Enjoying the ChaseBy: Kirsty Moseley
As usual, my first thanks goes to Mollie Wilson at M J Wilson Design for making the gorgeous cover. Secondly, thank you to Emily Ruston of Ruston Hutton, and Hannah for editing. My third thanks goes to a blogger whom I’ve had the privilege to get to know, Whairigail Adam. Whairigail, thank you for taking me under your wing and helping me negotiate the blogging world. I’d be lost without you!
This book is for my sister, Toni. Yes, you may see her name crop up in the book, but that’s only because I wanted to gift Rosie with the best sister in the world too.
Love you, Frodo. X
As a subtle vibrating started against my leg, I looked up at my captain, wondering what he would do to me if I pulled out my cell phone and checked my incoming message. No doubt he would be seriously pissed if I got caught not listening to his briefing about the raid tomorrow.
Unable to resist peeking to see if it was from Sarah, or Sasha, or whatever the girl’s name was I was supposed to be taking out tonight, I pulled my phone out and took a sneaky look beneath the desk. I already knew that even if I got caught I wouldn’t be taken off point for the operation tomorrow. I was the best sharp shooter he had, so that afforded me a little leniency.
But instead of seeing a message from my date for the night, there were two picture messages from my best friend, Ashton Taylor. As I opened the first one, I was greeted by a cute little scrunched-up and messy-looking baby. My eyes widened as my breath caught in my throat. A moronic grin slipped onto my face as I scrolled to the next message. I saw Ashton’s wife, Anna, holding the baby and smiling proudly. The message underneath read:
‘Anna and baby Cameron both doing great’
“Oh, shit yeah!” I shouted excitedly, forgetting where I was as I leapt from my seat and pumped the air with one fist in celebration.
“Nate Peters, what the hell do you think you’re doing interrupting my briefing?” Captain Elder snapped as all eyes in the room turned to me.
I swallowed, shifting on my feet. “Ashton and Anna had their baby,” I announced, holding the phone up proudly, showing the rest of the team the photo as evidence.
“Yeah? What did they have?” Captain Elder asked, his face softening. He had always liked Ashton, and of course, the whole world was waiting with baited breath on the birth announcement. To say that Anna’s father was an important man would be the understatement of the century. Her father, Tom Spencer, was currently serving his second term in office as President of the United States. Anna, as first daughter, was a celebrity in her own right because of that. The press hung on every word that she and Ashton said and it seemed as though the whole world was gripped with ‘Annaton’ fever, and had been for the last five years since they were first photographed together.
“Little boy,” I answered.
“Well, that’s awesome; I take it everything’s fine? How is Annabelle holding up?” Captain Elder checked.
I nodded in confirmation. “Apparently she’s doing good.”
“That’s great. Now can you sit the fuck down so I can finish my briefing?”
“Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.” I slumped down in my seat, trying to look chastised but, to be honest, I wouldn’t have pulled it off. I couldn’t help but smile proudly. Ashton deserved this; I’d never seen him as happy as his wife made him. Anna was an incredible person, and I couldn’t help but be a little jealous that Ashton had met her first. She was beautiful, smart and funny – everything I hoped I’d find in a girl one day.
I could barely concentrate on the rest of the briefing. All I wanted to do was go to the hospital and meet the newest member of the Taylor family. When we were finally dismissed, I headed into the middle of the team in a bid to get out of the room before Captain Elder spotted me and kicked my ass down to the filing room as punishment for the interruption. Luckily for me, I made it without being called back.
As I walked out of the building, I called the hospital to find out what time visiting hours began in the maternity ward. I was told it wasn’t until seven thirty, so I had a couple of hours to wait. That would give me just enough time to buy a gift for the baby.
As soon as I walked through the door, I knew I was out of my depth. My twenty-five years of life had not prepared me for walking into a baby store. There were all sorts of baby clothes surrounding me: sleep suits, body suits, normal-looking outfits, bibs, blankets… I had no idea what to buy. After looking around hopelessly for ten minutes, I spotted a young, pretty blonde saleswoman standing at the counter.