That sent her to her feet in a hurry. “You arrogant toad! Do you honestly believe I would go anywhere with you after everything that has happened?”
Her stomach churned. Did he think she was such a dope that she would let him set her and their son up somewhere convenient while he lived happy families with Phoebe? Another ugly thought followed the last one. “I won’t be your mistress,” she hissed with enough venom to slay him.
He too shot out of his chair. “I’m not looking for a mistress.”
“Good, because I won’t be one. Not ever. I learned all I wanted to know about having uncommitted sex with a guy so primitive he should be in a museum. The next time I have sex with a man, I’m going to have a ring on my finger and an avowal of love to go with it!”
“Just who is this man?” he demanded in a near roar.
“I don’t know, but when I find him, he won’t be anything like you!”
“You think not?” Then he reached out and grabbed the lapels of his suit jacket again, yanking her to him. “I think this mythical man will be just like me because he will be me. No other man touches the mother of my child.”
He’d said the words a breath above her lips and then closed the distance. And the electric current of desire was there, waiting, lurking in her deepest subconscious to come to the fore with the first touch of his mouth to hers.
She went under so fast, she didn’t even have time to despise herself for her weakness. His mouth moved over hers with truly possessive passion and she responded like a woman deprived of physical intimacy for years.
Her hands locked around his neck, her body stretched to press itself to his and her mouth opened in serious invitation. He took it and deepened the kiss even as his hands caressed her back, pressing her closer to him, letting her feel his heat and his excitement. Blatant evidence of that excitement brought her to her senses and she shoved herself away from him so fast and so hard, she stumbled backward and fell flat on her bottom.
He was on his knees beside in her in a second. “You foolish woman! You could have hurt yourself. Are you trying to kill our son? Are you all right?” His hands were doing a hasty examination of her and her body was getting the wrong message entirely from those impersonal touches.
She slapped his hands away. “Stop it. I’m fine.” Her bottom was sore, but she wasn’t about to tell him that. “Babies are resilient. I’m not going to lose him from such a small fall.” Oh Lord, please let that be true.
“You would take such a risk?” He glared at her. “What other risks have you taken with our child?”
If she’d had a gun, she would have shot him, or at least at him…to scare him a little and wipe that condescending look of censure off his face. “It’s not my fault you acted like a lecher and kissed me. What was I supposed to do, tolerate it?”
He swelled with affronted pride. “You have never merely tolerated my kiss in your life.”
She had no argument to that, so she didn’t try making one. “Married men are not supposed to kiss women other than their wives,” she said instead.
He shrugged. “I agree. Does this worry you?”
Was he for real? Of course it worried her. He was married to Phoebe and he’d just soul-kissed Alexandra. “Am I crazy, or are you?” she asked, feeling helplessly bewildered.
His mouth twisted in a grimace. “I have been crazy since the first report from the private investigators trying to locate you. They had not a single lead and you had disappeared in one of the largest cities in the world.”
He tucked the suit coat around her slender shoulders once again, then leaned down and lifted her in his arms. Was there something about imminent fatherhood that made the male of the species go all basic? She could remember only one other time he’d carried her during their year together and that had been one night she’d had a little too much champagne and fallen asleep in the car on the way home.
Yet, tonight, he’d picked her up like he owned her. Twice. “Please put me down, Dimitri.” It was a sign of how vulnerable she felt that she made it a request instead of a demand.
Either way, he did not comply. “I do not think I should. You are too volatile right now.”
She closed her eyes in frustration. “I’ll control myself if you keep your hands and lips to yourself.”
“I cannot promise this.”
“Poor Phoebe. Does she know what an unfaithful letch she is married to?”
“Phoebe is married to a man of absolute honor,” he replied, his voice laced with furious affront.
“You? Don’t make me laugh,” she scorned. A man with integrity did not marry one woman after impregnating another.
Dimitri sat down, keeping Alexandra pinned in his lap. His blue gaze scorched into hers. “You believe I am married to Phoebe? And you believe I have no honor?” The last was said with escalating anger.
“I suppose you’re going to try to tell me you’re not married to your little Greek paragon.”
“This is true. I am not.”
Alexandra closed her eyes. She didn’t know why, but she hadn’t expected him to lie to her. She opened them again and stared into his deceitful face. “She told me she was your wife, so you can just forget about the smoothy deceptions.”
“She would not have told you she was my wife.” His voice was filled with such conviction that Alexandra thought back to the devastating phone call.
“She told me she was Mrs. Petronides.”
“But then she told you she was married to my brother.”
“She told you she had wed my brother.”
“She did no such thing!” But she could have. Alexandra remembered the voice still talking as she’d ended the call.
Dimitri wouldn’t let her look away from him, his compelling eyes holding hers hostage. “She did.”
“She also pleaded with you to tell her where you were.”
Alexandra remembered that part. “I wasn’t about to have a heart-to-heart with your new wife.”
“She is not my wife.”
In his shock at her demand, Dimitri’s grip loosened and Alexandra extricated herself from his lap, this time much more carefully. “You say you are not married to Phoebe Petronides. Well, I don’t trust you anymore, Dimitri. If you want me to believe it, you’ll have to bring me proof.”
He shot to his feet again, all outraged male. “How dare you question my word?”
“You wouldn’t believe how easy it is,” she admitted.
That seemed to shake him. “I will get you the proof you require,” he said angrily.
“Fine. Until then, I suggest you go.”
“I am not letting you out of my sight again.”
“What do you propose, setting up camp outside my sister’s door and dogging my every footstep?”
“Count on it, but I have no desire to sleep in a hallway. You can come with me to my suite.”
“No way. I’m not staying in a hotel room with you.”
“There are two bedrooms, though there was a time you would not have required the other one.”
She glared at his, to her mind, savagely insensitive reminder. “Forget it. I’m not going.”
“Then I will stay here. It is a large apartment. I’m sure your sister has a spare room I could use.”
She felt flummoxed. “You can’t stay here. Madeleine would have a hissy fit. She hates you.”
He shrugged his broad shoulders. “Speaking of hissy fits, your brother-in-law implied your mother would have one if you were featured in a scandalous article.”
Alexandra couldn’t prevent her eyes from rolling in exasperation. “Yes.” She’d spent six years living as someone else to protect her mother’s sense of family dignity. Dupree women did not work.
Only this generation of Dupree women would have been out on the street if one of them hadn’t ignored the old money heritage and gotten a job to support the family. The cousin of a friend from school had offered her a modeling contract. She’d taken it with one proviso…she work anonymously under an assumed name. He’d gone one better and helped her create Xandra Fortune, French orphan turned fashion model.
Dimitri was speaking again. “She would be most upset to see an exposé interview with her daughter’s discarded tycoon lover and rejected father of her child.”
Her body didn’t know whether to go faint or boil with fury at his implied threat and twisting of the facts. “I didn’t discard you. You dumped me to marry Phoebe, the Greek virgin bride, or don’t you remember?”