He waited, bracing for her to blurt out that she loved him, that she couldn't live without him, that she wanted them to move in together, or some other such nonsense. He'd heard it all before.
Instead, she said, “I… I'm leaving you.” She licked her lips. “Resigning. Effective immediately.”
Relief rushed through him. Then…
Regret? Ridiculous. He was just surprised, that was all. And rather sorry to lose a competent secretary.
He sat down heavily in his chair.
“I'm sorry to hear that. But I understand why you want to leave. I'll write you a recommendation that will get you hired by any firm in the city.”
“No.” She shook her head. “You don't understand. I don't need your recommendation. I'm getting married.”
He stared at her, shocked.
“Married?” The center of his chest went cold. “When?”
That soon? His hands tightened. “That's fast.”
He took a long breath. All these months, she hadn't been heartsick over him. He hadn't hurt Ellie at all by seducing her. Since then, she'd just been distracted by a hot new romance. Diogo should have been glad.
But something like cold fury went through his body. For no good reason, he had the sudden urge to punch the man who would soon have Ellie Jensen in his bed every night, doing his bidding and moaning his name. Giving him her body…
He ground his jaw. “Who is he?”
Her posture went straight in her chair. “Do you really care?”
“No.” He clenched his jaw. “I don't.”
She stared at him for a long moment.
“You really don't, do you?” she whispered. She shook her head. “Women are interchangeable to you. Useful only for organizing your schedule, making your coffee or warming your bed.”
Warming his bed? If he'd followed his own desires, he could have had her in his bed every night for the last three months. Diogo tried to remember why he hadn't. Something about being noble. He cursed under his breath. He should have just enjoyed her. Now he'd lost the chance—forever.
He'd been replaced so easily!
Diogo had never had the experience of being left by a woman he still desired. This was his reward for doing the right thing? To see his prize carried off by some other man?
He leaned forward in repressed fury, placing his fingers on his desk. “Useful, Miss Jensen? Hardly. Your distraction over your love affair has just caused me to lose the Trock deal—”
“I told you, call me Ellie!” she cried. “And I'm not finished!”
Feeling like a saint, he folded his arms and forced himself to wait.
She rose slowly to her feet. There was a sheen of tears in her eyes. She seemed to sway with emotion.
“I'm sorry about the Trock deal, Diogo. But there's something you need to know.” She spoke so softly he could barely hear. “I'm…having a baby.”
The coldness in him spread, turning to ice. A baby?
Ellie was pregnant. With another man's baby.
For a second, he couldn't even breathe. He heard the echo of a woman's voice long ago, pleading in Portuguese. “Will you marry me, Diogo? Will you?” And later, a man's voice in the same language. “I'm afraid she's dead, senhor. Beaten to death…”