If the Ring Fits

If the Ring Fits by Cindy Kirk Read Free Book Online

Book: If the Ring Fits by Cindy Kirk Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cindy Kirk
repeated more loudly as if to convince herself, “no. You’re not moving in with the boys and me.”
    “What are you talking about?” Confusion blanketed Travis’s handsome features. “Of course I’m moving in. You need me. Now more than ever.”
    Mary Karen briefly closed her eyes and prayed forstrength. She did need him. Or rather she needed a partner on this scary journey. But a willing partner, not one who was only with her because he felt obligated.
    But wasn’t having someone better than being alone? a tiny voice in her head whispered.
    No. She wouldn’t do that to herself again. Or to Travis. If she brought him with her down this familiar road, there’d be pain at the end for everyone. For him. For her. Most significantly for her children. “You don’t want to be married or have a family.”
    Travis didn’t bother to argue the point. How could he? He’d made his feelings on marriage and children very clear on many occasions. What had he told her at Christmas? Being married and having children would be like a noose around his neck.
    He wiped a weary hand across his face. “M.K., you and I both know life isn’t simply about what we want. Honor and duty matter, too.”
    Though his words only confirmed what she already knew, they were like a dagger to her heart. “I married one man because I was pregnant,” she said in a quiet tone. “I won’t make that mistake again.”
    Travis gave a half-hearted chuckle. “It’s a good thing I have a strong ego or being lumped into the same category as your ex might cause me some serious psychological trauma.”
    He reached over and cradled her ice-cold fingers in his strong ones. “C’mon, it won’t be so bad. Your parents like me. Your brother is my best friend. And your kids think I’m cool.”
    Her children. “They won’t think you’re so cool when you get tired of us and leave.”
    “Stop with the comparisons to your ex.” Travis’shazel eyes flashed. “Leaving is Steven’s M.O., not mine.”
    “I apologize.” She’d been wrong to lump him in with her ex. Mary Karen knew in her heart that he’d stick around but at what cost? Oh, he’d try to hide his unhappiness. But she knew him so well, she’d see right through his act. And while she knew he’d be good to her boys, wouldn’t they eventually pick up on the fact that his heart wasn’t in being a father?
    No, having him move in wasn’t an option. But what were they going to do? And how would they explain it all to their family and friends? Time, she needed a little more time. “Promise me you won’t say anything about our marriage or the baby to anyone. Not just yet.”
    “You won’t be able to hide your pregnancy for long,” Travis pointed out. “After three children—”
    “I know.” She didn’t need anyone to remind her that all too soon she’d resemble a beached whale. “It’s just that I want time before—”
    “—everyone finds out you took the biggest player in Jackson Hole off the market and got knocked up in the process?”
    In spite of the seriousness of the topic, Mary Karen had to chuckle. Trust Travis to put his own unique spin on things. “Something like that.”
    “I wouldn’t want anyone to know I’d married me, either,” he said in a conversational tone, looping an arm companionably around her shoulders. “But I think it’s better they know sooner rather than later.”
    Normally she would agree. But not in this situation. Mary Karen had the feeling no one was going to be happy or agree with her decision. “Just keep it quiet for now. Okay?”
    “I’ll go along with whatever makes it easier for you,” Travis said, but he didn’t look happy.
    “I’d also like to postpone the divorce until after the baby is born.” Mary Karen swallowed hard against an unexpected lump in her throat. Poor sweet baby didn’t deserve all this drama.
    “Divorce?” Travis’s eyes widened and a rarely seen muscle in his jaw jumped. At the same time, his brows

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