Looking at his expression, Michaela realized this was more intimate for him than making love. Maxim was sharing something with her that he had not shared with any other woman, any other person, period. Not even with Antonia, his wife of seven years.
That did something to her. It made the most bittersweet pain twist her heart, made her stomach tighten with longing.
“I would like that…”
Maxim put an arm around her and took Michaela’s chin in his hand, tilting her face up so that their eyes met.
“Misha… I want to paint ALL of you. No clothes, no barriers… I want to capture only you and our child.”
Realization of what that meant dawned slowly.
“Oh… I can’t do that, Maxim!” she protested, her cheeks heating at the idea of getting naked in such
Michaela ran her soft hand over his abs, and Maxim’s stomach tightened, his whole body aching, ready for her again. If it was only his body that was affected it wouldn’t be so dangerous, but his chest felt too full when he looked at her when he touched her. It was too much. It wasn’t what this was supposed to be about. Maxim thought about what his father had said. About the paternity test. Michaela had even commented that if they’d made a mix-up at the lab in the first place, it was possible they had made a mistake and that he wasn’t the father. If that were true, Michaela would be free to go back home. They wouldn’t even have to get married. He’d imagined that thought might make him feel free, that the prospect of escaping marriage might make the tightness in his chest lessen. Instead, it sent an intense
Michaela was more than thankful for having an opportunity to get out of the palace later that day. The meeting with the men and women she was working with to organize the Carpathian branch of the MD Foundation had gone well. It had provided some much-needed distraction from the anxiety of waiting for the test results, from the stifling solitude that came from being in a huge building surrounded by people who basically never talked to her. But most of all, she needed a distraction from her earlier revelation. She didn’t want to be in love with Maxim. She was saving all her love for their child. She didn’t want to have her emotions tangled up in loving him, not when he was only going to hurt her. She didn’t want to be like her parents. Didn’t wa
He backed her across the room and turned her so that she was facing away from him before bending her gently over the surface of the dresser that was positioned up against the wall. “Maxim…” Michaela asked tremulously. “Trust me again, Misha,” he grated. Maxim moved his hands up her still-slender waist, around to her stomach, and over the little bump that housed their baby. His heart jumped and he curled his hands into fists before opening them again and palming her breasts, releasing the front clasp on her bra and letting it fall open. He covered them, squeezed her sensitized nipples, drawing a low, desperate moan from her lips. Maxim abandoned her breasts to push her skirt down her hips, taking her tiny pair of panties with it. He pressed his hand against her mound, pushing one finger thr
The desire hadn’t gone away. Not even for a moment. She could see from the molten heat in his eyes that he felt the same. “I’ve never been playing with you,” Maxim replied, his voice intense. “Please know that. I’ve handled things badly, but hurting you was the last thing I wanted.” “Still, you did hurt me,” Michaela concluded. “We promised we were going to talk about things, but we didn’t. You just shut me out, and I have no idea what happened to cause it.” He raised his eyes and met hers… the stark, raw emotion in them shocked her. “I know,” he said roughly. “You can’t imagine how sorry I am. Please come with me, Michaela.” She nodded slowly and let him lead her from the villa. When she realized where they were headed, Michaela stopped. “Maxim... No… I can’t…” “Tr