Wanting What She Can't Have - Page 57


Standing in the shelter, her eyes drank in the sight of him. He was just as beautiful to her as he’d ever been and her heart did a little flip-flop of recognition. She ruthlessly quashed it. She’d had plenty of time to think in the past month and while she was inwardly overjoyed to see Raoul here, she was determined to hold firm to her decision to move forward with her life, without him. She wouldn’t settle for half measures in anything anymore, especially now when there was not only herself to consider.

It didn’t stop her concern when she saw him shiver and realized that he was soaking wet.

“Come inside,” she said brusquely. “You need to get dried off.”

“Thank you.”

There was a strange note to his voice and she looked at him sharply, noting his attention was now very firmly on the bulge of her tummy.

“Have you been here long?” she asked as she wrestled her things to find her front door key.

“About an hour,” he answered.

“Outside? You’re soaking wet and must be freezing cold. Is my father not home?”

“Oh, yeah, he’s home,” Raoul said with a rueful smile.

“Oh,” she said, suddenly flustered.

If he’d already talked to her father she had no doubt that there’d been more than a few terse words exchanged. Finally, thank goodness, she found her key and inserted it in the door.

“Hello? Dad? I’m home,” she called as she pushed the door open and gestured for Raoul to follow her inside.

“So, you’re letting him in?” her father asked as he came through from the kitchen into the sitting room of the compact cottage.

“He’s traveled a long way, Dad, and it’s pouring rain outside.”

“I will give you your privacy,” he said stiffly, his dark eyes fixed on Raoul as if in challenge. “But I will just be up the hill with Finn and Tamsyn. You will call me if you need me, yes?”

“Sure I will,” Alexis answered, and crossed the room to give her father a hug. “Thank you,” she whispered.

“Ti amo,” he said, holding her close before releasing her. Then, with another silent glare at Raoul, he shrugged on a coat and stomped out the front door.

Silence grew uncomfortably around them. Finally, realizing she had to say or do something, Alexis put her things down on the coffee table between them.

“I’ll get you something to dry off with.”

“Thanks.”

She was back in seconds, handing a towel to Raoul and stood there watching him as he toweled excess moisture off his hair. His shirt, however, was soaked through.

“You can’t stay in that,” she said. “Would you like a shirt of Dad’s?”

“No, I’ll be fine, I’ll dry out soon. Besides, I don’t think he’d—”

“Don’t be silly, you’ll catch your death that way. At least take your shirt off and let me put it through the dryer.”

Raoul stepped up closer to her and took her by the hands. “Alexis, stop trying to find reasons not to talk to me.”

“Is that what I’m doing?” she said, looking up into his hazel eyes and wondering exactly what it was that she read there.

Even now, after the way he’d summarily dismissed her, her pulse betrayed her by leaping at his touch. Some things, it seemed, would never change.

“Yes. Please, sit down. Let’s talk.”

“Sure, do you want a tea or coffee?”

“Sit,” he commanded gently, and guided her to the sofa and sat down beside her. “I owe you an explanation and an apology.”

Alexis fidgeted on the chair, unsure of what he expected of her. Did he think that just because he was about to say sorry that she’d forgive him everything? He was in for a sad surprise if that was the case.

“Go on,” she urged him. “I’m listening.”

She forced herself to calm down and pushed back into the seat, absently rubbing her belly. Raoul’s eyes tracked from her face down to where her hand moved in slow, gentle circles.

“You’re looking well,” he said.

“You came here to tell me that?” she asked, her tone bordering on acerbic.

“No, what I came here to say is I am deeply sorry for the way I treated you. You deserved more.”

“Raoul, I made my own choice when I accepted less,” she pointed out.

“I know, but you, of all people—with your loving heart and your giving nature—you should never have been asked to settle for so little. I knew that and I took what you were prepared to give without thinking about the damage it might do. All I was concerned about was me. I just wanted... Hell, I don’t even know what I really wanted. All I knew was that you offered me a light in the darkness, warmth in the cold. You made me feel again, but then I felt too much. I didn’t know what to do, so I ended up pushing you away.


Tags: Yvonne Lindsay Billionaire Romance
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