“You don’t have to have committed a murder to be guilty of a crime.”
Instead of getting angrier, he smiled. “Are you saying you believe I did not marry her?”
“You still require proof?”
“Then you’ll have to convince your sister to give me a bed for the night because I’m not letting you out of my sight.”
“And if I don’t, you’re going to make sure my family’s name gets a good smearing in the tabloids, is that it?” she asked with all the derision at her disposal.
He didn’t even flinch. “Yes.”
“I despise you.”
“No. I don’t love you anymore, but I refuse to hate you. Part of you is in my child and I won’t ever have my child believing there is anything about him I could hate.” Her son deserved better than a mother eaten up by bitterness.
A look she could not decipher settled on Dimitri’s chiseled features. “That is commendable. Now, shall we talk to your sister about my accommodation?”
In the end, Alexandra decided it would be better to accompany Dimitri to his suite. The mere thought of trying to work out the current complications in her life with her younger sister breathing fire at Dimitri left her cold. Alexandra did not want Madeleine and Hunter forced into a position of enmity with a man of Dimitri’s wealth and power because of her.
Going to Dimitri’s suite was the only workable solution. It wasn’t going to be all that bad, she decided. She didn’t need to worry about Dimitri getting to her. She was well and truly over him. The kiss had just been physical reaction to memories and she wouldn’t let it happen again.
All that was left between them was to determine how they would handle his role in her son’s life.
If anyone had asked Alexandra two days ago the chances of her sitting down to breakfast with Dimitri in his hotel suite, she would have said nil. Nada. Zilch. Absolutely not one. Yet, here they sat. She pushed her eggs and fruit around the plate of breakfast room service had provided minutes earlier. He eyed her with calculating regard.
She knew what he saw. A positive hag. She hadn’t been able to sleep again last night, not with the knowledge that Dimitri rested on the other side of the wall. Her eyes looked bruised while her complexion wore its usual sallow tint from her pregnancy. Most women finished with morning sickness at three to four months. Not Alexandra. She still woke up every day feeling like she had the flu and she was in her fifth month.
Her one consolation was Dimitri didn’t look much better. She’d been too overwrought to notice it the night before, but he’d lost weight and there were new lines around his eyes. His grandfather’s illness coupled with the search for his unborn child must have taken their toll on the man usually untouched by human frailty.
“You need to stop playing with your food and eat it.”
Her head snapped up. “Don’t tell me what to do.”
He leaned back in his chair on the other side of the small walnut table and smiled. “It appears someone needs to. I have always heard pregnant women glow. You look as if you’ve just come off a nine-day flu.”
Stupid tears filled her eyes. She knew she wasn’t the beautiful model he’d gone to great lengths to get in his bed any longer, but did he have to rub it in? She gritted her teeth and blinked her eyes, trying to rid them of their wet sheen.
She hated the emotional weakness she’d experienced since getting pregnant. “It’s a good thing I’m not trying to make a living as a model any longer then, isn’t it?”
He reached across the table, grabbing her hand before she had a chance to pull it away. “I did not say you are no longer beautiful, merely that you look unwell.”
She jerked her hand out from under his as the warmth of his skin burned into her own. “I’m pregnant.” It was fine for him to sit there looking a bit worse for the wear, but still sexy as sin and in sickeningly good health.
“Yes, but not happily so from the look of things.”
“Are you trying to imply I don’t want my baby?”
He exhaled an impatient breath. “I think the fact you are five months into an obviously difficult pregnancy is ample proof you want my child.”
“I don’t want your child. I want this baby.”
His lips creased in a devilish grin. “Same thing.”
Unwilling to agree on any point, but equally unwilling to deny the truth, she remained silent and took a bite of ripe melon, savoring its sweet and juicy freshness in her mouth. “I want this baby and I’m keeping him. Do you hear me?”
His mouth twisted. “Have I at any time implied that you should not?”
“You told me you wanted my son.”
“You believe I am married to Phoebe, therefore I must want the baby without the mother?” His hands lifted in an expression of exasperation she knew well. “Do I have this right?”
She wasn’t totally certain any longer, so she shrugged. He could make what he liked of it.
“Your opinion of me is very low,” he said grimly, all humor gone from his countenance. “I should have the proof you need of Phoebe’s marriage to Spiros within the hour.”
She remained mute. She’d believe it when she saw it. It wasn’t his brother Spiros who had announced his engagement to the young Greek heiress.
“I can see it is of no use attempting to talk with you until I have the documents.”
“I don’t want to talk to you at all,” she admitted.
It was a useless sentiment. She was pregnant with his child. They would have to come to terms eventually, but those terms would not include her giving up her baby.
“Do not play the child.”
She forced herself to eat a bite of her eggs. Their fluffy warmth tasted like sawdust on her tongue. She had believed she was even tempered before she met Dimitri.
“You said you are no longer modeling to support yourself.”
She nodded, wary of where this was leading. She didn’t want to give away any more information than she had to.
“What are you doing now?”
“Maybe I’m just living off Hunter’s largess.” She knew the idea of another man supporting her while she was pregnant with his child would infuriate Dimitri.
Sure enough, his eyes narrowed. “Are you?”
“I’m living with them,” she pointed out.
He just waited and when she remained silent, he sighed. “I already have five reputable detective agencies on my retainer. Now that I know the name you are living under, it should be a matter of a phone call or two to elicit the information.”
“I’m working as a translator and interpreter for an agency that sends out temps.”
His blue eyes narrowed and his jaw tightened. “You go out to work for strangers?” He made it sound like she was some sort of call girl or something.
“It’s not that different from doing a modeling assignment.”
“But then you knew the photographers, the other models.”
She pushed her plate aside and took a sip of herbal tea. “What difference does it make?”
“You are pregnant and obviously ill.” His gaze wandered over her with tactile force. “You should not be working.”
If he didn’t want Hunter supporting her, how did he expect her to live? “I have to support myself. I refuse to be my younger sister’s charity case.”
“Why have you not returned to your parents’ home?”
A traditional Greek man who shared the loving rapport he had with his grandfather could never understand the complicated relationship she had with her mother. “I’m not welcome,” was all she said.
“This cannot be. You are pregnant with their grandchild. Surely your parents desire to care for you at this time.”
“My father died six years ago and my mother is only willing for me to return to New Orleans and the family home if I invent a fictitious husband who conveniently died recently or lives overseas. It’s positively draconian, but that’s the way she is. She refuses to even discuss the baby and hasn’t come to visit Madeleine since I moved in.”
His jaw set. “You refused to invent this pretend spouse?”
“Yes.” She’d rather live without her mother’s approval than continue pretending to be something and someone she wasn’t.
“It will be a relief for her then that the real and in fact living father of your child will soon be your husband as well.”
“AS JOKES go, that’s not a very good one.”
He fixed her with an impenetrable stare. “I am not joking, pethi mou.”
“Don’t call me that. It’s an endearment and I’m not dear to you which only makes it an insult.”