“I haven’t told anybody about her.”
Louisa’s eyes dropped to the baby. “You’re going to have to eventually. You need help.”
Jack could feel the anger rising in him. This is exactly what he didn’t want—everyone showing up, telling him what to do. “It’s just a baby. I can handle her.”
“Looks like you’re really handling it, Jack. I’m going to let Betty know. She’ll get a whole team of ladies in here.”
Jack jumped to his feet. “You will not tell a soul!”
The baby startled, her arms flailing out as though she’d been attacked. Her eyes opened, and her mouth let out a terrible little wail.
“Give Ella to me,” Jack said, his voice practically a growl. “We’re done here.”
“Stop scaring her,” she said. “The last thing this child needs is to have the first conversation she’s heard in a week be two people arguing.”
Jack balled his hands into fists and willed himself to calm down. Louisa always got under his skin. The woman was maddening.
“It’s not like you know a lot about babies,” he said, although he knew it was a low blow to bring up her lack of family. “Now give her to me.”
It worked. Louisa passed the baby back into his arms.
“Jack Stone, you would cut off your own nose to spite your face. You need help, and there’s no way I’m going to keep this a secret.” She pointed a finger at the baby. “For her sake, not yours. You can starve for all I care.”
She didn’t even look back as she opened the door, stepped out, and slammed it behind her. The loud thud set the baby to crying with renewed strength.
“Good riddance,” Jack said to the door.
He lifted Ella to his shoulder. “We didn’t need her anyway.”