Expecting:For the Babies' Sakes(6)

By: Sara Wood

‘You stupid woman!’ he growled savagely.

When Celine shrugged and batted her lashes, Helen feared for the woman’s safety. Dan seemed to be visibly swelling with rage, his expression black and thunderous as he sucked in a harsh breath, clearly in preparation for a stream of abuse.

‘Don’t you take it out on her!’ Helen spat, consumed by fury. ‘Look to your own failings! You caused this situation! You—’

‘No!’ he yelled, rounding on Helen. ‘How many times do I have to say it? I know nothing about this!’

Intimidated by six feet two of muscled fury looming over her, she hastily moved back. He was going to deny the undeniable, she thought in astonishment. Be offended. Make out she was doing him an injustice!

‘Really. Were you drugged? Date raped? I can’t believe you’re denying this!’ she muttered.

‘It’s true!’ he protested, but she could see from the widening of his eyes that he was beginning to panic. A nerve was quivering manically in his strong jaw and his nostrils had narrowed with an even sharper intake of breath.

‘Please!’ Helen jerked, her hand pressing her aching forehead again. ‘Save yourself the effort of protesting your innocence. I don’t want lies.’

Icy cold with hopeless despair, she lifted pained eyes to his and she almost wept when she saw his answering pity. She did not want pity, either. She wanted rock-solid fidelity.

‘I’m not lying,’ he repeated more quietly. ‘And I’ll deal with that in a moment. You need sorting out first, Helen. You’re wet through and covered in mud—’

‘As if I didn’t know!’ she flung miserably.

His mouth lost all its sensual curves and flattened into a forbidding line as he grunted with irritation.

‘Cut the sarcasm. What happened? Did you fall over?’ he demanded, in a taking-charge voice.

‘Yes, I flaming did!’ Huge tears of self-pity welled up, obliterating her vision. ‘I s-saw the bedroom curtains were d-drawn,’ she stammered, scrubbing crossly at her eyes. ‘I saw your car. I-I thought you were ill and I was…worried. Worried!’ she flung accusingly. ‘Huh! If I’d known… But like an idiot I wanted to look after you so I ran and—and slipped in the mud—’

‘Oh, my darling—’

All loving concern, he took a step towards her, his arms outstretched to embrace her.

‘Don’t come near me!’ she sobbed, cringing in horror. ‘Don’t touch me! And don’t you darling me!’

He bit his lip and swallowed, the hard-packed muscles of his torso tense with angry apprehension.

‘But, sweetheart,’ he insisted, ‘I swear, you’re getting the wrong idea—’

‘I’m not, but I wish I was!’ she cried desperately. ‘OK! Go ahead! Give me the right idea. This should be good! I can’t wait to know why you’re both virtually naked and—and—’ her voice wobbled ‘—and why Celine looks so darn pleased with herself!’

‘Celine,’ Dan said, suddenly icy quiet and remote, ‘collect your clothes and…get…dressed…’

Alerted by his halting speech, Helen shot a fierce glance at Celine. The towel around the woman’s body had dipped a fraction. Dan was blinking rapidly at the sleepy nipple that had appeared. He seemed stunned, as if his brain had been overcome by lust, and Helen felt her heart sink to her boots.

‘Of course,’ Celine purred accommodatingly, making sure that her cover-up involved a lot of jiggling around. Helen gritted her teeth, wanting to slap the woman for being so obvious. ‘Don’t forget, though,’ she fluttered, ‘the meeting’s in an hour—’

‘No!’ Dan threaded his fingers through his thick hair, causing small black curls to tumble haphazardly onto his forehead. He was clearly having difficulty getting his mind into gear, Helen thought angrily. ‘I… Oh, hell. Cancel the meeting,’ he said, suddenly decisive. ‘Call a taxi and get out of here. Be in my office tonight—’

‘Your office! I understand,’ his PA gurgled sexily.

Dan’s eyes blackened with fury as his breath hissed in. ‘I doubt it. You’ll be picking up your things and never coming back,’ he snapped.

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