Home > Going Down Fast (Billionaire Bad Boys #2)

Going Down Fast (Billionaire Bad Boys #2)
Author: Carly Phillips

Prologue

Lucas Monroe was at the top of his game. As the co-creator of Blink, the social media app that had taken over the world, and with a recently successful IPO on Wall Street behind him, he was now getting ready for a night with a gorgeous model any guy would kill to date.

He put down the razor and dried his face with a towel, finishing up with a pat of cologne, his gaze drawn to the tattoos he’d had done that traveled down one arm and marked his side. He’d gotten the ink after he’d started working out and bulking up, determined to be a different man than the insecure kid he’d once been. He’d come a long way from the nerdy high schooler who was afraid to ask a girl out—one girl in particular—and who stammered over his own name.

Tonight he was headed to the Polo Bar, a popular night spot his date had chosen and, thanks to his connections, they were able to get in. Personally, he could live without the whole need-to-be-seen thing, but if it meant getting laid, he’d put in the time.

He dressed in a pair of black slacks and a white button-down shirt, rolling the sleeves. Just as he grabbed his keys and was about to leave, his cell rang.

A quick glance and his stomach twisted with a familiar pang. He answered immediately. “Hello?”

“Lucas!”

“Maxie, what’s up?” he asked his beautiful downstairs neighbor.

“It’s the baby,” she said, her voice shaking and tearful. “I need you.”

All thoughts fled except getting to her as soon as possible. He raced down the stairs, not waiting for the elevator, and rushed through the hall. Her door had been left open, he assumed for him, and he let himself inside.

“Maxie?” he called out.

“In here.”

He strode toward the sound of her voice and found her standing in the hall bathroom, blood covering her bare legs beneath her maternity dress.

Panic and fear rushed through him at the sight, and he froze in place. “What happened?”

“I don’t know,” she said, tears in her eyes. “I was putting the baby’s crib together.”

Lucas narrowed his gaze and catalogued that piece of information to deal with later. Like why wasn’t the baby’s father doing that job?

“I got tired,” she went on. “So I went to lie down and I woke up to… this.” She gestured to the blood with shaking hands.

“Let’s go.” He stepped up to her, wrapping an arm around her and carefully leading her out of the small room. “I’m taking you to the hospital.” He managed to sound strong and in charge when, in reality, the blood had him completely panicked.

She stopped in her tracks. “But I called my doctor. I’m waiting for him to get back to me and tell me what to do.”

Lucas frowned at her calm tone. “Well, he can damn well find you in the ER. What do you need?”

She pointed to her purse on a chair in the family room. “I’ll grab a towel from the bathroom,” she said softly.

“I’ve got both.” He went for the towel, then her bag, and returned quickly, herding her to the door.

A few minutes later, he’d hailed a cab, and they were in the backseat, Maxie huddled close. She clung to him, plastered to his side, her breathing heavy.

“Oh my God, what if I lose the baby?” she asked, her voice muffled in his shirt, which was now damp with her tears.

Pure fear had taken over her earlier calm, and he was almost relieved. Her lack of reaction before had been freaking him out. He’d had a hard enough time hiding his panic.

He stroked her hair, feeling the hard press of her belly against his side. “It’s going to be okay, baby. Hang on,” he said as he silently prayed for her to be all right too.

Meanwhile, she cried soundlessly beside him, shaking. And breaking his heart.

“Can’t you hurry up?” he asked the driver he’d already promised a hefty tip to get them there fast and safe.

“Doing the best I can in this Manhattan traffic, buddy,” the older man said. But he cut off a car in the next lane and hit the accelerator harder.

Finally, the car screeched to a stop at the hospital emergency room entrance. Lucas threw a fifty at the driver and helped Maxie out of the cab.

One look at the blood on her legs and towel and the triage nurse grabbed a wheelchair. Lucas held her hand, rushing beside her.

“How far along are you?” the young nurse asked.

“Almost seven months,” Maxie whispered. “It’s too early.”

Lucas squeezed her shoulder. They reached a set of swinging doors and the nurse paused. “Are you her husband?” she asked.

“No but—”

“Wait here. I’ll come out as soon as I know something.”

“But—” Lucas cursed himself for not lying through his teeth to go in with her, but he hadn’t been thinking about anything except Maxie. And the blood.

The notion of losing her for good was unbearable. He refused to think about the fact that he’d already lost her in the only other way that mattered.

“No, he can come with me,” she said, sniffling.

“We don’t know what the situation is. I promise once you’re stabilized, I’ll come get him,” the nurse said, turning the chair so she could back herself and Maxie through the entrance.

He met Maxie’s tearful gaze as she was wheeled away, the big doors closing behind her, leaving him to wait. Alone.

* * *

Maxie woke with a start, and a cloud of depression immediately cloaked her in fog. She didn’t have to think to know the world as she knew it had ended. She blinked and tears streamed down her cheeks unchecked.

   
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