Martinez's Pregnant Wife

By: Rachael Thomas

PROLOGUE

Two months ago…

MAXIMILIANO MARTINEZ OPENED his eyes, the uncustomary warmth of someone next to him in bed shocking him. Memories of the previous night, of talking and drinking wine with Lisa, flashed through his mind. As if roused by those same memories, she stirred and moved against him, her naked body almost too much to resist. He gritted his teeth, trying to ignore the stab of desire rocketing through him, preferring instead anger at having given into that weakness last night. It had been the same weakness that had made marriage to Lisa the only option.

To wake up with Lisa next to him each morning was what he would have had if he’d been able to honour his wedding vows, if he’d been able to let go of his past and love his wife. But he hadn’t. He’d thought he’d banished those memories from the past, thought what he and Lisa had would mean the past could be hidden, forgotten, but he was wrong. Very wrong. His past had reared up like an angry stallion, mocking him, reinforcing what he’d been trying to escape—he wasn’t capable of love. Never had been and never would be. That was why he’d set Lisa free. Just months after they’d married, he’d left.

For the last six months they had maintained a professional distance despite working together. He knew full well it was avoidance on her part but he couldn’t really blame her. He’d hurt her.

So what the hell was she doing in his bed?

Lisa put her arm across his chest, sleep still clinging to her, but the action made the contrast between his mind and body polar opposites. His body wanted her, wanted to make her his again and never let her go, but his mind knew that whatever had happened last night was already mistake enough. He might not be capable of loving his wife, but he didn’t want to hurt her. That was why he’d walked out on the marriage. To save her from the heartache a man like him would inflict on her.

He gently moved her arm from his chest, fighting against primal urges as she sighed softly and very sexily. He looked down at her, at the long lashes splayed over her pale skin, and knew he was doing the right thing, even if he hadn’t last night; now he did he would do exactly that. He slid from the tangle of Lisa’s long legs and sheets before his body won the battle of desire.

‘Where are you going?’ Lisa’s voice was husky and so damn sexy. Sleep lingered in every syllable and for a moment he froze, unable to move or speak. This wasn’t a casual one-night stand with a woman whose name he barely recalled. This was his estranged wife.

Before he’d met Lisa he’d always been strong, able to resist the lure of desire, but then she’d always affected him in a way no other woman had. How the hell had they gone from business talk to bed? It should have been a meeting about the players of the latest football club he’d bought and how he wanted her to continue working for him and be the club’s physiotherapist.

Because she’s the woman you wanted to love.

He looked at her again, the tug of desire strengthening. But so too were the ghosts of his past.

Last night they had drunk far too much wine and his head began to thump in protest. He must have been mad to have thought he could talk over dinner with Lisa and not give into the desire, the need to touch her, kiss her and make her his again.

If he didn’t remove her from his apartment, his bed, he’d be in danger of giving in once more. Whatever spark had brought them together was still there and it was past time he snuffed it out. For good.

‘I have an important meeting in an hour.’ He growled the words out as he pulled on his clothes. The only meeting he had was with several strong cups of coffee and painkillers. When he turned to look at his wife, red hair tumbling around her shoulders, he knew he was hurting her. Again. Yet the aggressive words rushed from him regardless. ‘You need to go.’

‘But…’ she began as her eyes implored him to soften his mood, to look at her without the icy spark in his eyes or the anger in every line of his body.

He wasn’t going to be drawn. ‘No buts, Lisa. Just go.’

‘But last night…’ she tried again, sitting up and clutching the white sheet against her in a show of modesty, or maybe protection. Either way, it failed as one full breast became exposed, snagging his attention. He strengthened his resolve.

‘Last night should not have happened. Hell, Lisa, we agreed. Our marriage was a mistake.’ He pushed his fingers roughly through his hair and turned away from her, not wanting to see the hurt in her eyes, the pain on her beautiful face. He swore in his native Spanish, his first language ruling the moment, despite his having lived in London since leaving Spain as a teenager.

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