His Expectant Ex(7)

By: Catherine Mann


How many times in the past had he diverted conversations from the seeming unending litany of well-meaning and sometimes downright intrusive comments?

When are you going to make me a grandmother?

Isn’t it time to start your family?

You and Marianna treat those dogs like children.

I guess not everyone wants babies.

Dr. Cohen backed away, scooping her bag off the conference table. “My apologies for jumping to conclusions. Of course there are plenty of other reasons for fainting besides not eating. If the problems persist, however, I do recommend that you check in with your regular physician.” Hitching her bag over her shoulder, Dr. Cohen paused at the door. “Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s probably about time for my turn in the witness stand.”

The General escorted the doctor out with a thank-you while Ginger hovered just off to the side. “Marianna, dear, we’re glad you’re all right. Please know that you can call on us if you need anything.”

Like prideful, strong-willed Marianna would ever show that kind of vulnerability. He was still shocked as hell she’d asked to meet with him next week.

With soft spoken goodbyes, his family cleared out, leaving him alone with Marianna for the first time since they’d torn each others’ clothes off in the back of his car two months prior.

Damn, silence sure did weigh a lot.

He leaned back against the conference table, his arms crossed over his chest to keep from touching her. “I don’t think you should drive yourself home.”

She slipped her slingbacks onto her feet, drawing his attention to slender long legs. “And I don’t think it’s wise for us to get in your car together again.”

“Still want me that much, do you?” he couldn’t resist retorting.

“Don’t be an ass.” Her eyes snapped with barely restrained anger and something else he couldn’t quite define. “All I want is a nap.”

He needed to focus on her health, not those creamy legs that wrapped so perfectly around his waist. “You should see your doctor or go to an E.R. if he’s busy.”

“I have an appointment for the end of the week. I called this morning.”

His legal eagle instincts piqued, urging him to dissect her statement. “If you’re feeling that ill, why wait until the end of the week?”

Silently, she stared back, blinking quickly, her chest rising and falling faster by the second. He’d spent the last three years since passing the bar exam interrogating witnesses, and he had a good knack for spotting when a person was hiding something. And he knew without question, Marianna had a secret lodged somewhere inside that beautiful head of hers.

He intended to discover that secret before they left this room.





Three



“S o Marianna? Why wait four days to see the doctor if you can’t eat and you’re passing out?”

Marianna stared back at her narrow-eyed ex and experienced a total empathic bond with butterflies pinned to a display board. Somehow Sebastian knew she had a secret, and he wasn’t setting her free until she ponied up information.Did the state bar pass out internal lie detectors when awarding licenses? She had two choices here. She could brush him aside and wait for the doctor’s verdict that Friday. If she wasn’t pregnant, she wouldn’t need to say anything to Sebastian.

Except she knew in her heart, against all the odds, somehow she carried his baby, which brought her to the other option. Tell him the truth now, because if she didn’t he would be royally pissed next week.

And rightfully so.

“About that time a couple of months ago, in your car when we, uh…”

“Right, I remember.” Heat stirred in his eyes.

Of course he did, but hearing him admit it rekindled the steam of their raw goodbye. She could almost smell the rain and sex in the air. “We didn’t use birth control.”

His eyebrows pinched together. “Of course we didn’t. You’re not on anything, and I don’t carry any with me because we…” his voice slowed as his forehead smoothed “…don’t need it.”

She stayed silent.

He shook his head, opened his mouth and shook his head again. “You’re pregnant?”

She nodded, shrugging, still not able to form the words after so many years coming to grips with the idea of never having the chance.

He sunk into a leather conference chair, his face completely expressionless in spite of the slight paling. “You’re pregnant.”

“I’m fairly certain I’m two months along.”

He scrubbed a hand over his jaw. “I already figured out the two months part.”

“Thank you for not asking whose it is.” She couldn’t have taken the pain of such an accusation on a day when her emotions were already stripped bare.