"Would you like for me to seduce you?"
The words came quiet and sudden at Keesha's ear. A warm rush of blood flooded through her. Goosebumps prickled her flesh. She inhaled a sharp breath. The dark hallway of her apartment building became tight and confining. She rested her hands against the wall for support.
His hands fell to her waist. His fingers squeezed. "Would you?"
She bit back a low moan. Coming home from a long day at the precinct to a seduction hadn't been a part of her plans. But, God help her…
"Answer the question," he growled against her ear. "I know what I want to do." He stepped closer. His state of arousal pressed hotly against her backside. "Tell me what you want."
He drew in her ear lobe and suckled. "Good answer."
Fear welled inside Carly as she watched doctors and nurses whizz around her. They spoke quickly, using medical terms she didn't fully understand. She hated her job as a nurse's aide, but now, she wished she had paid better attention. If her baby was dying, she wanted to know now! And not after doctors have discussed it over her head and right in front of her face with her none the wiser.
Bobbie burst into the room. Her hair billowed around her ashen face like flames. She maintained a calm face, but Carly doubted the truth in that. Something was wrong.
Her mother consulted with one of the pompous doctors before coming to Carly. As soon as Bobbie reached her, Carly demanded answers. "What did he say? Am I losing the baby?"
"No." Bobbie took her hand. "They said you've been agitated and you need to calm down. Relax and let them do their job."
"You know what's going on," Carly accused. "You won't tell me because you want this baby to die. You don't care about me. You never did."
"Don't do this now--"
"GO!" Carly wrenched her hand free. "Get out of here. I don't want you here. NURSE! Get her out of here."
One of the nurses looked at Bobbie with so much sympathy that bile rose to Carly's throat. She turned her head and closed her eyes. She didn't want to see any more of that.
"How is the baby?" Nikolas approached Bobbie as soon as she stepped into the hallway.
Her brown eyes flashed angrily at him. "Is that all you care about? The baby? Don't you care a little about the woman who's carrying your child?"
His jaw tightened. "It wasn't my choice. And no, I don't give a damn what happens to her. I have never pretended otherwise."
She looked down at the floor. "I'm sorry, Nikolas. I know what happened, but…she's my daughter."
"You have my sympathies," he said quietly and without malice. "You deserve better."
Her shoulders slumped. She seemed to lean against the wall for support. "Her blood pressure is rising and that increases the risk for both her and the child. The doctors are considering a Cesarean, but that won't be possible until she stabilizes. I know you don't…care for her, but would like to see her?"
He couldn't summon the words to say what she wanted to hear. He harbored no ill sentiment toward Bobbie, but Caroline willfully violated him and destroyed the most important relationship in his life. Pretending they had a normal relationship was beyond his capability.
"No, I need to check on Aunt and Uncle." He moved to leave, but she stopped him with a hand on his forearm.
"What will you do when the baby is born? How will you treat this child knowing that Carly is a part of it? Will you be able to look beyond the baby's conception?"
Those weren't questions he hadn't asked himself. So far, he hadn't found any concrete answers. "I will have to, Bobbie. Somehow, I will find a way."
"Oh, yeah." Dara drove her fingers into the mattress. Tingles coursed through her as he sunk his teeth into her neck. He plunged his hardness into her moist heat. The headboard banged against the wall in a staccato beat. In a rapid succession of thrusts, Sonny sent her over the edge where she fell into an explosive climax.
"You're amazing," he said, running his hands over her back. He lightly tapped a butt cheek as he slowly withdrew from her body.
She rolled onto her back. Wiping the perspiration from her eyes, she looked around for her clothes.
"Don't, Dara." He rested against the pillows and beckoned to her. "Don't run off. Stay this time."
"I can't." She stood and began grabbing her lingerie and pantsuit.
Eyes blazing, he hopped from the bed. Like a shot, he reached out for the other half of her outfit. The expensive material pulled taut between them like a rope. "What are you running to? Not Mac. He's not at home waiting for you. He's with--"
"Don't say it."
"Katherine," he continued. "He doesn't give a damn about your marriage and isn't trying to hide what he really feels."
"You don't know what Mac feels," she argued, ripping the clothes from his hand. She clutched the garments in front of her like a shield. "You don't know anything about our marriage."
"I know that if you were fulfilled in it, you wouldn't be here in my bed…moaning and trembling as I cum inside you." He gently brushed hair from her cheek. "I'm not trying to hurt you. I just want you to stay with me. Just once. Don't rush off like I'm your whore. Stick around for a few minutes…as if I mean something to you. Even if I don't."
His honesty stunned her. They hadn't verbalized what was between them. She came to him and he took her in. It happened more times than she cared to admit or count. And now, he was laying it on the line. Telling her that it wasn't just sex he wanted. But her.
Her hands opened. The clothes fell silently to the floor in a small heap. He remained still as a statue, watching her intently as if he dared not take a second for granted.
"Okay, I'll stay."
Without a word, he wrapped his arms around her and held her more than tightly than Mac ever had.