Home > Two for the Show (One for the Money #2)(7)

Two for the Show (One for the Money #2)(7)
Author: Skye Warren

Fuck.

It’s true.

I knew it was. I knew from the moment I saw her fingertips touch her belly. But somehow I thought it might be something else. Somehow, I held out hope.

Eva remains stiff and upright until I gather her into my arms, holding her tight. Her shoulders shake. I run my hands up and down her back, shushing her while my own pain breaks over me.

I didn’t want this to be true. I didn’t want this to happen to her. The way Eva sobs is just a precursor. That’s all having a baby with me can ever be—devastating.

She’s pregnant with my baby.

I never wanted this. Not just for me, but for Eva. She deserves a lifetime of happiness, and instead she has a ticking clock.

My throat closes. Eva’s still crying. I hope she doesn’t notice that I’ve temporarily lost the ability to say a damn thing. I just learned about this pregnancy a few minutes ago, and already it’s a knife in my heart. Not my baby, a voice cries from somewhere deep down. Not my son. Not my child.

I can’t do this here. Not at the fucking Met. Not at a wedding reception. I can’t.

I kiss Eva through her tears. It’s a salty, desperate kiss, and Eva throws her arms around my neck and kisses me back. Her shoulder bumps the painting of the mother and daughter.

I’m hard at the first touch of her lips. My body wants Eva more than it will ever want grief.

I want Eva more.

And…I need her. I’ve been miserable since I sent her out of my house. Even animals know when their pair is gone. Horses sure as hell know.

Sex isn’t a solution. It’s the only thing we have. We’re still alive and aware enough to have it.

Her dress doesn’t fight me when I push it up to her hips. Slide her panties to the side. I barely get my zipper undone before she’s begging wordlessly into my mouth and trying to climb me.

I’m a gentleman. I hold her up against the wall. I thrust in slow.

Eva’s wet.

That’s the goddamn miracle of humanity, isn’t it? That she can still want to fuck me after what I’ve done to her. After what I’ve done to both of us.

What I’ve done disappears into her slick heat. It disappears into fucking her up against the wall. She clenches around me, her body getting hotter. Fingernails test the skin near my collar, searching for more. She gets it. Tiny crescents dig in under my shirt.

I’m not sure which of us is trying to fuck the other one harder. Eva works herself down over me. I’m frantic to fuck into her. With my hands supporting her ass I can feel every move she makes.

It’s wonderful.

Eva’s a rose pushing up through a crack in the sidewalk. Us, together—we’re safe harbor when a storm’s coming in over the ocean. It doesn’t matter that the storm is here already. It doesn’t matter that we made it ourselves.

 

 

5

 

 

EVA

 

 

Finn kisses the side of my neck, hot and expert. That’s the playboy in him. I’m lightheaded from sobbing while we fuck up against a wall in the Met.

I don’t care that it’s wrong. I don’t care that we both have reputations to protect. I’ve spent my life keeping my family from imploding, and right now, I don’t care.

The confident playboy disappears. Finn drops his head onto my shoulder and fucks me like it’s the only way he can stay alive.

I feel that way, too.

It’s ironic, isn’t it? We don’t have to worry now. He doesn’t have to fumble for a condom because I’m already pregnant with his baby. His worst nightmare has already come true. It’s alive, right in front of him.

He changes the angle of my hips, and the contact with my clit sweeps away every coherent thought. Finn grunts when I start to come. He holds me down against him. Harder than before. He makes a sound of pure relief.

“Feels good,” he mumbles against my jaw.

I turn my head and kiss him.

Yes. It does. It feels good to have him lose himself inside me. It always does.

Maybe it’ll be okay. Maybe this nightmare is almost over. We have a chance. That’s all we’ve ever needed.

Hope rises like champagne bubbles as the moment comes down. The sounds of Daphne’s reception filter into the gallery. Finn’s tension filters back into his body. I wish he’d let it go. Turn into the good man he was, right up until the last moment. Turn back into the Finn Hughes I fell for.

We untangle ourselves from each other, and from the wall. I rearrange my dress. He unbuttons his jacket, smooths his shirt, and re-buttons it.

Both of us step away from the wall and face the art. Where’s the father of the child in this painting? Is he in the next room? At work?

Is he dead?

Or is the painting from his perspective? Is he meant to be the viewer, looking at his wife and their child?

I’ve seen a print of this painting before. Almost everyone has. But I’ve never thought about it quite like this. I’ve never had the original hang on a wall nearby while I have an emotional breakdown in the arms of one Finn Hughes.

I could keep sobbing. Lately, I seem to be an endless well of tears. Instead, I take deep, even breaths and pat at my hair. I put my thoughts back in order the way I rearranged my dress.

Finn slides his hands into his pockets. He hasn’t taken a step away from me, but there’s a new distance between us.

My stomach sinks. “Finn.”

He gives a quick shake of his head, like he’s been lost in thought. “We’ll marry, of course.”

It’s a slap in the face. I jerk back from the impact and the pain. Finn doesn’t notice. He’s not even looking at me. He scans the painting of the mother and daughter for another beat, then turns absently toward me.

“Finn.”

“We’ll make the announcement next month. It won’t be too close to Daphne’s wedding, but it’ll leave us time to marry before the birth.”

Anger floods back in. It could light this gallery on fire. “Ideally before I’m showing, right?”

“Yes, of course.”

“So you’re planning on a short engagement.”

“Obviously.” Finn’s brow furrows, like I’m being deliberately obtuse. It’s another slap in the face. How could he think this was the right way to do this? How could he think I would want this? “As far as everyone knows, we’re already engaged, so a relatively hasty wedding wouldn’t be out of line.”

“Excellent plan. Did you have a venue in mind?”

“Your family’s church, I would guess.”

“You’re not Catholic.”

Finn waves this off. “You are. And I’m sure there are things to be done. Permission from the priest or whatever.”

“My father will be thrilled.”

Either he doesn’t notice my brittle tone or doesn’t care that I’m holding back the urge to slap him until he comes to his senses. I wouldn’t actually do that, but the moment calls for something dramatic.

Instead, I double down on icy composure. It’s served me very well in the past. A voice whispers that it won’t serve me well now, but it’s too late. I’m committed to being angry. I can’t help being hurt. Every word out of his mouth hurts more.

“That’s an advantage, then. I wouldn’t want him to make things difficult.”

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