Disclaimer: All characters belong to JE. I'm just using them for my pleasure. Mmmm, pleasure & Ranger in the same thought... *drool* This is a sequel to my stories: Anniversary Surprise, The Great Birthday Hunt, and The Next Step. You don't have to read those to read this one, but if you don't, you'll be missing out! Warning for lemony goodness. This is the FFn-compliant version of the chapter. For all the extra lemony goodies, check my profile for a link.

~oooOOOooo~

On the Hunt for a Family

~oOo~

Chapter 1: Questions
Mid-September
Sunday
Stephanie's POV

I stood at the sink upstairs in the apartment at work and looked into the mirror after washing out my mouth. I'd tried to brush my teeth, but the toothpaste had made me gag. Shit, I feel horrible. Something from lunch must have disagreed with me. I called down to Ranger's office.

"Yo, Babe."

"Hey, Carlos. I don't feel very well. Since it's Sunday and I don't have any meetings scheduled, I'm going to lie down and take a nap. Could you please let the guys know I'll be around later?"

"Sure thing, Babe. You need me to come up? I have a meeting in an hour but can come up before then." He sounded concerned.

"No, that's okay. You get ready for your meeting. I'm sure it's just something I ate at lunch. I'll come by and see you when I get downstairs."

"Okay. I love you. Call me if you need me."

"Love you, too."

He hung up without another word. I closed my phone and set it down on the bedside table before falling asleep.

Two hours later, I came out of my sleep and sat up suddenly, trying to figure out what had woken me. Oh, God, I shouldn't have sat up that quickly, I thought as I lurched off the bed and flew into the bathroom.

Thirty minutes later, freshly cleaned from a quick shower and brushing my teeth using water and my finger, I wrapped myself in a towel and went into the bedroom to put on clean clothes. As I pulled on the cargoes, my eyes locked onto my body in the mirror standing in the corner.

Automatically, my hand went to my stomach and my eyes widened. No! Could I be pregnant? My mind began going a million miles a minutes. We had stopped using protection a month ago, just shortly after our two-year wedding anniversary. I'd been on the pill, and I knew that could take a bit to get out of my system, so surely not.

I tried to count back to when I'd had my last period. Thinking I was off in my head, I finished dressing and ran into the entryway to get my purse. I pulled out the calendar that I used to mark down when I was menstruating and opened to September. Nothing there. I checked back a month, and when I found the marks for August way back on the very first couple of days, my heart jumped into my throat. I was two weeks late!

I hurried back into the bedroom to grab my phone and call Mary Lou. She would be able to help me with getting a test from a nearby town, unless she had one left from the scare she'd had last month.

"Hello?" I could hear the kids yelling in the background.

"Lou? It's Steph. I need a favor. A big one."

"Hey, Steph! What's up?" There was a crash from her end, and she said, "Hold up. Guys, keep it down! If you broke anything, you buy it! Okay, now, what's going on?"

"Umm, do you have any tests left over from last month?"

She was quiet a minute, and then she screamed. "Oh my God! Stephanie!"

"Mary Lou! Please! Keep it to yourself for now! I don't know. That's why I need the test," I explained.

"I think I have a couple. Do you want to come over? Lenny is taking the kids to meet his parents for dinner in a few hours, so you could come over for dinner with me and could take them then."

"That'd be great, Lou. I'll see you around six. And thanks."

"No problem." Another crash sounded in the background, along with the sound of breaking glass. "Geez, I gotta go. See you later!"

I hung up the phone and sat staring at it for a minute. Finally, I shook my head to get rid of the cobwebs and then stood up. Nothing I could do until I took the tests, so I might as well go back to work. I stuck my gun in the small of my back, grabbed my keys and purse from the entry, and left the apartment.

When I got down to five, I walked to my office and saw that Ranger's door was open. I dropped my stuff off and then knocked as I walked in. He lifted his head from the papers he was reading and gave me a big smile.

"Babe. How are you feeling?"

"I'm okay now. I think it must have been lunch. Having a long nap helped. How'd your meeting go?"

"Went fine. Just a client who refuses to deal with anyone but me." He did a great verion of a 'Burg girl eye-roll and smiled. "I hate that we had to stay here this weekend instead of going to the house, but it was so much easier than driving back and forth."

"Ahh, the joys of being the boss," I teased him. "Hey, you should talk to the guys about going out tonight for dinner & beers. Been awhile since you did that, and I'm not going to be here for dinner. Mary Lou called as I was getting ready. Lenny is taking the kids to meet his parents for dinner, so she invited me over for some girl talk. I'm going to go eat with her and keep her company until Lenny gets back."

"Sounds good, Babe. I'll talk to the guys. Got a lot of work to do until then?"

I knew from the gleam in his eye what he was thinking and smiled. "Not much. No meetings until tomorrow, and no skips today. Why?" I couldn't resist teasing him by slowly backing up toward the open doorway.

He stood up and made his way quickly to me, reaching out to close the door and pinning me up against it. He locked the door as he lowered his head to mine. "Babe..."

I moaned as his lips found mine. He teased me, nipping at them before his tongue came out and softly traced the outline of my smile. When I threw myself against him, he picked me up, wrapped my legs around his waist, and carried me to the couch on the opposite wall. He fell back against the couch and kept me on top of his lap. I was straddling him with my knees on either side of his thighs, and as we kissed, I began to rub myself against his growing erection.

"Dios, Babe! I simply have to think about you and I want you. When I look at you? I can't stop myself from wanting to be inside you." Ranger slipped his fingers down into the front of my cargoes and under the edge of my panties, finding my already-damp curls.

I whimpered as he moved farther and stroked my slit at the same time his tongue slid into my mouth and tangled with mine. His other hand moved up and pushed my shirt past my breasts. When his mouth closed over my nipple through the lace of my bra, his long, thick finger slid into my folds and glided across my clit. I cried out, so turned on that I nearly came just at that touch alone.

"Shit!" I gasped. "More, please..." My hips began moving faster against his hand, rocking to feel as much of him as I could. I was rewarded with two more fingers sliding into me as his thumb began pressing on my clit. Soon, I couldn't stand it any longer.

I came hard, crying out his name as he continued to stroke me. Knowing we could be interrupted at any moment, he quickly replaced his fingers with her cock. By the time Ranger was ready to come, he'd pulled another orgasm from me, and on my third one, he shuddered through his own release.

I pulled his mouth down to mine and slid my tongue between his lips, where they battled for a minute before our heartbeats began to slow back to a more normal pace.

Ranger pulled out of me slowly and then lay on his side with me on the couch, turning me onto my side and pulling me back against him. He brushed soft kisses into my hair. The last thing I heard was the beeps of his alarm on his watch being set and felt the softness of the blanket as he pulled it off the back of the couch to cover us. With nothing but peace in my head, I fell fast asleep.

~oOo~

Sometime later, I was pulled from sleep when Ranger's watch began beeping. He turned it off quickly as I mumbled, "Whattimeisit?"

"It's five o'clock, Babe. You have an hour until you have to be at Mary Lou's. You needed more rest, so I let you sleep for an hour or so. How are you feeling?"

I sat up cautiously. Good, no rolling stomach. "So far so good," I said, smiling before leaning down and brushing my lips across his.

I stood up and found my clothes, leaving off my panties with a wink before pulling the pants on. By the time I was re-dressed, Ranger was standing behind me, his pants rezipped and buttoned, waiting for me.

"Let's go upstairs, Babe. I called the guys while you were sleeping, so I'll get ready after you're out of the shower. Tank, Lester, Bobby, Hal, Hector, Cal, and some of the other guys are going to Shorty's. I told them I'd meet them there just after six, so I can see you off to Mary Lou's."

We walked up the two flights of stairs in a comfortable silence. When we got into the apartment, Ranger kissed me quickly and then swatted me on the behind to get me moving.

"Okay, okay, I'm going!"

I pulled my shoes off in the bedroom, followed by all my clothes. I laughed when Ranger's eyes turned dark as he watched me walk quickly to the bathroom naked.

"Babe, if we didn't both have somewhere to be, I'd take that as an invitation. But you're going to run out of time as it is, and I wouldn't be able to rush through what I want to do to you. Now go!"

"Yes, sir," I said with a mock salute, grinning as he growled at me.

I quickly closed the bathroom door and used the toilet before turning on the water and taking a long, hot shower to loosen up muscles that were quickly beginning to tense. In all the fun and games, I'd almost forgotten why I was going over to Mary Lou's house tonight.

Wrapping myself in a towel after my shower, my hand strayed to hold itself protectively over my lower stomach. Don't worry, baby. If you're real, I'll never forget you, I promise. I wasn't sure how to feel about the possibility. I'd said for years that I didn't want kids, but after I married Ranger, the idea of children didn't frighten me nearly as much as it used to. I guess if I was pregnant, it could only be a good thing, so I tried to relax and not worry too much. Yet. My thoughts were centered on the possible life growing inside me, so when Ranger knocked on the bathroom door, I jumped and shrieked.

"You okay, Babe? You've been in there awhile." Ranger sounded a bit worried.

"Yeah, I'm fine," I said, opening the door. "Was just enjoying the steam from my shower." I grinned and leaned up to kiss him. "It's all yours."

Ranger jumped in the shower while I got dressed and began working on my makeup. By five forty-five, we were both dressed and ready and Ranger had called Ella to make sure she knew neither of us were going to be there for dinner.

"I'll see you later, Babe. Call me if you'll be out late so I don't worry, okay?"

I nodded. "Will do. You guys have fun, but try not to get shot or arrested," I told him, thinking of Lester and his idea of fun. Rolling my eyes, I said, "Keep Les under control, at least."

He grinned and took my hand as we walked out. We rode the elevator down, and he stopped at five. "I'm going to head to Tank's office. He and I are going to ride together and meet the other guys. Be safe, Babe."

I nodded and kissed him before he left the elevator. "I will. Love you, Carlos."

He smiled as the doors slid closed, leaving me to ride to the garage alone, ready to get the answer to my question. Was I or was I not having Ranger's baby?