Brazilian's Nine Months' Notice

By: Susan Stephens

 ‘Maybe not me,’ she agreed, turning to meet his stare head on. ‘It all depends who’s on duty.’

 ‘When do you get off duty, Emma?’

 Her heart thundered. ‘Me?’ She frowned. ‘When my shift is over.’ Slipping past him, she could only think of leaving his room and reaching the safety of the kitchens downstairs.

 She had barely opened the door to the kitchen when the head of housekeeping turned her around. ‘He’s ringing again,’ she said with a look. ‘Apparently, he’s run out of coffee now.’

 But she’d filled up the tray when she’d serviced Luc’s room. What could he want now? Biting back her anxious thoughts, she made sure the service trolley had everything she required, and was back outside Luc’s room within five minutes of leaving it. ‘Yes, sir?’ she said politely as he opened the door. ‘Here I am with everything you could possibly need.’ She couldn’t help herself. She was fuming.

 ‘If only,’ he murmured, and she suspected he was trying not to laugh.

 She pushed her trolley past him, wondering if the moment would ever come when she could tell him about the baby. Was now the time to tell him? Should she close the door and beard the lion in his den?

 Could she afford to lose this job?

 No. And he might just erupt in fury—ring downstairs and get her sacked. Propositioning a guest? That was a sackable offence. Threatening him? Goodness knew, she couldn’t risk that appearing on her CV.

 ‘Problem?’ he queried, no doubt wondering at her silence.

 Calming herself, she took stock. He was just a man—a formidable man, but a living, breathing human being just as she was. She would speak to him when the time was right. There was no need to feel panicked into it.

 ‘Lovely day,’ he commented, turning to look out of the window.

 She couldn’t tell if he was joking or not. The snow was drifting down, and it was a chocolate-box scene outside, but frigidly cold, while Luc was the polar opposite. He looked so hot dressed just in jeans and a casual shirt. He looked hot in everything—

 Especially naked.

 ‘My apologies for not noticing that you had run out of coffee,’ she said, trying to remain cool and professional. ‘I should have noticed when I brought up the towels.’

 ‘No problem.’ He turned and seemed to look at her a little longer. ‘I only just noticed the lack of it, or I wouldn’t have called you back.’

 She doubted that somehow, but gave him one of the thin smiles she reserved for those times when guests were difficult and pride in her job wasn’t enough.

 ‘When does your shift end today?’ he asked, catching her off guard as she organised his fresh supplies.

 Was he suggesting they get together when her shift ended? It would give her chance to talk about the baby... But his voice was too intimate, too darkly amused. Luc wasn’t going to suggest a quiet talk over a cup of coffee, she suspected.

 ‘I’m not sure,’ she said on a dry throat. ‘That all depends.’ She hurried to move the trolley towards the door. Luc was leaning against the wall, watching her like a tiger with a mouse.

 ‘That’s all right, you can go now,’ he said, opening the door for her.

 She breathed a sigh of relief to be let off the hook. She’d choose the time, and she would choose the place to tell him.

 ‘See you later,’ he said.

 His warm, clean scent washed over her as she moved past him. Luc had recently showered, and his hair was still damp. Waving in disarray, it had caught on his stubble. He hadn’t shaved.

 And why should she care? Emma decided as she pushed her trolley out into the corridor.

 Fit, tall and hard, wearing snug-fitting jeans, Lucas Marcelos was a formidable sight. She cared. ‘Will there be anything else, sir?’ she enquired in her best professional voice. But then some demon must have climbed inside her throat. ‘Perhaps you’d like your shoes cleaned or your trousers pressed?’ With you still wearing them, preferably, her hostile face clearly said. ‘How about the bed? Would you like me to straighten that before I leave?’

 That was absolutely the wrong thing to say, she realised as a slow smile curved his mouth. Luc really knew how to use a bed. And not just to lie in it.

 ‘Why don’t you come back later to do that? I’ll put a sign outside my door when I’m ready for you.’

 With difficulty, she curbed her thoughts and managed to say nothing in reply, other than a polite ‘Yes, sir.’

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