Johnny Deeper: A Sports Romance (52 page)

She nods. “Lack of sleep can severely impair cognitive ability, such as thinking and memory.”

Junior blinks at me and I hold in my laugh. “I see Aunt Maggie and Uncle Nate made it to Thanksgiving this year…” He balances Courtney on his knee. “Have you been driving Mommy crazy like I told you to?”

“Yes!” she beams.

“What?” I ask, laughing. “Are you two ganging up on me again?”

Junior holds up a finger. “I told her to do
three things
every day that Mommy
while I was gone. What were they?” he asks her.

Courtney thinks hard. “Clear my plate…”

“That’s one,” he nods.

“Brush my teeth.”


“Pick up my toys.”

Junior looks at me and smiles. “That’s right. Drives Mommy

My heart swells as he slides her to the floor.

“Go pick out a book, get in bed, and I’ll come read you back to sleep, all right?”

“Okay, Daddy!”

!” he shouts after her. “Not
, please.”

I chuckle. “I don’t know, Junior, I think Seuss might be a touch outside of your reading comprehension.”

“Eliza Morgan, are you calling me a big, dumb jock?”

“I might be.”

“Well, in that case—” He tugs me closer to him. “I better scoop up my victory hoe.”

He kisses me softly and my chest flutters the same way it always does.

“Is that what you call the mother of your children?” I ask.

“If the booties fit,” he smiles, leaning in to kiss me again.

I glance down the hallway towards Courtney’s room. “She was
while you were gone.”

“Good,” he says. “You had enough to worry about. Threats of bed rest, Thanksgiving dinners…” A serious expression crosses his eyes. “I wanted to be here.”

“You’re here now.”

“And here I will stay until he’s born.”

“Junior, you have a game
next week

He grabs my hand. “They will play without me.”

I inhale to argue. “Junior—”

“I will not miss the birth of my son because of a football game,” he says, his voice hard and defiant. “His due date is in two weeks. I’ve already cleared it with the coach. I’m staying.”

I press my lips together, thankful and proud. “Okay.”

Junior kisses my cheek and stands up. “I’m going to get her to sleep and then I will meet you in the bedroom.”

“Oh, yeah?” I ask. “What’s gonna happen in there?”

“First…” he bends over me, “you’re going to lie down on the bed and
…” His lips graze mine. “I’m going to rub your

I burst out laughing. “Sounds

“Need help standing up?”

“I think I can manage it.”

He turns away, leaving me to sink into the couch cushions a little more.

Yet another muscle twitches in my back and I shift to a slightly different position to kill the spasm before it begins.

“Okay, buddy,” I say to my stomach.
“Any day now…”

I hope for a pain; one quick pulse of contraction that will tell me it’s time but all I get is bubbles.

“Damn.” I heave a sigh and rock myself up.

Junior’s voice drifts down the hall at me, carrying softly with rhythmic, punchy words of childish prose. Courtney giggles with him, her tired voice dimming more and more with each turned page.

I lean against the wall just outside the doorway, listening and smiling as I try to imagine what our son will look like. If he grows into anything resembling his father, it’s safe to assume he’ll be quite the handful…

And then there are the eyes. Courtney is the spitting image of me with the exception of the eyes. They’re all Junior’s, right down to the light specks of gray around the brown edges. Being away from him the last two weeks has been a serious challenge for me but sometimes, at just the right moment, I’d look at my daughter and I’d see Junior looking back at me. I’d fall in love with him all over again.

Junior enters the hall, moving as silent as possible, and closes her door behind him. He looks up at me and smiles, but quickly shifts to concerned eyes.

“You okay?” he whispers.

“Yeah,” I nod. “Why?”

“You’re crying.”

I touch my cheeks and feel the warm moisture trailing my down my face. “Oh…” I laugh it off. “Yeah, that happens…”

Junior wipes them away with his thumbs and tilts my face up to kiss me. There’s desire on his lips, a lingering urge on his tongue that sends quivers throughout my body. I pull him closer, relaxing away from mommy-mode to serve my own womanly needs.

“I missed my wife…” Junior whispers between kisses.

I smile. “She missed

He kisses me harder, pressing my back against the wall and my desire takes over. His touch does to me as it always has, igniting fire where there wasn’t one before and I feel him grow hard in his jeans.

I wince as firm pressure shoves from within. “Oh—!”

Junior eases back, forced away by the life occupying space between us.

“Did…” he blinks. “Did he just
kick me

I feel my belly. “He most definitely did.”

“That almost

“How do you think it felt from the inside?” I laugh.

He holds up his hands and talks to my stomach. “Okay, buddy. I get it. Hands off Mommy…”

“He has to sleep eventually… Maybe a few pages of Dr. Freud will knock him out.”

“Works on
every time,” he jokes.

Another series of flutters dances against my ribs. “He’s kicking again.”

Junior touches me, his eyes wide with admiration as he traces the movement inside.
he says. “He’s going to make so many field goals with that kick.”

I shrug. “Or maybe he’ll play soccer.”

He fires a hard stare at me. “Don’t you even
about that.” I laugh at him. “Take that back.”

I head for the bedroom. “I will not.”

Junior follows me in and closes the door behind us. “Ellie, I’m just saying, this kid has quite the legacy to live up to.”

“Let’s not put so much pressure on him,” I say. “He’s not even born yet.”

“Son of Junior Morgan, grandson of Cary Pierce. People will expect it. It’s in his blood.”

I lie back against the pillows and pull my feet onto the bed. “I say we let him do what he wants.”

“I agree, but…” He hesitates, smiling softly at the thought. “Admit it. It’d be kinda cool. Third generation pro football badass…”

I nod. “Maybe. But you know what would be even


“If he took after his
.” I point my thumbs at me and grin. “Eh? Yeah? Broadway kid!”

“I’m not walking into
trap.” He sits down on the edge of the bed and pulls the socks off my feet.

“It’s not a trap. It’s a fact. Artistic children rank higher in academics and social skills.”

social skills were fine.”

“Getting laid a lot doesn’t count as a social skill.”

“It should.” He slides his fingernail along the arch of my foot, sending a tickle shock up my ankle. I kick him and he laughs. “We had this same argument when Courtney was born…”

“Yeah, and I won that one, too.”

“You did not
,” he says, gently massaging between my toes.

“Yes, I did.”

“Well, I guess we’ll just have to settle
for agreeing that Connor can choose for himself.”

I pause. “Connor?”

He nods. “Yeah.”

I sit back, letting the name sink in. “I like it.”

“Me, too.”

“Good choice.”

“Thank you.”

“It’s about time,” I joke. “I thought for sure they’d have to assign him a number in the hospital.”

“That’s what you get for letting
name him,” he chuckles.

“I’ll just do it myself next time.”

He raises a brow.
“Next time?”

I cringe. “Did I just say
next time

“You did. I thought we were done having kids.”

“We better be.” I stare at my giant stomach. “As soon as this guy comes out, I’m having my vagina fused closed.”

Junior tilts his head. “Well… we don’t have to go
far. I’m a little attached to your vagina. Sometimes, in more ways than one.”

I laugh. “Okay, I’ll call the doctor tomorrow morning and cancel the vaginal fusion procedure.”


He slides up the bed and lies beside me, raising his arm to guide me against his chest. His lips graze my head and I feel him smell my hair, as he always does.

“It’s good to be home,” he whispers.

I cling to him, resting my head on his thick shoulder as he lays a hand on my belly. Connor stirs inside, reacting to his loving touch and I smile.

“Any day now…” I look up at Junior and he kisses me.

“He’s going to be perfect,” he whispers.

“Promise?” I grin.

He draws an X over his chest.

“Cross my heart.”



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Stand-alone romance. Interconnecting stories.

One unforgettable adventure!


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Undying: A Bad Boy MMA Romance




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Tabatha Kiss lives in Chicago, Illinois. You can probably catch her huddled up in a hoodie, reading a good romance beneath a tree in Jackson Park with her trusty husky by her side. She enjoys roller derby, sushi, and is always searching for her forever bad boy. In the meantime, she writes.


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