“I think you're clever,” he said coldly. “All this time I've thought you were so different from the rest—but you're just better at the game. Biskreta, you're the most accomplished little actress I've ever met.”
“How can you even think that!”
“I'm just curious to know who the poor fool is,” he said ruthlessly. “Tell me. Who's the idiot who got caught in your trap?”
He saw tears in her eyes. He steeled his heart against her fake tears, which she no doubt manufactured at will. He wouldn't let her play him for a fool. Never again! For three months, he'd worried about her feelings. He'd even denied himself her bed because he'd been trying to protect her. And all along she'd just been angling for a diamond on her finger!
Her blue eyes glittered at him through a prism of tears.
“You think only an idiot would marry me?” she choked out.
“That's right,” he said coolly. “Only a fool would marry a woman who deliberately trapped him with a pregnancy.”
The tears spilled over her lashes.
“Such a poised little actress,” he murmured acidly. “Such a fine performance.”
Looking up at him, she gave a harsh laugh, shaking her head through the tears. “You'll never get a woman pregnant, will you, Diogo?” she bit out. “You've made sure of it!”
“Sim, it is true.” He bared his teeth in the semblance of a smile. “I've never met a woman I could trust longer than it takes to seduce her.”
She sucked in her breath.
“And that's all you have to say to me?” she whispered. “After you seduced me and took my virginity? After three months of silence, you have nothing to say to me—but insults?”
An unwelcome shiver of emotion went through Diogo. He pushed the feeling aside. Ellie Jensen was a gold digger. It was ridiculous of him to be so surprised about it. The city was full of women who were just pretending to have a career while they tried to find a rich man.
“I do have one question,” he said acerbically. “Why are you still here in my office? You've quit your job without notice. Fine. You've become such a bad secretary, I'm glad to see you go. So why are you still here? Are you afraid your marriage bed will be unsatisfying, and you're already angling to take a lover? Sorry, but I don't date married women.”
She wiped her tears savagely. “You're disgusting!”
“No, querida. That would be you. As my employee, I respected you. But I was wrong.” Wrong about so many things. First about Timothy Wright—now about Ellie. Suddenly weary, Diogo rubbed the back of his head. “Go, Ellie. Just go.”
She drew back, like an ominous dark cloud rolling against the earth before the storm.
“Don't worry, Diogo,” she said softly. “You'll never see me again.”
Her lovely blue eyes stabbed at him with accusation. He felt troubled in a way he couldn't explain. But the moment was interrupted by a knock at the door. A security guard stood heavily in the doorway.
“Miss Alvarez called me, Mr. Serrador.”
“Yes. Show Miss Jensen out,” Diogo said, turning away. “Get out, Ellie. Good luck.”
“Good luck,” she repeated in a tight voice. “Goodbye.”
He looked up, but the door had already closed behind her. Alone in his office, he took a deep breath and leaned his head in his hands. He tried to work, but couldn't. After an hour, he gave up. He called a gorgeous actress and asked her to lunch.
It was only halfway through his martini and steak that it occurred to him that Ellie's child might be his.
IT WAS THE PERFECT day for a wedding.As Ellie stepped out of the hired limousine, sweet- scented blossoms from the village's cherry trees floated through the warm spring breeze, as lush and fragrant as her pink-and-green bouquet. She could hear the sound of birds singing in the cloudless blue sky, soaring high over the white clapboard church.
It was the perfect day to start her new life as a happy wife and mother-to-be. The perfect day to forget Diogo Serrador's existence.
So why did she feel so miserable? Why had she cried for the last six hours straight, all across the Pennsylvania highway and through her hour at the hairstylist's?
“Steady,” her grandmother said gruffly, taking her arm as they reached the doorway of the white church. Lilibeth's gray, bushy eyebrows quivered as she looked up at her taller granddaughter. “Are you ready?”
“Yes,” Ellie muttered. But she wasn't ready at all. She'd left Timothy eight messages on the trip from Manhattan, but he hadn't answered his cell. He was likely getting in his last billable hours at his new, thriving private practice before they departed for their Aruba honeymoon.