The Texas Tycoon's BabyBy: Crystal Green
She didn’t pay attention to much of it as his embrace grew tighter and his breath evened out, as she lay her head against his, feeling his thick hair against her face.
He inhaled, a ragged, uneven sound, then shifted, his mouth pressing against her shoulder, where her T-shirt left a patch of skin uncovered, sensitive to every one of his warm breaths.
She couldn’t hear anything but her crazed heartbeat, each pump filling her with adrenaline and a growing awareness.
He needed something more.
“It’ll be okay, Chet,” she whispered. “It’ll be just fine.”
Thuds marked the seconds, beating in her head, and as she pulled back to look into his gaze, just so he could see that she would make sure everything was okay, she recognized a man in the grasp of utter bewilderment.
Then she leaned into him, pressing her lips to his forehead while cupping his face.
He blinked, his eyes red, but now teeming with something other than raw rage. Hope sprang up in her, sending warmth through every bit of her.
She would make this better. She would do anything to see him smile again.
But then he took her into his arms and pressed his lips to hers so desperately that it robbed her of breath.
Surprise bolted into her. His mouth on hers, the smell of his skin, the urgency in his kiss…
“Mina,” he whispered against her lips, as if she’d saved him from the world, even for the moment.
She melted under him, wanting to heal whatever was busted, knowing she was the only one who could comfort him, feeling more alive than ever as the kisses she’d been dreaming of turned to caresses.
As caresses turned into a night that would prove just as fateful as everything that had come before….
Over Four Months Later
Mina had a secret.
It wasn’t obvious, though. Not yet. And she was taking extra care to make sure no one found out about it by wearing a businesslike, no-nonsense skirt and a jacket that covered her stomach—a wardrobe that went along well with the still-warm October weather here in southern Utah.
Yes, she looked just as unruffled as always—or, at least, she was really trying to—as she directed traffic in her administrative office at the Red Mountain Escape resort, which the Barron Group was redeveloping and preparing to open in a few months.
“Danny,” she said, holding out the newly printed brochure she’d just gone over and marked up.
The young guy, fresh out of college, bounded over to her, snatching the brochure. “What’d you think?”
“Almost there,” she said. “But good. Real good.”
He gave her a nod then gave way to a second staffer who took his place in front of Mina as she moved away from her desk.
It was Corrine, another hungry and ambitious worker. “I’ve been around the entire property,” the brunette said in a Texas drawl. “Everything’s in great shape.”
“Everything had better be.”
Mina’s stomach gave a tumble, but she blew out a breath. Hold it together, she kept thinking, as the rest of the staff gathered by the doorway, ready to dart out of it so they could get to their respective posts. Today of all days, you’ve got to be the Mina that everyone expects you to be.
And it wasn’t just because progress on everything from the resort’s spa to its stables to its recreational facilities and fine-dining restaurant would be subject to the boss’s approval when he finally arrived.
Hugging her iPad to her belly, Mina thought of the boss himself.
Something in her chest melted at the thought of him. Something in her throat got tight.
For the past months, he’d been on a lot of business trips so he could purchase and then oversee the development of the media holdings and properties that kept the Barron Group flush; trips that had taken him away from the office so he and she had barely been able to see each other for an extended time.
But when they did see each other today, she really had some big news for him.
She fought the sweet urge to cup a hand over her tummy. Four and a half months along. Her stomach hadn’t pooched out much, though. Mina had wondered if she should be showing more, but her doctor had assured her that the baby was just the right size and growing. Some women didn’t show until later.
But just knowing that she was going to have a baby made her feel as if she was bursting. This would be the first time she would get to really spend time with Chet since she’d gone to the doctor, confirming what she’d begun to suspect after missing her period a couple of times. It’d never been regular, anyway, but in this particular instance, there’d been a reason.
The staff was watching her as if they weren’t used to this hesitant version of Mina. She’d always been the efficient one, the one who knew exactly what they should be doing and when.