The Unexpected Wedding Gift

By: Catherine Spencer

“I’d like you to tell me who that woman is and why she came here looking for you. And I’d like to know why she thinks she’s ruined our wedding day.”

“She claims she’s the mother of my child, Julia.”

The room tilted and, for a moment, she feared she was going to pass out. Too much excitement, she told herself. I’m imagining all this.

He sighed. “And there’s more. His mother doesn’t want him.”

The heaviness in his voice filled her with foreboding. “What else are you trying to tell me, Ben?”

“She wants me to take him. And if I refuse, she’ll put him up for adoption.”

“So what did you tell her?”

“You know the answer, Julia. I’ll take him, of course.”





He’s a man of cool sophistication.

He’s got pride, power and wealth.

At the top of his corporate ladder, he’s a ruthless businessman—an expert lover….

His life runs like a well-oiled machine….

Until now. Because suddenly he’s responsible for a BABY!

HIS BABY

An exciting new miniseries from

Harlequin Presents®

He’s sexy, he’s successful…and he’s facing up to fatherhood!

The Unmarried Father

by Kathryn Ross




PROLOGUE


THE portable phone rang just as he finished shaving. Wedging it in the angle between his shoulder and jaw, he strapped on his watch and headed for the bedroom. “Ben Carreras.”

“Ben, it’s Marian.”

“Hey,” he said, checking the time. “I’m just about ready to leave for the airport, but I wasn’t expecting you to get here for another hour. Did you catch an earlier flight?”

“No,” she said, and something about the pause that followed left the hair bristling up the back of his neck.

“What’s up, Marian? Are you okay?”

Another pause, this one, too, fraught with some sort of tension. Then, “I won’t be coming to Vancouver tonight, after all.”

His relief left him feeling slightly ashamed but the fact was, he’d been dreading her visit. When she’d first mentioned flying in from Calgary to spend New Year’s Eve with him, he hadn’t thought quickly enough to wriggle his way out of it. The truth was, though, the relationship was going nowhere and needed to be brought to an end. He’d planned to tell her so before she left.

“Gee,” he said now, poking his finger in the drink he’d poured earlier and swirling the melting ice cube around, “that’s too bad. Did something unexpected come up?”

“In a way.” Another pause, while she cleared her throat. “I can’t see you again. Ever.”

It was as if a load of bricks rolled off his back. Fighting to keep the elation out of his voice, he said, “Oh? Something I did, or didn’t do?”

Her sigh filtered over the long-distance connection, clear as the winter wind likely sweeping through across the prairies even as she spoke. “No. It’s just that…well, I haven’t been exactly straight with you. The thing is, I’m married, Ben.”

He tightened the towel sliding low on his hips and thought it was just as well she couldn’t see his grin. “No kidding! Kind of a sudden decision, wasn’t it?”

“Not really. Wayne and I have been together for three years.”

Frowning, he picked up his glass. Something here didn’t compute. “You mean, you’ve known him for three years.”

“No,” she said again. “I mean we’ve been married for three years.”

He paused with his drink halfway to his mouth.

“Are you telling me that all the time we’ve been seeing each other, you’ve had a husband waiting in the wings?”

“Yes.”

He swallowed a mouthful of the Scotch to try to rid himself of the sudden bad taste in his mouth. “What took you so long to get around to telling me, Marian?”

“I’m sorry. I know I probably should have said something sooner.”

He heard the little-girl wheedling tone in her voice, like a kid hoping if she sounded cute and sorry enough, no one would notice she’d told one lie after another and finally painted herself into an impossible corner.

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