Her Pregnancy SecretBy: Ann Major
She’d almost made him believe she was innocent
Michael North knew Bree Oliver was a gorgeous gold digger after his brother’s fortune, so he seduced her in a night of lovemaking and swore he’d let her go. Then a tragic accident changed everything. Now he must honor a deathbed promise to his brother—to protect the one woman Michael can never trust.
But watching over the pregnant Bree tests the tycoon’s self-control. Is Bree as virtuous as she claims? Or is he a fool to fall for her act? Torn between desire and distrust, Michael’s walking a treacherous line, unaware of the shocking secret she’s carrying….
“Now Who’s Seducing Who?”
Michael pushed Bree back against the wall, and his lips found hers. He kissed her hard and long. Glorious heat rushed through her veins as she kissed him back.
He lifted his head. Dazed, her heart racing, her eyes met the wildness in his gaze. He was the father of her unborn baby. In spite of all the walls she’d tried to erect against him, she still felt connected to him.
What she really wanted was for him to love their child and maybe someday love her, too. And when he kissed her like this, some idiotic part of her believed that could happen, that he might change someday, that he might see her as she was and be capable of respecting her…of loving her.
* * *
Michael North awakened with a violent start in the middle of the night.
His first thought was for the safety of the exquisite woman curled trustingly against him. She was warm and soft, beguilingly beautiful in the moonlight with her dark golden hair spilling across his pillow. He wanted to touch that hair and kiss her lips again, wanted it so much he had to clench his hands.
Ironically, he’d enjoyed his evening with her more than he’d enjoyed being with anyone in a very long time.
Maybe that was why his gut twisted as he experienced an uncustomary pang of conscience. After all, he’d seduced her for very deliberate, self-serving reasons.
Careful not to disturb her, he sat up and brushed a lock of thick black hair out of his eyes. Everything he’d done tonight—the seductive dinner at her failing bistro, the lovemaking in his penthouse, all the shared laughter and smiles—had been a lie.
He’d set her up so he could protect his naive younger brother.
But at some point Michael had forgotten about Will. His dinner date with Bree had begun with champagne served in sparkling flutes at Chez Z, the intimate French bistro she’d inherited from her famous brother, Johnny Z. She loved to cook and to eat, and Michael had loved watching her indulge.
She’d blushed when she’d drunk champagne. She’d sighed when she’d licked chocolate off her fingertips, and his. The wet, warm tip of her tongue against his flesh had almost been as good as having sex with her. Almost.
He’d loved the sound of her laughter, the glow of her cheeks when she teased him, the flash of intelligence in her slanting eyes when she’d made him feel clever and her wildness in bed. When had he had such a good time with anybody?
Surprisingly, Bree had given him more pleasure and tenderness and amusement during their evening than he’d ever imagined possible.
Because, first, she wasn’t his usual type. He went for cool, sophisticated glamour, for sleek, slim blondes who made heads turn and other men envy him. Bree was lush and earthy and wanton. She loved color and baubles and cheap scarves and probably didn’t bother to carry a comb in her purse.
And second, Bree Oliver, for all her seeming innocence and charms, was a gold digger. She’d targeted his foolish brother, thinking Will was the chump she needed to keep Chez Z from going into bankruptcy.
For Will’s sake, Michael had to finish her off. No matter how much he’d enjoyed being with her or how fabulous she’d been in bed, she deserved it.
If only Michael had been as smart five years ago when he’d fallen for Anya Parris. But, no, like a fool, when Anya had lied about being pregnant, he’d married her. He’d suffered through a hellish marriage that had included infidelity, scandal and a very public divorce.
Never again would Michael forget the cynical truth about the North wealth. It attracted women who pretended a genuine interest in him when all they wanted was the use of his penthouse, his ranch, his helicopters, his private jets, his invitations to the right clubs, the best restaurants and the A-list parties. Unlike his brother, Michael wasn’t above enjoying the women his money lured, but only for brief intervals.
Never again would he believe any woman wanted more from him than his luxurious lifestyle. Never again would he make the mistake of forming a serious attachment. Unfortunately Will, who’d had a more indulged childhood than Michael, was too trusting for his own good. It was up to Michael to save Will from Bree.
Soft summer moonlight turned the high ceilings of his loft and his large bed to shades of silver and gray. Bree’s body felt warm; treacherously so as she nestled closer against him. Her cheap silver bangles and necklaces on the bedside table glittered. Her colorful, filmy clothes and scarves lay in tangles on the floor beside her sandals where he’d stripped her while she’d swayed to music, laughing.
The cozy heat of her satin-soft body lured him. He wanted to stay beside her, to see the shy warmth of her sweetly crooked smile and the flirtatious glow that lit her amber eyes every time he kissed her.
No, he had to finish her off—now—even if her sweet strawberry scent filled his nostrils and made him weak with the craving to bury his lips in her thick, satiny hair, to kiss her throat, to taste her mouth and other parts of her sexy, feminine anatomy just one more time.
Intoxicated by her soft, sensual allure, he lingered in the bed beside her, torturing himself as he savored her warmth and remembered all the ways they’d made love.
She’d been so silky and tight the first time, like a velvet glove. When he’d pushed eagerly inside, holding her against the wall, she’d cried out. But when he’d stopped out of concern for her, she’d pressed her palms into the small of his spine and pleaded with him to stay—to stay forever if that was possible. Slowly her small body had accommodated itself to him. Driving into her, the pleasure of each stroke had been so total in its visceral thrill that fierce pleasure unlike any he had ever known had saturated every cell in his body.
She’d been a damn good actress, playing at virginal innocence, enticing him, then surrendering like a wanton. She’d nearly undone him. She’d almost made him believe that he alone, not his fortune, was special to her.
“Who knew?” she’d whispered with him sheathed inside her. “I like it. No, I love it.” Then she’d stroked his cheek lovingly, her eyes shining with wonder. “I’m glad it’s you. I never thought it would be half so nice. I always wanted to date someone as handsome and smart as you. I...I just never thought anybody like you...would look at a girl like me.”
It had been nice for him, too, being with her. More than nice.
His world could be so cold, and she seemed so sweet. For one forbidden moment, when she’d kissed him as if she’d wanted to consume him, he’d lost himself in the searing hot, torrid welcome of her body. He’d almost forgotten to protect himself.
Every time he’d made love to her, even with a condom, the sex had gotten better. And each time afterward when she’d clung to him, she’d seemed sweeter. Whatever this thing was between them, it had shaken him to the core. Hell, just thinking about her and what she’d done to him made him hard again, even as he lay beside her icily plotting his next step.
“Will said you were cold and uptight,” she’d whispered.
He hadn’t liked her comparing him to Will, but with every kiss and unassuming glance her power over him had increased. A connection to her built deep inside him and morphed into something that felt more than physical.
What had been going on?
Her mysterious white-hot appeal had fueled a compulsion that no other woman had ever aroused in him. She’d made him ravenous. Together their writhing bodies had burned and soared. His out-of-control excitement had felt addictive, tempting him to forget everything he knew about women like her. She’d provided some deeply needed comfort he hadn’t known he’d craved until he’d experienced it in her arms. He had never known a real home, or felt at home with anyone, not even with the Norths, who’d given him their name and had claimed him as family. Not until tonight...with her.