Baby Out of the Blue(5)

By: Anne Mather



‘Janie…’

The name he used to call her when he was making love to her was almost her undoing. ‘Just give me a minute,’ she said and, opening the door into her bedroom, she closed it firmly behind her.

But once she was alone, she couldn’t prevent the storm of emotion that engulfed her. Hot tears streamed down her cheeks and, with her nose running too, she groped her way across the room to the bathroom. Grabbing a handful of tissues from the box she kept there, she endeavoured to staunch the salty flow, sinking down onto the toilet seat and burying her face in her hands.

‘Agapita—’

She didn’t know how long she’d been sitting there when he spoke. Dear God! Her head jerked up in disbelief. Demetri was standing in the bathroom doorway watching her and she knew she’d never felt so humiliated in her life.

‘Get out!’ she choked, struggling to get to her feet. ‘How— how dare you come in here? You have no right to invade my privacy like this.’

Demetri merely sighed and propped his shoulder against the frame of the door. Then he regarded her with disturbing gentleness. ‘I dare because I care about you,’ he said, his accent thickening with emotion. ‘Theos, Janie, how was I to know you’d react like this? I’d have thought you’d be glad to get me out of your life.’

Jane sniffed. ‘I am.’

‘It looks like it.’

‘Oh, don’t flatter yourself, Demetri. I’ve just flown halfway around the world and I’m exhausted.’ It was an effort but she managed a tight smile. ‘It was a shock. I don’t deny it. But I’m not crying because I’m—heartbroken. Far from it.’

Demetri didn’t look convinced. ‘So—what? You usually break down like this when you get back from a trip? Is that what you’re saying?’

‘Don’t be even more of a jerk than you have to be,’ Jane retorted, struggling to regain a little of her composure. ‘OK. What do you want me to say, Demetri? That I’m—crushed? Desolated? That hearing the arrogant louse I married is going to inflict himself on some other poor female has devastated me?’ She managed a harsh laugh. ‘Don’t hold your breath.’

Despite himself, Demetri was angered by her words. He’d come to find her with the best of intentions, he told himself, and now here she was, tearing his good will to shreds. That was so like Jane: shooting first and regretting it later. Only something told him that this time she wasn’t about to back down.

He straightened. ‘You’re an ungrateful bitch, do you know that?’ he snapped, his hands clenching into fists at his sides.

‘So you’ve told me,’ she retorted, scrubbing her cheeks with the tissues one last time before flushing them down the lavatory.

‘Well, perhaps you ought to curb your tongue,’ he muttered. ‘My lawyer tells me that in the circumstances, I don’t have to offer you anything by way of a settlement.’

Jane’s lips parted. ‘I don’t want your money. I never did!’she exclaimed scornfully. ‘Just get out of here. I want to get dressed.’

Demetri stared at her. For all her air of bravado, he was fairly sure she wasn’t half as confident as she was trying to appear. Those incredible green eyes still shimmered with unshed tears, and her mouth—the mouth he’d kissed so many times— couldn’t quite hide its tremor.

And, although her words had irritated him beyond all reason, he found himself saying, ‘If that’s what you want?’

‘What else is there?’

Tilting her head up to his, Jane stared back at him and he felt an unwilling twinge of admiration for the way she was handling herself now. A twinge of admiration, yes—and something else, something he didn’t even want to put a name to. Something that had him suddenly moving to close the space between them.

The bath was at her back and Jane had nowhere to go. So when he put out his hand and looped his fingers behind her neck, she could only stand there and let him look down at her with what she was sure was a mixture of amusement and derision in his eyes.

‘How about this?’ he suggested, his voice rougher than before, and, before she could anticipate what he was about to do, he’d bent towards her and covered her mouth with his.

Jane didn’t know how she stopped her legs from buckling beneath her. It was so long since Demetri had touched her, so long since she’d felt those long fingers against her skin. Heat was coming off him in waves, enveloping her in its sensual embrace, and, although she’d determined not to close her eyes, seeing the closeness of his long lashes, the dusky shadow of his jawline, she so much wanted to do so and sink into his kiss.

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