Prince Nadir's Secret Heir(5)

By: Michelle Conder

Imogen grimaced. She’d known about Nadir’s reputation as a handsome rebel bad boy from the start and as far as she was concerned you could add irresponsible bastard to that list of seedy qualities as well. And maybe add stupidity to her own because at the time she’d imagined she had fallen in love with him. Fool.

To say she owed Minh a lot was an understatement. She especially owed him a chance to have his boyfriend move in with him without her and Nadeena cramping their style and she gratefully accepted the tips the barman passed to her on her way out. In another week or two she should have enough to look for her own place but she knew Minh wouldn’t push. He had a heart as big as a mountain.

‘Hey, gorgeous,’ he said, kissing her cheek. ‘How was work?’

‘Fine.’ She grabbed her smiling daughter out of his arms and planted kisses all over her upturned face. Nadeena stared up at her with Nadir’s striking blue-grey eyes and ebony lashes. His smooth olive complexion. ‘What have you two been up to?’

‘I took her to the park and the outdoor café. I hope she’s not smelly,’ Minh said as he untied the baby sling. ‘It’s like holding a hot brick against you in this weather. And they complain London summers are tepid.’

Imogen laughed. ‘One twenty-eight-degree day and you English are ready to call it quits. The trouble is that you don’t know how to handle the heat.’

Minh gave her a droll look. ‘The trouble is we don’t want to handle it.’

Grinning, Imogen took the sling and slid it over her shoulders and settled Nadeena against her, all her earlier feelings of unease completely gone. She linked her arm through Minh’s. ‘You know how much I appreciate your help, right? I mean I can’t thank you enough for babysitting today. Yesterday.’ She made a face. ‘Last week.’

‘She’s a darling child and the dodgy film I’m editing is still in the can. Until they call me back I’m a free man.’

‘Don’t let David hear you say you’re a free man,’ she teased.

About to give her some spunky reply, Minh’s jaw fell open and nearly hit the pavement. ‘Hold that thought,’ he breathed in a stage whisper. ‘The archangel of heaven has just landed and he’s wearing Armani and a terrific scowl.’

Laughing at the theatrics he picked up from working with film stars, Imogen turned and her jaw not only hit the pavement, it continued all the way to Australia.

The ruthless, heartless bastard who had left her pregnant and alone in Paris was heading towards her, his long, loose-limbed strides eating up the pavement and scattering startled pedestrians like a shark mowing down a school of tuna.

Imogen’s arms instinctively came up to wrap around a sleepy Nadeena, her mind completely blank.

Nadir stopped directly in front of her. ‘Hello, Imogen.’ As tall as she was, she still had to tilt her head back to look into his eyes that were currently shielded by aviator sunglasses reflecting her own stunned expression back at her. ‘Remember me?’

Imogen was in such a state of shock at seeing him after only just thinking about him so vividly all her addled brain could come up with was how impossibly good-looking he was in his black suit. How tousled his midnight hair looked—no doubt from where he had run his fingers through it a hundred times already. Her own immediately itched to do the same thing and she curled them into the soft fabric of Nadeena’s sling, disconcerted by the immediate and compelling effect he still had on her.

‘I...of course.’

She swallowed heavily as his eyes dropped to Nadeena. The glint from his sunglasses made him look like a steely-eyed predator eyeing succulent prey. ‘You had the baby.’

Something in the way he said that in his deep, smooth baritone that defied geographical distinction made the hairs stand up on the back of Imogen’s neck.

It was the underlying anger, she decided. Maybe even fury. And for the life of her she couldn’t imagine why he should be so upset. He had left her fourteen months ago so didn’t that mean she had the jump on anger right now? Unfortunately all she could conjure up was paralysed shock.

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