The Delivery of Decor (Shiloh Ridge Ranch in Three Rivers #7) - Liz Isaacson
Ward Glover paced in the hospital. How long did it take to have a baby? Honestly, he’d been here for three hours and his sister’s babies should be tiny, seeing as how there were two of them being born at the same time.
He cast a look at his eldest brother, but Ranger didn’t seem concerned about anything but the game on his phone. “You should sit down,” he said when Ward went by again. “Pacing won’t make Brady bring the twins out faster.”
Ward simply grunted at him and kept walking. This time, he didn’t turn around and go back by the chairs and couches the Glovers had claimed in the maternity waiting area.
He rounded a corner and pressed his back into it, breathing in deeply through his nose. He pushed it out the way the counselor at Courage Reins had taught him. He’d been going to the equine therapy facility for a few months now, and he’d doubled his sessions over the past three weeks.
Since Thanksgiving, when Dorothy Crockett told him she “liked him and all, but she didn’t want to mix business and pleasure.”
Ward didn’t even know what that meant. She still didn’t have the gravel he wanted, and they’d only been out a few times since he’d gotten brave enough to be straight with her. He’d held her hand and spent plenty of time talking and flirting with her, but he hadn’t kissed her yet.
He’d been texting her in the twenty-four days since she’d told him that, and she responded. He suspected there was more at play than she’d said, but he hadn’t been able to get anything more from her.
Thinking quickly, before he could change his mind, he took out his phone and tapped on her name right at the top of his app. He’d pinned her there, and he wasn’t embarrassed about it.
Ida’s having the babies. I thought you might like to know.
Dot lived only a couple of blocks from Ida and Brady, and one of their dates had been a double with Ward’s sister and brother-in-law.
Since Dot was literally the nicest woman on town, she’d become fast friends with Ida, and Ward knew the two had spent some time together over the past few months.
How exciting! Dot said in response. She must be thrilled. She was really hurting a couple of days ago.
His sister had been experiencing some labor pains, as well as the reduced ability to breathe and swollen legs and ankles in the recent past. All pregnancy-related.
Ward stared at the conversation, wondering how he could get Dot to talk to him.
You can’t, he told himself. She was a grown woman who was older than him, and she got to make her own choices.
And she hadn’t chosen him.
The realization cut through him like an electric knife, made his breath catch somewhere between his throat and his lungs.
She hadn’t chosen him.
You’ll never guess who I just spoke to, Dot said, and Ward seized the opportunity to talk to her.
Lionsgate Gravel. They have the thirty-five in bulk, and I got as much as I could.
Ward’s hopes lifted, and instead of texting her, he tapped the green phone icon to call her.
“I knew you’d call,” she said, and she sure sounded downright flirty to him. “Nothing excites you as much as thirty-five gravel.”
Ward cleared his throat. “Oh, I can think of a few things more exciting,” he said.
She giggled, and Ward knew for certain she was flirting with him now. What he didn’t know was why. Or why she’d turned cold a few weeks ago.
“You want the gravel, right?” she asked after she’d stopped laughing.
“How much do you have?”
“Enough to fill the order you put in a couple of years ago.”
“Wow,” he said. “Yeah, I want that. All of it.” He stared across the hall to the bland hospital wall looking back at him. “Maybe you’d let me take you to dinner to discuss delivery?” He almost coughed but managed to suck it back at the last second. “I mean, I’m already in town.”
“At the hospital, Woods.”
He grinned at her sarcastic tone and the use of his real name. “The cafeteria here has great food,” he said.
“I’m not eating somewhere called a cafeteria. I’m not in grade school.”
No, she wasn’t. Not even close, Ward thought as he imagined the curvy blonde. And the first time he’d seen her rumble up in her dump truck and climb down like she owned the world….
Ward could barely breathe just remembering it. He didn’t want to say, “Name the time and