Her Pregnancy Secret

By: Ann Major



She turned away to hide her eyes, lest she give something away. “He asked me. I said yes. Unlike you, he’s a really nice guy.”

“Which made him perfect prey for a woman like you.”

“You’re wrong. About him and me.” She stopped. There was no way she could defend herself without getting into deeper trouble.

“Forget it,” she said. “I don’t care what you think.”

But she did.

Frowning, Michael paced the length of Will’s dazzling white room with its grand piano and splashes of paintings and sculptures. He stopped abruptly to look at the photographs of Will and Tony on Tony’s piano.

Panic surged through her when he lifted one.

“Who’s the big guy in leather?”

She moved toward the shiny black piano. Not that she had to see the picture up close to know that it was Tony in his trademark black biker attire with rings in his ears. In the photograph, he and Will were toasting Johnny and her at a party at Chez Z. It had been only a few months ago, to celebrate the restaurant’s success. Will had been ecstatic to be part of a successful venture and to share his happiness with Tony.

Tears misted her eyes. How could so much change so fast? How could they both be gone?

“It’s Tony,” she said

“The driver? He was Will’s best friend who died at the scene? He was Will’s roommate, too?”

“And our best man,” she said.

And so much more.

Michael slowly set the picture back on the piano beside the others of Tony and Will with different friends. “Tell me again why you married Will.”

She backed away. “Do we have to talk about this?”

“You asked me about my love life.” A dangerous edge had crept into his soft voice. “Did you want him, my brother, as much as you wanted me?”

It made her sick to remember how much she’d wanted Michael; sick to think that even now he wasn’t entirely unattractive to her. She wanted to believe he wasn’t the man she knew he was, wanted to believe he cared, at least a little. But he’d told her in no uncertain terms how he felt about her, so she steeled herself.

“I married him, didn’t I?”

“Why?”

Because of what you did to me. Because your wonderful, caring brother wanted to help me and take care of me, which was something he knew you’d never do. Because I didn’t know what else to do.

He seemed to sense her vulnerability. Her heart skittered as his large, tanned hand closed over hers, making escape impossible. His dark eyes flashed with alarming passion as he drew her to him.

She averted her gaze from his handsome face. He’d been so cruel, and she’d fought so hard to forget him. Why couldn’t she? He’d only had to walk into her hospital room this afternoon to make her remember how he’d dazzled her.

Then he’d accused her of being a gold digger and worse.

“I’ve thought about you,” he muttered. “Thought about that night, about everything we did and said, even though all I wanted was to forget you. Even now—when I know you were lying about your relationship with Will all along, you still get under my skin.”

Ditto.

Feeling on the verge of a meltdown, she tried to wrench free. It was clear that he’d hated his involvement with her, that he wanted nothing to do with her. And it still hurt—more than it should have, even now when she knew how cold and cruel he was.

When his burning eyes stared into hers, she began to shake because she was terrified he would see her pain and understand how gullible she still was.

He held on to her and drew her closer. “How the hell could you marry my brother?”

Her pulse thrummed. As always when she was in his arms, he aroused forbidden needs.

She had to remember he’d deliberately used her, not caring how he hurt her. He still despised her. She couldn’t trust anything he said or did.

Michael certainly did not deserve the truth.

“Why did you marry him?” he asked again.

“It’s complicated.”

“I’m good at complicated, so tell me. Or better yet, show me,” he whispered.

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“Don’t you?”

Suddenly his hands were in her hair, stroking the dark silken gold that fell against her nape. His fingertips followed the sensuous curve of her neck before he cupped her chin and lifted her slender face to his, his touch as gentle and seductive as it had been that night.

Frantically, because it would be so easy to lose herself to the emotions that blazed in his eyes, she fought to resist him.

If only he had a real heart. If only she could truly depend on him and didn’t have to be afraid of how she felt. But she knew, and even so, he aroused her.

Her skin burned and her knees went weak. He had only to touch her to make her yearn for his tenderness. Had there been a night since she’d seen him last that she hadn’t ached to have him hold her like this and make her feel loved again? To look at her as he was looking at her now, with eyes that devoured her, adored her?

The craving for all the things only he could make her feel became too much to resist. Without thinking, she arched her back and opened her lips, inviting his mouth to claim hers. His tongue entered her. In an instant, the rightness of his searing kiss, and her hunger, were a thousand times stronger than what she’d experienced before.

She had to fight him. She knew what he was about. But the room was spinning and she was clinging, melting, falling. As he pulled her closer, every feminine cell pulsed with the desire to surrender to him in the hope he felt something deeper than he could admit.

All that mattered was that she’d longed for him, and he’d returned. She felt him, erect with a fierce masculine need he couldn’t hide as he pressed against her. No matter how he’d denied his feelings, there was a raw, elemental truth in his kisses. In that moment she believed he was as helpless as she to fight the explosive chemistry between them.

Again and again he kissed her, leaving her shaken from the bittersweet joy of being with him again. His tongue dipped deeply inside her mouth and sent a tremor through her. When his grip tightened around her waist, she realized he was trembling even more than she was.

Time seemed to slow as he made love to her with his mouth and tongue, as his hands moved down her curves. She’d missed him, though she’d denied it.

She couldn’t deny it now as his hands slid downward to cup her bottom and bring her closer to the powerful, masculine heat of his arousal.

Throwing caution aside, her hands traced over his hard body before sliding inside his waistband. In her desperation she ripped his shirt out of his slacks. But when she caressed his hard abs, he shuddered, let out a savage cry and then tore his lips from hers.

Cursing her softly, he took a step backward, even as he retained a grip on her arm to steady her when she began to sway.

“What’s wrong?” she whispered, aching for more.

“You answered my question,” he said, his cold, flat voice reducing the tenderness and warmth that burned inside her to ashes. “You still want me—which means you married Will for cold, calculating reasons. You are every bit as low as I thought. I’ll never forgive you for using my brother like that. You didn’t care how you were going to hurt him, did you? Not as long as you got what you wanted.”

“What?” In shock, her wild eyes met his icy ones.

Who was using who? How could Michael kiss her like that and then shut her out again just when she felt so passionately aroused and open to him? Just when she believed there might be feelings beneath his passion. Had he really kissed her like that only to prove a point?

She swallowed and fought to find some control within herself, but she was too close to the edge, too vulnerable. She had been through too much today. She wanted Michael, and he despised her.

“I don’t want you. My resistance must be low because they gave me painkillers. I—I didn’t know what I was doing.”

“Well, you can believe that if it makes you feel better,” he began with a calm disdain that chilled her to the marrow. “But you want me, all right.”

Because I’m a human being, and I thought you cared.

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