Page 11 of Baby Bonanza

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Talk. Yeah.

In a floating palace that looked designed for seduction. Meeting Nick in her tiny cabin hadn’t exactly been easy, but at least down there, there’d been no distractions. No easy opulence. No sensory overload of beauty.

This was a bad idea. Jenna knew it. Felt it. And didn’t have a single clue how to get out of it.

“We shouldn’t be staying together,” she said finally, and winced because even to her she sounded like a prissy librarian or something.

“We’ll be staying in the same cabin. Not together. There’s a difference.” He was so close now all he had to do was reach out and he could touch her.

If he did, she’d be a goner though, and she knew it.

“What’s the matter, Jenna?” he asked. “Don’t trust yourself alone with me?”

“Oh, please.” She choked out a half laugh that she desperately hoped sounded convincing. “Could you get over yourself for a minute here?”

He gave her a slow smile that dug out the dimple in his left cheek and lit wicked lights in his eyes. Jenna’s stomach flip-flopped and her mouth went dry.

“I’m not the one having a problem.”

Did he have to smell so good?

“No problem,” she said, lifting her chin and forcing herself to look him dead in the eye. “Trust me when I say all I want from you is what your kids deserve.”

The smile on Nick’s face faded away as her words slammed home. Was he a father? Were those twin boys his? He had to know. To do that, he needed some time with Jenna. He needed to talk to her, figure out what she was after, make a decision about where to go from here.

Funny, Nick had been waiting all afternoon to enjoy that look of stunned disbelief on Jenna’s face when she first walked into his suite and realized that she’d be staying with him. Payback for how he must have looked when he’d first seen the photo of the babies she claimed were his sons. But he hadn’t enjoyed it as much as he’d thought. Because there were other considerations. Bigger considerations.

His sons. Nick’s insides twisted into knots that were beginning to feel almost familiar. Countless times during the day, he’d looked at the photo of the babies he still carried in his shirt pocket. Countless times he’d asked himself if it was really possible that he was a father.

And though he wasn’t prepared to take Jenna’s word for his paternity, he had to admit that it wasn’t likely she’d have come here to the ship, signing up for a cruise if it wasn’t true. Not that he thought she’d have any qualms about lying—she’d lied to him when she first met him after all—but this lie was too easily found out.

So he was willing to accept the possibility. Which left him exactly where? That was the question that had been circling in his mind all afternoon, and he was no closer to an answer now than he had been earlier.

He looked her up and down and could admit at least to himself that she looked damn good to him. Her dark blond hair was a little windblown, stray tendrils pulling away from her braid to lay against her face. Her eyes were wide and gleaming with suspicion, and, strangely enough, that didn’t do a damn thing to mitigate the attraction he felt as he drew in a breath that carried her scent deep into his lungs.

“I’ll stay here, but I’m not sleeping with you,” she announced suddenly.

Nick shook his head and smiled. “Don’t flatter yourself. I said you’re staying in my suite, not my bed. As it happens, there are three bedrooms here besides my own. Your things have been unpacked in one of them.”

She frowned a little and the flush of color in her cheeks faded a bit. “Oh.”

“Disappointed?” Nick asked, feeling a quick jolt of something hot and reckless punch through him.

“Please,” she countered quickly. “You’re not exactly irresistible, Nick.”

He frowned at that, but since he didn’t actually believe her, he let it go.

“I’m actually grateful to be out of that hole at the bottom of the ship,” she added, glancing around at the suite before shifting her gaze back to his. “And if staying here is the price I have to pay for your attention, then I’ll pay.”

One dark eyebrow lifted. “How very brave of you to put up with such appalling conditions as these.”

“Look,” Jenna told him, “if you don’t mind, it’s been a long day. So how about you just tell me which room is mine so I can take a shower. Then we’ll talk.”

“Fine. This way.” He turned, pointed and said, “Down that hall. First door on the left.”


“My bedroom’s at the end of the hall on the right.”

She stopped, looked back at him over her shoulder and said, “I’ll make a note.”

“You do that,” he whispered as she left the room, shoulders squared, chin lifted, steps long and slow, as if she were being marched to her death.

His gaze dropped to the curve of her behind and something inside him stirred into life. Something he hadn’t felt since the last time he’d seen Jenna. Something he’d thought he was long past.

He still wanted her.

Spinning around, Nick stalked across the room to the wide bank of windows that displayed an awe-inspiring view of the sea. His gaze locked on the horizon as he fought to control the raging tide of lust rising inside him.

Jenna Baker.

She’d turned him inside out more than a year ago. Ever since, he’d been haunted by memories of their time together until he wasn’t sure if what he was remembering was real or just fevered imaginings offered by a mind that couldn’t seem to let go of the woman who’d lied to him. And Nick wasn’t a man to forget something like that. Now she was back again. Here, trapped on his ship in the middle of the ocean with nowhere to go to escape him.

Yes, they had plenty to talk about—and if her children were indeed his sons, then there were a lot of decisions to be made. But, he told himself as he shoved both hands into his slacks pockets and smiled faintly at the sunlight glinting on the vast expanse of the sea, there would be enough time for him to have her again.

To feel her under him. To lay claim to her body once more. To drive her past the edge of reason. Then, when he was satisfied that he’d gotten her out from under his skin, he’d kick her loose and she’d be out of his life once and for all. He wouldn’t even allow her to be a memory this time.

In Neptune’s Garden, the elegant restaurant on the Splendor Deck, Jenna watched as Nick worked the room.

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