Mistresses: In His Bed: The Billionaire's Trophy / Strictly Temporary / Whose Bed Is It Anyway?. Robyn Grady
and catering, Emmie thought, striving for a more positive angle than a daunting image of herself being forced to run home like a helpless teenager, who couldn’t cope with the adult world. Of course she could have approached her sister Saffy for assistance: Saffy owned an apartment in London. But the prospect of asking for help from her very much more successful twin was too humiliating for Emmie. She could not imagine the shrewd and worldly-wise Saffy ever making such a basic mistake as to fall accidentally pregnant. In short Emmie literally cringed at the idea of having to admit to her twin how very badly her own move to London had gone for her.
Bastian was able to pick Emmie out from across the café. She wore a candy-pink overall that was a little too short for such a leggy young woman and she looked incredibly pale. Maybe she just wasn’t wearing make-up, he reasoned, taking a seat in a booth while still studying her tall slender figure. Her head turned, treating him to a flash of dazzling blue eyes, luscious pink lips parting to show a glimpse of the oddly enticing gap between her two front teeth. His body, recently proven to be woodenly impervious to the charms of more available women, reacted with an instant arousal that set his teeth on edge. Emmie saw him and stilled in obvious dismay. Bastian smiled regardless, shifted lean brown fingers in fluid invitation, mentally willing her to move in his direction.
The potent pull of Bastian in the flesh was so powerful that Emmie felt as if she were being yanked across the floor by a force stronger than she was. She approached him reluctantly, notepad in hand, mouth dry, every muscle strained taut. ‘What are you doing here?’ she asked breathlessly.
‘When do you finish?’
Emmie collided with dark golden eyes as compelling as chains snaking out to entrap her body. She supposed there was no avoiding what had to be faced. He had a right to know about the pregnancy. His preference for Lilah did not enter the equation because that was personal, his personal business. All that should really matter to Emmie was that she was carrying his child; however the shock of that discovery was still rippling through her like the aftermath of an earthquake. ‘My shift ends at ten.’
‘I’ll be waiting.’ Without further ado, Bastian sprang up and strode outside: decisive, impatient, stubbornly practical, she affixed ruefully. She knew he would have demanded she leave right now in the middle of her shift had he believed he could bully her into doing so.
When she emerged from the café at closing time a limousine was parked by the kerb.
‘Miss Marshall?’ the driver asked out of the window before getting out to whip open the passenger door for her. Emmie swallowed hard, struggled to suppress the nausea in her stomach, and climbed in. She was disconcerted by the discovery that the limo was empty and asked Bastian’s driver where he was taking her.
‘I’m to drive you back to Mr Christou’s apartment.’
Emmie pushed her weary head back against the headrest. She didn’t care at the moment where she was going, was only grateful that she did not have to walk there. If she had to make her big announcement, it was better to do so where they would not be overheard or interrupted. How would he react? Would he be angry, resentful, bitter? Would he offer to pay for a termination or even suggest adoption as an alternative? The driver escorted her into a luxury block of apartments and, tucking her into a lift, pressed the correct button for her.
Bastian impatiently paced the wooden floor of his elegant lounge. He was convinced that he knew what she was going to tell him: he had suspected the truth the minute her strained eyes had met his. Three weeks ago, Emmie had been considerably more cheerful and calm and he could not credit that escaping her harpy of a mother had left her in such low spirits. Now Bastian, who was confident that he excelled at solving problems, was bent on working out how he could best turn an apparent negative into a positive.
A man in a suit had the door of Bastian’s apartment standing open for her arrival when she stepped out of the lift into a stylishly decorated hallway. Crossing it, Emmie tightened the sash on her raincoat and dug her nervous hands into her pockets, pushing her shoulders back as she entered the dimly lit apartment, noting the long expanses of window that denoted a penthouse, the clean lines of sleek contemporary furniture and the same lack of clutter that distinguished Bastian’s office. Even on that level they didn’t suit each other, Emmie mused, for she was a great hoarder of sentimental bits and pieces.
Bastian strode forward. ‘Take your coat off. Make yourself comfortable,’ he urged huskily.
Emmie flicked a glance at his lean, darkly handsome face and the lustrous brilliance of his dark, thickly lashed eyes and turned pink and uncomfortable. He was spectacularly good-looking and had the most colossal impact on her every time she saw him. Heat flickering like an uneasy flame low in her pelvis, she undid her coat, shrugged it off, sat down, and pressed her knees and her hands together like a child urged to be on her very best behaviour. ‘It’s not good news,’ she told him awkwardly.
Bastian’s gaze roamed across her flawless face and down over the elegant lines of her willowy figure with instinctive appreciation. There was something special about her and he still didn’t know what it was but it was a quality that shouted at him every time he saw her. ‘That depends on how you look at it.’
‘I’m pregnant,’ Emmie delivered curtly. ‘And no matter how you look at it, it’s a problem. I don’t want a child right now when I’m only at the start of my career and yet I couldn’t live with having an abortion just because it’s a case of bad timing—’
‘I could take the baby,’ Bastian interrupted.
Thoroughly taken aback by that suggestion, Emmie lifted her head and stared back at him with bright blue eyes of disbelief. ‘You can’t be serious?’
‘Why not? I was prepared to get married to have a family. How is this situation different?’
‘If you had married, you would have had a wife—’
‘Don’t be prejudiced. I would make an excellent single father. Certainly, I know all the things a father shouldn’t do,’ Bastian proffered with brutal honesty. ‘My father was an appalling role model.’
‘So was mine…er—’
‘All I’m saying is that if you don’t want the baby, I do—’
‘I didn’t say I didn’t want it!’ Emmie protested, dismayed by his attitude and suddenly feeling ridiculously protective of the new life forming inside her. And yet on another level, she respected him for his unexpected willingness to get involved and take responsibility. ‘I think it’s just that I don’t know what to do now.’
‘We don’t have to make any serious decisions for months yet,’ Bastian pointed out soothingly.
‘I do want my baby,’ Emmie started to confide but her tummy was rolling about like a ship on a stormy sea and she was forced to leap back upright. ‘Where’s the cloakroom?’ she gasped in dismay.
Luckily, she made it there in time and was sick for the second time that evening. Afterwards, limp and drained, she leant across the vanity unit to freshen up and peered at her bloodshot eyes and extreme pallor in the mirror. She looked like death warmed over, she conceded painfully.
‘Should I call a doctor?’ Bastian greeted her right outside the door, which embarrassed her. ‘Take you to a hospital?’
‘No, I assume this is what the books call morning sickness, only it seems to strike me at all hours of the day,’ Emmie told him morosely, rubbing her cheeks on the recollection of how pale she had looked and then wondering why she was bothering…as if that were going to make a difference and transform her from a humble waitress clad in an ugly overall into a sexually appealing woman! Why on earth would she even want to appeal to him now?
‘I didn’t think you would be affected by anything of that nature this early,’ Bastian remarked.
‘That makes two of us, but I already feel pretty sick most of the time.’
‘Where are you staying at the minute?’ Bastian asked.