'No, I don’t want to sit. I want you to tell me why you’re here. My time is valuable.’ Deliberately he crossed his arms.

Something happened to the slate blue of her eyes, as if, just for a moment, they darkened in temper. Then she uncurled herself from the low seat as if electrified.

‘Fine. Far be it from me to take up your valuable time.’

She took a step away towards the painting she’d admired, then swung round to face him. Her face looked drawn and that pulse was going crazy, but Alice Trehearn looked anything but vulnerable. She looked defiant.

‘The night we had sex.’ She seemed to falter and her mouth tightened. ‘It had consequences.’ Her chest rose and fell as she took a quick breath. ‘I’ve just discovered I’m pregnant.’

Adoni stared at those pretty pink lips, as if, by staring long enough, he could force them to say something else.


Not likely. He was meticulously careful about protection.

Yet to his amazement, his belly tightened at the thought of his seed in Alice Trehearn. Of her carrying his child. Some emotion he refused to identify thrummed through him.


Absurd. He had no interest in a family. At least not yet. When he did it would be on his terms. And not with some grasping thief who saw him as a meal ticket.

The audacity of the woman stunned him. He supposed he should have been ready for this. Instead he’d expected her to try inveigling him into an affair. When she’d arrived, dressed for a business interview rather than a passionate interlude, she’d confounded him.

‘Nothing to say? Nothing at all?’ That mouth he’d seen tilt down at the corners in a smile he’d found both unique and intriguing turned down again, but not in amusement. She looked indignant as she crossed her arms, plumping up her breasts beneath her dark suit.

‘I see.’ She bit out the words as if she’d like to take a chunk of his flesh. ‘If you think of anything to say about it, anything at all, your secretary has my number.’

She pivoted and strode towards the door, every centimetre vibrating with suppressed energy. It reminded him of the night they met, the sensation that she gave off sparks, or that she was likely to detonate with the right trigger.

Oh, she’d detonated all right.

Adoni reached her in two strides, his hand curling round her upper arm, drawing her inexorably back towards him.

‘Not so fast, Ms Trehearn.’

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