Little Secrets:Unexpectedly Pregnant

By: Joss Wood

Turning back into the bathroom, Tyce lifted his head and looked at his reflection in the mirror, unimpressed with the man looking back at him. His sister, Lachlyn, deserved to own something of the company her father, Connor, created, and in chasing down and buying Ballantyne International shares he thought he was doing the right thing, the honorable thing, but sleeping with Sage, then and now, had never been part of the plan. Originally he’d just wanted to get to know her to find out as much as he could about the iconic Manhattan family because he’d intended to use that knowledge to his, or Lachlyn’s, advantage.

He hadn’t banked on their chemistry, on the desire that flared between them. He’d thought that she would be easy to walk away from once they got each other out of their systems, but that had proved to be more difficult than he thought. Last night had blown those preconceptions out of the window. For as long as he lived he’d crave Sage Ballantyne...

As fast as a snakebite, Tyce’s fist slammed into the mirror above his head and glass flew from the frame and dropped into the basin, onto the floor. Tyce looked at his ultra-distorted reflection in the thin shards that remained in the frame and nodded, satisfied.

That looked far more like the person he knew himself to be.


Three months later...

“Are you going to slap me again?”

“The night is still young, who knows?”

Tyce slid onto the barstool next to Sage, ordered a whiskey from the bartender and looked at his former lover. She’d pulled her long, normally curly hair into a sleek tail, allowing her eyes to dominate her face. Tonight her irises were periwinkle blue surrounded with a navy ring; they could be, depending on her mood, navy, denim or that unusual shade of Moroccan blue.

Her eyes always, every single time, had the ability to drop him to his knees. God had not been playing fair when he’d combined an amazing set of blues with a face that was near perfect—heart shaped, high cheekbones, sexy mouth, stubborn chin—and then, just for kicks, placed that head on top of a body that was naturally lean, intensely feminine, all sexy.

He loved her face, he loved her body and God knew that he loved making love to her, with her... He wanted to kiss that mouth, suck on her skin, allow his hands to stroke that endlessly creamy, warm, fragrant skin.

It had been so damn long and, after three years of sheer hell, one night with her had been like offering a dehydrated man a drop of water. He wanted her legs wrapped around his hips, to hear her soft moans in his ear, his tongue in that hot, sweet mouth.

Sage had no idea that his pants were tighter and that his lungs were battling to take in air. She just took a sip of her drink and wrinkled her nose in a way he’d always found adorable. “I suppose I should apologize for slapping you but the incident made all the social columns, creating more publicity for your already successful exhibition and sending your already overinflated prices sky-high.”

Overinflated? Tyce winced and then shrugged. It wasn’t like he hadn’t had the same thought a time or two. The prices his art commanded were ridiculous; it wasn’t like he was a modern-day Picasso or Rembrandt. He was just a guy who slapped steel and wood together, tossed paint onto a canvas in a way people seemed to like. Art critics, his agent and the gallery owners would be shocked if they ever found out how little effort went into the art they all revered.

No one knew or suspected that most of his time was spent painting intensely detailed portraits that were accurate to the last brushstroke. His portraits, intimate, honest, time and blood sucking, were where he found and lost himself. Many of those never-seen portraits were of Sage, and Tyce neither knew or cared to speculate what that meant.

Silence fell between them and Tyce looked around the room. He’d been surprised to receive a text from Sage inviting him to attend the Ballantyne cocktail party and jewelry exhibition and there had never been any doubt that he’d go. Firstly, if one was personally invited to look at one of the best collections of fantastically rare and ridiculously expensive jewelry one took the opportunity. He also wanted to look at the new line Sage designed and it was, as he expected, fabulous. Whimsical but modern, feminine but Sage. And because he was a guy he was hoping that Sage’s request to meet would lead to some head-bangin’, bed-breaking sex.

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