“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… &
The smile on his face while holding that woman was so bright, so breathtaking and it made her feel extremely overjealous. “Michaela,” Maxim said, tightening his hold on her waist, “this is my younger sister, Princess Alessandra Catarina Lucrezia known as Sandra.” The suspicious knot that had been tightening in her stomach released its hold on her as soon as Maxim announced his relationship to the very beautiful Alessandra. She was relieved, Michaela realized, to find out that she was his sister and not… She cut off that train of thought before it could go any further. It wouldn’t have mattered if she were a lover or a former lover. It wasn’t her business. And there was no reason for her to care. “Nice to meet you,” Sandra said and dropped a light kiss on Michaela’s cheek. “I’m so pleased t
“That went well,” she said trying not to look bothered by his gesture.“As well as I expected. My mother loved Antonia like a daughter. This is difficult for her.”“Then wouldn’t it be better if they knew how I got pregnant instead of assuming that…”“Antonia didn’t wish for my mother to know. She didn’t want my parents to see her as a failure.” Maxim began to walk back toward his quarters, and Michaela had to take short, quick steps to keep up with his long strides.“That’s ridiculous. Not being able to have children doesn’t make a failure out of a woman.”“It felt that way to my wife.” He paused for a moment.“My mother introduced us. It was her opinion that Antonia was absolutely perfect for me. Her fami
Michaela shifted and winced as the boning in the corset top of her gown took another dig at her side. The air was hot… Goodness gracious, it was so hot! And humid. And sticky… And annoying… Stray wisps of her hair hung down out of her glamorous updo in thin strands. The air seemed thick, and breathing it in only seemed to increase the nausea that was her constant, loathed companion. The maid that had helped her get dressed had insisted that this was a formal announcement and would require a formal dress. So here she was, made up, sucked in, pushed up, and buffed to a highly glossed sheen, waiting behind a heavy red curtain for her time to step out onto the balcony with Maxim so they could make a horribly clichéd announcement to the television cameras and the citizens who had gathered below.
“This is wonderful!” Sandra hadn’t stopped chattering since she and Michaela had gotten into the limo. “My mamma never allows me to go shopping.” “Your mother never lets you go shopping?” Michaela couldn’t imagine being controlled to such a degree. The very thought of it made her feel claustrophobic. “And are we supposed to be doing this now?” Princess Alessandra Catarina Lucrezia, for her brother and friends simply Sandra, had been very excited about taking a trip to help furnish a new, princess-worthy wardrobe for Michaela, but Michaela had assumed it had been Maxim’s idea. And she certainly hadn’t imagined that her future sister-in-law might be forbidden from going. A slight blush stained Sandra’s high cheekb