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Read Online Books/Novels:

The Baby Bargain (Once a Marine #1)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Jennifer Apodaca

Language:
English
ISBN/ ASIN:
1622660730 (ISBN13: 9781622660735)
Book Information:

Seeing Adam Waters is the last thing veterinarian Megan Young expects. Ex-Marine. Ex-boyfriend. And still extremely dangerous territory. But Adam doesn’t know the secret Megan has been keeping from him. The secret that was created three years ago, after their last night together…

Adam returns to Raven’s Cove to sell his home in a final break with the town and memories that haunt him. The problem is that his attraction to Megan is as blazing hot as it ever was. But when a vicious smear campaign against Megan turns ugly, Adam learns the truth he never knew—he has a son.

Now the only way Megan can protect her child is to strike a bargain with Adam. And it’s a bargain that looks a lot like blackmail…

Books in Series:

Once a Marine Series by Jennifer Apodaca

Books by Author:

Jennifer Apodaca Books

Chapter One

Dr. Megan Young sank into the empty receptionist’s chair to check her schedule for the next day. With her staff gone for the day, she enjoyed a few minutes of blissful silence before heading home.

Even Max was quiet as he snoozed in his bed at her feet. That was one of the perks of being a veterinarian; she could bring her dog to work.

The door opened.

“Stay, Max.” Megan walked around the desk. “We’re closed, but if this is an emergency—” She snapped her mouth closed when she saw who it was. Not a pet emergency, but definitely a problem. It wasn’t the bulldog expression that worried her, but the envelope the man shoved in her face.

“Megan, be smart and take the money.”

Of course he didn’t bother with a greeting. Or even an explanation, not that she needed one. She stared pointedly at the thick white envelope in the man’s hand. “You mean the bribe?” She let disgust coat her voice.

Nathan McCray’s blue eyes narrowed. “Now you balk? After all the money you charged me for Celtic Fire’s vet visits? You milked my dimwitted ex-wife for every cent you could.”

Megan had to struggle to contain her boiling fury. “Get out.” She would not allow anyone to bad-mouth her integrity as a veterinarian. She loved animals, more than people sometimes, and she would never cheat their owners.

“I was a famous pro golfer while you were still in school.” He leaned closer and added, “I made Raven’s Cove the town it is today, and I can destroy you and your veterinary practice with a few phone calls.” He shoved the envelope toward her. “Take the money I’m offering you. All I want in return is your testimony that you have revised your medical opinion on Celtic Fire’s health, and I am the better person to get custody of her.”

Never. Nathan and his ex-wife were in a custody battle over their show dog Celtic Fire, and Debbie McCray’s attorney had subpoenaed Megan to testify on Debbie’s behalf. This wasn’t Nathan’s first attempt to influence Megan’s testimony, but offering her a bribe was the most insulting. McCray had just proved himself to be the jerk she had always suspected him of being. “You don’t deserve Celtic Fire. Debbie loves that dog.”

“First you force us to retire the dog from show. Now Debbie is trying to stop me from breeding her.” He snorted in disgust.

She glanced around her waiting room, done in mellow greens and browns that were meant to soothe the anxious owners of her patients. It didn’t help her right now. Turning back to McCray, she struggled to stay calm. “I’ve explained this to you. The infection Celtic Fire had last year damaged her heart. A pregnancy could be dangerous. Even fatal—”

“That dog is a champion, and after all the money and aggravation I put into her, I intend to recoup my investment.”

She’d heard enough. A dog was not an investment. “Get out. Now.”

McCray stepped deep into her personal space. His perfectly tailored golf shirt and slacks did nothing to hide the true thug underneath. “No one tells me to get out. I—”

A low growl came from behind the reception desk.

The arrogant confidence in McCray’s expression drained away to fear. “What is that?”

“Max, come.” Megan dropped her hand to her side and her eighty-five pound German shepherd mix walked over and sat beneath her hand. Then he pulled back his lips and growled low in his chest.

Megan felt the fur on his neck stand up. Max was easy-going until he got riled, and then he could be very intimidating, to say the least, making him the perfect companion. “I am asking you to leave, Mr. McCray.”

The man’s faded blue eyes darted to the dog, then back to her. “If that dog comes near me, I’ll file a vicious dog report. And then you and the dog will be destroyed.” He backed toward the door, yanked open the handle, and left.

Through the window, Megan watched him practically run to his car. She dropped to her knees and hugged Max. “Good boy.” She pulled a treat out of her white coat pocket and gave it to him. The dog wolfed it down, and nudged her hand to check for more. “That’s your limit on treats.” But there wasn’t any limit on her love for the animal, and she spent a few minutes petting and talking to him as her heart rate slowed from her encounter with McCray.

“Time to go home and see Cole.”

But the door opened again. Megan shot to her feet, worried that McCray had come back. She sucked in a breath and braced for another battle, then froze.

Not Nathan McCray.

This was worse.

Time slowed as she stared at the man pushing the door open with his shoulder. When the light hit his face, she gasped as the memories in her head spun and danced. Adam Waters. A part of her brain noted that he carried a dog, but Adam dominated her thoughts. Image after image flashed through her mind, snapshots of the man she had met in college and fallen in love with. But that was before he broke her heart.


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