His mother gave him the information, and he quickly jotted it down on a loose sheet of paper. He made a mental note to take somebody with him so he wouldn’t kill the guy. Thomas wasn’t worth a life sentence.
“We’re in town,” his mother said. “I flew Marcus and Vivian here on my jet so they can tell you everything.”
He groaned, feeling a headache coming on. “I wish you hadn’t done that, Mother.”
Before he got off the phone with her, she tried to give him a list of Bianca’s misdeeds in detail. He talked over her until she finally gave up. As soon as he disconnected the call, he buzzed his secretary. “Have security keep an eye out for my mother. She’ll have two guests with her. Detain them. Under no circumstances are they allowed in my private elevator. I do not want them going up to the penthouse. Understood?”
“And tell security if my mother makes it up to the penthouse, they will be fired.Allof them.”
He leaned back in his chair. Knowing his mother, she would be arriving soon with the Carstairs. No matter what, he needed to protect Bianca from their venom. He opened the bottom drawer on his desk and retrieved a ring box. Perhaps he should marry Bianca tonight. He could fly her to Vegas, make it official before his mother had a chance to interfere.
But would Bianca accept a proposal? Could he convince her to take the plunge tonight?
Pregnant! Bianca returned to Christian’s penthouse apartment in a numbed state. Relieved to find everyone gone, she went straight to the guest room. She felt wrung out, physically exhausted, but she didn’t have the luxury of taking a nap. Christian deserved to know the truth, that he would be a father in roughly seven and a half months.
And she would be amother.
Her hands clenched into fists at her sides. Her blood boiled at the thought of her ex lying to her face, insisting the problem was on her end and not his. She remembered the horrible things his parents had said to her just before throwing her out of their house, the names they’d called her. The contempt on their faces was burned into her mind forever.
All for nothing.
Their son had been the liar in that relationship, and she’d taken the heat for it. Part of her wanted to contact them just to rub the truth in their faces, but that might open up Pandora’s box. Maybe she wouldn’t be able to close it again. If they found out where she was, they would make it their life mission to destroy her.
Clasping her hands and twisting her fingers, she paced around the room while compiling a speech in her head. Somehow she needed to give Christian the information about her pregnancy without making it seem like she was demanding something from him. Trapping him was not her intention. She had to make that clear. He was free to have as much or as little to do with their child as he desired.
Her hands went to her stomach. She took deep, full breaths to lower her heartbeat and blood pressure. Stress wasn’t good for the baby. Her palms pressed lightly against her flat belly as she wondered what she would look like in four months, six months, at the end of the pregnancy.
“Bianca!” Christian shouted from somewhere in the apartment.
She still didn’t know what to say to him. He’d be in shock, of course, after she’d insisted she wasn’t able to have children. Unfortunately, she had to tell him right away. If she didn’t and he found out on his own, that wouldn’t be good for anyone. Christian had already made it clear that honesty was important to him.
“Bianca, are you here?”
She hurried through the penthouse until she found him waiting near the private elevator. Her heart skipped a beat at the sight of him. He’d removed his jacket. His broad shoulders and muscular arms strained against the white fabric of his shirt when he moved. Funny how she could remember the salty taste of his skin and the way his body felt entwined with hers.
“Anya told me you went to the doctor. What did he say? Are you okay?”
He’d given her the perfect opportunity to reveal her pregnancy, but the words stuck in her throat. Christian was a good man. If she revealed her pregnancy now, he would insist on marrying her. She didn’t want him to marry her for the baby. It was love or nothing. She deserved to be loved. They both did.
“I think I’ve changed my mind about marriage,” she said, testing the waters. “It doesn’t have to be a horrible thing. If you marry someone you truly love, it can be wonderful. Right?”
She went on. “I think maybe you and I could—”
A woman’s voice intruded over the intercom near the elevator. “Christian? I am here with the Carstairs. Tell your overzealous security team to let us come up to your apartment. Now!”
Bianca forgot to breathe. “Carstairs?”
She felt like she’d been plunged into a nightmare. Panic closed her throat. She wanted to run, wanted to hide.
Then Christian put his hand on her back. “I apologize for my mother. Don’t worry. I will get rid of them. You won’t have to see them.”
In the past, she’d allowed the Carstairs to control almost every aspect of her life, and she hadn’t stood up to them once. Now her chance for redemption had arrived. She wasn’t going to let it pass. She needed to confront the people that had dragged her name through the mud, made her feel worthless, and tossed her to the curb with only the clothes on her back.