Christakis's Rebellious Wife(4)

By: Lynne Graham

Obviously, Betsy would have that much-desired baby with another man now. Without warning, Nik’s stomach lurched. He gulped down the cup of hot black coffee offered to him and burnt his mouth. Betsy was trying to rob him blind just as his gigolo father, Gaetano, had once tried to rob Nik’s mother, Helena. Helena Christakis, however, had been too clever to be conned by Gaetano Ravelli, and Nik’s IQ left his mother’s at the starting stakes.

More to the point, he didn’t give a damn about Betsy now. Like an alcoholic he was taking the cure and the cure was seeing her again and feeling nothing. And there she was: tiny, exquisitely provocative in every detail from her cloak of silky pale blonde hair and porcelain skin to the luscious pout of her naturally pink lips. Hard jawline squaring, he searched out her flaws and underlined them in his head: the bump in her nose, the faint scattering of freckles, the ridiculous lack of height and the very modest curves. On a physical level she was very far from being perfect... What the hell had he ever seen in her?

Without warning Betsy glanced up, soft feathery lashes lifting to reveal eyes the colour of the deepest ocean, and instantaneous lust gripped Nik in an iron fist, punching through him so fast that his big, powerful body tensed, his muscles pulling defensively taut while the hungry swelling at his groin tightened the sleek fit of his tailored trousers. His response shocked him and it took a great deal to shock Nik. Indeed, the consternation that followed made sweat break out on his upper lip before he turned colder than snow, utilising every fibre of his single-minded character to crush his unwelcome response to her. Obviously, he reasoned grimly, his momentary arousal was nothing more complex than the knee-jerk reaction of an old habit around a sexually familiar woman.

Betsy stared fixedly at the table while the legal formalities got under way. Nik was at the far end, distant enough to be visually ignored, but every strand of her being was working against her will to turn her neck in that direction to snatch a glance at him. It had been so long, so agonisingly long since she had had the simple luxury of looking at him. Some instinct she could not suppress lifted her head up and for one explosive split second of time she collided with Nik’s stunning green eyes, eyes that were positively startling in that lean, dark, devastatingly handsome face of his.

Suddenly she couldn’t breathe or move again and the most primitive responses controlled her. Molten heat surged at the core of her and she literally felt her breasts stir inside her bra, her nipples prickling and straining into swollen buds. A welter of erotic images assailed her and burning colour drove off her pallor. Later it would hurt that Nik had the power to look away first but in the instant that disconnection occurred she was merely grateful to be set free of that terrible awareness and craving again. How could he still do that to her? How could she still feel the power of his scorching sexual attraction?

After all, Nik had put her through hell. He had stayed silent when he should have spoken up. He had even allowed her to go through the horrendous humiliation of discovering the truth that had made a mockery of their marriage from the lips of one of his brothers.

‘You will regret this...’ Nik had warned her forbiddingly the day she had thrown him out, but her sole regret then had been that she had not found out what he had been hiding from her sooner.

In retrospect she knew she had behaved like a madwoman that day. Temporary insanity had gripped her from the minute her whole world came crashing down around her. She had screamed, she had shouted, she had cursed and he had stood there like a granite rock battered by stormy seas—essentially untouched by her anger, her tears and her pleas for an explanation. In fact he had said nothing beyond the quiet, unemotional admission that what she had learned about him from his younger brother Zarif was indeed the truth: Nik had had a vasectomy at the age of twenty-two and there was absolutely no possibility of him ever having a child with her. But Nik had excluded Betsy from that secret and, unforgivably, he had allowed her to break her heart trying and failing to get pregnant for months on end. Why hadn’t he just told her the truth? ‘Why?’ she had demanded again and again, and he had stared back at her in resolute brooding silence, refusing to explain his behaviour.

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