The young woman sat behind the wheel of her car, impatiently watching each worker rush past her red Toyota at the end of the day’s shift. The work week over, they were on their way to hot dinners with their families, the Denver night scene, or to the local watering holes around the university near downtown Cancun. She knew he wouldn’t be among these first workers to leave the sprawling building. No, not an upper level executive like Michael. He would be one of the last to leave.
Finally, as the crowd thinned, she spotted him exiting through a side entrance. Her patience had paid off.
He strolled briskly toward his car, completely unaware that she was close by. Watching. Waiting. She examined him with an appreciative eye as the wind carelessly tossed his immaculately styled hair, her fingers itching to lose themselves in its ebony richness.
His handsome features suddenly drew into a frown and he slowed.
He’d seen her.
She swallowed and stepped out of the car, subconsciously tugging at her skirt and smoothing the low-cut blouse she wore.
“Abi,” he acknowledged icily. “What are you doing here? I thought I’d made it clear that you were never to come here.”
“I’m sorry, Michael. I had to see you--it couldn’t wait.” Why did he have to look so impassive and cold? Why couldn’t he just wrap his arms around her and say how happy he was to see her? And why didn’t his eyes light up the way they had that first night he’d taken her to his bed?
He quickly threw a glance around the parking lot to determine whether or not anyone else was nearby. Assured they were alone, his eyes traveled up and down her body, focusing intently on the creamy skin exposed. Desire shown in their obsidian depths, melting away the displeasure and filling his expression with warmth.
“No, I’m sorry, darling,” he murmured, pulling her tightly against him and nuzzling her neck with his lips. “It’s been a rough day, that’s all.”
She clung to his broad shoulders, tingles of pleasure rippling through her body. He loved her, of course he did. Everything would be okay.
It had to be okay.
A fissure of doubt crept through her and she trembled. If he turned her away after this...
When he forcefully took her mouth with his, all rational thought fled. Temporarily.
She placed a restraining hand against his chest and gently pushed him away from her.
His beautiful eyes crinkled in confusion. “What is it, Abi? Is something wrong?”
“I’m pregnant, Michael.”
A fleeting look of panic shot across his face, then his expression shuttered. He stepped away from her and leaned back against his car, parked next to hers. Arms folded across his chest, he peered down at her with disdain. “Impossible.”
“I assure you it’s not impossible. I am pregnant.”
“It’s not mine,” he stated flatly.
She wheeled backwards in shock, feeling very much as if she’d just been slapped.
“Oh yes. I know all about your artist boyfriend, my dear.”
Tears filled her eyes but she refused to let them fall. Not now. Not in front of him. “You don’t know everything, Michael.”
He didn’t know that once she’d started sleeping with him, she’d broken things off with Devon, who had promptly moved out of the apartment they’d shared. He didn't know that she’d been so in love with him from the very beginning. And he didn't know that the first time she’d seen him walk into the health club where she worked as a receptionist, she’d fallen hard. She’d mistakenly believed it had been the same with him. At least, that’s what he’d implied.
But now... Now she wasn’t sure he’d ever loved her.
His eyes narrowed briefly before he drew himself to his full height. “I think we’re done here. Go home to your boyfriend, Abi.”
Desperation prompted her to speak when she would’ve preferred remaining silent. “I can’t. He knows about us.” He’d know the baby isn’t his, she thought miserably.
“That’s your problem, now isn’t it? I haven’t time or patience for anyone’s castoffs.” Then, he turned and, without a look back, got into his car and drove away.
She stood in the same spot for several minutes, bitter tears raining down her cheeks. Why, oh why had she ever told Devon about her relationship with Michael to begin with? If only she’d kept quiet--he never would’ve left. Never would’ve known the baby she carried wasn’t his. For all his faults, he would’ve stood by her. Helped her through these next tough months.
Disillusionment opened her eyes to who the man she thought she'd loved really was. To what their relationship had really been based on. All those promises he’d made her were only to coax her into bed. Why had she been foolish enough to believe him? He was obviously nothing more than a skirt-chaser. A scoundrel in expensive suits. Still, the betrayal stung. Especially now that it didn’t only affect her.
It also affected her unborn baby.
His baby, whether or not he wished to acknowledge the truth.
It didn’t occur to her that, had she not told Devon the truth about Michael, her betrayal would’ve been far worse than his was now. A shallow woman by nature, she generally only thought of herself and what she could get from life.
Instead, she comforted herself by planning her revenge. He’d be sorry. One way or another, she’d make him pay for turning his back on her and their child.