Brady McCormick worked best with a plan. His plans never included his best friend telling him she wanted to get pregnant. And not with him.
Tessa McGill knew in her soul Brady didn't go for girls like her. She could live with just being friends. Giving up on the man of her dreams was one thing giving up on having a family was more than she could bear.Brady decides he won't take no for an answer. When plan A fails it is time for... Plan Brady
Brady McCormick pushed through his front door dropping his gym bag by the table. Tess bought it, insisting he needed one there. His fingers smoothed over the edge of the clay bowl she’d added to hold his things, saying it would make his life easier in the morning. He humored her attempts to make him more organized.
Letting her have her way when it came to little things kept her happy. Truth was the stupid table and bowl were the only homey things in the condo. The rest of the furniture were cast offs or things he’d picked up off the street. He yanked his wallet out of his pocket, along with his keys and put them in the bowl. He tapped the edge of his phone on the table. It was 11:30 at night, where the hell was she? His phone started buzzing. That a girl. He tried to keep the shit eating grin out of his voice as he answered it.
“Brady, why do you always answer like you don't know it is me?”
“Bad date, babe?”
“I hate men.”
“Except me of course, you love me.”
“Come on, get it off your chest. You'll feel better.” He didn’t want to hear all the gory details of her failed dates. Well, maybe he did. He didn’t begrudge her finding someone but not yet, maybe in another five years or so, or when he was ready to settle down, which meant never.
“What about your date? I thought you were hooking up with one of your gym bunnies tonight?”
“Mandy, Sandy, Candy? Whatever her name was, yeah, I took her to dinner. I'd say we had dinner but I'd be lying. I had an expensive damned dinner. She did what girls like her always do. Why is it when I sit down to a meal with you, you actually eat? All these other chicks order some expensive ass meal and move the food around on their plates. Drives me nuts.”
“Yeah, well, I’m surprised you're home, figured she would have lured you up to her evil lair.”
“I supposed she wanted to. I wasn't that into her, I dunno, we really didn't have much to talk about. I sorta felt like she was interviewing me for a job. We covered everything but my health and life insurance. So...”
“You love this, don't you?”
“What?” There was no way she'd believe the feigned innocence in his voice. Hadn't worked in second grade, it wasn't going to work now. His girl had a very finely tuned bullshit detector. Probably why she was so tough in the courtroom.
“Do you really think I am such a shit I wouldn't want you to find some guy?” He ignored the flip his stomach did. No doubt indigestion from dinner.
“No, I suppose not.” Tess sounded more depressed than she usually did after a bad date. If the guy was anything less than a gentleman, he’d pay him a little visit. Of course, he’d already run his name through the bureau’s database. What was the sense of having the thing if you couldn’t use it to head off problems for your friends?
He walked to his bedroom without bothering to turn on the lights. There wasn’t anything to see anyway. He stripped off clothes, dropping them as he went. Only the fact that he was on the phone with Tess made him turn around and pick everything up. More of Tess' nagging rubbing off on him. He was in the middle of removing his shirt with his phone pressed to his shoulder when she dropped the bomb.
“I want to have a baby,” she blurted out.
“Shit!” He picked the phone up off the floor and dropped on to the mattress and box spring currently functioning as his bed. The only pieces of furniture he’d bothered to buy new.
“You mean eventually.”
“No, I’m done looking for Mr. Right. I mean now.”
“Okay.” What she was saying was crazy.
“I'm serious, Brady. I'm tired of waiting for Prince Charming to show up. My career is in a good place. I'm thirty-five. I've been saving up the money I need.”
“You're really serious?”
“You're going to go get sperm, from some guy you've never met and get knocked up?”
“You look through a catalog, of sorts. You can pick what you want the guy to look like, see what his education is, any weirdness in his family background. It is a heck of a lot more than I'd find out if I just dated the guy.”
“But, a kid? From a stranger?” He’d always imagined he’d get to approve the guy Tess ended up with. What were friends for? Now she was jumping the gun.
“How else should I do it? By the time I meet a guy, date him, figure out whether or not he'd be a decent father or hell, if he even wants to be a father, get married, wait till the relationship feels solid enough to bring a kid into it, try to get pregnant – because by then I'm like forty, finally get pregnant, maybe. I'm like forty-five and then I've got to try for a second kid right away because I'll be too old for them to do IVF in a couple of years.”
“You want two kids?” He was still trying to wrap his head around the idea of her having one!
“I grew up an only child. There may be a lot of advantages but it can be lonely. You remember how bad things were after my mom died. So yes, at least two, maybe three.”
“Three! With sperm donors?”
“If I have to.”
“So the kids would have different fathers?”
“You can check to make sure they have more than a single... deposit. They’ll even hold some in reserve if you think you want more kids, so they are true siblings.”
“You're condemning yourself to never getting married.”
“Some guys don't mind a woman who already has kids.”
“Most want to do the job themselves.”
“I’d rather have no man in my life than a guy who couldn't love my kids. Do you have another brilliant idea of how I could do this?”
“Me.” He collapsed flat on the mattress staring into the dark. His fingers found the edge of the quilt Tess had given him and he crushed it in his fist. Cold sweat prickled his chest and neck making his undershirt stick to his skin. What the hell had made him say that? More importantly, why the hell wasn't she saying anything back?
Then she burst into laughter in his ear. Cackled, actually, the witch.
“Oh God. I really needed you to make me laugh tonight. You're always good for pulling me out of a mood, Brady.” Okay, now he was getting ticked.
“What is so funny about the idea?” He sat up and stared at the lights of the skyline.
“I suppose if you wanted to go jack off in a cup...” He flinched at the thought.
“Fuck that. Why freeze it when you can get it fresh? It sounds like something out of Frankenstein the other way.”
“Oh, grow up. Artificial insemination has been around forever. See, that is why this would never work.”
“What do you mean? You know all about my family, I'm healthy. At least my twin is smart.”
“You're plenty smart enough, Brady.”
“Whatever. So why couldn't you and I make a baby?”
“So what happens when you get married, because it isn't like you aren't going to want to spend time with the kid. As long as it is a boy. I don't see you hanging out with a couple little girls at a tea party or playing dress up with them.”
“I could handle a tea party if I had to.” She started laughing at him again.
“Oh God, it would be almost worth it to see you play with a bunch of little girls.”
“Hey, I played with you, didn't I?”
“Yes, you did. As long as it was cops and robbers, or something else where you got to save the world. Things haven't changed much, you still like to be the hero. This isn't a game though. No, it would be too weird. I'd do better with some stranger I’d never meet. Thanks for the laugh though. Listen, I'm tired. We still on tomorrow for breakfast?”
“Every Sunday, wouldn't miss it.” His voice sounded happier than he felt but he knew better than to push her, the stubborn witch. She would have to be to put up with him all these years. He smiled to himself. With Tess you definitely had to sneak ideas into her head.
He tossed the phone across the mattress. Tess— pregnant. The idea made his head hurt. His stomach rolled again. You’d think at those prices the restaurant could serve decent food. Hell, if she wanted a family, he'd do what he could to help her. She'd need it, too. Kids were no joke. The more he thought about it the more he thought his way was better than hers. He'd help her out no matter what, but his way made more sense in the long run.
He stripped off the rest of his suit and jumped in the shower. On his way back into the bedroom he tossed the towel he'd dried his hair off with on the floor and dropped on to the bed. Eyes closed, he could almost hear Tess clucking at him. The little growl she did when people didn't conform to her expectations or demands. Maybe she just did that with him, come to think of it she never growled at Quinn, did she?
Take his bed for instance. His bed drove her nuts. She claimed she would never have sex with a grown man who still had a mattress on the floor. What the hell difference did it make if he never brought any women back here? She was the only woman except for his mother who had been in his apartment. And his mother had only been here to help set things up when he moved in.
Tess, a mother— she’d be great at it. Hell, she’d held him together when everything had gone to shit. It was weird now to think about what might have been. They hadn’t ever dated and then there was the gigantic mistake. Thinking about it now he still broke out in a sweat. He’d have to man up and what… He’d always thought she was cute but he dated girls that were the complete opposite of her. It was easier that way, less complicated. What guy didn’t like less complicated?
Still, maybe it was time to get a decent bed. He'd have no idea where to even look. But Tess would love shopping for a bed for him. That was totally her thing. He pulled the quilt she'd given him around himself and propped up the pillows under his bad shoulder. He'd set her straight tomorrow and then let her pick out a bed. He liked the idea. She could pick out the bed and then they could make a baby in it.
5 ecopies of Plan Brady.
If anyone buys Plan Brady I’ll give them a copy of Just Her Type for free. They can send a copy of their receipt to me at lcgirouxwriter (at) gmail.com.
If people go to my website (lcgiroux.com) and sign up for my newsletter they will also get another free book.