Her whole body reacted. She gave an involuntary gasp as her back arched into his mouth.
He was right. She did want this. All her hatred and pain of the past few months had done nothing to end her longing for his touch…
Oh my God, what was she thinking? The chauffeur was driving the Bentley, pretending that he couldn't hear or see anything. Probably because this was normal for Diogo to seduce women in the backseat of the car. Ellie was just another in a long line of his lovers. He would seduce her just to prove his power, make her love him again, then discard her and the baby like rubbish. Diogo Serrador was a selfish, hard-hearted playboy to the core.
Had she lost her mind? She couldn't give in to him. Not like this.
“No,” she whispered. With a huge effort of willpower, she shoved him away. “I said no!”
Sucking in his breath, he looked down at her. His dark eyes were deep with need…and something more. Some hidden emotion—some secret pain that lured her to believe she could be the one to comfort and save him…
She—comfort and save Diogo? She fought the ridiculous thought with all her might. He didn't need saving. He was a selfish, lying, coldhearted bastard!
Diogo abruptly released her, leaning back against his seat. “You will soon accept your fate,” he said coldly. “Until my son is born, you will submit to my will.”
She feared he was right—but what could she do?
Exhausted, Ellie leaned her head against the window. Her long, blond hair had long since fallen out of the sleek wedding chignon. It was a total mess, along with her taffeta wedding gown. As the Bentley traveled the back streets of Rio, following his bodyguards' sedan, she shivered as she looked out at the violet-gray dawn of the passing city.
“What do you intend to do to me?” she whispered.
He opened the Jornal do Brasil to the business page. “I will keep you until my son is born.”
“To keep me?” Her voice trembled. “As your prisoner?”
Lowering the newspaper, he looked at her coolly. “Whatever it takes.”
She swallowed. “And the baby?”
He gave her a grim, humorless smile. “Do not worry.”
“How can I not worry?” She exhaled in a rush, and turned to stare out blindly at the heavy rain sheeting the car window. “I'm her mother.”
“Was that really your plan?” His voice was mocking, but when she turned her head, his eyes searched hers. “Did you intend to be a mother?”
Was he still accusing her of being a gold digger and deliberately getting pregnant? “Of course I never intended to get pregnant,” she said angrily. “You are the one who—”
“In my experience,” he interrupted, “a woman who fancies herself in love will give up anything to keep her lover.”
Humiliation made her cheeks hot. Did he realize how she'd foolishly loved him?
“Anything,” he added quietly. “Even a child.”
Did he want to take her child from her?
“No!” she gasped. “I would never give up my baby!”
He looked down at her. “We'll see if that's true.” He looked away, out the window. “Once we're home.”
She swallowed in sudden fear. His penthouse at the Carlton Palace was a fortress. He owned the top two floors, one for his personal use and the floor beneath for his bodyguards. Once he installed her there, he could keep her imprisoned. He could take her baby. He could do anything he wanted.
He could truly make her his possession.
It was where he'd taken her virginity. Where he'd made her cry out with joy. Where they'd created their baby by making love all night. On his bed. Against the wall. He'd tasted her, shoved into her, wrapped her legs around him and made her cry out again and again until she thought she'd die of pleasure…
I cannot get you pregnant, querida.
“You are such a liar,” she whispered.
He glanced at her swiftly, his eyebrows lowering. “I never lied to you.”
“You said you couldn't get me pregnant. The truth is that you were just too selfish to use a condom!”
Abruptly he folded the newspaper, setting it down on the leather seat between them. “I didn't lie.”
She choked out a laugh. “But I'm pregnant!”
“I'd had a vasectomy in January. I put off the follow- up appointment. I just assumed it had worked.” He clenched his jaw. “I later discovered my mistake. Now, it is truly complete.”
She looked at him. “Complete?”
“It is now absolutely impossible for me to get any woman pregnant.”
“That's very comforting,” she said bitterly. “Thanks for clearing that up. But since you're so determined never to be a father, why did you take me from my own wedding?” Her voice trembled. “Let me go, and you'll never have to see the baby. You can forget the pregnancy even happened and go back to your actresses and swimsuit models.”
“Sorry.” He looked at her. “I can't do that.”
“Because he's my son.” Reaching out, he stroked her cheek. “And as long as you're pregnant, you're my woman.”
“What do you mean?” she whispered. “Do you intend to marry me?”
“Marry you? No.” He bared his teeth in a smile. “I'm not the marrying kind. Even if I were, I certainly wouldn't marry a woman who's in love with another man.”
She stared at him, her jaw agape. “I'm not in love with Timothy!”
“No. You're just desperate to be with him.” He looked scornfully at Timothy's nine-carat, yellow diamond engagement ring on her finger. “So much that you were willing to marry him with my child in your belly. Without telling him. Without telling me. And you don't love him?”
She flushed. “I had no choice—”
“You don't have a choice now.” He leaned forward, his face inches from her own as he gently tucked a tendril of hair behind her ear. “You will forget him…”
At Diogo's touch, a rush of heat went through her, firing up the longing in her blood. She had to resist the urge to press her cheek against his hand. Her lips tingled, aching for his kiss.
No! She wouldn't fall for his seduction again!
She had to get away before he could hurt her again. Before he could hurt their baby. Because a man like Diogo could only be trusted to make you love him—and then leave….
Her pulse hammered as she clenched her fists tightly. “You don't care about me or this baby!”
Drawing away from her, he bared his teeth in a smile. “I do care…about my son. I will keep him safe.”
She blinked at him. “Safe from what?”
He looked down at her grimly. “Safe from you.”
Safe—from her? As if she would hurt her own child?
Bewildered fury went through her. Diogo was the one who'd caused this whole situation—he'd gotten her pregnant then kidnapped her against her will, and yet he dared to say that she was the dangerous one?
Oh, she had to get back home. She needed Lilibeth. She needed her grandmother to take her into her arms and tell her everything was going to be all right.
Outside the car window, the pale pink sun broke at last through the clouds, illuminating the dark warren of houses crammed onto the hillside. Rio's favelas were famous. But from this angle they didn't look so bad. Sprawling out over the hillsides, they looked more like San Francisco's exclusive, luxurious neighborhoods than poverty-stricken slums.
Rio can be dangerous, Diogo had warned.
But he'd just been trying to scare her. And Ellie was no longer scared.
She was fed up.
Diogo had broken her heart. Humiliated her at her own wedding. Hurt people she cared about. Taken her against her will to a country where his power was absolute.
She wasn't going to wait around until he seduced her, turned on the charm and lured her into loving him again. Because she knew the instant she and the baby started to count on him, he would grow tired of playing house. He would abandon them and merrily go back to his life as the playboy of New York, amusing himself with every beautiful woman who caught his eye.
He'd had a vasectomy to make sure that he would never have a child. Why should Ellie risk her child's heart and security with a man like that?
The Bentley pulled into a side street that was nearly deserted in the early-morning downpour. It stopped at a traffic light. As Diogo leaned forward to speak with the chauffeur, Ellie saw the bodyguards' sedan pull far ahead of them.
It was her only chance!
She wasn't going to be any man's prisoner…
Flinging open the car door, Ellie ran into the rain, her wedding dress illuminated white as she fled into the dark sanctuary of the slums.