Beautiful Beloved (Page 10)

Beautiful Beloved (Beautiful Bastard #3.6)(10)
Author: Christina Lauren

I showed Max and typed out a quick reply, before placing my phone—facedown—on the table.

Max reached for my hand and took it in his, rubbing his thumb over my wedding band. “It’s okay to look at your phone, you know. This is our first night out without her. It’s all right to feel a little anxious. I’m a little anxious.”

“You don’t look it,” I told him. “You never do. I swear you have a poker face like nothing I’ve ever seen.”

“I don’t know about that. Seems I couldn’t keep anything from you, now could I? Quite certain you knew I was ass over tits for you within a few days of meeting.”

“You played the rogue part pretty well, though. Even I—” My phone vibrated again and I bit back a groan.

It was more movie commentary from George, and honestly, if the accompanying pics weren’t so adorable and I didn’t love him so much for doing this for me, I’d probably offer to buy him a car to lose my number for the next forty-five minutes.

Has Anna been fussier than usual? Or doing this thing where she pulls her body up into a little bit before kicking out and crying?

“Was Anna fussy today?” I asked Max, suddenly worried that I’d missed something being away.

“Maybe a tad more toward the end of the day, but nothing big. Was just ready to go home, that’s all.”

Not that we’ve noticed, I typed. Why? Is she ok?

I’m sure it’s nothing, came George’s reply. Her tummy feels a bit noisy to me, so I’m going to do a little baby massage on her. See if we can get all those gas bubbles gone.

“She’s not feeling well,” I told Max. “I mean, he thinks it’s just gas but, I don’t know.”

“Would you feel better if we left, Petal?” he said, concern growing in his features.

“I don’t know.” I didn’t, I wasn’t sure if this was one of those moments where I needed to tell the overprotective side of myself to calm down, or give in to the worry pressing on my chest. A baby cried from somewhere near the back of the restaurant and I squeezed my eyes closed. Of course this would happen now. I could already feel the way my breasts felt heavier, tender. My milk was beginning to let down and I had no baby, no pump anywhere in sight. The night was going downhill, and fast.

Movement caught my eye, and I felt my shoulders sag with relief as I saw the waiter coming toward us with our dinners.

“Thank fuck,” Max said. “Shall I get them to go?”

The phone buzzed on the table again, so close to my cutlery that it caused a shrill clanking as they vibrated against each other. As he set my plate down, the waiter gave me a look.

So baby girl feels better now, the text said. Unfortunately, she feels better because she threw up all over me. And your couch. It fought the good fight though.

“She threw up, all over George’s fancy Italian shirt. Maybe send chocolates and flowers,” I said. “And let’s definitely get it all to go.”

There are moments when you definitely know life has a sense of humor, when you swear that someone is up there screwing with you. My phone went off again, sending my silverware clanging across the table. I reached for it as the waiter picked Max’s plate back up, at the exact same moment the person next to us stood, pushing out their chair. I grabbed for my phone, the chair collided with the waiter, and Max’s plate of white cream sauce went tumbling . . . into his lap.

Water was everywhere, across the tablecloth, inside my phone, and all over Max’s pants, where a wet, creamy mixture now lay steaming. I scrambled back from the chaos, my eyes wide with horror. A child next to us burst into tears, and I looked over at Max and the enormous mess in his lap.

“It’s fine,” he assured me, grabbing a napkin and wiping his pants.

My phone buzzed on the table with another picture from George.

“It’s okay, Petal. Just leave it.”

I sat down, shaking. “This is a disaster. I just want to get home to my baby.” I paused as Max dabbed at his pants again and looked down at my chest, my neck and cheeks flushing with humiliation, “Oh, shit.”

When Max looked up and realized my milk had let down and soaked through my red dress, creating two big, wet circles, I could tell he was done.

Tossing a few twenties onto the table, he stood and helped me up, wrapping me in his coat. “Let’s go home.”

I tucked into his side and strode beside him quickly, wordlessly, until we got outside, where I couldn’t help but start laughing madly. “We could have had cereal for dinner in our pajamas!”

“Fucking too right,” he growled, handing the valet the ticket for our car. Protectiveness and frustration rolled off him in waves. “Giant bowl of Froot Loops and—”

“Sir,” the valet interrupted, glancing at the number. His face was ashen. “Our deepest apologies, but I need to let you know there’s been a slight accident . . .”

Chapter Three


I could hear Anna crying from the elevator and immediately knew George hadn’t been able to get her to take a bottle.

Sara took off, running to the door and fumbling with her keys before I was able to take them from her and let her in. Just inside, George handed her the baby and—correctly reading Sara’s expression—insisted, “She’s okay, she’s okay, she just woke up and wouldn’t take the bottle. She had one earlier.”

It wouldn’t matter to know that she’d eaten not long before. Sara thanked George in a panicked whisper and took the baby into the nursery to feed her.

“Did you have an accident?” George nodded to my pants.

I looked away from where Sara had disappeared down the hall. “A waiter did, just before Sara had one, just before the valet introduced my car to a concrete pillar.”

“So dinner was awesome, then?”

“A brilliant night, really.” Only when I looked up at him again did I register what he was wearing. “Is that my shirt?”

George ran his hands to his hips. “It’s more of a dress on me.” He pulled the extra material into his fists. “I almost used one of Sara’s scarves as a belt.”

“So . . . a touch of vomit then?”

He nodded, releasing the shirt. “Exorcist baby.”

“Sorry about that,” I mumbled, suddenly hit with a debilitating wave of exhaustion. “I swear there are times she throws up more than I think she’s eaten.”

“Not a thing, I swear. It was so much better than that time my date threw up on me, because at least Anna cuddles afterward.”