Embarrassed by her uncharacteristic behavior, Michaela lowered her eyes. She honestly couldn’t remember ever looking at a man there before. Not on purpose, anyway. She tried to tell herself it was nerves making her heart pound and her pulse flutter. She couldn’t quite convince herself. Michaela knew that it was all because of the powerful presence of the man coming towards her.
Maxim approached her and took his sunglasses off, tucking them in the neck of his shirt. Again, totally without permission, her eyes followed the motion and she was transfixed by the slight dusting of dark hair she could see on the tanned slice of chest that was revealed by the open collar of his shirt.
“Glad to see you made it,” he said.
He seemed totally unmoved by the fact that he’d just had a
She should’ve been extremely content with him as her baby’s father. First and foremost, he was royal and extremely wealthy. He was to be the next king of Carpathia and along with that would receive an inheritance worth billion, coupled with the personal fortune he’d amassed with his hugely successful corporation. His chain of luxury hotels and casinos was popular with the rich and famous, both on the island of Carpathia, and in almost every other major tourist spot in the world. In the eyes of most women, he would be the golden chalice. A ticket to status and riches beyond most people’s imaginations. And yet Miss Michaela Roberts had acted as though carrying his baby was equivalent to being sentenced to the royal dungeon, which they didn’t have at the palace, regardless of what
Her first glimpse of Carpathia stole her breath. The island was a jewel set in the bright Mediterranean Sea. Gleaming white rock faces houses dotted the pale sanded coastline. The beach faded into lush greenery, and set into the tallest visible mountainside was a stone castle with masculine angles that gleamed gold in the late-afternoon light.“Oh, God… This place is absolutely magnificent.” Magnificent, and yet untamed. Sort of like its master. For all of Maxim’s urbane sophistication, there was something about him that was raw and almost primitive. It appealed to her on a basic level she’d hardly been aware of before she’d seen him descending the stairs of his elegant mansion. The entire flight had been thick with tension, at least on her end. Maxim seemed total
She ignored Maxim, thrusting her chin up and trying to look unaffected by him, his presence, and his insinuations. Maxim gripped her hand and stopped her from walking, drawing her close to him. Her heart began to pound so hard she was certain he must be able to hear it. Standing this close to him, Michaela could feel the heat coming from his body, smell the intoxicating, masculine scent that was one hundred percent raw, sexual man. One hundred percent Maxim, the man, not Maxim, the prince. Michaela slightly shook her head. Since when had she noticed how a man smelled? Unless she was at the gym and it was in a negative connotation, she didn’t think she ever had. So why did Maxim’s smell appeal to her like this? Why did it make her puls
“I don’t need you to put me up. I’m perfectly capable of getting my own accommodations.” There you have it, mister! Michaela smiled slightly. He was so arrogant… Being supremely confident and used to hear only yes, Maxim thought he could convince Michaela to change her mind.“I have no doubt, Michaela” he replied, flashing her a wry smile. “I imagine your extensive education has left you more than capable of booking your own room. But you’re pregnant with my child and I don’t want you staying at some hotel by yourself.”“I was under the impression that are no shabby hotels in Carpathia…” she continued in a sarcastic tone.“There are not,” Maxim established, dismissing her statement with a wave of his hand. “But that doesn’t mean I will allow you to…”
“Your what?” Her head was still fuzzy from the kiss, her limbs heavy with arousal, and she was certain she must have heard him wrong.“My wife. I have thought it through and it’s the only thing to be done.” Maxim had said it so pragmatically, as though anyone should be able to see his point.“I’m not going to marry you,” Michaela concluded, trying to match his tone. If he wanted to try to have an insane discussion as calmly as if they were talking about the weather then she was more than up to the challenge. She certainly wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of rattling her self-control more than once in a five-minute time span.“Michaela, you’re a very intelligent woman. And given your career choice, it&rsquo
Maxim tried to maintain control over his body, but the vision sleeping in the bed was making it very difficult.“Michaela... tesoro…” He reached out and touched her bare arm and desire raced through him like a shot of pure liquor into his system. She was so beautiful. So different from any other woman he’d been with or even wanted to be with. She was slender, her waist small, but she had a woman’s curves. Her hips were rounded, her breasts enticingly full. Unlike the extremely fashionable women he’d preferred in the past, Michaela seemed to dress simply to stay warm, or to avoid indecent exposure. There was nothing unflattering about her wardrobe, but there was nothing especially flattering about it, either.&nbs
A sense of triumph, along with a compressing sensation in his throat that felt suspiciously like the tightening of a noose, assaulted Maxim. It was necessary. It was the only thing that could be done. The only way for him to truly claim his child, make him his heir. And the only way to claim sweet, feisty Michaela. A heavy pulse throbbed in his groin at the thought of claiming Michaela in the most basic, elemental way. He wanted her with a kind of passionate ferocity that was so strange to him. Maxim would have wanted her no matter what would’ve desired her had he passed her when she was walking down the street. But the intense, bone-deep need to take her, to enter her sweet body and join himself to her… that had to be connected to the pregnancy because it was outside anything in his experience. &
Maxim gave Michaela a long look. “And you wouldn’t mind if I were having sex with other women?” he asked, his words obviously chosen to provoke a response from her. “I wouldn’t care either way. If we aren’t sleeping together, then there isn’t a relationship to be faithful to.” “You may feel differently once we speak our vows.” “I doubt that I will. What we have in common is the desire to do what’s right for our child. Nothing more. We didn’t even conceive in the way most couples do.” “But we very easily could have.” It wasn’t true, Michaela knew it wasn’t, and yet it was far too easy to visualize the image, a picture of her meeting Maxim in a bar, a restaurant, on the street… Of them talking, smiling, laughing, or having dinner together… Going home together and making love all night long… &