Wanting What She Can't Have - Page 17

“We need to talk,” he said as she drew nearer.

“When we get home,” Alexis conceded.

Yes, they did need to talk, but she had the feeling that Raoul wasn’t going to listen to her opinions no matter what she said. She flicked a glance at his stony face, lingering on the pain that reflected in his eyes. Pain that made her heart twist with longing to put things right for him. But she couldn’t do it on her own. He had to meet her halfway.

As they drove back to his house she stared blindly out the side window doubting, for the first time since she’d come here, her decision to try and help out. She was in way over her head with this situation and she lacked the objectivity she needed to get through it.

How on earth could she be objective when all she wanted to do every time she saw him was to obliterate his grief with sensation, with her love?

* * *

Raoul turned the Range Rover into the driveway at home with a measure of relief. Ruby had fretted the entire journey home, making it seem a lot longer than the twenty-minute drive it really was. He was glad to have gotten her home, but the relief didn’t compare to the fury that simmered through his body. Alexis had one job to do—look after Ruby. That was it. Except it wasn’t.

Life was so much simpler before she came along. He’d relished his time alone. Life was lonely, yes, but predictable. Safe. Now, every day was a challenge and he rose each morning not knowing what he’d face. It used to be that he’d relish a challenge like that, but not anymore. Not when each challenge came with a new emotional twist that he’d thought he’d never feel again.

He pulled the SUV to a halt outside the house and got out, going around to the rear of the vehicle to extricate the bags and the stroller while Alexis took Ruby from her car seat.

“I’ll just give her a bottle to calm her and get her settled for a sleep.”

He responded with a curt nod. “I’ll wait for you in the study.”

While he waited he paced, and then he paced some more. He didn’t know how to handle this, how to handle Alexis, but he knew he wanted her gone. Everything had blown up into larger-than-life proportions since her arrival, and he desperately wanted to fit everything back into its neat little boxes all over again—boxes he could keep closed or open at will.

It was nearly half an hour before he heard her quiet knock on his study door. She let herself in without awaiting his acknowledgment—a suitable simile to how she behaved with him on a daily basis, he realized with a rare flash of bleak humor.

“She was a bit difficult to settle, but she’s out for the count now,” Alexis said by way of explanation as she came in and crossed the room to take a seat.

As she walked, he couldn’t help but notice that her jeans stretched tight across her hips, accentuating her very female curves. Curves that he had no business looking at, he reminded himself sternly. Except he couldn’t quite bring himself to look away. Even after she sat down in the chair opposite his desk, he remained mesmerized by the fade pattern on the denim, by the all-too-perfect fit around her thighs.

Oblivious to the battle going on in his mind, Alexis blithely continued. “She was definitely overtired, after today, but I checked her gums and she’s cutting more teeth, too, so that was probably part of the problem.”

Raoul grunted something in response before taking the chair behind the desk. He needed the physical barrier between them. Scrambling to get his thoughts together, he drew in a deep breath.

“About today—” he started, only to be cut off by Alexis speaking over him, her words chasing one after the other in a rush.

“Look, I apologize. What happened was all my fault. I took my eyes off Ruby for a few seconds and she went out of my line of vision. I shouldn’t have done it and it was wrong and I’m deeply sorry.”

“Sorry isn’t enough, Alexis. I don’t think you’re the right person for the job of caring for Ruby.”

Raoul forced himself to look at a spot just past her, so he could pretend that he didn’t see the flare of distress that suddenly crossed her features. A hank of her honey-blond hair had worked its way loose from her ponytail and she absently shoved it back behind one ear.

“Don’t you think that’s a bit of an overreaction?” she said, her voice shaking just a little.

“You’re here to mind her. You didn’t.”

“Raoul, it’s not like you weren’t there along with several other adults who could see her.”

She pushed up to her feet and leaned forward on the desk, the deep V-neck of her T-shirt gaping and affording him a breathtaking view of her breasts cupped in the palest pink lace. Flames of heat seared along his veins, taking the words he was about to utter and reducing them to ash in his mouth. He rapidly lifted his gaze to her face. Bad idea.

Tags: Yvonne Lindsay Billionaire Romance
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