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Curbed (Desert Hussars MC Book 3) by Brook Wilder (1)

Chapter 1


Hanna decided to do the responsible thing and make a doctor’s appointment. She’d been putting it off for a number of reasons, many she didn’t understand herself. She didn’t want to admit that this was real and happening, she also didn’t want to give anyone a reason to suspect her. It had been quite a while since Roarke had her followed and Rick seemed to have stowed away his fangs for now, but she didn’t 100% trust that. So she avoided the doctor’s appointment she knew she should have made the second she realized she was pregnant or the second after she told Roarke and he was okay with the situation.


She sat, fidgety, in the waiting room. She told Roarke the time and place and he swore up and down he’d be there. At first he offered to drive him over there himself. Then, when something came up, he promised to meet her there on time. She got to the office early, on the off chance that he might be too. He’d been acting disaffected and completely aloof all week but she was hoping that somewhere underneath it all he’d come to his senses. She didn’t need some big romantic gesture, him waiting there with flowers and a teddy bear with a card that said “I’m sorry.” She’d settle for him showing up at all, showing up a little early even.


The doctor’s office was running a little behind, as they always seemed to be, and she was now five minutes past her appointment time. Roarke was nowhere to be seen. The clock on the wall ticked by and she absently watched the daytime television talk show playing on the TV in the corner with a static signal. She couldn’t go to her normal doctor on the other side of town. She had to keep up the guise that Hanna, and all her fake identification material, was the one who was pregnant.


That was running a risk in and of itself, however. If James checked too closely on the expense account and the claims on her fake IDs he might find something she desperately wanted to hide from him. He was going to find out eventually, she’d been thinking of ways to try and talk to him about it. But now she was wondering if she shouldn’t just wait, see which way the wind seemed to be blowing with Roarke, and then claim the baby came from some one night stand she was a little too careless about.


Her stomach twisted at the idea of throwing away her dreams that she had for her future with Roarke and their baby but shecouldn’t wait for him to grow up. She also wasn’t going to expose her baby to danger and Roarke was the epitome of danger. She’d hoped he could leave it all behind after things calmed down. But Isabelle kept poking him with a stick and he kept taking the bait like a moron.


She sighed. It was now ten minutes past the appointment time and Roarke was not there. There were no missed messages on her phone either, begging her forgiveness and telling her that he was on his way. As far as her cursory search on Google told her, there was no traffic to be seen on any of the highways either. She had no excuses to give him and she knew when he showed up that he would have no excuses to offer her, either.


She felt her anger turn into something a little darker as her stomach dropped. She felt like being stood up at prom or like someone had forgotten her birthday. Roarke was making a choice by not being here, obsessed with his need for revenge. It was more important than the life growing inside her that he was partially responsible for.


“Hanna?” called out a nurse and she looked up with a painted on smile. “Right this way.”


They did the usual, took her weight, her height, her blood pressure.


“You’re a new patient here?” the nurse asked, scribbling in that impossible to read handwriting so common in doctor’s offices.


“I am.”


“And how far along are you?”


“Somewhere between six to eight weeks I think.”


She could feel the slight judgement from the nurse for not getting into the doctor sooner and having no visible medical history with an OB/GYN as per Hanna’s background. Falsifying medical history was a little too deep for undercover work and really wasn’t often needed since most people dropped the cover or reported back to the station when they needed to get help. She was the idiot who got pregnant and was still finding ways to keep her ruse up.


“The doctor will be in in a moment,” the nurse said, leaving and putting her chart on the flap on the door, closing it behind her.


She always hated the amount of waiting that was involved in doctor visits. Unless you were bleeding out on the floor, it could be a half hour before the doctor shuffled into the room, wiping lunch from their face, asking you why you were in today like they couldn’t just read it on the damn sheet of paper in front of them.


And the longer the doctor took, the later the appointment went, the less patience she had for Roarke’s absence. Not only was he late, the appointment itself started nearly twenty minutes late. They were now over a half hour past the designated starting time and the doctor still had not come in and there was not so much as a call from Roarke with an explanation. She was glad the nurse took her blood pressure when she did because otherwise she might just break the gauge with how heated she felt her face getting and how quick her pulse got. This couldn’t be good for the baby, but dammit she was going to kill him.


“Ms. Isaacs, how are you?” said a woman who entered the door after a warning knock.


She was an older woman, easily a grandmother, but she dyed her hair a natural enough color that it didn’t give it away too easily. She had kind eyes, the type that wanted to make you cookies and promised amazing Thanksgiving dinners when you needed them. She was a natural gynecologist.


“Hi, good,” she said, trying to get herself under control to make the lie a little more believable.


“So, you think you might be almost two months along?” she asked. “That’s nearly an entire trimester, what kept you from seeing a doctor until now?”


Oh, if this lady only knew. There was such thing as doctor-patient confidentiality. She might be able to just unload her sob story onto her like she was a shrink. But that wouldn’t be smart and she wasn’t going to let the hormones win.


“I wasn’t entirely sure I was pregnant,” she lied. “And I wanted to let the father know before I took any next steps.”


She nodded and hummed in agreement, seeming to accept this excuse. She was typing onto a tablet and looking over the notes the nurse scribbled.


“This is just going to be routine. We’ll do an ultrasound just to check things in there, your vitals look good. You’ve got a healthy weight. I’ll give you a diet plan to follow as well to keep everything in check and then we can set an appointment for after the first trimester, sound good?” she asked like Hanna had a choice. “I’d also like the father to be present, if that’s possible.”


Yeah, me too is what Hanna almost said. But she kept her snippy remark in and nodded, making some excuse that he worked during the day but wanted her to call him after the appointment was over.


She pulled up her shirt and the doctor lathered some cold jelly onto her stomach, rubbing it around with her latex gloved hands. Hanna jumped a bit at the sensation and giggled nervously. This was really happening. She was in the middle of an ultrasound, like women in movies and on TV shows who were pregnant. It was real, and there was no coming back from it once she saw the tiny peanut of a life that was hiding within her.


“Alright, let’s get a visual on this little person,” the doctor said as she moved the small detector over her stomach.


The familiar black and white image popped up on the screen. Hanna had no idea what she was looking at. It was all a blob of grayscale colors as the doctor moved the device around expertly, seeming to understand this strange map and know exactly where she was going and what she was looking for.


“Aha,” she said quietly, stopping.


She hit a few buttons and then paused to raise her hand and point to small point on the screen.


“There is your baby,” she said quietly as if speaking too loudly would disturb the dim lights and the aura of the room.


Hanna stared in awe at the tiny pebble of a person on the screen. It was no more than a blob, barely recognizable as a shape that didn’t quite belong until the doctor started pointing out features. She gave in quickly to that clichéd moment when tears formed at the corners of her eyes, looking at her baby for the first time on a screen. There it was.She’d get to meet it soon, hold it in her arms, call it by its name.


And Roarke wasn’t here. He was missing the first moments of his child, he wasn’t getting to see the beauty of the tiny speck of a creature that would one day grow to perhaps be six feet tall, be the president, save the world. He didn’t get to see an entire life flash before his eyes as she was now. He was out chasing ghosts and beating up random people to make himself feel like he was getting anywhere with this pseudo investigation and game of cat and mouse he was playing with his sister.


“Not bad, right?” the doctor asked, seeing her tears but not seeing the competing reasons for them.


“Incredible,” Hanna breathed out.


She realized then that as long as Roarke continued on this path, intending to do what he was doing now, she could not stay with him. She couldn’t even stay in Texas, this place held too many bad memories and if Roarke wasn’t going to be there to help their child then she needed to get out to a place where this kid had a future that wasn’t with a gun in its hand.


After thanking the doctor, taking the picture and the nutritional information, and checking out with the receptionist, she made a phone call.


“James, it’s me.”


“About time, I was beginning to think you dropped dead on me.”


“I’ve got some intel for you.”


“On Isabelle Withers?”


“On the Hell Hussars.”


That gave him pause. It was her original job after all, to get intel on the Hell Hussars. Things had exploded when Isabelle went rogue and gotten the Caracals involved but now she had something concrete to give to James as per her original mission.


“They’ve got a storehouse of unregistered weapons,” she said.


Yeah, we heard rumors about that but there’s not much we can do about it without a warrant,” he said.


“Well this is me giving you an anonymous tip, which is probably cause. They’re being stored in a barn on Locust Road, in the old barn.”


Now we’re getting somewhere.”