Lacey blinked back angry tears. She couldn’t believe she’d fallen for it.
How stupid could she be?
Just like last year, when she’d imagined he felt something more than lust when he kissed her, she’d convinced herself he might actually care for her.
But all this time, he’d just been manipulating her with cold efficiency to get what he wanted so he could rush to get what he really cared about—his business deal!
Cursing under her breath, Lacey pulled on her sandals and stomped out of the bedroom. Back in the main room of the penthouse suite, she heard her baby’s soft, slumbering snores and stopped. The sound calmed her. Brought her back to what mattered.
Facing him, she took a deep breath. “I should thank you, John. For reminding me that you only care about yourself.”
Emotion flashed across his handsome face, quickly veiled. He lifted his chin, dark with five o’clock shadow. “That’s not true.”
“Of course it is.”
His handsome face turned cold. Arrogant. Always his first line of defense. “You said you would marry me. It was a spoken, verbal contract. You can’t back out now.”
“That’s what you think.” She smiled without humor. “I’m not one of your simpering young virgins to tremble and obey. You know who I am!”
“Selfish and infuriating?”
“I’m just like you,” she whispered.
His dark eyes flashed. And for a moment, her heart twisted. Just moments before, she’d felt such perfect happiness in his arms. She’d really thought…
No. She’d thought wrong. She grabbed her bag from the stroller, punched buttons on her phone and then faced him with a low laugh. “Go back to Athens, John. That’s the only hostile takeover you have a chance at winning.”
His brow lowered like a storm cloud. “Lacey—”
“I’ll always let you see Taffy anytime you wish.” Her heart felt radioactive with pain. “But I can’t be with you. We are both too different, and too much the same.” Looking at him, she choked out, “It’s over. We’re over.”
His handsome face looked frozen. Numb.
Steeling her heart, she turned away. He said in a low voice behind her, “At least let me drive you home.”
“I’ve already ordered a car.” She wasn’t going to give him another chance to sway her. Her heart breaking, she risked one last glance. “I never needed you to take care of me. I just wanted…” She shook her head. “Well, it doesn’t matter.” Swallowing the lump in her throat, she whispered, “Goodbye.”
Lacey closed the door on his shocked, ashen face. She pushed her sleeping baby’s stroller down the hall and silently took the elevator to the quiet, half-deserted hotel lobby. And, by some miracle, she made it to the sidewalk before she started crying.
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