Billionaire's Contract Engagement(118)

By: Maya Banks

He could have been a father. And he would have, if he hadn’t been so selfish and blind. Not to mention stupid.

He closed his eyes and shook his head. “I am such an idiot.”

“Why do I get the feeling you’re not talking about us any longer?”

He looked over at her. “Do you think some people are destined to keep repeating their mistakes?”

“Some people maybe. If they don’t learn from them.”

“And if they learn too late?”

She reached across the table and laid her hand over his, and just like that, all the unresolved conflict, all the bitterness he’d shouldered for the past three years seemed to vanish. “Do you love her?” she asked.

“Probably too much for my own good.”

“Does she love you?”

“She did three days ago.”

She grinned and gave his hand a squeeze. “So what the heck are you doing still sitting here with me?”

Damn, the woman was good at disappearing. He had no clue where she was staying and she refused to answer her phone. But this time Ash didn’t wait nearly as long to call the P.I. and ask him to find her again. But when Ash gave him the make and year of her car, the P.I. asked, “Does the car have GPS?”

“Yeah, it does.”

“Then you don’t really need me. You can track her every move on any computer. Or even your phone if it has Internet. I can help you set it up.”

“That would be great,” Ash told him. It was about time something went right. And thank God this time she hadn’t gone very far. Within hours he was pulling into the lot of a grocery store a few miles away from the condo.

The idea of a confrontation inside the store seemed like a bad idea, so he parked, got out of his car and made himself comfortable on her hood. There was no way she would be leaving without at least talking to him.

She came out of the store maybe ten minutes later and his heart lifted at the sight of her, then it lodged in his throat when he thought of all the explaining he had to do. And the confessing.

She had one bag in her arms and she was rooting around in her purse for something, so she didn’t see him right away.

She looked adorable with her hair up in a ponytail, wearing jeans, tennis shoes and a pullover sweatshirt. He was finding it hard to imagine what he considered so appealing in the way she looked before the accident. This just seemed to be a better fit.

She was almost to the car when she finally looked up and noticed him there. Her steps slowed and her eyes narrowed. He could see that she was wondering how he’d found her, especially when she had been dodging his calls.

“GPS,” he said. “I tracked you on my phone.”

“You realize that stalking is a criminal offense in California?”

“I don’t think it can be considered stalking when I technically own the car.”

She tossed the keys at him so forcefully that if he hadn’t caught them he might have lost an eye. “Take it,” she said and walked past him in the direction of the street.

He jumped down off the hood to follow her. “Come on, Mel. I just want to talk to you.”

“But I don’t want to listen. I’m still too mad at you.”

Mad was good as far as he was concerned. Since he deserved it. She could get over being mad at him a lot easier than, say, hating his guts. Not that he didn’t deserve that, too.

She was walking so fast he had to jog to catch up to her. “I’ve been an ass.”

She snorted. “You say that like it’s something I don’t already know.”

“But do you know how sorry I am?”

“I’m sure you are.”

“It’s not that I didn’t believe you about the baby. I just didn’t want it to be true.”

She stopped so abruptly he nearly tripped over his own feet. “Are you actually saying that you didn’t want it to be yours?”

“No! Of course not.”

“You really are an ass,” she said, and turned to leave, but he grabbed her arm.

“Would you please listen for a minute? I could live with the idea that you’d had an affair, that you had made a mistake, especially when I was the one who drove you away in the first place. But knowing that the baby was mine, and I was responsible.” Emotion welled up in his throat and he had to pause to get a hold of himself. “If I had treated you right, showed you that I loved you, you never would have felt like you had to run away. All the terrible things you went through never would have happened. Everything, all of it, is my fault.”

She was quiet for what seemed like a very long time, and he watched her intently, in case she decided to throw something else at him. God only knew what she had in the bag.

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