Baby Love by Tia Kelly

Baby Love by Tia Kelly

Baby Love

Wilkersons in Love, Book 5
by Tia Kelly

Ebook ISBN: B0113XCLU4
Print ISBN: 978-0692494387

[ Contemporary Romance, MF ]

She showed up uninvited ready to give him the one thing he didn’t even know his life was missing… love.

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Chapter One


“Where are you going? You can’t leave yet. You know they’re going to want yours, too.”

Warren’s panicked pleas echoed throughout the empty corridor, but Trent refused to look back at his older brother or return to the conference room to take yet another DNA test.

“Yo, Trent! Man, we need you.” His late father’s namesake and the only other full-blooded child born to both Warren and Lilian Scott picked up speed to catch up with Trent. Their other supposed siblings whose mothers often attached the Scott last name on their birth certificates always appeared in their lives with a big question mark and lots of paperwork… except for today. Today Trent knew his dad had fathered that kid.

Punching the elevator button, he willed it to come sooner rather than later. With both hands jammed into his pockets and his six-seven frame facing forward, Trent sighed realizing his brother still didn’t get the message he tried sending him before walking out of their lawyer’s office.

“Return for what? Aren’t you tired of this?” Trent ground out the words through his clenched teeth. “This is the eighth case since Dad died.”

“Yeah, but five of them were lying.”

“Well two of them obviously didn’t. They even produced proof that Dad knew about them and had been sending money once he found out. No wonder they thought they deserved a piece of whatever he left his kids.” Trent looked down into Warren’s face, surprising himself with his own words. The elevator doors slid open and he stared into the empty enclosed space, willing his feet to take him inside. He wanted to eject himself from this Groundhog’s Day moment. “Did you see him? You know that’s Dad’s kid.”

Warren reached out to grip Trent’s arm. Narrowing his eyes – hazel ones of gold and green intensified by flecks of brown. They were eyes identical to Trent’s, their father’s and as much as he hated to admit it, three -year-old Jason holding onto his mother for dear life back inside the conference room. “Don’t say that out loud. You know ever since Pops died that all these THOTs were going to jump out staking claim on what’s ours.”

Trent turned around. “On what?” he growled out. “To claim the debt? The headaches from paying off baby mamas trying to keep all of this out the media? Us pushing them to give their child some last name other than Scott?”

“Dude chill. What the hell has gotten into you lately?”

Yeah, what? Trent asked himself, but now was not the time nor was the family lawyer’s office the place. What Trent needed was a vacation. It had been a few months since his last one and the call from his mother’s doctor had interrupted it.

“Mr. Scott?”

“Yes,” Trent and Warren said simultaneously. Both men turned to find a young woman eyeing them.

“They’re ready for you now.”

Trent nodded knowing delaying the collection of his samples would only postpone the inevitable while racking up even more legal expenses his deceased father’s estate could not afford. It was also a headache he needed handled before his mother caught wind of yet another illegitimate child.

Turning to look at his brother, Trent grew irritated after catching Warren Junior do what Warren Senior did best. Chase after the wrong one. Eyeing the rings on the woman’s left hand, Trent shook his head and nudged Warren toward the conference room. He didn’t bother warning Warren away from her, as it would be the pot calling the kettle black. After all, they did what Warren Scott Senior taught his sons.

As long as you have good help to clean up after, party on.

Except now the only person left to clean any of the mess his father left behind seemed to be him.

__________

The day replayed itself in Trent’s head, an endless loop of drama that could have been avoided if his father lived life simply by being a better man. Trent kept his eyes ahead, steering his Bentley Continental away from Manhattan. The threat of summer rain didn’t stop him from keeping the top down during his drive home to Connecticut. Even if rain pellets fell from the sky, Trent wouldn’t have noticed. His mind was busy searching for a way to silence the noise in his life and the breeze helped him sort through those thoughts.

He reached his exit and decided to take a slight detour. What Trent needed was a drink. After the Memorial Day bash last weekend, he knew his house was dry. A stop at the liquor store was in order.

He also wanted a warm body to plunge into. Driving away his tension, stroke after stroke would be the ideal remedy for a stressful week.

He gripped the wheel and blew out a harsh breath, as that thought was counterproductive. Sex was his father’s antidote. His approach to casual sex would have to change. No little Trents were going to come along and breach his world.

Standing in the grocery store half an hour later, Trent knew there was no way he was going to go down like his father. Cradling the plastic bag he got from the liquor store in his left arm, Trent bent at his waist so he could reach his preferred brand of condoms.

Hearing giggles behind him, he turned to see two women staring at him. They were cute, but he already had a date that night with the Johnnie Walker Black inside the bag.

The blonde gave him a once-over while the redhead stared at the black box he just grabbed. Hungry eyes moved to his face and she grinned. “Hi,” they said at once.

Red licked her lips and he grabbed three more value packs. The ladies giggled until Trent walked away toward the checkout lanes without as much as a backwards glance. He wasn’t using the condoms that night. He wanted to do a full assessment of his own sex life before breaking the seal on any of the boxes.

“I need a price check,” the cashier said as he approached a line.

“Just great,” Trent grumbled, standing behind a woman in a gray suit, who was leaning against her cart.

“I know. I don’t get it either. Why would they only have two lines open?” the woman said.

Trent looked down at her. She had ass for days and filled out the light gray skirt just right. Her waist, the way it curved in her tailored jacket with those hips was the perfect place for his hands when she was sitting on…

“Shoot! Do you mind holding my spot?” She turned to face him and her eyes widened as they traveled up his long frame. “I forgot… to… to… I forgot something.”

She reached to tuck her dark shoulder length hair behind an ear and stared at him with the biggest, prettiest eyes he’d ever seen.

While lost in them, he realized he must have missed something she said.

“Sorry. What was that?” he asked.

“Uh, I’ll be right back,” she stammered and darted away.

She rushed off as fast as she could in her open-toed nude heels. Soft clicking of her heels blended in with the busy sounds of the after work crowd shopping around them. Captivated by the way her hips switched back and forth in the snug skirt, Trent didn’t stop staring until a box fell from his arms.

He bent to pick up his condoms, and as he stood, he saw the contents of the cart.

Damn, that’s a lot of whipped cream. Why would anyone need eight bottles?

“Thanks.” The beauty appeared in front of him a few minutes later, breathless and smiling. She plunked an arm full of chocolate syrup in her cart.

Eight bottles of chocolate, too?

That wouldn’t have been that out of place in her cart if it weren’t for the rolls of duct tape and baby oil between the whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

Reaching for an empty handheld basket from beneath the conveyor belt to toss his own groceries in, he craned his neck to check out the contents in her cart.

Is it legal to buy that many boxes of Jell-O? Is that Mr. Bubbles?

“Be careful,” she warned as she pointed to the floor beneath the cart. The more he heard, the sexier that smoky voice of hers sounded. “Looks like I’m starting to melt.”

And five bags of ice.

“Oh,” she whispered and the part of his anatomy he placed on probation stirred to life at the sound.

Round brown eyes gaped at his basket. Trent followed her gaze and chuckled. The condoms.

He looked at the boxes – all four of them – and knew something bizarre had to be going through her mind. He wanted to tell her, explain that it was just a precaution – a life one – and not as strange as it looked.

Ding. She flinched at the sound and peeled her eyes away from him. Now he was watching her, amused by the way she wrinkled her nose when she moved the phone closer to her face.

“I’m sorry, but I left my glasses in the car and can’t read this. Can you tell me what it says?” She held her phone out for him.

“Sure.” He grinned and opened his hand to accept it. Her soft fingers grazed his palm sparking a vision in his head of her wearing dark-rimmed glasses, but his fantasy didn’t stop there. He imagined underneath that skirt was something sheer and lacy in the same color of lavender as her blouse. And a beauty mark high up on her thigh. She was the type that had a little gem hidden for only her lover to see and kiss behind closed doors. A lady in the streets…

Trent stared at the message in disbelief and looked back at the woman with a cart full of interesting items. “Mackerel?”

“Are you kidding me?” She sighed heavily. “Do you mind?” Without waiting for a response, she slipped out of line again.

“Your phone,” Trent called out after her, but she rushed toward the back of the store anyway.

The line moved and Trent eased the cart forward. A few minutes later, the phone chimed again. He looked at the screen. The message was from someone named Ashley, and he couldn’t help laughing. These girls were freaks.

When she returned, he said, “I don’t know if I’m turned off or turned on.”

She dumped two packs of mackerel in the cart. “Excuse me?” With a hand on her hip, she frowned at him.

Handing her the phone, Trent shrugged. “Looks like all your little party is missing now are condoms.”

“And I see yours isn’t.”

“What?”

“You have that covered enough for the both of us. Planning on screwing twenty hookers tonight?” she asked, pointing at the boxes. Before he could answer, she nodded at the two bottles of Johnnie Walker peeking out the top of his bag. “Getting them drunk first?”

“I never have to get them drunk, sweetheart.”

Her eyes sparkled when she blushed. He liked that.

“You got a message while you were away. Your friends want you to get a box of condoms.” He tossed a box inside her cart and added, “Here, I’ll save you the trip. A couple of the hookers called and said they can’t make it.”

Her face flushed from embarrassment and made him wonder what she looked like if he teased her for doing something naughty. Feeling the sudden snugness in his pants, Trent closed his eyes and tried to will his growing erection away. Lowering the bag of liquor, he used it to conceal his groin.

Focus Trent. He stopped on his way home for brown liquor. The rubbers were an afterthought he’d use after his pity party, not before.

“I’m so embarrassed,” she said.

I’ll be, too, if I don’t get out of here soon.

A cashier appeared alongside them and smiled at him. “I can take you in the next lane.”

He considered asking for her number. Maybe they could hook up once he figured out how he could do it responsibly. Then he thought it was best if he left it alone. Getting one last good look at her, Trent winked.

“Don’t put too much of a hurting on him with your mackerel,” he teased.

She smiled but kept her eyes cast downward. “You just make sure those hookers don’t get too tipsy off the scotch. Can’t have all those corners vacant for too long.”

“I’ll try to be considerate. Have a good one.”

“Thanks. You too.”

He chuckled and nodded before turning to follow the cashier.

__________

“When will we know the results?” was the first thing Trent heard as soon as he stepped foot inside his home, from a voice he expected to be in a bed located twenty-five minutes away in the Golden Triangle. Lilian Scott should be recuperating from the minor eye surgery she had a week ago instead of at his place in Westport.

“What are you doing here, Mom?” he asked, avoiding her question. Somehow she should have known what her husband was up to. Trent just hated that she had never called him on it when she had the chance.

He walked through an open foyer to a small sitting room to his left. It was a room in his home he didn’t know what to do with so he let his mother decorate it, unlike every other room in his six-bedroom five acres estate. The bedrooms, including the master suite with its private covered balcony and bath with heated floors, was his decorator’s doing. The team worked with Trent to reflect no one else’s taste but his own. Ten-foot ceilings and expansive rooms made it comfortable for a man his size. A home theater, game room, wine cellar, two fitness rooms and a walk-in humidor were part of the trappings that lured him when he needed to get away from the city.

His mother’s personal touch finally had a place in his home, which was probably why his mother loved that room the most. Every time she visited, she encouraged Trent to entertain her there.

Unlike his Upper West Side apartment in the city, his place in Westport was home. It offered him a small slice of what his childhood was like, which was why he didn’t regret the call he made on his way home, giving the go ahead to list his apartment. Discussing his father’s debt helped him realize he didn’t need two residences. The less flaunting, the better. He knew he’d miss his other place, but this one had more long-term potential.

The few women he brought home immediately fell in love with the idea of raising his children along Connecticut’s gold coast. That’s why many of them weren’t invited back.

“I’ll have Mrs. Woods prepare dinner before I ask Edmond to drive you home.”

Trent knew his mother was not going to stand for his remarks and counted down silently the rejoinder he knew was to come.

“I’ll eat when I’m ready to eat and my driver knows not to take instruction from anyone other than me.” Edmond was his father’s driver. After his mother’s diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and bouts with blurred vision, she became his primary passenger.

Trent smirked before bending to kiss his mother’s temple. She patted his cheek tenderly until he pulled back.

He was tired and weary, no longer trying to pretend he was anything but. The medical technician insisted that they collect samples from Jason before the adults. Past experience proved that if they could not gather DNA samples from the child then there was no point in skipping to the adult. Jason’s mother insisted she be present when Warren and Trent were tested. According to her, it wouldn’t take much to have a cheek swab or blood draw “mix-up” that denied her son of his paternal rights.

Watching Jason go through the extensive tests troubled Trent. The extra measures between possible siblings were required since a direct paternity test could only happen from posthumous extraction. That was definitely not going to happen, although his father’s attorney once joked that perhaps it would be worth it to keep a DNA vial on hand in case more women stepped forward claiming Warren Scott fathered their child. Jason’s face contorted as the tech tried to move expeditiously. Just about everyone in the room appeared unbothered except for Jennifer, Jason’s mother. She flinched when she wasn’t glaring at his brother who was too busy flirting with the legal assistant to notice.

The child’s mother was attractive. He could see his father admiring her beauty, but she was not his mother. Lilian Scott (née Lopes) still was the knockout Warren Scott met at a party on the Cape. As the story went, the Lopes family was celebrating a family reunion when his father and a few fellow Celtics teammates decided to crash it. The Lopes family may have had Cape Verdean roots, but they loved all things Boston, including the home teams. It took some convincing by the men in Lilian’s family, but Warren went on the date he requested and soon found himself someone to love.

As much as his father claimed to have love for Lilian, he still seemed to let his eyes (and genitals) wander.

“When will we know?” his mother asked. Trent sighed.

“Same as usual, I imagine,” was all he said. There was no point in pretending he was clueless.

“I remember Jennifer. She was an intern at ESPN when your father met her,” Lilian said.

Stunned, Trent stared at his mother, angling his head to the side. “You knew?”

She shrugged. “I knew about most, I’m certain. No doubt he had others.”

“And you allowed it?” Trent took a seat next to her, knowing she had. He witnessed her condone his father’s behavior too often to keep count.

“Of course I never said it was acceptable, but it was part of the life I tolerated, knowing who your father was.”

That was always the excuse.

“Mom, she was younger than me.”

Lilian cringed. “Many were. He had a thing for a certain type, and as he aged his interests remained the same.”

Trent clasped his hands between his knees and fought the disgust brewing deep within. This was when he disliked his mother almost as much as his dad. He knew those kinds of women and even dated them, but his own mother wasn’t supposed to be one.

“Don’t judge.” Lilian’s words were soft, but he recognized her firm warning as she spoke. “You and your brother are just like him, you know. So until you own up to the way you carry yourself with others, do not question why I put up with it all.”

“Mother…”

“Please tell Edmond I’m ready to go home now.”

“Mother…”

Lilian shook her head no longer wanting to look her son in the face.

“You came here for a reason. I know it wasn’t to ask something you already knew.”

“No, it wasn’t.” Lilian hesitated and considered her next words before speaking again. “The night your father passed we fought. It was about her. The girl called our house because she thought she was in labor and wanted my husband to be by her side when she delivered the baby.”

Trent scowled, as all this was news to him. “Is she touched? Why would someone call a man’s house and disrupt it with—”

Her weary sigh silenced him. “I wanted to find out if this child was, in fact, your father’s. When you walked in this room and I saw the expression on your face that confirmed what I suspected. I had a feeling it was his child. How did you figure it out?”

Also disappointed, Trent paused and looked away. “Like you, I guess I just knew, too.”

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