Wanting What She Can't Have - Page 34

She was so lost in the fog of desire that it came as a shock to realize that his hands had caught her at her wrists and were disentangling her so he could pull away.

“I’m fine, Raoul, honestly.”

“Let me be the judge of that. One night. We can survive that, can’t we? Now go. Get some sleep.”

“Can’t you just sleep next to me? We don’t have to—”

He took a step back. “No, it doesn’t work that way with us. You know that. No strings, remember?”

“Sure, I remember,” she said, forcing a smile of acceptance to her face.

Just sex, she repeated in the back of her mind as she readied for bed. She continued repeating it for the next hour as she lay in the dark, staring at the ceiling, hoping against all hope that he missed having her in his bed just about as much as she missed being there.

The next morning Alexis felt a great deal more rested. Much as she hated to admit it, Raoul had apparently been right about the lack of sleep catching up to her. But then when she got Ruby out of her crib and was changing her diaper, the first wave of nausea hit her.

“Goodness,” she said as she folded and bagged the offending diaper. “We might need to change your diet, young lady.”

The second wave hit when she was preparing Ruby’s breakfast cereal and stewed fruit—and with it came an overwhelming sense of dread. She was no idiot. She knew what her physical symptoms could mean. She hadn’t been fully protected the first time she and Raoul had made love. Even though she’d made that trip to the local pharmacy and gotten the morning-after tablets, she’d been counseled that they were not always 100 percent effective.

“And ain’t that the truth?” she muttered under her breath as she willed her stomach under control.

What had Raoul said, again, when he’d made his suggestion that they be sexual partners? He didn’t want there to be any mistakes—yes, that was right. Well, it certainly looked as if she’d made a big one. But she needed to be sure. She already had plans to head out with Ruby today. Laura had suggested a playdate with little Jason again and Alexis had been looking forward to just having some time out alone in Akaroa, browsing the stores and stopping at one of the cafés for a triple-shot nonfat latte while browsing a tabloid magazine.

The thought of coffee completely turned her stomach. Alexis swallowed against the lump in her throat. Rather than indulging in her favorite vice, she knew exactly what she’d be doing at the local store instead—buying a pregnancy test kit.

* * *

Alexis stared at the indicator window on the stick. This wasn’t how she’d imagined discovering she was going to become a mother—locked in the end cubicle of the public restrooms on the main street. Even though she’d known to the soles of her feet what the result would be, the strong positive that appeared was shockingly candid confirmation she really didn’t need. One part of her was doing a crazy happy dance—shouting for joy that she was pregnant with Raoul’s child. The rest of her quivered with anxiety.

The news that she was expecting his baby, after he’d spelled it out perfectly clearly that pregnancy was an outcome to be avoided at all cost, would not be welcome.

She shoved the stick into its wrapper and back into the box—disposing of everything in the restroom trash can. Numb, she washed and dried her hands and walked outside, where everyone carried along on the pavement with their everyday lives, oblivious to the situation she now found herself in.

Alexis crossed the street to a park bench that sat on a grass berm, facing out to the harbor. Despite the cold day, she felt nothing. Not the sunshine on her face, nor the brisk wind that whipped along the shoreline, coaxing whitecaps on the water.

What on earth was she going to do?

She could only imagine Raoul’s reaction. There was no room in his life, or his heart, for another baby. Hell, he fought against making room for the one he had.

But he was capable of love, Alexis knew that. She’d witnessed it for herself. He’d loved once and he could love again, she just knew it. His marriage to Bree had been happy, she’d seen that to her own cost. Somehow she had to convince him to take a risk on love again.

She understood that grief did strange things to a person—could blow normal emotions right out of proportion. She only had to look at her own family for proof of that.

Alexis’s mother had had a first, unhappy marriage, and when she’d run away from it to marry for love, she’d been forced to leave her children behind. Years later, when her daughter from that marriage sought her out, Alexis’s father had not reacted well. Her mother had been in the hospital by then, physically and mentally frail from the disease racking her body. Fear that seeing her long-lost daughter might upset her to the point of worsening her condition had made Lorenzo go so far as to enlist his business partner to actively steer her half sister, Tamsyn, away from discovering where their mother was. When Ellen Fabrini had died before Tamsyn could even see her again, Alexis had realized that nothing mattered more in this world than family. Nothing.

Tags: Yvonne Lindsay Billionaire Romance
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