“You’ve mentioned that point several times.”
“I’m sorry,” she apologized distractedly.
“Are you that disturbed by the idea of being pregnant with my child?”
“We’ve already covered this ground.”
“Then by the prospect of being pregnant at all?” He slid a sidelong glance at her before looking back at the road.
“I’m building a business. Having a baby will change a lot of things, including how much time I can spend on work.” It was the only concern she was willing to voice right this second. She’d been on an emotional thrill ride since discovering the loss of her patch. Fear competed with hope and illicit joy at the prospect in equal measure.
“And this worries you?”
“A little,” she admitted. “I’m willing to rearrange my priorities though. Any child of mine will not pay for the choices of its parents.”
“As you felt you paid for yours.” He saw immediately her determination to give her child everything she felt she’d missed out on.
“To an extent, but even more so, as you paid for yours.”
“I cannot disagree there.” He smiled grimly.
“I’m not asking you to.”
“That is good.”
“I hate this,” she cried out on an explosive breath.
“How stilted we are with each other. We were closer than we’d ever been and now this.”
“We are friends,” he said, frowning. “You being pregnant with my child will not change that.”
“We are more than friends, Zee. At least give me that much.” So, maybe she did want to deal with something besides the condom issue.
“What do you mean?”
“Don’t play dumb. It’s unbecoming, not to mention lacking in credibility.”
“I am not playing at anything.” He sounded offended, his voice sliding into that zone she’d come to recognize as his anger. The chill-factor was definitely in evidence.
“I’m sorry.” She stared out the window, blinking back tears she couldn’t even name the exact reason for. “I don’t mean to patronize you.”
“Somewhere along the way, we stopped being merely friends with benefits. I mean, for me anyway.”
“You prefer the term lovers?” he asked.
“That would be a start.” Not everything she wanted, but a definite beginning.
“But lovers are never permanent in my life.” Worry crept back into his voice, letting her know this was a genuine concern on his part.
“Make me the exception.”
“I do not know if I can do that.” He sighed. “Though if you are pregnant, neither of us will have a choice.”
The next-to-last thing she wanted was to be in his life by default. The last thing was to be out of his life completely, which said what about her plans to walk away from what they had before she got even more hurt? “I don’t want it to be that way.”
“What we want is not always what we get.”
She thought of the many times she’d had to move away from friends and activities that meant something to her. Then she remembered how helpless she had felt in the face of her ex-husband’s unrepentant and repeated infidelity. “That’s only too true.”
He took a deep breath and let it out with a big smile somewhere between appearing genuine and his game face. “So, let us forget for today that you might be pregnant with my child.”
“And on the verge of losing my dreams? Okay, I can do that.”
His jaw went taut, but he let her flippancy go. “Good. We will go to Sounion and play tourists and then catch the helicopter there as planned and fly to the island early this evening.”
“Will we make love tonight?”
“Did you want to make an appointment?” he teased.
“I just want to know that you haven’t already decided you are bored with me.”
“How can you even suggest that?”
“You’re the one who said…you know what, never mind. Let’s just focus on the present. Not the past. Not the future and definitely not the possibility we’ve started on that dynasty of yours earlier than expected.” Not to mention with a woman he hadn’t considered in the running for mother of his children a mere forty-eight hours ago.
And somehow, they managed it. Though she had to give most of the credit to Zephyr. Every time she started to worry, he seemed to know…and knew exactly how to stop it.
FROM the air, the view of Zephyr and Neo’s newest acquisition was incredible. Piper had no problem imagining this small Greek island as an oasis for the resort’s guests. Unlike many of the rocky islands that dotted the sea off the coastline of mainland Greece, this landscape was covered with lush grasses and green trees. There was a large olive grove and what looked like a citrus orchard.