve in to his arms. Mya walked right up to Carol and went close up to her eyes. “Your make up is stunning. How do you manage to look as though you have just been made up?” Mya asked.

“Semi-permanent make-up for the eyeliner. And eyelash extensions,” Carol said.

“You put me to shame, and this takes half an hour. It is so good to meet you. You have blessed us all with little Eve,” Mya said.

Carol moved and sat up in the bed. Adam walked over and helped her to sit on the edge of the bed. “Sorry, Carol, we didn’t know. We haven’t seen you for at least six months,” Jake said.

“We all live fast-paced lives, Jake. How is your business doing?” Carol asked.

“I am so busy. I have regular clients now. I am thinking of extending the rooms. The minute a pet owner realizes we are down the road they come in for the monthly injections and things like that,” Jake said.

“And you Sally?” Carol asked.

“Still working at the salon. I have established a good customer base. Next year I am going to start my own salon,” Sally said.

“I don’t want to hear that again. I want to see you in action and doing what you say you are going to do,” Carol said and smiled.

“I already started buying things I need. My savings are there for the salon,” Sally said.

“Promise,” Carol said and Sally nodded.

“Are you going to stop work?” Sheila asked.

“I have been off for a year, Mum. I am back on the job in three months’ time,” Carol said and looked at Adam.

“By then we will have a routine in place,” Adam said and Carol stood up. “Carol?”

Carol took the gown and put it over the pajamas. “Can’t lie in bed all the time,” Carol said as she walked over to Adam and sat down next to him. Eve was put in to the bassinet.

“Carol will be home with Eve tomorrow,” Adam said. He took out a business card and wrote the address on the back and handed it to Roger. “Please feel free to stop by and visit. We enjoy entertaining. Bring an overnight bag when you visit. My parents and David and Alice’s friends prefer staying over,” Adam said and Sheila nodded and smiled.

“And we will. I don’t like the idea of going out and driving home late,” Sheila said.

They all looked up as Karl and Patricia walked in. “Karl! Meet Carol and my daughter Eve,” Adam said.

“Hell! Well done! Nice to meet you, Carol!” Karl said and shook Carol’s hand.

Patricia looked at Eve and then at Carol. “My God! You have tattoos! Look at your hair! Do you think you are a punk rocker? My God Adam! To stoop this low and get someone knocked up and be happy about it! Hell, no! You are pulling our family down in to the gutters!” Patricia yelled.

Eve suddenly let out a loud cry. Carol stood up. “Get out! Who the hell do you think you are! Everyone out! Out! Out!” Carol yelled and pointed towards the door. Sheila looked at her. “Out! Get out!” Carol yelled. It was the fastest clearing out of a room. Adam stood up and looked at her. “Out, please,” Carol whispered. Adam nodded and walked out and closed the door. Carol picked Eve up and rocked her in her arms. “Just too much baby girl. I am so sorry. We will be fine,” Carol said as though she was pacifying herself as well. She sat down and held Eve and looked at her. She felt as the tears trickled down her cheeks. She wiped them away. Carol opened the baby blanket and smiled. “You have a beautiful little suit. Everyone has been so kind. Tomorrow we will go and get all our goodies. Then we will make plans for the future. You might be flying around the world in a few weeks’ time. The flying won’t change but life will,” Carol said.


Adam pulled Patricia down the passage and pushed her in to the visiting room. Everyone followed and took a seat. Patricia stood with her arms crossed over her chest. “How could you do that to this family! We hardly know her. Correction. We do not know her!” Patricia yelled.

“That little girl, Evelyn May Patterson, is my daughter. David and Alice’s sister. Let me introduce you to Sheila and Roger, Carol’s parents. And Jake and Sally her brother and sister. Does my life have anything to do with you?” Adam asked and it was eerily quiet in the visiting room. “I haven’t seen you in over a year. Where have you been? Do you ever phone Mum and Dad? I think not. An SMS sent to Mom is not enough, Patricia. Let me fill you in shall I? Carol Right, is actually Captain Carol Right who is a pilot. She works for the airlines and flies across the world. Carting hundreds of passengers to and from their homes and holiday destinations. To every capital in this world. She is more comfortable flying a Boeing but she can fly jets too. What is wrong with a tattoo? Who gives you the right to judge people by their hairstyle and make up they wear? It must be terrible to be perfect. Carol and Eve will be moving in with us tomorrow. You have an apology to make. We will be waiting right here. I don’t think you want to make enemies with Carol. She will soon be my better half,” Adam said.

“I will not apologize,” Patricia said.

Ralph stood up and looked at Patricia. “I think you should. I am so embarrassed I can die!” Ralph said. “Go and apologize.”

Patricia stood with everyone’s eyes trained on her. She walked out and closed the door. She walked towards Carol’s ward and stood outside the door. “Oh baby girl. You have a wonderful daddy and a super family. A big sister and a big brother. So much more than lots of little girls. Your daddy delivered you in to this world. That is so special. But now it is time to sleep,” Carol said and lay her in the bassinet.

Patricia knocked and walked in and closed the door. “Carol, I’m sorry. I didn’t know Adam was dating. It was such a shock. I didn’t mean the things I said,” Patricia whispered.

“Take a seat Patricia,” Carol said and walked over and sat down. Patricia sat down and looked at her. “I am not a little girl. I am deep in my thirties. If I choose to have tattoos, then that is what I will do. My hair is kept short because I wear a hat. I keep it neat and tidy all the time because I work odd hours. Think what you like, but never shoot your mouth off before you have all the facts at hand. I don’t need an apology. But your family does,” Carol said.

“I am sorry. I really am. Adam has never dated. David was a baby and their mother left. Adam vowed he would never date anyone again. When I saw you I got such a shock. He was so young and was really hurt. She was much older than him. She led him by the nose. They were married in a short space of time. She had Alice and then David. She vanished in to thin air. Karl found her years later. Serving a life sentence for murdering her boyfriend. I will let Adam tell you about her. Can I hold her?” Patricia asked.

“Yes, of course,” Carol said and picked Eve up and handed her to Patricia.

“She is beautiful. She has your coloring. And she has our long fingers. It runs in the family. And the curly hair. She is so small. Did Adam deliver her?” Patricia asked.


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