Even though she's always wanted her own family, Bailey Wayne is happy to be a surrogate mom. She knows one day she'll find her perfect man--and until then, what greater gift could she give to her sister? Make that gifts...Bailey's just found out she's having twins.
Dr. Owen Tartikoff, the new head of the Safe Harbor fertility program, is cool and professional with his colleagues. But he has a soft spot for a certain pregnant nurse, and the miracles growing inside her. What she doesn't know yet is Owen is the actual sperm donor--and those are his children.
Owen has a reputation to protect. He also knows Bailey deserves to know the truth. And with Bailey's sister and brother-in-law in serious trouble with the law,Owen and Bailey have to decide what's right in this decidedly complicated situation!
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October 01, 2011
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Excerpt from The Surgeon's Surprise Twins by Jacqueline Diamond
Dr. Owen Tartikoff adjusted his designer sunglasses against the glare of the July sun reflecting off the Mediterranean-style mansion. He had to admit that his half brother's harborside house looked impressive, but that didn't explain Owen's need to take a couple of deep breaths of sea air to calm his nerves.
He was about to meet the most important person in his life. He'd had no idea it would feel this way. Made no sense, really. The person hadn't even been born yet.
He took a moment to survey his surroundings. Beyond the mansion lay the marina that gave the town of Safe Harbor, California, its name. Row after row of yachts and other boats lay at anchor. At noon on a Friday, only a few sailboats dotted the water.
This place must be worth millions. He was glad to see Boone and his wife, Phyllis, doing so well with their investment firm.
Pushing his thoughts aside, Owen strode up the mosaic tile walkway to the carved double doors and pressed the bell. Chimes echoed through what sounded like a cathedral. Then he waited. When no one answered, he rang again.
At last, the slap of sandals inside announced a woman's approach. He braced himself. What did you say in a situation like this, anyway? Congratulations? Thanks? Or did you pretend you didn't notice?
The door opened to show a tumble of golden-blond curls and a surprised expression. His sister-in-law--who had been a brunette the last time he saw her, a couple of years ago--blinked rapidly before finding her voice. "Owen!"
"Boone did tell you I was stopping by to pick up the key, didn't he?" As an afterthought, Owen put in, "Sorry I haven't come by sooner, but this past week's been crazy."
"I understand." She stepped back, ushering him into an elegant foyer. Marble floor, peach-colored walls, Persian carpet, a mirror in a gilded frame.
Owen didn't care about the decor. He cared about the fact that, in a bare-midriff outfit that showed off her slim waistline, Phyllis Storey was obviously not three months pregnant.
With his baby. Or anyone else's. That troubled Owen more than he would have believed.
"Boone told me..." He broke off. As one of the country's leading fertility specialists, Owen knew what a painful topic miscarriage was for a woman, and he didn't want to press her on the subject. But his sister-in-law was standing there with her head cocked, awaiting clarification, so he continued. "When I called a couple of months ago, Boone mentioned a due date in January."
Her mouth formed an O. "He didn't tell you we'd arranged for a surrogate?"
Gee, he left that part out. Come to think of it, Boone had bragged about the pregnancy at the start of the call, then dropped the subject once he learned his kid brother was moving out from Boston to head the new fertility program at Safe Harbor Medical Center. Boone must have assumed initially that Owen would never find out that his genetic donation hadn't gone directly to Phyllis.
A surrogate. Owen hoped they'd chosen the woman wisely. But that wasn't really his business, was it?
He felt a not-unfamiliar urge to go shake his sibling, whose deep voice he could hear faintly from a distant room. Growing up, Owen had idolized his eight years older half brother, but gradually he'd realized that Boone had his quirks. For one thing, he never told others more than was absolutely necessary, about anything.
"I wish he'd trust me more," Owen grumbled. "I was happy to help you have a baby, by whatever means necessary." He'd proved that by sending several donations, as needed, via medical courier.
"You've been wonderful." Phyllis gave him a million-watt smile. She'd been an actress and model before marrying his brother, and at age forty, hadn't lost her sparkle. "I'm delighted you're going to be living close by. Family's important."
"Yes, it is." Another thought occurred to him. "This surrogate--did you arrange for her through Safe Harbor?" Although the fertility program wouldn't officially open until September, the hospital had a number of obstetrician-gynecologists already on staff.
She tugged on the silvery bracelets piled along one slender arm. "We're using a clinic in L.A., remember?" That was roughly an hour's drive to the north.
"Oh, of course." That was where he'd sent his specimens. Still, Owen wished they'd decided to switch to a facility closer to home. He'd have liked to watch the pregnancy progress, just to make sure everything went as it should. "Well, congratulations."
His brother's voice grew louder, angrier. He must be on the phone, since no one seemed to be arguing back.
A vague gesture set Phyllis's bracelets jangling. "We have a major financial deal pending. You know how that goes."
Actually, Owen didn't. What money he'd saved after paying off his medical school bills was stashed in a bank, a mutual fund and half ownership in a house. Which brought him to the subject at hand. "About the key."
"The key?" she repeated.
"Boone promised to drop it off at my hotel. Apparently he forgot. My furniture arrives Monday and I'd like to figure out where to arrange things." The renter had recently moved out of the house Owen co-owned with Boone. That was convenient, since Owen had a lot more important things to do than search for a place to live.
"I'll take care of it. Just point me toward my brother."
"This way." Phyllis scurried through one of several doorways opening off the foyer, and Owen followed. They passed an ornate living room full of silk-covered sofas, carved and glass-topped tables, and niches set with Greek-style sculptures.
"Nice place," he said.
"We like it." Again, that high-wattage smile. "Here you go."
Through an arched opening, they entered a large room with a spectacular view of the harbor. Judging by the array of printers, computers, file cabinets and fax machines, this was not only a home office but also the center of their business. On the wall hung an artist's rendering of what appeared to be a resort development.
From behind a vast desk, Boone glanced their way. At the sight of them, his brooding expression yielded instantly to a broad smile. Clearly he'd finished his phone call, because he sprang to his feet and came around the desk with hand outstretched. "Owen! Great to see you." Firm shake, and a clap on the back.
Although they were both close to six feet tall, no one would take them for brothers, Owen mused as he returned the greeting. At forty-five, Boone had deeply tanned skin and nearly black hair with a sprinkling of silver like his father, whom Owen had met a few times long ago. By contrast, Owen's russet hair, untouched by gray at thirty-seven, reflected their mother's Irish heritage, while his light complexion hinted at his father's Russian background. "Sorry to interrupt. You did get my text about picking up the key, right?"
"No problem." From a drawer, Boone fished a house key. "Right here."
"But that's..." Phyllis hesitated.