Mistress:Pregnant by The Spanish Billionaire(9)

By: Kim Lawrence

‘It is her wish that I marry and provide an heir.’

Nell, her eyes wide—she was clearly dealing with someone who was delusional and possibly dangerous—started to shake her head and back away.

‘I care about Lucy, but if you think I’m going to…m-m…’ She shook her head again. ‘Some sacrifices I’m not willing to make. Let her leave the place to this other Luiz Felipe—he seems more than willing to marry.’ And for all she knew provide heirs! ‘God, I really need to find Lucy.’

For a split second he looked perplexed by her response. ‘Sacrifice? You think…?’ He threw back his dark head and laughed, a deep attractive sound. ‘I am not asking you to marry me, and Felipe would not make a suitable custodian for the estancia.’

Nell pursed her lips, perversely irritated that he appeared to find the idea so hilarious. ‘So you don’t want a wife.’

His expression sobered and she glimpsed something that wasn’t cold calculation flicker at the back of his eyes. It was stark, shocking pain.

‘I had a wife. I require no one to fill her place in my life or heart.’

Did that mean the ex-wife had walked…? The image of him as broken-hearted, discarded husband was one Nell’s imagination just wouldn’t expand to accommodate. Actually she felt a lot more comfortable believing he didn’t have a heart at all, let alone a bruised one, so she changed the subject.

‘So you think you’d be a…suitable custodian? Is that shorthand for you fancy yourself as king of the castle?’ He certainly had the regal manner. ‘So you don’t mind if your cousin gets the girl but not the money.’

‘There is no money.’

Nell rolled her eyes. ‘Sure there isn’t.’ She folded her arms across her chest and challenged, ‘So, if you don’t have an avaricious bone in your body—’ gorgeous body ‘—why this silliness?’ she finished, thinking she might well ask herself the same question. Stop drooling, Nell!

‘My grandmother raised me, she has taught me everything I know, I owe her everything and I wish her to die a happy woman.’


His eyes flashed as he frowned in exasperation and mimed a zipping motion across his mouth. ‘Will you be silent and let me finish?’

Nell’s chin went up as she viewed him, eyes narrowed in dislike. ‘If you get to the point.’

‘My grandmother is a redoubtable woman. She has carried the burden of running the estancia alone for many years. She was a young woman when her husband died. She does not want that for me. She wants me to be happy and she believes that for that I need a…’ he paused, his lips twisting into a cynical smile before he completed ‘…soul mate, a wife.’

‘Me? No way!’

‘My thought exactly.’

‘And I’m not lying for you.’

‘I’m not asking you to. I’m hoping that the ring will do the trick.’

‘But what if she doesn’t…?’ Nell gave an awkward grimace.

‘Die,’ he inserted, turning his head so that Nell could not see the muscle he could feel clenching in his cheek. ‘It is possible,’ he conceded. ‘She is tough and she has been ill before. If that happens…’ nothing in Luiz’s demeanour suggested how desperately he clung to that hope as he calmly outlined his hastily formed fall-back strategy ‘…I will simply explain that you have been forced to return to England. Long-distance love affairs are notoriously difficult and ours will die a natural death, possibly due, I think, to your infidelity.’

Nell stared. She almost believed it herself! ‘You seem to have thought of everything.’

He took her comment as a compliment and bowed his head in acknowledgement. ‘I have that reputation.’ And whether it was deserved or not it made him feared by his competitors.

That was not entirely a bad thing in the cutthroat world he operated in. A man used every advantage he had, and one advantage Luiz no longer had was the element of surprise that had enabled him as an unknown twenty-year-old to make his first million before the competition had become aware of his existence.

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