Nico crossed his muscular arms, leaned against the door frame and glared at her through the glass. His huge body in that perfectly cut suit was so tense she knew he was barely restraining himself. His blue eyes burned like lasers. A wild thread of fear knotted itself around her heart and pulled tight.
She was naked underneath her robe, but if she took the time to dress, she knew it would try his patience to the extreme, so she unlocked the door.
He blew past her into the foyer, slamming the door so hard the whole house shook.
She’d hung the painting of the little boy playing in the sand in her foyer. When he saw it, he stopped cold and stared at it for long seconds, his frown deepening.
Then, as if it offended him, he turned his back on the painting.
“Why did you call me and then not call me back?” With each word, a blue vein pulsed savagely in his temple.
She let out a strangled cry and sagged against the wall. “I was—”
“Trying to drive me crazy? Because if that was your intent, you damn sure succeeded!”
With her face scrubbed clean of makeup and her hair in wet tangles, she imagined he compared her to the beautiful Viola and found her pathetic.
He strode past her into the kitchen, where he opened and closed drawers, sifting through their contents.
“What are you doing?” she cried. “What are you looking for?”
“Who the hell are you?”
Next he began gazing at all the photographs on her refrigerator. She wanted to scream that he had no right to go through her things, but she watched him, mute, afraid.
Mostly the photographs were of Gina and David and Dino; of Susana and the rest of her family. She’d pinned up a few she’d taken of various sights in Italy.
He lifted them one by one, reading the back of the pictures, as well. It was her habit to methodically jot the names of the people, the location and the time.
“I see there are no pictures of me,” he said. “Did you delete them?”
No. No. No. They were on her computer, and she looked at them every night.
When his hand touched E-321’s profile, she ran over to the refrigerator to distract him.
He turned, his intense blue eyes cool and calculating now. “Why did you call me and then not call me back? What are you up to? What do you want?”
She couldn’t tear her gaze from his dark hand, which rested on E-321’s profile.
When he wouldn’t stop staring at her, either, her skin grew hot and clammy. Suddenly bile crawled up her throat and her mouth went dry.
Oh, no! No. No!
Cupping her lips, she rushed to the sink and was sick.
When she could lift her head and breathe again, she felt his hard, critical gaze boring into the small of her back. She straightened to her full height and turned slowly to face him.
“You’re as white as a sheet,” he said without a trace of sympathy.
He opened a cabinet and got out a glass. Then he went to the refrigerator and poured her a glass of icy water.
He gave her the glass, and she sipped the cool liquid gratefully.
She should tell him about the baby now. But she couldn’t. Not like this. Not when he was so angry.
“Why are you here? Why are you so upset?” she whispered.
He turned back to the refrigerator and yanked off E-321’s profile with a vengeance. “Why am I here?”
He wadded up the profile and threw it at her.
When it bounced at her feet, she jumped.
“You’re pregnant. That’s why.”
She sucked in a breath. “You knew even before I was sick. You knew!”
“You’re hardly in a position to accuse me.”
Cornered, her legal mind went on full attack. “That’s privileged, private information. I haven’t even told my mother yet. You have no right—”
“No right?” Like a predator closing in for the kill, he stalked her.
She skittered backward until her butt hit the cabinets and his tall, muscular body in designer charcoal loomed over her, blocking her escape.
“Who the hell’s the father, damn it?”
She looked up at him, and her tongue froze against the roof of her mouth.
He gripped her shoulders so tightly she felt each finger bruising her flesh.
“Is it mine? Or is it the damn sperm donor’s? Or some other man’s? Did you call me to blackmail me?” The fingers mashed harder, cutting her.
“Blackmail? No! No! No. How can you think…”
She felt as if she were dying inside. She didn’t want him here. Not like this.
“Then who’s the father?”
She knew she should lie. If he thought she was as low as he was accusing her of being, she should definitely lie. She was a lawyer. Surely she should be able to make up a plausible story that would rid her of him forever.