Expecting:For the Babies' Sakes(5)

By: Sara Wood


‘Sweetheart!’

Dark brows drawn together in a frown, he stretched out a conciliatory hand of concern. Helen recoiled with disgust.

‘No! Don’t touch me!’

He flinched, his glittering eyes narrowed in hurt annoyance.

‘You don’t understand,’ he said sternly. ‘It’s not what you think—’

‘Isn’t it? Don’t lie to me! Don’t take me for a fool!’ Helen jerked in near hysteria.

He’d even come up with the classic male response. It’s not what you think. But it always was.

‘I’m not lying!’ Grimly he folded his arms over his bare chest and she realised that, despite his defiant stance, he was having trouble with his breathing. She didn’t want to consider why that might be. ‘You’re jumping to conclusions—’

‘You bet I am!’ she wailed. ‘Look at you! Look at her!’ Violently she stabbed an accusing finger at the siren in the blue towel. ‘Wouldn’t you jump to conclusions, too?’

Dan glared ferociously at Celine as if it was all her fault he’d been found out.

‘Celine!’ he growled. ‘I told you—’

‘I don’t believe this! You can’t hold her responsible!’ Helen burst in, appalled that he was trying to wriggle out of this.

‘Why not?’ he flashed. ‘She is!’

‘Oh, for heaven’s sake, Dan!’ she stormed. ‘Don’t you have any shame, any sense of responsibility?’

‘Celine—’

‘No!’ she shouted. ‘Stop pretending it’s not your fault at all. It takes two to get to this stage of nudity! I thought better of you. It seems I was mistaken. I can’t believe you can be such a worm as to put the blame on her!’ She put icy fingertips to her hot forehead to stem the ache. ‘How could you do this?’ she cried, smoke-dark eyes awash with misery. ‘If you cared about me you wouldn’t have—’

‘Helen!’ He was frowning at her, his expression shocked.

‘What? What is it?’ she demanded brokenly.

‘You look terrible!’ he stated with cruel candour.

She winced. ‘Thanks a bunch,’ she muttered. ‘That’s all I need, right at this moment.’

Her sullen glance shot to the delectable Celine, who beamed at her and let the towel slip artfully to offer further revelations of her smoothly swelling breasts.

Celine wasn’t red-faced and blotchy from weeping. Her hair hadn’t been flattened by the rain, nor had the ends been sluiced by mud into rat’s tails.

Helen didn’t need Celine’s scathing scrutiny to make her aware of the contrast between them. Instead of being sophisticated and irresistible, Helen thought miserably, she was covered in mud and looking terminally ill. A drowned waif in wellies couldn’t compete with sex on legs.

Just when she needed to look fabulous, she had to impersonate a rugby scrum-half after extra time.

‘Well, you do look rough,’ Dan stated, frowning.

‘I reckon Cleopatra herself wouldn’t look so hot under the circumstances!’ she grumped in resentment. Her head flung up in defiance. ‘When did the Queen of the Nile ever come home to find her husband had ripped the clothes off another woman and flung them any-old-how on the stair carpet?’

‘Ripped what? Just what are you talking about?’ he demanded, a picture of righteous indignation.

‘That. There!’ she cried bitterly, her trembling finger pointing in the direction of the clothing on the stairs.

He dug up a puzzled expression and wore it convincingly, his long legs covering the ground between them in seconds, impatience in every stride.

‘Good grief!’ he said slowly, staring at the discarded items as if he hadn’t seen them before.

It was a brilliant performance. No wonder he’d successfully hidden his philandering from her, she thought waspishly. Stand back Hollywood. Make way for Dan Shaw and his impersonation of an innocent man wrongly accused.

‘Remember now?’ she snapped, glaring up at him. ‘Or were you in such a haze of lust that you never noticed at the time?’

She thought he’d explode with anger. A terrifying rage had taken hold of him, his fury directed at Celine, who put a hand to her mouth in a ‘weren’t we naughty?’ gesture.

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