A Stranger's Baby - Book cover

A Stranger's Baby

Heather Teston

Chapter 2


Cassie had just started her shift, and already her feet were killing her. She was tired, and she had a splitting headache. It’s going to be a long night, she thought.

A woman wearing a huge ruby necklace gestured impatiently to her from the far side of the room, and Cassie put on a fake smile, cursing under her breath as she carried the tray of drinks over.

She hated the rich; they thought they were so much better than the working class. They treated her like dirt. The women looked down their noses at her, and the men were always hitting on her.

She made her way back through the crowd, keeping the smile plastered to her face, doing her best to avoid any wandering hands.

Turning her head, she froze when she recognized someone she had never expected to see again.

He was standing there drinking champagne, looking so tall and handsome in his overpriced tux. It had been four years, but he hadn’t changed a bit.

The memories of the night they had spent together came flooding back, making her heart beat faster.


She had just turned twenty-one the first day Brad walked into the law firm where she worked as a receptionist.

He was charming and sophisticated, not to mention drop-dead gorgeous, and for two days he pestered her to go out with him.

Cassie finally agreed to go for dinner. “But I’m telling you now, it has to be an early night.”

She waited nervously outside the hotel, checking and double-checking her hair in the reflection of the window.

Brad was the hottest—and most successful—guy she had ever gone out with, and she had butterflies in her stomach.

He stood from the table when she walked into the restaurant and kissed her on the cheek in greeting, pulling out her chair like a complete gentleman.

“You look amazing in that dress,” he said, and she blushed, not telling him she had spent three hours trying to decide what to wear.

During dinner, he kept up the conversation, making sure there were no awkward silences. He cracked jokes, making her laugh, and as the meal went on, she felt more and more at ease with him.

He was so attentive to her, pouring more champagne every time her glass was empty, and before she knew it, they finished off two bottles.

Cassie was not much of a drinker, and the alcohol went straight to her head.

When Brad whispered in her ear, “Let’s go up to my room,” she agreed without a second thought.

They couldn’t keep their hands off each other in the elevator, and she moaned as he cupped her breast through her dress, running a thumb over her hard nipple.

The elevator dinged loudly, and as soon as the door opened, he pulled her toward his room. Once there, he wasted no time getting her into bed.

His lips were soft, his mouth hot against her skin. She melted into him when he kissed her, and the way his hands moved over her turned her on so much she didn’t try to stop him when he removed her clothes.

Cassie wanted to tell him she was a virgin, but his mouth took control of hers, and the words wouldn’t come out.

The feel of his skin on her bare flesh made her hot with desire. She could feel how wet she was when his hand cupped her down there, and she gasped when he put a finger inside her, pumping in and out with amazing speed.

He moved on top of her, kissing his way up her body. She felt a piercing jab when he took her virginity, and he paused for a moment, looking down at her and smiling.

From the look on his face, she could tell he was pleased she was a virgin.

After they finished, he ordered cheesecake and chocolate-covered strawberries from room service, and they ate and laughed, talking late into the night.

He made love to her twice more before he gave her his shirt to wear to sleep. It was way too big for her, and he couldn’t contain his laughter when he saw how tiny she looked in it.

They lay down together, and she snuggled into his arms, feeling like she was on cloud nine.

All night Brad had treated her with tenderness, had made her feel like a real woman. He had talked as if he planned on seeing her again, saying she was special and that he wanted to get to know her better.

She fell asleep thinking that they were at the beginning of something amazing.

But when she woke the next morning, he was gone.

All that he had left behind was a note on the bedstand with five hundred dollars cash underneath. She picked up the note with shaking hands and unfolded it. Only one word was written on it: thanks

Cassie broke down. It was like a slap in the face. All she was to him was a paid whore, and it broke her heart.


When she saw Brad staring at her, she realized he had recognized her too. Panicking, she turned and ran.

“What’s the rush?” her boss yelled as she grabbed her coat and purse from the staff room.

“I-I’m sick. I have to go home,” she stammered.

“If you walk out that door, Cassie, don’t bother coming back.”

“Fine,” she said, storming past him. “I hate this job anyway.”

When she got home, she thanked Mrs. Steward and sent her home. Cassie was lucky that the older woman lived across the hall and was happy to take care of her daughter, Jessie, when she was at work.

Stripping down, Cassie climbed into the shower, trying not to let herself think about Brad, but his face filled her thoughts. How had he gotten even more handsome?

Stop it! she told herself fiercely.

She toweled off, and after putting on a pair of pajamas, made some herbal tea. She was pouring it into her favorite mug, rubbing her temple and willing her headache to go away, when there was a knock at the door.

Thinking that Mrs. Steward had forgotten something, she opened the door without checking, and her greeting died in her throat.

Brad took in her damp hair, and then his eyes moved down and he smiled. “Hello, Cassie.”

Once she found her voice, she spat, “Go away!” She attempted to close the door, but he held it open with one hand.

“Can I come in?” he asked.

“I said go away.” She tried to shut the door again, but this time he stuck his foot in, preventing it from closing.

“Please, give me a minute. I only want to talk.” Without waiting for an invitation, he pushed the door open and walked past Cassie into the tiny apartment.

“Oh, do come in,” she said sarcastically.

She wrapped her arms around herself, trying to hide the shape of her body from his gaze. Her pajamas were old and baggy, but she could tell he was hoping for a glimpse of her curves.

“How have you been, Cassie?” he asked.

His mere presence overwhelmed her, and she shook her head suddenly, attempting to clear her mind. She looked up at him, a scowl on her face. “Why would you care?”

“Of course I care. I’ve thought about you a lot over the last few years.”

“Oh, I just bet you did,” she scoffed.

“Why did you quit the law firm?”

“That’s none of your business. Now get out of my home,” she snapped.

“Let me take you to dinner tomorrow night,” he said.

Cassie could not believe her ears. The nerve of him to think that after the way he had treated her she would go out with him!

“You arrogant bastard. Get out of my home before I call the police and have you arrested.” She used all her strength to push him toward the door, angrier than she’d ever been in her life.

“Okay, fine, I’ll go,” he said, raising his hands in defeat, “but I will be back tomorrow. We need to talk.”

Cassie put her hand on his chest and gave him a shove out into the hall, slamming the door shut behind him. She sagged against it, her heart thumping hard inside her chest.

Seeing Brad was painful enough, but when she had touched him, she had felt the flames of desire flare up. He was the only man who had ever had that effect on her, and it scared her.

She knew she could not allow him anywhere near her ever again. He had already taken so much from her, and now she had only one thing left.

In the morning, she would pack what few belongings she owned and leave. Brad must never find out about Jessie.

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