Trading Hearts is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons in coincidental. Photo courtesy of www.islandhideaways.com.
Michael caught up to Natasha as she headed towards the parking lot.
He grabbed her shoulder. “Baby, I’m so sorry. That was unfair.”
She pulled away from his touch. “You’re damn right that was unfair!” she hissed furiously. “What do you think I am, some gold-digging w**re out to score a meal ticket? I loved you when I thought you had nothing and I don’t want anything from you except a promise that you’ll be there for this child!”
He rubbed his face and exhaled deeply. “I can’t believe it. You’re pregnant?”
She pulled her wrap tighter around her shoulders and glared at him defiantly. “Obviously you served up more than breakfast in bed that morning. If you’re wondering if it’s yours…”
He held up a hand. “No, there’s no doubt on my part. I was just angry earlier, I know what kind of a woman you are.”
He raised a quizzical eyebrow. “This is why your father took the original deal, didn’t he?” he asked suddenly.
She nodded. “He wanted me to have as many options as possible…in case you didn’t want to be a part of the baby’s life. I’m not trying to force anything between us, I just thought you should know you’re going to be a father. Our child deserves to have its father in its life.”
He nodded, touching her face tenderly. “And I will be. You’re not going to go through this on your own.”
He rubbed her exposed shoulders lightly. “But I’m not sticking around just because of this baby.” he said firmly. “I want to be a part of your life, Tasha. I love you.”
She began to protest but he placed a finger on his lips. “No, I’m not just saying this because of the baby. I’ve been going crazy these last two months without you. Even after the deal was wrapped I couldn’t head back to New York without making things right.”
“The way you treated me tonight I thought you hated me,” she countered.
He embraced her tightly and she wrapped her arms around his waist tentatively, resting her head on his bared chest. The scent of his cologne was wreaking havoc with her senses and Natasha thought briefly that being his arms felt like coming home.
“I’m sorry for lashing out at you. I was just frustrated, and seeing you standing in my doorway looking like Christmas morning and like you didn’t miss me at all didn’t help.”
She raised her head and smiled. “I missed you, I hated you, I wanted you back, I hoped never to see you again. I was one ball of conflicting emotions these past few weeks. The only thing I knew for sure was that I loved you.”
He responded by claiming her lips with his. Natasha gave in to the heady sensation of his passionate embrace before breaking away. “You have a way of making me lose all common sense, Michael, but let’s get one thing straight. If you ever lie to me again, I’m going to slap the black off you!” she warned.
He laughed heartily, nuzzling her neck before caressing her tummy. “You’re going to make one tough mummy. This kid is gonna need me to watch its back.”
He chuckled at the face she made and laid a hand over his heart. “I consider myself warned. I realise we have to get to know each other all over again, but I promise you there’ll be no more secrets, Tasha.”
She sighed deeply as she toyed with a button on his shirt. “I also have to be honest with you, and myself. Part of the reason I was so upset was because I was plain scared…that a man like you would wake up one day and realise I wasn’t what he wanted for a partner. I couldn’t face that rejection again.”
Michael caressed her face. “I’m not that fool Matthew. Money may open a lot of doors in this life, but it can’t buy the kind of feelings we have for each other. I could never trade what we have.”
“Good,” she replied, wrapping her arms around his neck. “You may now resume kissing me.”
The couple was interrupted minutes later by the snickering of a group heading to the house. Michael and Natasha grinned at each other dazedly.
“I think we better continue this in the cottage,” he whispered, as she re-buttoned his shirt. “I mean, can you…?”
She giggled at the concerned look on his face. “I’m fine, trust me. Besides, it’s not like you can knock me up twice.”
He hugged her close and steered her back to the cottage. “Well, you can ask my sister the doctor about that when you meet her. By the way, have you ever spent New Year’s in Manhattan?”
Well, that's all folks. Thanks for sticking in there with me these past few weeks.
Be safe and enjoy all the season has to offer (within reason ;).
Si dieu veux, hear you in a few days.
Merry Christmas, peoples!