His Expectant Ex(2)

By: Catherine Mann


She didn’t even seem to be listening. Strange. Because while she’d stopped loving him, she still loved those dogs.

He normally wasn’t one for confrontation outside the courtroom, but he’d seen enough divorce cases to know if they didn’t settle this now, they were only delaying a mammoth blow up later. “You can’t expect we’ll never talk to each other again. Aside from having the final court date to deal with, Hilton Head is a relatively small community. We’re going to run into each other.”

She chewed her full bottom lip, and just that fast he could all but feel that same mouth working over his body until he broke into a sweat.

He thumbed away a bead of perspiration popping on his brow, irritation spiking higher than her do-me-honey heels. “Seems we should have spelled out the rules for communication in that agreement. Let me make sure I get the gist of this right. We aren’t speaking anymore except for hello and goodbye. But is a nod okay if we’re both walking the dogs on the beach? Or should we section off areas so we don’t cross paths?”

Her fingers tightened around her leather portfolio, her gaze glued to the elevator numbers. “Don’t pick a fight with me, Sebastian. Not today.”

What the hell?

He never picked fights. She did. He was the calm one, at least on the outside. So what was going on with her? Or with him, for that matter? “Was there something with the lawyers that didn’t go the way you hoped?”

She chuckled, dark and low, a sad echo of the uninhibited laughter that used to roll freely from her. She sagged back against the brass rail. “Nobody wins, Sebastian. Isn’t that what you always say about divorce cases?”

She had him there.

Sebastian planted a hand beside her head. Sure he was crowding her but they only had one more floor left for him to get his answer. “What do you want?”

Marianna raised her eyes, finally. That dusky dark gaze sucker punched him with the last thing he expected to find, especially after they’d spent six months sleeping apart. And he saw the one thing he absolutely could not resist taking when it came to this woman. Marianna’s eyes smoked with flaming hot…

Desire.





Her marriage began and ended in the backseat of a car.Marianna had eloped with Sebastian Landis at eighteen. They hadn’t made it to a hotel before hormones got the better of them, and they pulled off on a side road. Now, after the final appointment with their lawyers, hormones—and emotions—once again blindsided her.

And all because of a fleeting moment of regret in his eyes when they put it in writing about splitting up Buddy and Holly. That hint of vulnerability from her stoic-to-a-fault husband had turned her inside out.

Then turned her on.

She’d tried to haul buggy out of the conference room before she did something stupid, like jump him. No such luck. They’d barely cleared the elevator with their clothes on before sprinting through the rain to his car. He’d peeled rubber out of the lot and pulled off at the nearest side road for isolated parking.

Frantic to ease the ache between her legs if not the one in her heart, Marianna hooked her arms around Sebastian’s broad shoulders as he angled her over the reclined seat and into the back. The tinted windows offered additional privacy in their wooded hideaway. Spanish moss trailed from the marshy trees like sooty bridal veils, at once both beautiful and sad.

Raindrops pounded the roof in time with her blood gushing through her veins. Lips locked, she tumbled and twisted until they settled into the lengthy backseat, Sebastian’s Beemer roomier than the Mustang convertible he’d driven as a teen.

They also didn’t have an unplanned pregnancy confining their moves this time.

Sebastian looped his tie around her neck and tugged her toward him. Melting into the familiar feel of him, Marianna inhaled the spicy scent of his Armani aftershave, rich with whispers of how often she’d inhaled the same smell as it rode the steam of his morning shower. Greedy with the need to take all she could this one last time, hungry after months without his body, she explored Sebastian’s mouth with her tongue as fully as her hands roved his shoulders, back, taut butt in pin-striped pants.

“Marianna, if you want to stop, say so now.” A damp strand of brown hair fell over his brow in a downright blaring statement of rioting emotions from a man reputed to be the most ruthless litigator in the state of South Carolina.

“Don’t talk, please.” They would only start fighting. About his interminable hours at the law office. About her temper as flamboyant as some of the homes she decorated.

About how they had absolutely nothing in common except physical attraction and the precious babies they’d lost.