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Martinez’s Pregnant Wife

By:Rachael Thomas


Two months ago...

MAXIMILIANO MARTINEZ OPENED his eyes, the uncustomary warmth of someone next to him in bed shocking him. Memories of the previous night, of talking and drinking wine with Lisa, flashed through his mind. As if roused by those same memories, she stirred and moved against him, her naked body almost too much to resist. He gritted his teeth, trying to ignore the stab of desire rocketing through him, preferring instead anger at having given into that weakness last night. It had been the same weakness that had made marriage to Lisa the only option.

To wake up with Lisa next to him each morning was what he would have had if he’d been able to honour his wedding vows, if he’d been able to let go of his past and love his wife. But he hadn’t. He’d thought he’d banished those memories from the past, thought what he and Lisa had would mean the past could be hidden, forgotten, but he was wrong. Very wrong. His past had reared up like an angry stallion, mocking him, reinforcing what he’d been trying to escape—he wasn’t capable of love. Never had been and never would be. That was why he’d set Lisa free. Just months after they’d married, he’d left.

For the last six months they had maintained a professional distance despite working together. He knew full well it was avoidance on her part but he couldn’t really blame her. He’d hurt her.

So what the hell was she doing in his bed?

Lisa put her arm across his chest, sleep still clinging to her, but the action made the contrast between his mind and body polar opposites. His body wanted her, wanted to make her his again and never let her go, but his mind knew that whatever had happened last night was already mistake enough. He might not be capable of loving his wife, but he didn’t want to hurt her. That was why he’d walked out on the marriage. To save her from the heartache a man like him would inflict on her.

He gently moved her arm from his chest, fighting against primal urges as she sighed softly and very sexily. He looked down at her, at the long lashes splayed over her pale skin, and knew he was doing the right thing, even if he hadn’t last night; now he did he would do exactly that. He slid from the tangle of Lisa’s long legs and sheets before his body won the battle of desire.

‘Where are you going?’ Lisa’s voice was husky and so damn sexy. Sleep lingered in every syllable and for a moment he froze, unable to move or speak. This wasn’t a casual one-night stand with a woman whose name he barely recalled. This was his estranged wife.

Before he’d met Lisa he’d always been strong, able to resist the lure of desire, but then she’d always affected him in a way no other woman had. How the hell had they gone from business talk to bed? It should have been a meeting about the players of the latest football club he’d bought and how he wanted her to continue working for him and be the club’s physiotherapist.

Because she’s the woman you wanted to love.

He looked at her again, the tug of desire strengthening. But so too were the ghosts of his past.

Last night they had drunk far too much wine and his head began to thump in protest. He must have been mad to have thought he could talk over dinner with Lisa and not give into the desire, the need to touch her, kiss her and make her his again.

If he didn’t remove her from his apartment, his bed, he’d be in danger of giving in once more. Whatever spark had brought them together was still there and it was past time he snuffed it out. For good.

‘I have an important meeting in an hour.’ He growled the words out as he pulled on his clothes. The only meeting he had was with several strong cups of coffee and painkillers. When he turned to look at his wife, red hair tumbling around her shoulders, he knew he was hurting her. Again. Yet the aggressive words rushed from him regardless. ‘You need to go.’

‘But...’ she began as her eyes implored him to soften his mood, to look at her without the icy spark in his eyes or the anger in every line of his body.

He wasn’t going to be drawn. ‘No buts, Lisa. Just go.’

‘But last night...’ she tried again, sitting up and clutching the white sheet against her in a show of modesty, or maybe protection. Either way, it failed as one full breast became exposed, snagging his attention. He strengthened his resolve.

‘Last night should not have happened. Hell, Lisa, we agreed. Our marriage was a mistake.’ He pushed his fingers roughly through his hair and turned away from her, not wanting to see the hurt in her eyes, the pain on her beautiful face. He swore in his native Spanish, his first language ruling the moment, despite his having lived in London since leaving Spain as a teenager.

Lisa threw aside the sheet and got out of bed, her movements fluid and graceful but also showing him how angry and hurt she was. She pressed her fingers to her forehead for a moment as she stood there, invitingly naked. He wasn’t the only one who was suffering from indulging in too much fine wine last night.

‘We agreed to keep things professional.’ He looked at her, wishing things had been different, wishing that his past didn’t haunt him, making any kind of emotional commitment impossible. When she began to dress, to hide her sexy body, his control slipped back into place. ‘We agreed we could work together. Just as we did before we were married.’

‘We are still married.’ Her frosty look couldn’t hide the hurt in her eyes as her fingers fumbled to hastily fasten the buttons on her blouse. ‘You admitted it was a mistake but you haven’t done anything about it.’

Was Lisa right? Was he too weak to admit a mistake? Or was it that he still wanted her?

But you can’t give her what she wants.

Her neat brows furrowed together and hurt showed in every pore of her delicately pale face. ‘So what was last night? A casual fling? A big mistake?’

‘Sí, a mistake. One that should not have happened.’ He stood firm. He wasn’t the man for her. Lisa wanted to be loved and to love in return and had never made a secret of that. This was his issue. He couldn’t accept her love, couldn’t take that from her when he knew, without a doubt, he could never love her. Not that he hadn’t tried. He’d even married her in an attempt to unshackle himself from the chains that cut off his emotions, that held him firmly in the past. But to no avail.

She gasped, her eyes widening, and he knew he was hurting her. He had to do it. Had to make her see they weren’t right for one another, to save her from even greater hurt. Despite the sparks of passion that had fired instantly between them last night, as if the six months apart had never happened, they weren’t suited. Surely she could see that.

‘I hate you,’ she snapped at him and he knew it was anything but. He knew she had once loved him, but he wanted her to hate him, wanted her to despise him and find someone who could give her what she needed, what she deserved. If she could say she hated him, then soon her heart would feel the same.

‘Then we are doing the right thing.’ Deep inside a small part of him withered and died at the thought of her hating him. But it had to be that way.

‘Damn right we are. Last night was a massive mistake.’ She threw the words at him like daggers, snatched her purse and jacket from the armchair where he now vaguely recalled her tossing them last night and marched to the door. ‘I want a divorce.’

The door slammed hard behind her and he stood in the heavy silence and glowered at the door, as if it were responsible for shutting her out, but he’d done that. It was for the best, but it sure as hell didn’t feel like it right now.


LISA MARTINEZ TOOK a deep breath, trying to ease the nausea that had just started to become a normal part of her morning. She couldn’t put it off any longer. She had to tell him.

She was pregnant—expecting the baby of a man who wanted neither her nor any sort of commitment in his life. Icy fingers of dread slithered down her spine. What on earth was she going to do?

All she knew was that she had to tell Maximiliano, the man she’d fallen head over heels in love with from the moment their eyes had first met. The man she’d married, sure her love could bring them happiness. The man who’d walked out on her within months of exchanging vows. He was also the man she’d hurled the angry words I want a divorce at when the passion of their recent one night together had been extinguished by the cold light of day.

She knew exactly where Max would be right now. Ensconced in his office, chasing the next big deal, the next football club to drag up from the lowest league and make it great. It was his way of proving he could succeed, could still be something in the world of football despite the car accident that had cut short his career.

Lisa fought against the flurry of nerves that added to the nausea she’d been trying to shake off since she’d finally had the courage to see her doctor. There was no getting away from it now, no way she could deny it and no way to avoid telling Max. To do that would be to go against everything she believed in. She had to tell him that their night together two months ago had lasting consequences and before anyone else they worked with guessed. He might be her boss at the football club where she was a physio but he was still her husband, despite the divorce papers she knew the court had sent him. Max had to hear this from her.

She took a deep breath and then blew it out in an attempt to regain her composure, Max’s closed office door suddenly seeming more like the highest mountain on earth. She knocked and opened the door, stepping warily inside the masculine space. The room was empty. As she stood on the threshold, her hand still holding the door open, footsteps sounded in the corridor and she turned, knowing it wasn’t Max. Relief and annoyance rushed through her. She wanted to get this over and done with. Only then could she move on and leave this part of her life behind.