Alexis took one look at Raoul’s face and knew he’d overheard the nurse’s instructions. This was the last way she would have wanted for him to find out. She wished it could have been different. Wished he hadn’t had to bring her here at all, or wait for her, no doubt with questions piling up upon themselves as he did so.
When she’d woken this morning and discovered she was bleeding, her first reaction had been complete panic. She’d rung the clinic and made an urgent appointment, then tried to find someone to care for Ruby. When that hadn’t worked out she knew she’d been pushing it to expect Raoul to look after the baby.
Fainting at the side of the car hadn’t been her finest moment but it had achieved one thing right today, she realized as she flicked her gaze over the sleeping child in his arms. Raoul had clearly had to spend some quality time with his daughter.
“Can we go?” she asked quietly. She wasn’t looking forward to the demands for an explanation that were certain to come once they were alone, but she needed to go home. She couldn’t avoid telling Raoul any longer and she certainly wasn’t about to do that here with the entire waiting room packed and all eyes now fixed on her and Raoul.
Tension rolled off Raoul in waves as he negotiated the road back to the house. Alexis tried to make herself as small as possible in the passenger seat and focused her gaze out the side window but in her periphery she could see him turn his head and glance at her every now and then, as if he expected the answers to all the questions that no doubt rolled around in his head to suddenly appear neatly scripted on her face. She was glad he didn’t start questioning her in the car but she dreaded the moment that he would.
At the house, she went to lift Ruby from her car seat—the wee tot was still out for it—but Raoul pushed her gently aside.
“I’ll take her, you go and lie down,” he said gruffly, then competently lifted the baby from her seat and carried her down to her room.
Alexis did as he’d told her, going back to the master suite and suddenly feeling very shaky on her feet—though she wasn’t particularly tired. Still, maybe if she could feign sleep, Raoul would leave her alone for a bit longer. She was out of luck. He was in the room in minutes.
“Tell me,” he demanded as he came to stand beside the bed, looking down at her.
She shrank into the bedcovers, hating what she had to say but knowing it would be useless to try to stall or evade. There was no putting this off any longer, no matter how much it hurt. Even forming the words in her head felt all wrong, but verbalizing them—putting them out there for Raoul to hear—that was crucifying.
Alexis drew in a deep breath. “I had a threatened miscarriage.”
She watched his face for his reaction, but could only discern a tightening of his jaw and the flick of a pulse at the base of his throat.
“Threatened miscarriage. What exactly does that mean?”
“I woke up this morning and noticed I was bleeding. The clinic told me to come straight in. They think it’ll stop, that...” She dragged in another breath. “That the baby will be okay.”
His voice was cold and flat, much like the empty expression in his eyes.
“Yes,” she acknowledged in a whisper.
“And I’m assuming that I’m the father of this baby?”
“Yes,” she said again, this time a little more firmly.
Raoul huffed out a breath and dragged a hand through his hair. “Tell me, Alexis. At what point were you going to let me know about this?”
“I...I don’t know.”
“What? Did you think you could hide it from me?”
“Not for long,” she admitted, curling up onto her side.
He started to pace, back and forth, and when he stopped she knew what was coming.
“You lied to me when you said you were protected even though you knew how I felt about something like this happening. Why?”
“I thought I’d be okay, I’d only missed a couple of pills. I went to the pharmacy the next morning and got a morning-after prescription. I did everything I could to make sure this didn’t happen.”
“And yet it did.”
“Yes, it did.”
“I shouldn’t have trusted you. I shouldn’t have touched you. God, what are we going to do?”
“Well, if the bleeding stops as it’s supposed to and everything settles down okay, we’re going to become parents together,” she said softly, trying to infuse her voice with enthusiasm and encouragement in the vain hope it might sink past his shock.