English Girl in New York

By: Scarlet Wilson



The snowfall was getting even heavier—he could barely see ten feet in front of him. This was pointless. He was never going to find any clues in this weather. He had to concentrate on the immediate. He had to concentrate on the baby.

He hurried back into the apartment. Carrie turned to face him. ‘Nothing?’ The anxiety in her voice was obvious. Was she just a concerned citizen? Or was it something else?

He shook his head and pulled off his jacket, hanging it back up behind the door.

He walked over to where she was standing at the window and had another quick look out into the deserted street, searching for something, anything—a shadow, a movement. But there was nothing. Just the silence of the street outside.

He stood next to her, watching the way she cradled the baby in her arms. She was holding the baby, but he could sense she was uneasy. She’d said she didn’t know the first thing about babies—well, neither did he. And in a snowstorm like this, it was unlikely they could get any help.

Most of the people who stayed around here were professionals. He couldn’t think of a single family that stayed on this street. There were a couple of older people who had lived here for years. Mrs Van Dyke upstairs, but her family had long since moved away. There really wasn’t anyone they could call on for help.

He watched her. The way her blue eyes were fixed on the face of the baby, still swaddled in its blanket. It was then he noticed the way her arms were trembling. It was slight—ever so slight. Making her chestnut curls waver and the pink flush of her cheeks seem heated.

She was beautiful. Now that he was close enough to take a good look at her, Carrie McKenzie was beautiful. Even if she didn’t know it herself. Even with the realm of sadness in her blue eyes. He wondered what they looked like when they were happy. Did they sparkle, like the sun glinting off a turquoise-blue sea?

They were standing too close. He was sure his warm breath must be dancing across her skin. He could smell the orange scent of her bath oils, still present on her skin. He liked it. It was nicer than the cloying scent of some perfumes that women wore. The ones that prickled your nose from the other side of the room. This was like a warm summer’s day. Here, in his living room, in the middle of a snowstorm in New York.

She looked up at him with those sad blue eyes. She didn’t pull away from him. She didn’t seem to think he had invaded her personal space. It was quite unnerving. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been this close to a beautiful woman in his apartment—and certainly not one in her nightwear.

A smile danced across his face. If he’d ever pictured a woman in his apartment in her nightwear it certainly hadn’t been in fluffy pyjamas and bed socks. She blinked and it snapped him out of his wayward thoughts and back to the current situation.

‘I don’t even know your name,’ she whispered.

Wow. He hadn’t even introduced himself. What kind of a New Yorker was he that his neighbour didn’t even know his name? His grandma would kill him for his lack of manners and hospitality.

Why hadn’t he ever introduced himself? Was it because he was so used to the constant flow of traffic up above him that he hadn’t thought it worth his while? The thought shamed him. Because this woman definitely looked as if she could do with a friend. ‘Dan. Daniel Cooper.’

‘Daniel,’ she repeated, as if she were trying to associate his face with the name. Her lips curled upwards. ‘It’s nice to meet you, Daniel,’ she whispered, her gaze steady on his. ‘Even if I am barely dressed.’ He liked that about her. Even though her arms were trembling and she was clearly out of her depth, she could still look him clear in the eye and make a joke at her own expense.

The baby let out a whimper, reminding them of its presence, and he jerked back to reality. ‘Maybe it’s time to find out whether we’ve had a boy or a girl.’ He raised his eyebrows at her and held out his hands to take the bundle from her.

It only took a few seconds to relieve her of the weight. There was a noticeable sigh of relief in her shoulders as she handed the baby over.

He walked closer to the fire and unwound the little blanket. His cast made it awkward. There were no baby clothes underneath—no diaper. Just a little wrinkled towel. Carrie let out a gasp, lifting her hand to her mouth at the sight of a piece of string and a barely shrivelled umbilical cord.

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