The Secret His Mistress Carried

By: Lynne Graham



Wrenching her mouth free of his, Billie looked up into the smouldering dark golden eyes that had once broken her heart and said what she needed to say, what she owed it to herself to say. ‘Please leave, Gio...’

Billie stood at the window watching Gio climb into his long black limousine on the street outside, her fingernails biting into her palms like sharp-pointed knives. Without even trying he had torn her in two, teaching her that her recovery was not as complete as she had imagined. Letting Gio walk away from her had almost killed her and there was still a weak, wicked part of her that longed to snatch him back with both hands. But she knew it was pointless, because Gio would be furious if he ever found out that Theo was his child.

Right from the start, Billie had known and accepted that truth when, finding herself accidentally pregnant, she had chosen to give birth to a baby fathered by a male who had only wanted her for her body. There would be no support or understanding from Gio on the score of an illegitimate child, whom he would prefer not to have been born. She had only been with him a few weeks when he had told her that if she ever fell pregnant he would regard it as a disaster and that it would destroy their relationship, so she couldn’t say she hadn’t been warned. She had finally decided that what he didn’t know about wouldn’t hurt him and she had so much love to give their son that she had convinced herself that Theo would not suffer from the lack of a father.

Or so she had thought...until after Theo’s birth when concerns began to steadily nibble gaping holes in her one-time conviction that she had made the right decision. Then she had guiltily asked herself if she was the most selfish woman alive to have chosen to have a child in secrecy who would never have a father and she had worried even more about how Theo might react when he was older to what little she would have to tell him.

Would her son despise her some day for the role she had played in Gio’s bed? Would Theo resent the fact that although his father was rich he had grown up in comparative poverty? Would he blame her then for having brought him into the world on such terms?





CHAPTER TWO

BILLIE STUFFED HER FACE in the pillow and sobbed her heart out for the first time in two long years and once again Gio had provided the spur. When she had finally cried out all the pain and the many other unidentifiable emotions attacking her, Dee was by her side, seated on the edge of the bed and stroking her head in an effort to comfort her.

‘Where’s Theo?’ Billie whispered instantly.

‘I put him down for his nap.’

‘Sorry about this,’ Billie mumbled, sliding off the bed to go into the bathroom and splash her face with cold water because her eyes and her nose were red.

When she reappeared, Dee gave her an uncomfortable look. ‘That was him, wasn’t it? Theo’s dad?’

Billie didn’t trust herself to speak and she simply nodded.

‘He’s absolutely gorgeous,’ Dee remarked guiltily. ‘I’m not surprised you fell for him but what’s with the limousine? You said he was well off, not that he was minted...’

‘He’s minted,’ Billie confirmed gruffly. ‘Seeing him again was upsetting.’

‘What did he want?’

‘Something he’s not going to get.’

* * *

Rejection was the very last thing Gio had anticipated. After assigning two of his security team to watch Billie round the clock and ensure that she did not disappear again, it occurred to him that perhaps there was another man in her life. The idea sent him into such a violent maelstrom of reaction that he couldn’t think straight for several rage-charged minutes. For the very first time ever he wondered how Billie had felt when he had told her about Calisto and he groaned out loud. He didn’t do complicated with women but Billie was certainly making it that way.

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