Title: THE PAIRING
Author: KATIE ASHLEY
Published: Feb. 18, 2014
A Companion Novel to The Proposition and The Proposal
After her former boyfriend left her pregnant and alone, Megan McKenzie swore off men. She spent the last eighteen months focused solely on her son, Mason, along with finishing nursing school at the top of her class. Although she’s not ready to complicate her life with a long-term relationship, a nice no-strings attached hook-up is just what she needs. At her godson, Noah’s, baptism, she finds the perfect candidate in the soft-spoken godfather, Pesh Nadeen. After all, the widower could use a good time too. But after drinking too much, the night doesn’t end the way she thought it would. Forced to leave Pesh’s house through a walk of shame, Megan hopes to never, ever see him again.
For Pesh Nadeen, the very sight of Megan sends him into an emotional tailspin. Since she reminds him too much of what he has lost, he wants to be out of her sight…at first. But the more he gets to know her, there’s something about the diminutive blonde that causes his protective side to go into overdrive, and he finds himself wanting more. When Megan is assigned to work in his ER to complete her nursing clinicals, he sees it as fate, but she’s having no part of it. She only wants a physical relationship while he wants far more.
What happens next is a sexy game of cat and mouse to see who will break first or if both of them will eventually get more than they ever bargained for.
“So, will you have dinner with me?”
Pesh leaned forward expectantly as Megan opened her mouth. They were interrupted by the sound of Emma’s voice. “Oh thank God. I’m so glad you two are on .”
Her anxious tone was the only thing that could have torn Pesh’s attention away from Megan. He glanced from Emma to Aidan, who was grimacing and rubbing his head. “What happened?”
Emma replied, “He fell and hit his head,” at the same time Aidan grunted, “Nothing.”
Megan stepped forward and went over to Aidan. She gasped as she surveyed him. “Ankle, your pupils are huge!”
Pesh took his penlight out of his coat pocket and went to Aidan. As he flashed the light into Aidan’s eyes, he grimaced. “Yeah, they are. What exactly happened?” He made sure to direct his question to Emma since she appeared to be the only one being honest.
“We were at my OB’s for our first ultrasound.”
Pesh’s eyes widened. “Ultrasound…you’re pregnant?”
“Again?” Megan questioned by his side.
The concern for Aidan on Emma’s face washed away and was replaced with a beaming smile. “Yes, I’m eight weeks.”
“Why didn’t you say something at dinner Sunday?” Megan asked.
“Well, I only found out two weeks ago, and we wanted to wait to tell everyone until we had the first ultrasound.”
Megan’s blonde brows creased. “So what does the ultrasound have to do with Ankle hitting his head?”
Emma pursed her lips and cut her gaze over to Aidan. “Would you like to tell them?” When he shook his head and then winced, Emma sighed. “When they hooked me up to the fetal monitor, they thought they heard two heartbeats. At the word ‘twins’, Aidan passed out and hit his head on the counter and the floor.”
While Pesh quickly turned a laugh into a cough, Megan wasn’t so tactful. She burst out laughing. “You seriously passed out during the ultrasound?”
Aidan scowled at her. “In my defense, it wasn’t quite the ultrasound yet.” At Megan’s continued laughter, he shrugged. “It was pretty mind-blowing news.”
“Oh Ankle, honestly.”
Aidan turned to Pesh. “So am I going to stand around all day getting shit, or are you going to examine me?”
Pesh nodded. “Of course. Your pupils are definitely a matter of concern.”
Glancing at Emma, Aidan said, “Just wait for me here.”
Pesh motioned for Aidan to go into the first examining room. As soon as the door closed behind him, Aidan lunged for him, grabbing the lapels of his white coat. “I need a vasectomy. Today.”
Pesh fought the urge to laugh at the absurdity of the situation as well as Aidan’s desperation. “Okay, let’s get you to sit down. You’ve obviously been through a lot of trauma in the last hour.”
Aidan plopped onto the examining table. He buried his head in his hands and groaned. “What a fucking nightmare of a day.”
“Does your head hurt?” Pesh asked.
Pesh furrowed his brows. “What do you mean, maybe?”
Aidan raised his head. “If you’re asking if I’m nauseated now, the answer would be no. I’m not. But on the other hand, if you’re asking if I get nauseous thinking about the fact that Emma could have been pregnant with twins, and I would have had three kids under two and in diapers…” Aidan shuddered. “Then yeah, I get really fucking nauseous, and the room starts to spin a little.”
Katie Ashley is the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author of The Proposition. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her two very spoiled dogs and one outnumbered cat. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Supernatural, Designing Women, and Scooby-Doo.
She spent 11 1/2 years educating the Youth of America aka teaching MS and HS English until she left to write full time in December 2012.
She also writes Young Adult fiction under the name Krista Ashe.