Home > The Match - A Baby Daddy Donor Romance

The Match - A Baby Daddy Donor Romance
Author: Winter Renshaw

 


Prologue

 

 

Two Years Ago

 

 

* * *

 

Rossi

 

* * *

 

“Hey, what about this one?” My sister, Carina, slides a piece of paper across my dining room table. “Donor A77462J. Trilingual Sailor.”

I cringe. “When I think of a sailor, I think of a hot guy screwing beautiful women all over the world, and then that makes me think of STDs.”

“The agency isn’t going to give you a sperm donor with STDs.” She rolls her eyes.

“I know. I’m just telling you those are my connotations.”

“Ooh.” She plucks another from the pile. “Eager Engineer.”

I wince. “Makes me think of a socially awkward genius.”

“Smart is good though. You want smart. The father of your child should be a freaking prodigy.”

“Yeah, but what if he’s one of those guys who are so freakishly intelligent they lack common sense and street smarts? Like your last boyfriend?” I wink. Reminding her about the time the poor guy got mugged in New York City and thought he could use intelligent conversation to convince his attacker to drop his knife and run away isn’t necessary.

My sister crumples the page before hurling it across the room. “Moving on. Okay, what about this guy … Donor K87338L … This donor puts God above all else and is always willing to help those in need. In his free time, he volunteers at local nursing homes and youth clubs, as well as fosters homeless elderly cats—”

“—stop.” I lift a palm. “He clearly has a saint complex. And he sounds too good to be true. Pass.”

My sister chuckles, retrieving the next page from the stack. “Pile’s getting thin here …”

“Who’s next?”

“Donor W44321G … Ambitious Athlete … Tall with chiseled cheekbones, dimples, and a sun-kissed bronze complexion, this donor is not afraid to stand out in the crowd. Naturally athletic, physically fit, intellectually gifted, and driven, there’s nothing he can’t do once his mind is set. He would describe himself as adventurous and well-traveled, with a focus on collecting experiences, not things. Heritage: Italian and French.”

“Let me see that.” I feast my eyes on Donor W44321G’s profile. “Athleticism is good because we definitely don’t have that on our side of the family … and ambition is never a bad thing. Dimples are a bonus.” I purse my lips, studying the rest of the limited details. “He’s six two. Black hair. Brown eyes. It says his closest celebrity lookalikes are Eddie Cibrian, Eric Bana, and Benjamin Bratt.”

“So basically he’s hot as sin.”

A strange flutter tickles my chest, but I remind myself that I’ll never see his face, that he’ll be nothing more than the other half of my future child’s DNA. And then I quiet the palpitations and get back to business.

“You know, Dad was full-blooded Italian and Mom’s mom emigrated from Normandy,” she says, sharing things I already know. “Maybe it’s a sign?”

I lift a brow. She isn’t wrong. But she’s also been combing through these with me for the past six weekends. I’m sure a part of her is ready to be done with this exhaustive search. I know I am. But this isn’t the kind of thing I can take lightly. This is the biological father of my future child we’re talking about. I can’t pick someone who’s good enough.

He has to be perfect.

“There’s no such thing as the perfect match.” My sister waves Ambitious Athlete’s profile like a white flag in front of my face. “But this is pretty damn close.”

I examine his paper, reading through the sparse information as if I could possibly glean something extra, something subtle, something hiding in plain sight. Closing my eyes, I picture his face, a mish-mash of handsome actors with the kind of fist-biting, knee-weakening physique you only see on giant billboards in New York, Paris, and Milan.

“You said Dr. Wickham matched you genetically to these donors?” Carina asks.

“He has some kind of state-of-the-art algorithm that pairs us genetically,” I say. I read all about it in the brochure months ago when I first embarked on this single motherhood journey. A week after I met with the doctor’s team and signed the contract, they mailed me a mountain of questionnaires focused on genetic history, psychological tendencies, and personality traits, and once I’d finished, they brought me in for bloodwork. After months of analysis, they sent me a semi-thick manila envelope of prospects.

And now here we are.

“Well, my vote is for Ambitious Athlete.” She leans back in her chair, finished. “Don’t think it gets better than that.”

I read his description once more.

“You’re smiling.” My sister points at my face. “Did you make your decision?”

Laughing, I clutch the page against my chest. “Yeah. I think so. He’s the one.”

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

Present Day

 

* * *

 

Rossi

 

* * *

 

I read the letter three times.

 

* * *

 

Dear Fabian Catalano—

 

* * *

 

Per your request, we have destroyed the remainder of your frozen donation. Please know that your specimen has been utilized successfully in the past. For your records, your donor number is W44321G. Please also know that your donor number is registered on the National Donor Sibling Registry in accordance with the Hemlock-Patterson Act of 1997. Should you choose to connect with any offspring in the future, you may do so via the aforementioned organization.

If you have further questions, please contact our clinic manager, Rhonda Bixby, and she would be happy to assist.

 

* * *

 

Respectfully,

Dr. Wickham and Team

Wickham Fertility Clinic

Chicago, IL

 

* * *

 

“Carina,” I call to my sister in the next room. A second later, she appears in the doorway of my home office, my nine-month-old daughter, Lucia, on her shoulder. “Read this.”

I hand her the letter. Her nose wrinkles and she squints. “What’s this mean?”

“Why would they send that to me?”

“Clerical error.”

“Clearly.” I take the letter back and scan it once more. “Why does that name sound familiar? Fabian Catalano. I swear I’ve heard that before.”

“Wait.” Hoisting the baby on her other hip, she slides her phone out from her back jeans pocket and impressively uses her thumb to tap his name into Google. “Oh my god.”

“What? What?”

Flipping the screen toward me, she all but shoves it in my face. “Fabian Catalano—the tennis player. He beat Rafael Nadal last year in the Spanish Open, remember? And then they got into some kind of fist fight after their match in Paris?”

“I literally don’t watch tennis. You know that,” I remind her before feasting my eyes on the muscled Adonis in the images before me. He’s a beautiful man, I will admit. His thick black hair is shoved back carelessly with a Nike sweatband, his shirtless torso glints with sweat, and his generous hands are wrapped tight around the base of a neon-yellow tennis racket. Sports—or anything involving competition—has never been my thing, but I’m sure I’ve heard his name in passing before. Maybe in a news clip or on a billboard somewhere.

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