Moment of Truth (The Potentate of Atlanta #5) by Hailey Edwards

One





Out of all the lies Liz told, it figured her seeing two blue lines after peeing on a stick would be the truth.

>Pop the champagne corks! Light up the stogies! Liz is officially pregnant.

Bishop’s texted response, when it came, prompted my stomach to growl.

>>Liz is one olive short of a pizza.

“Hadley,” Abbott chided, drawing my attention away from my phone. “You might as well stop glaring at the ultrasound photos.” He tugged them out of my hand. “You’re not going to bully the child into revealing its secrets.”

The prints were still warm from the machine, and each was as blank as a photo taken with a finger covering the lens. The baby’s magical signature kept shorting out the imaging equipment.

I didn’t like that.

To be fair, I didn’t like much about this situation.

Not Ares turning on her friends and pack to protect her whackadoodle mate and their unborn child from the consequences of Liz’s zealotry. Not the swath of innocents cut down in the coven’s path to owning Atlanta. And not Ares’s abduction of my family that almost culminated in a slower and worse death than the bomb she saved them from would have granted them.

“How sure are you she’s pregnant?” I leaned down, one ear nearly touching her stomach, pretending to listen for a tick-tick-tick noise. “For all we know, she swallowed one of those bombs the coven loves so much, and it will explode nine months to the day of implantation.”

“We’ve been over this.” Abbott eyed me over the rim of his glasses. “There’s a heartbeat.”

“Or a timer counting down.”

“The baby also kicks.”

“Those could be levers moving into position under Liz’s skin.”

“Midas?” Pinching the bridge of his nose, Abbott shot his gaze past my shoulder. “A little help?”

Sliding my focus onto my mate, I couldn’t deny the kick in my pulse that came just from looking at him.

His golden-blond hair was growing out, slowly but surely, but I wouldn’t care if he went bald. The bright spark in his aquamarine eyes was recent, a huge improvement over the shadows that once haunted him. Unable to stop myself from staring, I let my gaze trace the now-familiar arch of his cheekbones, the hard line of his jaw, and the soft curve of his kissable lips.

He caught me at it, of course, and a smile twitched at the corner of his mouth.

“She’s watched too many B movies.” The Spock to my Kirk straightened from his lean against the wall. “She’s got conspiracy theories for days. Weeks. Months. Years…”

“How can I be expected to marry a man who makes fun of me?” As I pivoted to face him, I made certain to place my left hand just so, and my engagement ring caught the light. As it sparkled, with a little help from my wiggling finger, I waited for him to enlighten me. “What kind of life would that be?”

Flashing my bling caused Midas to smile, which had been the point, and I struggled to stay grumpy in the face of his simple happiness.

“I apologize.” He wiped a hand across his mouth, but his grin remained, and I was happy they stuck more often these days. “Will this earn me forgiveness?”

Midas reached into his pocket and pulled out a golf ball-sized piece of chocolate wrapped in gold foil. He held it out to me, its packaging glittering under the fluorescent lights…

A blur of shadow smudged the edge of my vision, and I yelled, “No.”

Too late.

Ambrose swiped it off Midas’s palm and gulped it down with glee.

Truce or not, I thought at him, pull that stunt again, and I will end you.

The shadow horked a thumbnail-sized glob onto the floor like a momma bird feeding its baby.

Not gonna lie. I threw up in my mouth a little.

Even if I was into regurgitation, and I wasn’t in any way, it was mostly crumpled foil.

“What’s wrong?” Abbott ripped a blood pressure cuff off Liz. “Did you drop it?”

“I dropped it, all right.”

Down the gullet of an uppity shadow who believed we were BFFs now.

Noticing my attention on the floor, Abbott craned his neck. “Did it roll under the equipment?”

“No.” I kept my head down. “I’m offering a moment of silence for the fallen chocolate.”

Midas snorted then coughed, but it was too late. I heard him, and I couldn’t stop a smile from blooming.

Amusement crinkling his eyes, Abbott indicated a nearby basin. “Can you hand me that rag?”