Ben’s head snapped back as if she’d punched him.
“It’s yours,” Henriqua said before the cynicism in his flinty gaze could form into words that would be more brutal than any beating Vincent delivered.
Ben’s pupils seemed to flare into black suns. As he started to speak, a woman appeared beside him. She was tall, gorgeous and comfortable enough to drape a familiar hand on Ben’s shoulder.
“Who’s your special guest, Benny?”
Oh dear God. Henriqua had thought the harm Vincent had inflicted on the man she loved had been too painful to bear. Running from Ben had nearly killed her, but none of that pain compared to the idea of him with another woman. It took everything in her to hold her spongy knees strong and swallow back a keening cry of betrayal.
“Key,” he said through his teeth, holding out a palm.
With a small falter of surprise, the woman unclipped her clutch. Her rings flashed as she handed over a card.
“P-two,” she said with a helpful smile and a curious once-over from Henriqua’s freestyle hair to her uncomfortable, thrift store shoes.
Ben snatched up Henriqua’s hand and dragged her after him. She stumbled in his wake, dazed by relief. He couldn’t be sharing a room with that woman if he hadn’t known which one it was.
“How?” Ben growled as the elevator doors closed behind them. His scent, a mixture of bottled aftershave and male pheromones, civilization and wilderness, worked their usual magic on her, making her knees weak.
“What do you mean, ‘how’? You seduced me.” Exactly as he was doing right now, simply by standing next to her. “We didn’t use protection.”
“The only time we didn’t use a condom, I pulled out.”
“Perhaps we should have studied biology instead of geology.” She tugged her cuff down to hide the blue shadow on her wrist. “I can’t explain it except to assure you it’s true.” For now.
He gave her a death-ray glare as he held the door for her, then followed her down the hall, opening the door to an expansive suite.
Henriqua had never seen anything like it, but barely took it in, so tense that she was gripping her elbows to keep herself together. She moved to the window and perused the view of Central Park fading into dusk.
“Drink?” he offered from behind the wet bar.
She half turned and smoothed her hand down the front of her dress, outlining her bump.
He sucked in a breath. “You’re keeping it, then.”
She didn’t answer. Couldn’t. Helplessness clogged her throat and she dropped her hands to her sides as she faced the window again.
Behind her, a bottle went onto the marble of the bar top with a loud clunk.
“What kind of sadist are you? You came all this way to tell me you’re pregnant so you could tell me you’re not carrying it to term?”
Henriqua rubbed at the tension between her brows. Her stomach felt as though she’d ingested radioactive acid.
“I’m going to have it,” she managed to say.
“But you’re not going to keep it? You think I’m going to let you give it up for adoption?” His voice was quiet, yet thick with outrage.
She instinctively braced for a blow as she admitted, “I want your grandmother to take it.”
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