He hadn’t decorated his office.
God, of all the things for her brain to latch onto as she entered the space.
The long walk and elevator ride had seemed to take an excruciating amount of time. And instead of rehearsing her words, she’d felt completely numb. Drained. Not only was she going to have to tell him the truth, after all these years, she was going to have to relive the pain she’d endured during those terrible months. The pain she still periodically felt when she wondered what their baby would have looked like. How her hand sometimes wandered to her belly, as if she still carried that child.
Dax didn’t bother sitting down, nor did he offer her a seat. Instead he leaned against the top of his desk and folded his arms across his chest. “Okay, spill.”
“I…um, I don’t know where to start.”
“I don’t care where you start. I just want to know what the hell you meant about me just starting school and that it would have changed everything.”
If she was going to do this, there was no way it was going to be standing up, so she moved sideways and dropped into one of the chairs flanking his desk. “I was pregnant. I found out a few weeks after you left for school.”
He’d heard her. She could see it in his face. He just hadn’t fully processed the words. “You’d just started school, Dax. If I’d said anything, you would have come home. And…and I didn’t want to be the reason you delayed—maybe even gave up on—medical school.”
“So you kept it from me?” His face hardened, becoming a stone that made her want to weep. “Where’s my child now?”
She swallowed. She could imagine the thoughts reeling through his head. “I miscarried a month after I found out. So you see, it wouldn’t have mattered, because—”
“You’re wrong. It does matter. I can’t believe…” His words stopped, a muscle working in his jaw. “You should have told me. Instead you ran away. Did you leave St. Lucia before the miscarriage? Or after?”
Why did the anger in his voice have to hurt so much? The urge to wrap her arms around her midsection came, and she had to grip the arms of the chair to stop herself. Had she been wrong not to tell him?
It didn’t really matter at this point, because the decision had been made, and she’d never thought the day would come when she would have to tell him. And seeing him standing there trying to decipher her motives…the timing of everything. She’d stolen something precious from him by her actions. He hadn’t had the chance to grieve the what-might-have-beens. Tears welled, one slipping down the side of her cheek as she realized the enormity of what she’d done. “I’m so sorry, Dax. I was going to tell you, if the pregnancy continued, but when it didn’t… It just seemed easier.”
“Easier. For whom?”
“You might not believe me, but back then, I thought it was the only way.” She scrubbed the moisture from her cheek with a hand that wasn’t quite steady. “I was doing it for you.”
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