The Billionaire's Unexpected BabyBy: Kira Archer
“Why think of the future when the present is so much more stimulating?” He ran a hand up her arm and she turned until she faced him.
“You don’t find the future stimulating?”
“When I have a beautiful woman in my arms right now?” He drew his thumb over her cheek. “Why would I want to think of anything else?”
His heart pounded while he waited for her to push him away, giggle and blush maybe, play hard to get. Or get offended and stomp off in a huff. He didn’t expect her to tilt her face against his hand so he cradled her cheek. The sun highlighted her hair, illuminating shades of red and blonde that reminded him of the fine mahogany table he had in his office. He brushed a strand away from her eyes, pools of brown with subtle flecks of green that had him mesmerized.
What had she done to him? He’d never wanted to kiss a woman so badly in his life. He leaned down, his pulse speeding. She gave him a gentle, encouraging smile, then froze. Her eyes widened, all the color in her face draining, and before he could ask what was wrong she pivoted and leaned far over the rail, her body tensing as she threw up what looked like everything she’d ever eaten.
He grabbed her hair, gathering it at the nape of her neck and holding it with one hand while he held her against him with his other arm, supporting her while she retched. Kiersten was at their side almost immediately with a towel and a bottle of water. He took both from her, ignoring her shocked face.
Leah took the towel gratefully and quickly rinsed out her mouth. Brooks led her over to a chair and ordered one of the passing waiters to bring him a glass of ice water with mint leaves. Kiersten’s eyes widened in question.
“I read somewhere that mint calms the stomach. And the flavor might help get the taste out of her mouth,” he said.
Kiersten looked like she was going to respond, but ended up shaking her head with a small smile. Brooks knew exactly what she was thinking, but ignored everyone other than Leah. Kiersten watched them for a moment and then went back to where Cole held the baby, a speculative gleam in her eye that he’d defuse later.
The waiter returned quickly, and Leah slowly sipped the mint water a few times before sighing deeply.
“Thank you,” she said, not meeting his eyes.
“Was the thought of kissing me that horrible?” he asked, smiling, though part of him really wondered if that had been the case.
Her gaze shot to his. “No, not at all!”
“Motion sickness?” They were on a boat after all.
She sighed again. “More like morning sickness.” She put the glass down, sat up straight, and looked him dead in the eye. “I’m pregnant.”
Leah watched his expression go from blank to surprised with what she swore was a moment of panic.
Brooks stared at her for a moment before the usual goofball glimmer was back in his eyes. “Don’t we have to sleep together first? Or am I drunker than I thought?”
Her lips twitched, but she was not going to reward that remark with a laugh. And now that the cat was out of the bag it was probably time to move on and get ready for the christening anyway.
She stood and nodded to him where he still knelt at the side of the chair. “It was nice to meet you.”
“Wait,” he said, standing and catching her hand before she could make it too far away. “Sorry. Bad joke.”
She shook her head. “It’s okay. Just…a little awkward to nearly throw up on a guy you were seconds from kissing.”
Her cheeks heated up, but she tried to ignore it. She blushed at the drop of a hat. Always had. To say it was irritating would be an understatement.
He still held her hand. She glanced down at where he was entwining his fingers with hers and then back up to meet his gaze, her eyes wide in question.
“We were seconds from kissing, weren’t we?” he asked, drawing her closer. “I’m definitely going to need a rain check when you’re feeling better.”
“Oh, I’m fine now. Once I…you know, I actually feel pretty good for a while.”
“Well then,” he said, pulling her against him with a grin. “If you’re feeling better…”
He bent down and she pulled from his grasp, hand clapped over her mouth. She’d just puked over the side of the boat. She was not going to start making out with him now. “That’s not what I meant,” she said with a little laugh.