Military Daddy

Military Daddy by Patricia Davids Read Free Book Online

Book: Military Daddy by Patricia Davids Read Free Book Online
Authors: Patricia Davids
eighty-eight days, and in that time I haven’t so much as looked at another guy. I have no idea how to judge Shane’s sincerity or how to act around a man who doesn’t have a drink in his hand.”
    â€œYou told me that Shane wants you to keep the baby and he wants to be involved in the child’s life. Do you have a reason to doubt that he’s sincere?”
    â€œNo, but I can’t see what he has to gain by it.”
    Shaking her head sadly, Marge said, “Not every man commits to a purpose because he has something to gain. Some men commit because it is the right thing to do.”
    â€œNone of the ones I know.”
    â€œThen perhaps you should get to know Shane better. Find out if he is the kind of man you want your child to know.”
    Sighing, Annie picked up her book and opened it. “Maybe I’m making a bigger deal out of this than I need to. He only asked me to come watch his unit perform. It’s not like he asked me to marry him or something.”
    Why that comment had popped out of her mouth, Annie had no idea. She shot a startled glance at Marge in time to see her hide a smile behind her hand. Sitting up, Annie said, “That didn’t mean that I’ve been thinking about him as husband material.”
    A quick grin curved Marge’s lips, but she pressed them into a firm line. “No, of course it doesn’t mean that.”
    â€œIt doesn’t!” Annie shot to her feet. “I’ll be outside if you need me.”
    She stomped out the door, determined not to give Corporal Shane Ross another thought. Her determination lasted only as long as it took her to reach the backyard and look up into the cloudless blue sky.
    Shane’s eyes were bright blue. What color eyes would the baby have? Annie hoped they would be brown. Otherwise, she would be reminded every day that her child was his child, too.
    Shane pulled his saddle cinch tight and checked the grandstands again. The colorful crowd was growing by the minute as the time for his detachment’s demonstration neared. Twice he had seen women with long dark braids climbing the steps of the bleachers, but when they’d turned around to take their seats, neither of them had been the woman he was looking for. His faint hope that Annie would come today faded a little more.
    â€œDo you see her?” Avery asked as he finished saddling his mount, Dakota.
    Shane resumed checking Jasper’s tack. “No, but I’m not surprised. I didn’t really think she would show.”
    Adjusting his flat-topped trooper’s hat, Avery said, “If she doesn’t, there are plenty of other women out there waiting to be impressed. I’m ready to shock and awe those two blond beauties at this end of the bleachers.”
    Shaking his head, Shane said, “If you hit even one balloon with your sword, we’ll all be shocked.”
    â€œVery funny. You know I’m better at sabers than you are.”
    â€œI don’t know any such thing. You’ll be breaking your neck trying to see if the pretty girls are watching, and I’ll be cutting down targets. I think I’ll hit four for every one that you get.”
    â€œDream on!”
    â€œWe shall see.”
    Smoothing the coat of his dark blue wool 1854-style cavalry uniform, Shane stepped into the stirrup and swung into the saddle. “The crowd is a lot bigger than I was expecting. It’s good to see so much support.”
    Avery spent another few seconds making sure his saddle and girth were secure, then he mounted Dakota. Prancing in eagerness, Dakota sidestepped into Jasper and then let out a loud whinny.
    Sudden static filled the air as the loudspeakers on the reviewing stand came on. Avery tapped Shane on the shoulder and pointed to a woman with short auburn hair climbing the steps to the platform. “Hey, it’s Sergeant Mandel.”
    Shane reached over to pat Dakota’s neck. “You recognized

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