Faking Forever (First Wives #4) - Catherine Bybee

Chapter One

“I’m going to have a baby.” Stunned silence met Shannon’s announcement.

The First Wives, as they called their tiny club, consisted of four women, three of which were now married for the second time, and Shannon.

“You’re pregnant?” Avery, the hostess, asked.

Shannon quickly shook her head and set her wine aside. “Not yet. But I made my decision. I’m giving myself six months to do this the natural way. If that doesn’t work, I’ll schedule an appointment with a fertility clinic.”

Shannon had hinted at her desire to become a mother several months before, but with Avery and Trina still in the honeymoon stages of their marriages, Shannon didn’t want to take away from their recent marital bliss and put the spotlight on herself. In fact, it wasn’t in Shannon’s nature to stand in the spotlight at all.

Lori, the lady lawyer who had founded the group of First Wives, regarded her with a narrowing of the eyes. “Do we have a baby daddy in mind?”

Shannon offered a placating smile. “If there was someone, you’d all know about it.”

“You’re going to have sex with a stranger.” It wasn’t a question.

Shannon glanced down at her slim frame. The last time she’d had sex, it was with her ex-husband . . . and he ended up being the biggest stranger of all. “We’ve all had sex with someone we didn’t know at one time in our lives or another.”

Avery sat taller. “I might need something stronger than wine for this conversation.”

Shannon waved Avery off before she broke out the hard liquor. “I’m only telling you guys so you’re not surprised when it happens. I want a baby. I’m not getting any younger. I have the means to support another person . . .” Her list of reasons to go through with her plan sounded off from her lips like a chant.

“When was the last time you kissed someone?” Avery was the free thinker of the group, but even she was surprisingly against Shannon’s idea of conceiving a child from a one-night stand.

Shannon considered her question and knew that her answer would open a negative stream of conversation. “I know how to kiss, Avery.”

Three sets of eyes questioned her.

“It’s been a long time,” she finally admitted.

“And when are you planning on getting knocked up?” Avery asked.

“I’ve been monitoring my ovulation—”

“This is a stupid idea!” Avery jumped up and moved to her kitchen.

Shannon watched as her friend found the tequila she’d threatened to break out.

“I think what Avery is trying to say is . . . Have you thought this out completely?” Trina asked with a smile.

“I’ve thought about getting pregnant more than I ever thought about not getting pregnant.” She turned her stare away from Avery. “I don’t want to miss out on the experience of being a mom, with all the good and the bad that comes with it, just because I don’t have a man in my life.”

“Why not see a fertility doctor? Wouldn’t that be safer?” Trina slid a little closer on the couch.

“Probably. It would also be sterile. Reading sperm donor profiles and picking a father for my child by a list of attributes or checking boxes on an application makes me cringe.”

“You’d at least know if the guy behind the sperm is healthy or smart.” Avery stood pouring tequila into tiny shot glasses.

“What self-respecting college kid, and that’s probably who ends up in sperm banks, is going to say he’s struggling through his first year of general education? Not to mention choosing a daddy from a height, weight, and eye color chart makes me feel like I’m picking a breeder for a puppy.”

“Still safer.” Avery walked over with the shots.

“I want the father of my baby to be kind and witty enough to make me want to sleep with him. I know you don’t approve, Avery, but try and see this from my perspective. I could go to a clinic and get pregnant next month . . . or at least attempt to. Or I can find a perfectly willing candidate and have a night to remember. Don’t tell me for a minute that you’d pick the former.”

All eyes moved to the youngest member of their club. Before Avery settled down, she was the one always talking about her endless prowess.

Avery’s scowl softened. “When do you plan on finding this baby daddy?”

“I’m shooting a wedding next month in Tulum. The bride’s family is putting me up in a hotel for a couple of days, and then after that’s over, I’m moving up