Like a bad dream on repeat, persistent ringing broke into Dan’s sleep. He pulled his pillow over his head to muffle the screaming annoyance. Tiny, frozen toes scraped down his calf under the warm blankets.
“Your phone,” Stacy grumbled.
“Ignore her.” Dan wrapped an arm around Stacy, settling her into the crook of his body, and ran his hand around her belly bump, cuddling both mom and baby.
His cell phone mercifully stopped ringing.
The house phone came to life.
Dan ripped his pillow off his head and threw it at the phone. “I’m gonna kill her.”
Stacy pushed herself up, her hair a wild tangle of curls. She leaned toward the nightstand, squinting at the soft glow of the digital clock. “What time is it?”
He rolled over, rubbing his eyes. “Three?”
“Is she insane?”
He moved to answer the phone, but Stacy knocked him back down with an impatient lunge of her body. She tore the chord from the base of the phone, silencing it mid-ring, the violence of her anger oddly arousing.
“How are you feeling?” he asked as she returned to his embrace. “Any morning sickness?”
“Nope, I’m good.” She snuggled in closer. “I think Cheryl’s chili dogs are magic.”
He allowed the insane comment to lie uncontested for the time being and nuzzled her warm neck. “How good are you feeling?”
As though she could read his mind, or perhaps his growing erection, Stacy warned, “Don’t even think about it.”
“I wouldn’t dare,” he lied, stroking her inner thigh with a light touch.
Before he could make his next move, his cell phone rang again.
“That’s it!” Stacy wrenched from his arms and pounced on the phone. She answered with a fluid rush of Polish words Dan was certain even Stacy’s Gram had never dared use in mixed company. He didn’t know whether to laugh or feel sorry for Charlene, but his amusement shattered when Stacy’s tirade ended with an abrupt gasp.
She reached for Dan’s arm, clutching to him in reflex. “Is he okay, Chief?”
His mind flooding with a million tragedies at once, Dan tried to take the phone, but she held it away from him as she listened to the chief of police. The fear evaporated from her voice, replaced by a heavy cloud of disappointment.
“We’ll be right there. Does he need to post bail?”
“Who?” Dan asked, but he already knew the answer.