Only With a Highlander (Highlander, #5) by Janet Chapman Read Online (FREE)
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W inter MacKeage lost the thread of the conversation the moment the large male figure stepped into view. Rose continued talking, however, oblivious to the fact that the most gorgeous man ever to set foot in Pine Creek had just stopped to look at the painting hanging in the front window of Winter’s art gallery.
“Tell her I’m right,” Rose demanded, nudging Winter’s arm. “Tell Megan that no one is whispering behind her back. Hey,” Rose said more loudly, grabbing Winter’s sleeve to draw her back into the conversation. “Your sister thinks everyone in town pities her.”
Winter looked away from the divine apparition in the window and blinked at Rose and her sister, Megan, trying to remember what they had been talking about. Rose sighed. “Darn it, Winter, help me out here. Tell Megan she’s not the center of town gossip.”
Winter finally looked into her sister’s tear-washed eyes. “Oh, but everyone is talking about you, Meg,” she said, nodding. “But only because you walk down the street looking like a rag doll that’s been left out in the rain all summer.”
“That’s not helping,” Rose snapped, using her grip on Winter’s sleeve to nudge her. Winter stepped away, crossed her arms under her breasts, and ignored Rose in favor of glaring at Megan. “You always have such a long face, it’s a wonder you don’t trip on your own chin. You scuffle along like a beaten puppy.” Winter reached out and touched her sister’s hunched shoulder. “Pregnancy is not a disease, Meg,” she continued more gently. “Nor is it the end of the world. The only one pitying you around here is you. And if you don’t soon quit, your bairn will be born with a permanent pout.”
Megan MacKeage swiped at her flushed face and met Winter’s tender smile with a fierce glare.
“You can say that when your heart gets broken,” Megan hissed, “and you come running home because the love of your life walked out when you told him you’re having his baby.”
Winter took hold of Megan’s shoulders and leaned close. “I love you, Meg. Mama and Papa love you. Rose loves you. Everyone here in Pine Creek loves you. That one stupid jerk in a thousand loving people doesn’t is not worth what you’re putting yourself through. Wayne Ferris is a conniving weasel who’s too stupid to appreciate what a wonderful woman you are. You have to let him go, Meg, and focus on your child. Being depressed and crying all the time will make your unborn bairn think you don’t want it.”
Megan moved her gaze past Winter’s shoulder, looking at nothing, her lower lip quivering and her eyes misting again. “I thought he loved me,” she whispered, looking back at Winter through eyes filled with despair. “He said he loved me.”
“He loved what you could do for his career,” Winter told her just as softly, gently squeezing her shoulders. “But camping out on the tundra for months at a time does not mix well with babies. That Wayne chose—”