When Belle had told him she was unexpectedly pregnant, something he'd never predicted happened. He fell in love with the future, and that destiny had been taken from him only hours later. At the time, he chalked it up to tragedy. There'd been plenty of reason to wait then and plenty of drama to distract him. Once things had calmed down and the two had begun to enjoy their honeymoon together, the tantalizing prospect of that future reappeared. The last few months had been spent in bed, chasing it. Or so he had thought.
He'd seen how happy she was when she told him she was pregnant. There had been apprehension, of course. Since it hadn't been planned, she'd had no idea how he would react, but he'd wanted that baby from that moment. It had been real to both of them, and as each month passed and her period came, life felt a little bleaker. It was a combination of factors, really. He'd wondered if something was wrong with him. That was rational. Somewhere deeper inside him, though, in an ugly place that he tried to ignore, he questioned if he was being punished for his past mistakes. He hated himself every time he couldn't give Belle a child, convinced it was his sins that kept him from completing their family.
Now, he'd discovered it had all been a charade. He was angry with her even though he didn't want to be. In truth, they really hadn't discussed having a child, and he'd made certain assumptions. Logic told him that this was about a lot more than not being ready or miscommunication, still, he couldn't quite see pass the betrayal. He'd been trying to give her the world, and she was rejecting his offer.
“Don't be an arse, Price,” he commanded himself. His wife was a much more complicated woman than he was giving her credit for, and she had to have her reasons. But knowing that did nothing to dissipate the sting of it.
The door to the office cracked open, and a slant of light fell across the floor. Belle tiptoed into the room as if she was afraid of him. He didn't really know what to say to her, so he waited. She cleared her throat, and then she took the package of pills out of her purse and tossed them in the rubbish bin.
“I'm not going to take these,” she told him.
Smith let his head fall backward in frustration. Somehow he'd managed to guilt her into doing something she didn't want to do. “Take them, don't take them. It's up to you.”
“It's up to us,” she said softly. “All those things I told you earlier were true, but there's something I left out.” She nearly tripped over her own feet trying to take a chair. His hand reached up and flipped on the lamp so that she could see better. That's when he realized she was shaking. She looked delicate cast in the shadows with her pale hair framing her lovely face. His wife had a petite body that drove him crazy. Most of the time she wore heels with black dresses and scarlet lipstick, but right now, she was still in her low-cut sweater and trousers. Her eyes were rimmed red as though she'd been crying.
Smith knew she was strong, but he also knew she could be fragile. As she sat across from him looking small and scared, he felt his anger begin to soften.
“The truth is,” she continued in a low voice, “I'm the one who lost the baby. It's my fault.”
“It's no one's fault,” he cut in.
She shook her head adamantly. “It was my body. I'm the one that's broken.”
“We saw the doctor,” he reminded her trying to sound gentle. Instantly, her confession had erased all the rage he'd felt. Now, all he could do was comfort her. How his beautiful, brilliant wife could blame herself for something so far out of her control, he didn't understand, but he wouldn't allow her to do so.
“And we didn't get any answers,” she said.
Smith thought about rattling off the statistics the doctor had shared with them. One in four pregnancies ended in a miscarriage they were told, but that didn't seem to be the salve she needed. Her wounds ran deeper than he realized. The only things that could heal her were patience and love. Getting up, he went to her and dropped to his knees beside her. Looking into her eyes, he decided not to offer cursory rationalizations. Not when he had also been victim to his own paranoia. Hadn't he been the one to believe for months that they'd been unable to get pregnant because of his past indiscretions? Was that any more ridiculous than Belle's fear that her body didn't work? No. The problem had been that they had not been on the same page. He took her hands. “Beautiful, there are a million reasons that we might have lost that baby.”
“I don't know if I can go through that again,” she whispered. “It still hurts. How can it hurt to miss someone I never got to know?”
“It hurts me, too,” he admitted to her.
“What if it happens again?” she asked.
“Then, it will hurt more,” he answered, “but if we don't try, then we'll never know. And if we don't try, we'll miss out on the possibility. Even though it hurts now, I fell in love with the idea of our child, and I got to have that if only for a few hours. I wouldn't change any of it. You are the best thing that ever happened to me, and I want to share everything with you.”
They stared into each other's eyes for a long while. When Belle finally opened her mouth to speak, the trembling was gone. Instead her voice was clear and certain. “I want to have your baby.”
Perhaps she didn’t mean immediately, but he wasn’t going to wait. He stood and reached for her. Their eyes remained locked together as she got to her feet. Sweeping her into his arms, he carried her to the bedroom. This afternoon had been the time for foreplay. Tonight was about connection. When he placed her on the ground, she loosened his tie and tossed it to the ground. There would be no need for that—all they needed was one another. Flesh and bone, body and soul. She fumbled with his buttons and he cupped her face in his hands. He needed to touch her. That wasn’t anything new, but the physical urge to feel her skin consumed him. Even the innocent gesture sent a concentrated blast of blood to his dick. It hardened painfully as if it, too, felt the overwhelming compulsion to mate. Belle finished unbuttoning his shirt and slid it off, then she found his cock with her hand.
“No need to rush, beautiful,” he murmured.
“I need you inside me,” she whispered. “I don’t think I’ve ever needed anything so badly.”
He could take his time and still meet her needs, he decided. Moving quickly, he stripped her clothes as she unbuckled his trousers. Within moments they were bared to each other. No matter how many times he saw her body, he would never get enough. The idea that it might change in the coming months—that it might swell and and bloom with life—overtook him. Before she could respond, he’d hitched her around his waist and plunged inside her. He didn’t care about allowing her time to adjust to his girth. He didn’t worry about being rough. Smith knew that the only thing that mattered to either of them was completing one another. Belle cried out as she sank completely onto him. She rocked against him, and he guided her open further. She whimpered as her clit found the friction she sought. He felt it against his skin, proof that she was just as aroused by forging into the unknown as he was.