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Oct 22, 2015
Opposites Attract by Kathryn Shay
Being on his own since his teen years is the only thing Jase McKay has in common with Molly Kimball. That and the fact that his best friend is married to her sister. Free-spirit Molly is his exact opposite so why is he so attracted to her?
While Jase worked his way out of poverty and into a career as a lawyer, Molly rejected her corporate-minded family, determined to live life on her own terms. But when her sister's near-divorce brings her into contact with stuffy, conservative Jase, Molly can't help but fall completely in love. But is love enough when two people are as different as they are?
Chapter One: Page One
Jase McKay hadn't made many mistakes in his life. He couldn't afford to, given his background. But as he looked across the small chapel in Hyde Point, New York, where his friends Riley and Jillian Sullivan were renewing their vows, he was confronted with a reminder of the biggest blunder he'd ever committed.
Molly Kimball, Jill's sister. Letting her go six weeks, three days and some odd hours ago had truly been the most foolish, destructive, hurtful thing he'd ever done.
You didn't let her go, asshole. You booted her out of your life carelessly and callously.
Because he'd been afraid of what she was doing to his orderly existence.
Still, he hadn't realized the ramifications of leaving her sleepless nights, an inability to enjoy the things in life he'd worked so hard to get, and utter misery every time he saw her, like now.
He couldn't even think about what their abrupt split had done to her. He knew unquestionably that she'd loved him.
Telling himself to stop with the pity party, he focused on the Sullivans. He was happy for them. God knew, they'd suffered over their own split a year ago. As Riley's divorce lawyer and best friend they'd been college and law school roommates, too Jase was privy to all of it. Amidst the flickering bayberry scented candles, he listened to their pledges to each other, on the sixth anniversary of their wedding.
"Having lost you once," Riley said in a deep voice, husky with emotion, "I promise never to do anything again to make you leave me."
Blond and pretty, Jillian wiped uncharacteristic tears from her eyes. Of course, she'd come back from their second honeymoon two months in Paris pregnant, so that was part of the reason for her sentimentality. "And I promise," she said softly, "to share myself with you. To let you in, no matter how hard it is."
Jase remembered his own vows, his own wedding seven years ago. Mary Stevenson had been his savior, helping him to build the life he'd planned for himself; he'd loved her deeply. When she'd died in a car crash, he'd wanted his own life to end with her. But he had a son, so he kept going for Tommy. And her parents, Thomas and Thea Stevenson, had been a godsend. They were then, and still were, the family Jase always wished he had. In time, the wounds of loss had healed.
As if drawn by a magnet, his gaze settled back on Molly. Just the sight of her made him feel as raw as knuckles scraped on sandpaper. Her waist-length, curly hair the color of caramels shone in the candlelight; her deep chestnut eyes were misty with joy. And he could swear the scent of wildflowers that always surrounded her wafted over to him. Tonight, her voluptuous body was covered with a coppery brown dress, long and flowing like most of the clothes she chose.
Hippie clothes, he'd teased once as he unbuttoned a fringed top with beads on it. She'd grinned.
I know. I belong in the sixties.
You got that right, lady.
He winced at the memory. He'd teased her a lot, but there was always an edge to the words. He didn't like her clothes. He didn't like her whole lifestyle, and it had driven them apart. That and her absolute refusal to compromise. In truth, Molly couldn't accept him any more than he could accept her. Still, he'd been the one to end it.
She'd wanted to work on their relationship....
Chapter One: Page Two
Watch this movie with me. She held up Barefoot in the Park, an old film with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. We're like them. Different as snow and sun. But we can make it, Jay, like they did.
He'd watched the film and been completely insulted by the comparison of himself to the Redford character. I am not that inflexible...that stuffy.... Hell, they're so unmatched why are they even together?
Molly had just laughed and tumbled him into bed.... Well, they have this in common. Like us.
Her words moved him. He'd brushed the hair off her flawless face. There's more to us than this, Mol.
What is there, Jay?
I love being with you. You make me feel things, see things so intensely.
I love being with you, too. You...center me.
It hadn't been enough, though, and after two months on a roller coaster of emotion, he'd broken it off, just before Jill and Riley came home. He'd had second thoughts in those dark days after he'd left Molly sobbing in her apartment. Abject misery had forced him to wonder if they could try harder to mesh their disparate lives.
So he'd gone back to her place, two weeks after their split, to tell her he wasn't sure about what he'd done, he wanted to talk more, that he feared he'd made a terrible mistake. Logan Kane, her friend and goddamned protector, had answered the door in her apartment over the store she operated.
The guy had growled when he saw Jase....
Get the hell out of here before I beat the shit out of you.
I need to see Molly.
Look, I know you care about her; so do I.
Kane had let loose with inventive expletives, then grabbed Jase by the shirt and thrust him against a wall outside the apartment. She's sick, McKay. She's been vomiting and shaking and sobbing since you dropped your little bomb a few weeks ago. I'm considering a hospital, she's so overwrought. I swear to God, if you go near her now, I'll take you apart.
And because Jase hadn't been sure then that he could give Molly what she needed, that they could make a life together, he'd left. In the weeks since, he'd missed her so much he ached with it. But when she'd recovered and seemed her old self again the few times they'd bumped into each other around town, he did stay away from her. It was the only decent thing he'd ever done for her.
Now, though it was pretty colorless in Molly's absence, his life had gotten back on an even keel. Thomas Stevenson had even introduced him to a new attorney in town, Sarina Matthews, whom he was dating, who was here with him tonight.
Molly looked up and caught Jase staring at her. She gave him a half smile that cut him off at the knees. There was no bitterness on her face. No indictment. Only forgiveness. And the wariness a doe has in her eyes when faced with a hunter's gun. Of course there was. Molly Kimball was well aware of the fact he could almost had destroyed her.
But as Jase watched Molly, her smile turned into a small gasp and her hand slid to her waist. Her beautiful porcelain skin paled; she closed her eyes. And crumpled to the floor.
* * *
Molly Kimball opened her eyes to find her sister bending over her, her brother-in-law with his hand on Jill's shoulder and Logan, her best friend, behind them. They were all in a stuffy little room that carried the faint scent of incense, and Molly was lying on a lumpy couch. Her head throbbed. "I'm sorry," she said, squeezing Jill's fingers. "I ruined your ceremony."
"Oh, honey, it was over anyway, except for the kiss." She smiled, but her face was tense. "You're sick. You need a doctor, so we "
"No doctor." Her gaze sought Logan's. They hadn't planned on this coming out so soon. Damn. "I...I just didn't eat."
"It's probably that vegetarian diet," Logan said, trying to help her out. Unlike Jase, he respected her preference to avoid red meat.
Chapter One: Page Three
Worriedly, Jill glanced over her shoulder. Molly tracked her gaze. Ian Chandler, an OB-GYN and friend of Riley's who'd been at the ceremony with his wife, stood in the doorway. He shifted uncomfortably. Well, why wouldn't he? After all, he knew what was really going on. Jill said, "We asked Ian to come in before he and Paige went to the restaurant. To see if you were all right."
Molly drew in a breath, trying to quell the nausea that came when she was upset. Ian cocked his head and didn't say anything.
Logan circled around Jill to stand by the couch and picked up Molly's hand. A big man, with street-smart eyes, he said, "She's okay, Jill. She just needs some rest."
As always, Jillian's lawyer instincts went on red alert. From the skeptical look on Riley's face, so did his. "What's going on, Molly? Why don't you want Ian to check you out?" Jill asked.
Logan squeezed her fingers. He gave her an It's time, I guess look. Oh, hell, it probably was. She couldn't keep this a secret much longer anyway since she was at the beginning of her second trimester and was having trouble concealing her expanding waistline.
Ian approached the couch. "Molly? What do you want me to do?"
Poor Ian. "Nothing. It's okay. I haven't told them."
"I gathered." He stepped back. "I'll just wait outside."
After Ian left, she looked up at Jill. Her sister's face was pale with worry. It wasn't good for the baby. None of this was. For either baby.
Instead she leaned against her husband and went from pale to ashen. "Nothing's wrong with you, is it?"
Molly's smile was bittersweet. "Nothing's wrong with me any more than with you, sis."
Jill frowned. She didn't get it.
But Riley did. "Holy hell, Molly. You're pregnant, too?"
Jill's gaze narrowed. "I don't..." She raised her ha