Рейтинг: 0

Expecting a Bolton Baby

Год написания книги
<< 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 >>

“No worries, laddie.” Mickey’s impish grin was back. “I know where ye live.” He turned back to Stella.

“I’ll ride with Bobby.”

If this announcement surprised Mickey, he didn’t show it. Instead, he nodded. “See you there.” Still whistling, he headed out toward his vehicle. With Bobby’s gun still in his pocket.

Bobby knew what that meant.

He still had to keep his cool.

* * *

Bobby had a very nice car, a fire-engine-red Corvette. It fit with Stella’s mental image of him as a consummate player. He’d certainly been one the night they’d met, his blond hair slicked back, the custom-fit gray suit over a white shirt—no tie, though. He’d looked as if he’d belonged at that party—as if he would have belonged at any party—whereas she’d been deeply uncomfortable even just sitting off to the side.

She couldn’t reconcile his reaction to her announcement, though.

She wasn’t sure what she’d expected him to do when she told him he’d fathered the baby growing in her belly.

No, that wasn’t true. If she was being honest with herself, she’d expected him to tick down the reasons why he couldn’t possibly be the father, why it had to be someone else. Or maybe she’d thought he’d flat out say that, even if it was his—which it wasn’t—he would have nothing to do with it. With her.

But he hadn’t. He’d just asked a few clarifying questions. Then suggested he drive her home.

Which he was doing now. They sat in the car in silence. Stella wanted him to say something. The only problem was, she didn’t know what she wanted to hear.

“Have you been here all week?”

His sudden question made her jump. Of course, at this point, she was already jumpy. Something about being unwed and pregnant had her on edge.

“Ah, no. I arrived on Wednesday.” She wanted to look at him again, but sitting in the car made that awkward. Besides, looking at him did some...odd things to her. She pushed aside the fluttery emotions that had her glad to see him. She wasn’t here for him. She was here for the baby. “Mickey drove out last week. He decided that Friday night would be the best time to catch you. I didn’t think so, but he insisted.”

“Thought I’d be out on the town?”

That’s exactly what she’d thought, but she didn’t want to admit it. Instead, she redirected. “I learned a long time ago to trust Mickey’s instincts.”

“Does your father know where you are?”

Even though they were in a dark car and Bobby wasn’t looking at her, she kept her face blank. Years of training were impossible to override. It always came back to David Caine, sooner or later.

What would her father do when he found out about her condition? Would he insist she get married and hope no one counted the months? Would he publicly disown her and cut her off? Her fashion design business had a few loyal clients, but she couldn’t cover the rent on her flat in SoHo by herself. Even though her father hadn’t been there for her, he did pay the bills for both her and Mickey. Most of the time, it was the only connection between them. She didn’t want to know how far her father would go to protect his “good” name.

“No. I’d prefer to keep it that way.”


She heard him exhale, saw his hand clench the steering wheel far too tightly as the car turned through a grand apartment complex. No doubt he had a laundry list of reasons to keep this from her father, too. Bobby pressed a button and a subterranean garage door opened. Then they pulled underneath the building.

After he put the car in Park, he got out and came around the side to open her door. He even held out his hand for her. She didn’t know if he did it because he’d seen Mickey do it or if this was how he treated all the women he brought back to his place. That thought sent a spike of pain through her, though, so she pushed it aside as she stood.

He didn’t let go of her hand. They stood there, her hand in his, less than a foot of space between them. Heat flared—the same heat that had gotten her into this fine mess. Why had she let something as ridiculous as desire ruin everything? She should pull away, break this connection between them. She should have pulled away two months ago, too.

Despite her heeled boots, he was still tall enough she had to look up at him. His sandy-blond hair was tousled, week-old scruff on his jaw, his eyes a tad bloodshot. Not quite the player from her memory, but his mussed state didn’t detract from his handsomeness. Instead, it made him more real.

And he hadn’t yet told her this was her problem to deal with.

Stella’s throat caught with unexpected emotion. For some ridiculous reason, she wanted to thank him for not rejecting her outright. Ludicrous hormones, she thought, shaking off the feeling. Just because he hadn’t kicked her to the curb yet didn’t mean he still wouldn’t. He was just in shock, that was all.

And the fact that she felt that same pull—the one that had started all the trouble to begin with...? How she’d been drawn to his wide smile? How, even though she knew she had no business flirting with a man in a club, she’d been unable to resist him—his laugh, his touches? She’d tried to tell herself that she just needed a little fun and he fit the bill, but she wasn’t sure that was true anymore—if it had ever been. She’d had no intention of picking up a man that night. But he’d changed everything from the very moment his smile had sent flashes of heat across her body.

That was all irrelevant now. She was not here for him, no matter how handsome he looked or how stunningly good he had made her feel two months ago. She was here for the baby.

Then he said something that took everything she thought she understood about the situation and turned it upside down.

“It’s really great to see you again.”

She froze, afraid to move, afraid to break the spell of the moment. Why on earth would he say that? It couldn’t be because he was actually thrilled by her pronouncement. No, there was too much fear in his eyes for that, despite the admirable job he was doing of hiding it.

What if that was what he thought he had to say? What if the fear wasn’t so much because she was expecting, but because of who she was—David Caine’s daughter? What if he was being a gentleman about this because he was afraid of what her father would do when he found out?

She couldn’t keep this quiet forever. Even if she managed to avoid her father for the duration of her pregnancy—which would probably be easy enough—sooner or later someone would notice that she was packing around an infant to photo shoots. Sooner or later, Mickey would break.

The time would come when she’d have to deal with her father. She wanted—needed—to deal with Bobby first. If she didn’t have everything arranged... Bobby’s promise to keep her secret was first. She’d like to get a promise of support from him, too, but she wasn’t about to set up the baby for the heartbreak of being rejected by a father. She’d had enough of that for one lifetime.

In the middle of this thought, Bobby’s other hand brushed under her chin and he kissed her cheek.

Stella heard herself say, “Even though...?”

It sounded pathetic and needy and everything she didn’t want to be. Everything she wasn’t, by God.

“Even though,” he agreed, the scruff on his chin scratching her cheek. Then he seemed to realize that, despite the fact that he’d promised comfort and privacy, they were still standing in a minimally heated, semipublic car park. “Come on.”

He tucked her hand under his arm, a perfectly chivalrous thing to do under the circumstances. But she felt the heat flow between them. She remembered how he’d acted in the club—suave, sophisticated. Fun. Sexy. Tonight he was...different. Even more appealing.


She’d made that mistake once. She couldn’t let her attraction to him cloud her thinking again.

He led her past a rather dramatic, electric-blue motorbike and to an elevator. “That yours?”

He nodded as they waited for the doors to open. “Built it myself. But I don’t ride it when it’s this cold. Probably won’t take it out until April. It’s been winterized.”

The doors opened and they stepped in. The whole time, he kept his grip on her hand.

They rode to the top in silence.

Even though.

Even though she’d been foolish enough to get pregnant. Even though she’d been foolish enough to break one of her long-standing rules about clubs and parties and men and sex. Even though she was David Caine’s daughter, for crying out loud, he was still glad to see her.

Sure, they’d had a lovely time at that party, an even lovelier time in her car afterward. In fact, it had been fun. Not just the sex—and that had been amazing—but the whole evening, from the very moment she’d seen him.
<< 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 >>