A brash military man like Corporal Shane Ross was not the kind of father Annie Delmar had ever imagined having for her children. But they'd made a mistake that led to an unexpected blessing: Annie was pregnant. Shane wanted to be part of his child's life... and part of Annie's. He said he wanted to give his unborn child the family he never had. Annie didn't know what to make of it, but everyone deserved a second chance. And maybe a military man with strong values would make a great daddy after all....
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
March 31, 2008
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Military Daddy by Patricia Davids
"Well? Are you going to tell him or not?"
Annie Delmar chose to ignore the question from her roommate, Crystal Mally. Instead she continued folding the freshly laundered clothes in the white plastic hamper on the foot of her twin bed. The smell of hot cotton vied with the dryer sheet's mountain-floral scent.
Hoping to change the subject, Annie asked, "Are you going out with Jake again tonight?"
"Jake and I broke up," Crystal said with an indifferent shrug as she continued to buff her bright red fingernail.
"I'm sorry to hear that."
Annie carried a stack of knit tops to the chest of drawers in the corner. She didn't want to talk about her current problem. It was too soon. It still didn't seem real. Why had God done this to her?
No, it isn't right to blame God. I did this to myself.
Crystal said, "Jake's a loser, like all the guys I date, and don't change the subject. Are you going to tell the guy?"
"I haven't decided." With a weary sigh, Annie closed the top drawer of the blue painted dresser and stood for a moment with her hands on the chipped and scratched surface.
Crystal plopped down on Annie's bed and leaned back against the headboard. Her short bleached-blond hair framed a face that was pale and too thin. The lacy black top she wore was too tight and, as usual, she had splashed on too much of her cheap perfume. "I don't think he needs to know. Besides, I thought you said he was being transferred overseas in a few months."
"That's what he told me."
"So if you don't tell him soon, how are you going to find him later?"
The door to the room swung inward as their housemother came in with a second hamper of laundry. "That's a good question, Crystal. I'd like to hear your answer, Annie."
Moving back to her bed, Annie began folding her jeans. "If he moves away and I don't know where he went, then I can't tell him anything, can I?"
She glanced at the woman who had taken her in when she had been at the lowest point of her life. Marge Lilly stood with the laundry basket balanced against her hip. On the far side of fifty and slightly plump, Marge managed to look both motherly and formidable at the same time. Her eyes seemed to see right through Annie, but she didn't say anything. After a few seconds of awkward silence, Annie felt compelled to answer the unspoken censure.
"My lack of action would be an excuse to pretend the decision is out of my hands."
"Is that true?"
"No," she admitted with quiet resignation.
"So why not make a decision?" Marge asked gently.
Annie pressed a hand to her stomach to calm her queasiness. "Because I'm afraid I'll make the wrong one."
"And?" Marge prompted.
"And it's easier to do nothing."
"Doing nothing is a choice, Annie."
"But not a good one. I need to make good choices." Annie had tried to add conviction to her voice, but she'd failed miserably.
"You are in charge of your life, Annie. Just remember, God is always with you, and your friends are here to help."
Annie nodded, but she still felt very much alone and frightened of what the future held.
"Shane, the captain wants to see you on the double."
Corporal Shane Ross tapped the last nail into Jasper's shoe before he dropped the horse's leg, then straightened and looked over the animal's back at his friend and fellow soldier, Private Avery Barnes. "Did he say why?"
"No, but he had that tone in his voice that he usually reserves for me."
Shane grinned. Mentally running over his duties list, he couldn't think of anything he had done wrong or missed. "I wonder what's up."
"It might have something to do with the pretty woman who came in looking for you. If she's your sister, can I ask her out?"
"If I had a sister, I wouldn't let you within fifty miles of her."
"That's not nice."
"But it's the truth." Shane patted the horse's rump and moved to put his tools on the bench at the rear of the farrier shed. He pulled off the heavy leather apron he used to protect his clothing and hung it on a peg. Lifting his coat from the next hook, he slipped it on.
The fire in the forge popped and hissed, adding a smoky aroma to the cold air inside the small stone building. The calendar might say it was the middle of April, but the chilly, damp wind outside made it feel more like winter than spring.
Avery stepped up to stroke Jasper's forehead. "Now that your stint in this unit is almost over, will you be glad to get back to fixing helicopters instead of saddles and horseshoes?"
"I'll admit I'm looking forward to spending a year in Germany, but I'll miss the horses."
"No. You, I won't miss." He would miss Avery and all the men in the unit, but he was more comfortable trading friendly jibes than revealing his true sentiments.
Avery fell into step beside Shane as the two of them left the farrier building. They paused at the edge of the road as three green-and-tan camouflage jeeps sped past. TheArmy base at Fort Riley, Kansas, bustled with constant activity. When the way was clear, they crossed the street.