Her head swung round at the sound of a fathoms-deep voice she'd never expected to hear again. Her fingers clenched around delicate bone china as her pulse catapulted.
It really was him, Damaso Pires, filling the doorway to her suite. He looked big and bold, his features drawn in hard sharp lines that looked like they'd been honed in bronze. Glossy black hair flopped down across his brow and flirted with his collar, but did nothing to soften that remarkable face.
'What are you doing here?' She put the cup down with a clatter, her hand nerveless. 'How did you get in?'
'I knocked but there was no answer.'
Marisa lifted her chin, remembering the way he'd dumped her. 'That usually means the person inside wants privacy.'
'Don't get up.' He stepped onto the terrace, raising his hand as if to prevent her moving.
She pushed the rug aside and stood, hoping he didn't see her sway before finding her balance. The nausea really had knocked the stuffing out of her.
'I repeat, Senhor Pires, why are you here?' Marisa folded her arms. He might top her by more than a head but she knew how to stand up to encroaching men.
'Senhor Pires?' His brows drew together in a frown that made her think of some angry Inca god. 'It's a little late for formalities, don't you think?'
'I know,' she stepped forward, surging anger getting the better of her, 'that I've a right to privacy.'
Her stomach churned horribly as she remembered how he'd made her feel: an inch tall and cheap. You'd think she'd be used to it after a lifetime of not measuring up. But this man had wounded her more deeply because she'd been foolhardy enough to believe he was different.
He digested her words in silence, his expression unperturbed.
'Well?' Marisa tapped her foot, furious that her indignation was mixed with an unhealthy dollop of excitement. No matter how annoyed she was there was no denying Damaso Pires was one fantastic looking man. And as a lover...
'Let me guess. You discovered I was here and thought you'd look me up for old times' sake.' She drew a quick breath that lodged halfway to her lungs. 'I'm afraid I'm not interested in a trip down memory lane. Or in continuing where we left off.'
She had more self-respect than to go back to a man who'd treated her as he had.
She stepped forward. 'Now, if you'll excuse me, I'd like to be alone.'
Her steps petered out when she came up against his impassable form. His spread legs and wide shoulders didn't allow space for her to pass.
Dark eyes bored into hers and something tugged tight in her belly. If only she could put it down to a queasy stomach but to her shame Marisa knew she responded to his overt male sexuality. A frisson of awareness made her nape tingle and her breasts tighten.
Surely a pregnant woman wouldn't respond so wantonly?
The thought sideswiped her and her gaze flickered from his. Today's news had upended her world, leaving her feeling adrift and frail. What did she know about pregnancy?
'Marisa.' His voice held a tentative edge she didn't remember. 'Are you all right?'
Her head snapped up. 'I will be when I'm allowed the freedom of my own suite, alone.'
He stepped back and she moved away, into the sitting room, conscious with every cell in her body of him looming nearby. Even his scent, that warm ocean tang, invaded her space, till she had to focus on walking past and not stopping to inhale.
She was halfway across the room, heading for the entrance when he spoke again. 'We need to talk.'
Marisa kept walking. 'As I recall, you made it clear last time I saw you that our... connection was at an end.' Valiantly she kept her voice even, though humiliation at how she'd left herself open to his insulting treatment twisted a searing blade through her insides.
'Are you trying to tell me you thought otherwise?'
Her steps faltered to a halt. If she'd truly been unaffected by his abrupt desertion, she wouldn't be upset at his return, would she? She certainly wouldn't show it. But it was beyond even Marisa's acting powers to pretend to insouciance. The best she could manage was haughty distance.
She needed him out of the way so she could concentrate on the news she still had trouble processing. That she was probably pregnant - with his child.
Marisa squeezed her eyes shut, trying to gather her strength. She'd face him later if she had too. Now she needed to be alone.
'I didn't think anything, Damaso.' She lingered over his name with dripping saccharine emphasis. 'What we shared is over and done with.'
Her fingers closed around the door handle, but before she could tug it open, one long arm shot over her shoulder. A large hand slammed palm down onto the door before her, keeping it forcibly closed. The heat of Damaso's body encompassed her, his breath riffling her hair as if he was breathing as hard as she.
'What about the fact you're carrying my child?'
She gasped. How did he know?Reviews Behind the Book Return