Sam Dunham tried to keep from laughing at the scolding look their distinguished lawyer gave him and his husband, Cody McPherson. Arthur Mulberry, their adoption attorney, leaned forward on his gleaming glass-and–stainless-steel desk and adjusted his glasses.
“You two do know you really don’t have to do all this extra stuff, right? I mean while I appreciate the good-will Boy-Scout intentions behind the gesture, I really think you guys need to be careful and think about what could happen if things go wrong.”
Sam and Cody exchanged an amused glance. Arthur tended to get a bit dramatic but they were both used to it. Hell, in the past year they’d been going through the process of trying adopt, and they spent more time on the phone with the lawyer than they did with their parents. But all of that was about to change because they’d finally been matched with a young pregnant woman, Nancy, due to give birth any time in the next few weeks. Five months ago Nancy had picked them as the adoptive parents for her baby and they’d been living in a state of joyful anticipation ever since.
Cody rubbed his chin, no doubt trying to hide a smile. “Look, Arthur, it’s not like we’ve given her our bank account numbers. We’ve simply paid for an apartment in a decent neighborhood for the next two years so she can finish up her schooling. She didn’t ask for the help and it’s not like we can’t afford it.”
That was true. In the four years since they’d been married, the exotic stone business they owned had grown exponentially, to the point where they now had over twenty full-time employees and enough money in the bank to do pretty much anything they wanted. Like afford Arthur’s three-hundred-and-fifty-dollar-an-hour attorney fee.
“You guys don’t understand.” Arthur smoothed the lapels of his suit and sighed. “Look, I’ve been doing adoptions for financially secure families more than twenty-six years now and I’ve seen more than my fair share of birth mothers get bit by the greedy bug. I don’t want you guys getting screwed over.”
Sam held his husband’s hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. “We understand. But Nancy is a good kid and she deserves a second chance.”
“Besides, even if we outright bought her the apartment and her groceries for the next ten years we would still have enough left in the bank to spend the rest of our lives relaxing around the pool with oil-covered pool boys feeding us grapes and champagne.”
“Hey now!” Sam shot him a mock glare. “You know I don’t like champagne.”
“Fine, they’ll serve you beer.”
Arthur cleared his throat. “Once again, as your attorney, I must advise you against giving Ms. Yost an apartment.”
“Too late. She moved in yesterday.”
“Without her mother,” his husband added. “In fact, she’s been banned from the building.”
All three men winced at the mention of Mrs. Yost and Arthur leaned back in his leather chair, the springs creaking softly beneath his weight. “I still don’t like it, but I can’t imagine leaving anyone under Mrs. Yost’s tender care. Will that elderly bigot be in the delivery room?”
Cody muttered some very unflattering things under his breath while Sam shrugged. “We don’t know. We’re leaving that up to Nancy.”
“We’ll be at the hospital, but not in the birthing room...unless she wants us there.” Sam swallowed hard as his stomach clenched. “Which I don’t think is going to happen.”
“After you passed out during the Lamaze video about giving birth, I don’t think anyone wants you anywhere near the delivery room.”
They all laughed and Arthur studied them. “Well, gentlemen, all of your paperwork is in order and by this time next month, you two should be parents to a bouncing baby boy.”
Pure pleasure shot through Sam, making his whole chest tight. He and Cody exchanged identical, joy-filled smiles. “I can’t wait.”