Her Nine Month ConfessionBy: Kim Lawrence
The merest glimpse of handsome, sophisticated Benedict Warrender was enough to make wallflower Lily Gray blush. But since a twist of fate allowed her to enter his orbit, it’s been the memories of their life-altering night together that make her cheeks burn.
One secret that will change everything…
Lily fled the next morning when the news of Benedict’s engagement to another woman broke, and she dealt with the consequences of that night alone. Three years later, Lily’s confession dies on her lips; Benedict has uncovered her secret! Nervously, Lily waits. For their daughter’s sake, will Benedict sacrifice everything?
Lily found her eyes drifting to his mouth, felt the vibration of that memory, the carnal craving, the need that had been as instinctual and primal as taking a breath.
She had felt sure she would have died if he’d stopped.
She lifted a mental screen and pushed the memories behind it before they overwhelmed her.
“People try for years to get pregnant,” she said, thinking of her twin. “I didn’t think anything would happen the first time, which was stupid.”
Benedict’s dark brows lifted. “You think?” There was a hard, ironic gleam in his eyes. “A child…” He dragged a hand through his hair, a dazed expression on his face as he turned his scrutiny on her.
“So I have a child and you didn’t think to mention it to me? I wasn’t a stranger.”
“You didn’t owe me anything. It was my decision to have Emily, my responsibility.”
“So you made a unilateral decision.” He struggled to keep a lid on his anger.
She lifted her chin. “Yes, and I’d do the same again.”
London. Three years earlier.
IT WAS SIX A.M. when Lily woke, thanks to her internal alarm clock—an inconvenient genetic quirk that always woke her at this hour. She knew she wouldn’t be able to snuggle down and have another half-hour under the duvet, but for a few moments she resisted pushing her way through the thin layer that separated sleep from full wakefulness.
On the plus side she was never late and it was amazing what you could achieve in that quiet hour or so before the rest of the world, or at least her loud neighbour in the adjoining flat, woke.
She silenced the tedious inner voice that insisted on seeing the bright side of everything with a scowl and pushed the heavy swathe of tangled curls from her face. Lying there with one arm curved above her head, she focused on her justified resentment of people who could roll over and fall back to sleep. Normal people who overslept, even her own twin, Lara, who, it was no exaggeration to say, could sleep through an earthquake. But no, not her, every morning it was the same old...same old...
Only it wasn’t.
A fresh furrow appeared between her delicately delineated brows as a remaining sleepy corner of her mind told her actually something was different, but what?
Had she actually overslept?
Eyes closed, she reached out for her phone on the bedside table. Patting her hand flat, she hit a couple of unfamiliar objects before she found it. Opening one eye, she glanced at the screen and read the predictable and unsociable hour. She clutched the phone to her chest—naked chest! Was that relevant? she wondered as she hitched the sheet up over her shoulders. No, the something different was not the time or her naked state.
So what was it?
She looked around. This was not her room.
The belated recognition hit her as she struggled to focus. Her entire body felt as though she’d just run a marathon—not that she ever had or in all probability ever would. But last night...last night!
Her green eyes snapped wide open as the memory of the night before hit her like a bolt of lightning. At least that explained the aches in places she hadn’t known she had.
She pressed a hand to her left breast where her heart was trying to batter its way through her ribcage. The rush of blood in her ears was a deafening roar as she turned her head slowly...very, very slowly. What if she’d been dreaming? She gritted her teeth, prepared for an anticlimax that never came.
A fractured sigh left her parted lips... It was real, not a dream; he wasn’t a dream.
She blinked, bringing the face on the pillow next to hers into focus. A stab of sizzling longing lanced through Lily’s body as she greedily absorbed the details of his symmetrical features, committing each plane and angle to memory. Not that she would ever forget him or last night!