Expecting:For the Babies' Sakes(4)

By: Sara Wood

But her long legs simply refused to take another step. Sinking to her knees, she virtually dragged herself up, avoiding more than a cursory, horrified glance at a pair of discarded shoes which were bright cerise and glove-soft with courtesan heels. Tart’s shoes, she thought with unaccustomed viciousness.

A little further on, she encountered a sickly pink bra and suspender belt with a matching silk T-shirt. Beyond, she could see an abandoned navy suit, the skirt and jacket arranged almost artistically on the top step.

Her throat dried. All hope of an innocent explanation lay dead in the water. She dug her teeth into her lip till she felt the pain. Somehow she kept going, each step a mountain to climb as it brought her closer to the terrifying truth. She’d always been determined. And never more so than now.

Somewhere in the background she was aware that Dan and the woman were still talking but she couldn’t hear them properly because the blood was roaring so loudly in her ears. They could have been murmuring sweet nothings or discussing curtains to match the pink knickers for all she knew.

Her stomach plummeted like a lift. I love you, Dan! I love you! she screamed silently to herself. Don’t do this to me!

And she prayed for this to be a bad dream, a hallucination brought on by flu, that she’d wake up and later she’d tell Dan and they’d laugh and he’d sweep her into his arms and say that he’d never look at another woman because he loved her so much and he hadn’t minded not having sex or decent suppers and that he’d neglected her shamefully…

Oh, God. She’d arrived. The top of the stairs. Still on her hands and knees, she found to her dismay that she was weeping and gasping uncontrollably.

And that she was staring straight at a naked pair of female legs.


THEY were very shapely, she noted hazily. With scarlet toenails. Helen’s world spun around on its axis. She daredn’t look any higher. She wasn’t ready to be confronted by the full horror of her husband’s nude paramour.

‘Good grief! Helen!’ exclaimed the owner of the legs. ‘What have you got on your feet?’

Celine’s laugh seared through her. Celine, Helen thought dumbly, her gaze fixated on the blood-red toes that seemed to be curling possessively into the landing carpet as if claiming ownership of the house as well as her husband.

This was Dan’s PA. His right-hand woman. Angrily she amended that. Include her left hand in that description, too! And both legs, torso, boobs…all of Celine was apparently part of Dan’s domain! And the woman wasn’t even embarrassed!

A sudden fury shot Helen to her feet. Brimming over with outrage, she took in Celine’s triumphant and excited air, the carelessly draped blue towel over a stunning body—her towel, she thought furiously!—and slowly advanced across the wide landing, knowing she must look like a drowned rat from a sewer but far too mad to care that she shed rainwater and muddy clay all over the cream carpet.

‘I’m wearing huge clumping, mucky boots that can do a lot of damage to bare toes!’ she choked as Celine backed fastidiously away. And hoarse with anger and misery, she grated, ‘Now explain your novel outfit, Celine!’

‘Helen!’ came Dan’s horrified tones.

Her head jerked back to the open bedroom door where he stood. She closed her eyes tightly and swayed, her energy spent.

All hard masculine jaw and blazing black eyes, he was naked but for the small towel draped around lean hips, steam rising from his fantastic body, his hair wet and appealingly tousled from the shower. A post-sex shower, she thought, with a sharp intake of breath.

It was true then. He’d been unfaithful. Oh, sweet heaven…

‘You swine!’ she yelled furiously as her world crashed about her ears.

‘Oh, my God!’ Dan groaned.

Wounded beyond belief, she looked into his shadowed eyes and saw embarrassment and sick dismay written clearly for her to see. He was white-lipped, his honeyed skin drawn tautly over his incredible cheekbones. A guilty man if ever there was. Her stomach rolled dizzyingly.

‘Dan!’ was all she could croak in reproach before her voice shattered into tiny pieces of misery.

A spasm of pain jerked at his features.

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