Exclusive: Excerpt from A.S. Teague’s ‘The Hardest Route’

The Hardest Route by A.S. Teague
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We are so lucky to share an exclusive excerpt from A.S. Teague’s upcoming novel The Hardest Route, coming March 21st!

About The Hardest Route

My friends used to tell me ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.’ Clearly, they lied because a few months later, I found out my one-night stand was pregnant.

 I couldn’t handle a baby. I was Griffin Rockwell, the best wide receiver the league had ever seen. But what choice did I have? My baby girl was coming whether I was ready for her or not.

Brooke turned out to be an amazing woman and mother. For seven years, we were the MVP’s of co-parenting—and even better friends.

That all changed when tragedy struck our makeshift family and I was faced with the terrifying possibility of losing the one woman I was quickly realizing I couldn’t live without.

I was at the height of my career and on the path to becoming the greatest of all time.

But keeping my family together, with Brooke by my side, might prove to be the hardest route of all.

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Exclusive Excerpt

“Relax. Just breathe.”

Easy for her to say. She hadn’t been dry heaving for the last week, only to discover that it wasn’t a stomach bug but rather an actual human growing inside her.

“Relaxing is officially off the table,” I managed to croak out. When my dry toast from breakfast finished its encore, I blindly reached behind me for the wet paper towel she was offering and wiped my mouth with it.

With my eyes still squeezed shut, I asked, “So, what now?”

“We need to do an ultrasound. With the spotting, it’s hard to know how far along you are based on your last period.” Her fingers brushed my forearm, and I opened my eyes. “Are you up for that?”

No.

I wasn’t.

I wasn’t up for it now.

But I didn’t think I’d be up for it tomorrow. Or next week. Or ever.

Reluctantly, I nodded.

“Okay, great. Let’s get you over there and take a look. When the tech is done, we can sit down and discuss things further.”

Intellectually, I knew that I was probably in shock, but I couldn’t wrap my mind around what she’d just told me.

There was no way that I was pregnant.

My last relationship had ended ages ago. Unless it was the second coming of Jesus, there was no way that this was anything other than a false positive. But I still trudged down the hall and disrobed from the waist down to be sure.

After I climbed on the ultrasound table and listened to the tech explain what she was going to do, it was still a jolt when she squeezed the cold gel on my belly and began moving the wand around.

The room was dark, the screen in front of me dim, no sounds except for the blood roaring through my ears.

“Hm,” she said as she continued to use one hand to press buttons on the ultrasound machine in front of her, the other still gliding the wand across my abdomen. “There it is.”

With the flick of her wrist, the room was filled with the sound of a horse galloping. Only it wasn’t a horse on the screen but rather what looked like an alien.

My breath caught in my throat as I asked, “Is that… is that what I think it is?”

She beamed as she nodded. “Yep. That is your baby.”

Tears filled my eyes as I stared at the image in front of me and murmured, “My baby.”

I was still scared out of my mind and in total denial… but there was a baby in my belly. Something I’d often thought about over the years, but being married to your career rarely resulted in children.

The tech began to prattle on about measurements and the placenta and a host of other terms that I didn’t understand, but I didn’t hear half of it. The only thing that I could hear was the thunderous beat of my baby’s heart, fast and strong.

“Miss Spires?” Her voice interrupted my thoughts.

“Yes?”

“The baby is measuring right at ten weeks.” She trailed off to consult her monitor. “Looks like your due date is January twenty-sixth.”

I did some quick math in my head.

Coming up with the answer I’d known but didn’t want to admit since the good doctor had uttered the terrifying P word.

Vegas.

I’d gotten pregnant in Vegas.

The first and only one-night stand I had ever had.

And I didn’t even know his last name.

Outstanding.

About the Author:

A.S. Teague enjoys the warmth of South Carolina with her husband and two daughters. The stereotypes about peach cobbler and sweet tea are not overstated. After years in the medical field, she is now enjoying every minute of being a stay-at-home mom. She loves wine, the beach, wine on the beach, and crying at Disney movies. When she doesn’t have a book in her hand, she can be found pestering her husband with pictures of animals she wants to rescue, as well as debating whether to exercise or take a nap.

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