Wanting What She Can't Have - Page 35


Maybe that was part of why she was so determined to break through the barriers with Raoul. To force him to learn to love again. To make him see how precious his daughter was—what a truly wonderful tribute she was to a marriage and a love that had sadly ended all too soon.

Unexpected tears sprang in her eyes. She blinked them furiously away. Please don’t let me become one of those overemotional wrecks with this pregnancy, she silently begged. The last thing she needed was an exceptional change in her behavior that might tip Raoul off before she was ready to tell him her news.

An alarm on her phone chimed from the side pocket of her handbag, reminding her it was time to collect Ruby. She was no nearer to knowing what she needed to do about the baby she carried. Logically, there were steps to be taken. She needed to make an appointment with a local doctor, get her results confirmed, get checked out, etc. But, as to the rest—telling Raoul? She had no idea where to begin and, as much as it rankled to deliberately withhold the truth from him, she felt she had no other option right now. No other option at all.

She thought about the test kit in the restroom trash. Those things had a degree of inaccuracy, surely. She’d wait until she had official confirmation from the doctor. Then she’d decide what to do. Until then, everything would remain as it had been before.

Eleven

Raoul couldn’t take his eyes off Alexis as she played with Ruby. The weather outside was miserable, cold and wet and blowing a gale. Alexis had lit the fire in the family room and put the guard around the fireplace. He’d wondered about the wisdom of the fire, even with the guard, but after watching Ruby he realized that she’d been schooled by Alexis to stay well clear of the hearth.

“Dad-dad!”

She’d spied him and ran toward him as fast as her little legs could carry her. He could hardly believe that an almost eleven-month-old baby could move so fast. Her hair was longer now and Alexis had tied it up into a little spout on the top of her head. Whoomph! Two little arms clamped around his legs as she came to a halt beneath him and gabbled off a rapid chain of baby babble.

“I think she’s asking you to lift her up,” Alexis said from her spot on the floor, her cheeks flushed with the heat of the fire.

“Asking, or telling me?” he said, bending down to unpeel her arms from his legs.

“Probably the latter.” Alexis laughed. “Go on, pick her up.”

“No, it’s all right. I’ve got work to do.”

“Oh, for goodness’ sake! You won’t drop her.”

Alexis got to her feet and picked up Ruby and thrust her at him. Reflexively he took her. “Hold her! She’s not made of glass. She’s growing up before your very eyes, she’s hale and hearty and everything’s fine.”

“Got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning, did we?” Raoul commented, awkwardly holding Ruby on his hip.

The baby reached for a pen he had in his shirt pocket and began playing with the clicker, eventually getting ink down his front. He extricated the pen from her increasingly deft fingers and waited for her to protest so he’d have an excuse to hand her back to Alexis. Instead, she lay her little head on his chest and gave a big sigh.

“You know exactly what side of the bed I got out of,” Alexis responded, her voice softer now as she watched him and Ruby.

“She must be ready for a sleep,” he said.

“No, I think she’s happy to just sit with you for a bit. Why don’t you read to her?”

“Read?”

“Yes. You know, pick up one of those paper things with the cardboard on the outside and words and pictures printed in the middle? I need to go and check on some washing in the dryer.”

She was gone from the room before he could protest and he couldn’t very well leave Ruby alone in here, especially not with the fire going. It felt weird, but he sat down at the end of the sofa and picked up one of the baby books Alexis kept stashed in a basket on the floor beside it. He adjusted Ruby on his lap and opened the book, starting to read from it. It’s not like it was rocket science. The words were simplistic and thankfully few, and the pictures were bright and colorful. He’d just finished the book and closed it, ready to put it back on the stack when Ruby grabbed it off him and opened it again, her little fingers struggling a bit to turn the pages. Giving in, he started to read it for a second, and then a third time.

By the time Alexis came back into the room, a basket of folded washing on her hip, he was on to his fourth attempt. Ruby had settled back against his tummy, her little head growing heavy against him.


Tags: Yvonne Lindsay Billionaire Romance
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