Templet's Tasty Tails
Mainstream (PG13) Contemporary, Interracial
Web Designer Erika Washington's contract with her childhood best friend covers all possibilities about her pregnancy. But, one unpredictable event redirects her future. As a donor-surrogate, what does one do when fate changes the plan and claims the lives of the intended parents? If you're selfless, strong-willed Erika Washington, you mount a defense to keep your baby.
Entrepreneur Booker Templet, owner of Templet's Tasty Tails, secretly agrees to help his first cousin. However, unfortunate circumstances change the course of his life. After he learns the identity of the other donor, Booker plans to be a part of his child's life. No matter what.
Will Erika and Booker battle over custody of the baby? Will their horrible loss help them find consolation in each other's arms? Or will fate intervene yet again?
Loss…life…love. What a difference a year makes!
Erika allowed him to escort her up the stairs and across the porch. He held the screen for her to enter his house. Ceiling fans circulated the crosscurrent breeze coming through the open windows. The room's atmosphere lured her in further. Since he remained at her back, she swiveled to look at him.
""Is that surprise you're trying to hide?""
""Yes. I'll admit it. I'm surprised."" She smiled at him. ""I thought I was coming to your packing facility."" Erika pivoted to look around.
""Down that hallway. You can't miss it.""
""Thanks."" Her steps were brisk but quiet because of her sneakers. ""I won't be long.""
""Take your time.""
She made haste in taking care of her needs. When she emerged, he was nowhere in sight. Nosy, she peeked into each doorway on her trek to the front porch. Through the last one, she spotted a tall cabinet filled with horse and rider trophies. A cowboy. Opening the screen door, Erika said, ""I'm ready.""
Booker, sitting in a rocker, had his leg leisurely draped over the arm. He got up. ""Did you handle your business okay?""
""Do you always come across as having no tact?"" Erika left him on the porch. Turning, she continued, ""Or is that reserved for my benefit?""
""Sorry. I know I can be blunt at times.""
""You can say that again.""
""I know I can be—""
""Oh. Now you've got jokes."" Giving him an admonishing eye, she headed around the house.
""I don't know why""—his long steps had him beside her—""but you strike me as someone who's intuitive, artistic, creative, clever, and all with a sense of humor.""
Erika stopped suddenly. ""You've got to be kidding."" She looked at the black rims with the silver, riveted studs.
""No. I mean every word.""
""No,"" she contested. ""Not that."" Erika looked up at Booker, then at his truck. ""That.""
Laughing, Booker placed a hand on her shoulder. ""See what I mean? A sense of humor on display.""
""I can't climb up there."" Although she adjusted the leg of her jeans, her protruding tummy hindered her knee lift.
""You don't have to."" He uttered those words as he reached and cradled her in his arms.
""Put me down, Booker Templet.""
""Erika."" He looked her dead in her unbelieving eyes. ""It's the only way to get you into the truck. Will you open the door for me, please?""
She did. ""Now, put me down."" Her tush met the leather seat.
ABOUT Mickie Sherwood
Mickie Sherwood is an author and novice photographer who takes nature pictures right in her own backyard. She loves to engage in her favorite pastime which also incites her creativity. Combine that aspect of her life with the enjoyment of spending time with her family, and cruising vacations, and the development of interesting characters who encounter intriguing circumstances is not very far behind.
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