Falling for His Best Friend

By: Emily Forbes

CHAPTER ONE

‘YOU’RE DOING WHAT?’ Mike’s eyes looked as though they were about to pop out of his skull. ‘If you think I’m going to sit here and listen while you tell me you’re having another man’s baby—’

‘I haven’t committed to anything yet,’ Kitty interrupted, quickly trying to ease the tension. She hated it when he lost his temper. ‘I’m just thinking about it.’

‘Well, you’d better stop thinking about it.’

‘And it’s not another man’s baby,’ she added. She knew she should just keep quiet. Her argument would only serve to fan the flames of his aggravation but if they were going to discuss this she wanted a chance to state her case before this escalated into an argument.

‘Is it my baby?’

‘Well, no. It would be Cam’s.’

‘So that is another man. If you’re going to have babies they’d better damn well be with me.’

With Mike’s current attitude Kitty thought it very unlikely that she’d choose to have babies with him but she kept that thought to herself. ‘Well, technically it won’t be my baby either,’ she explained, stating the facts. ‘I’d just be the surrogate. It will be Jess and Cameron’s baby.’

‘Why on earth would you want to go through a pregnancy for someone else?’

‘You know why,’ Kitty stated flatly.

‘So, Cameron and Jess get a baby and you get fat.’

‘I’d be pregnant, not fat.’

‘Still, Cameron doesn’t have to put up with the hormones, the weight gain, the mood swings and the cravings but I do?’

‘Cameron and Jess have been through plenty already, I don’t think you can begrudge them this.’ In Kitty’s opinion, her sister and her brother-in-law had been through more than their fair share of physical and emotional stresses and she couldn’t see any reason why they should be expected to go through any additional stress if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.

‘Maybe you can’t, but at the end of it they’ll get a baby and what do I get? A girlfriend with stretch marks and leaking boobs.’

Kitty was pretty sure there was something she could take to stop the leaky boobs and who cared about a few stretch marks if she could give her sister the child she so desperately wanted. The addition that their family desperately needed.

But perhaps Mike had a point. They were supposed to be in a relationship, they were supposed to discuss big decisions like this, and that was exactly what she was trying to do, but if he wasn’t going to be reasonable, if he was going to behave like a spoilt brat—well, what did she expect? If she was honest, their relationship was usually about Mike and what he wanted. Their relationship was run on his terms.

Maybe it was time that changed.

* * *

Kitty pushed open the door of the Manly Pier Hotel and walked into the pub. After their discussion—Kitty refused to think of it as an argument—Mike had gone out for his regular monthly dinner with his friends from his med school days, and Kitty was relieved that he’d had a prior engagement. She didn’t want to continue their discussion all night, but she hadn’t wanted to sit at home on her own either. She needed to see a friendly face and she knew she’d find one in the pub that was a favourite among the staff from the North Sydney Hospital and other Manly Beach locals.

The DJ was warming up the crowd. Thursday nights were popular and the place was already busy. She scanned the room.

The crowd was dressed casually but expensively. Kitty hadn’t given her outfit a thought. She’d just needed to get out. She looked down at her clothes—jeans, an old T-shirt and canvas trainers. Luckily the dress code for women was never strict but at five feet four inches she felt like an untidy slip of a woman in a room full of glamourous shiny Amazons. She’d pulled her dark hair back into a messy ponytail, not even bothering to brush it, and she doubted any of the make-up she’d sparingly applied that morning was still clinging to her face but it was too late to worry about her looks now. Thankfully her friends and colleagues were unlikely to be done up to the nines. Anything smarter than hospital scrubs was deemed to be making an effort.

There were plenty of familiar faces in the pub and Kitty said hello to several people as she made her way through the room without pausing to chat for too long. There was one face in particular she was looking for and she didn’t want to waste time on other conversations. She wasn’t in a particularly sociable mood.

She skimmed over the DJ and looked past him out onto the deck that stretched into the harbour. The Manly ferry was docking at the quay, its lighted windows bright against the twilight sky, and silhouetted against the darkening sky was the person she was looking for.

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