Martinez's Pregnant Wife(9)

By: Rachael Thomas

‘You can’t just march me out of here and bundle me into the car like a troublesome package.’ She lifted her chin and looked at him, the wind snatching at the glorious red hair, reminding him yet again of the morning two months ago when he’d woken to find her in his bed.

Why the hell had he given into lust then? Why hadn’t he been able to control the wayward desire and walk away before things had got heated?

Because it was Lisa.

‘So you’d rather discuss our marriage, our child, against the backdrop of an office Christmas lunch?’ He let go of her arm and shoved his hand deep into his coat pocket, taking away the temptation to prevent her from leaving. If she turned and walked away, left him standing here like the young boy who’d watched his father leave, then he’d know it was all over. He’d know that there was no point.

Lisa didn’t move. She stood proudly looking up at him, a haughtiness that was born out of the hurt he’d caused her when he’d told her their marriage was over, that he didn’t love her. ‘So where are we going?’

‘My apartment.’

He saw the shadow of doubt enter her eyes, obliterating the angry spark, then her delicate brows lifted gently. ‘Your apartment? Can’t we talk here?’

‘In this freezing wind?’ He opened the passenger car door for her then stood back. ‘We need to sort things out, Lisa.’

‘Very well, but nothing is happening between us again.’

Her insistence almost made him smile. ‘I think enough has happened already, don’t you?’

As she slipped into the low sports car he tried to eradicate the memory of those long legs wrapped around him. Now was not the time to be carried away by lust, but he would have to be careful. As he manoeuvred the car out of the car park and onto the road, joining the busy afternoon traffic, he ignored the fact that Lisa was the only woman who’d made such control impossible. The only woman who had affected him like this.

* * *

Lisa looked around the apartment she hadn’t been in for months, the memories of her foolhardy expectation of love and happy ever afters almost mocking her from every corner. It felt strange to be here, to be following Max across the polished wooden floor as if the last year hadn’t happened.

But it had.

Nothing could erase those words he’d said to her, the admission that he didn’t love her, never had and never would. Just as nothing could erase the fact that after one reckless night they had created a new life. A baby that would join them together for evermore, whatever the outcome of this discussion he was so insistent on.

‘I should have thought,’ he said as he turned from hanging up his coat, waiting to take hers. ‘This maybe wasn’t the best place. I could have been a little more sensitive.’

She frowned at him, knocked off balance emotionally by the sudden show of consideration. Was it possible that he cared for her still?

‘This is far from neutral territory and not the best place to make a deal.’ The hint of his Spanish accent had deepened. It tugged at her heart, unleashed memories of happier times and she instantly went into defensive mode.

‘We are not making a deal, Max. Our child is not something that can be bartered over.’

‘I’m aware of that.’ He took her coat from her, the warmth of his fingers brushing against hers, sending a shock wave of heat through her. He’d felt it too, she was sure. His eyes had widened, the darkness of his eyes holding hers. Tension had stretched between them, only breaking when he once again spoke. ‘But this has to be settled.’

‘We both know we can’t remain married, so I don’t see any other option but divorce.’

He turned and walked away from her and she watched him, watched the rigid line of his shoulders as he looked out over the river Thames. She couldn’t move even though somewhere deep inside her she wanted to, wanted to go to him, tell him she loved him that it was enough for her. But it wasn’t. She’d tried that.

‘I grew up in Seville.’ He turned to face her and she wondered where this was going. They’d never really discussed their past, their childhood. They’d always lived for the moment, which had suited her perfectly.

‘So how—?’ She stumbled over the question that came to mind after having read the story in the newspaper. ‘Your father?’

‘How did he have two families and neither knew about the other? Because my mother and I were in Seville and his other family, his wife and legitimate son, were in Madrid. It’s only now I realise why we moved to Madrid when I was a young boy, why my mother thought it best to leave behind her family and follow him—my father.’

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