A Question of Pride(62)

By: Michelle Reid

'Oh, hell!' groaned Max, catching her to him. 'Why in heaven's name did it have to choose now?'

Master James Laverne Junior was born just twenty-five minutes before his nephew Master Dominic Latham. Both babies were healthy and well—like their mothers.

'I love you, Clea,' Max whispered later. He was sitting beside the bed, searching her exhausted face with a mixture of deep pride and tender concern. 'I love our son. Thank you for him.'

'Think nothing of it,' she teased, smiling sleepily into his face, which still showed the strain witnessing their son's birth had placed on him. 'Poor Max,' she murmured softly. 'I think you suffered more than I did.'

'It was the sheer impotency I felt that hurt the most.'

'I can't see how you can claim impotency when I have actual proof of the opposite!' Clea argued, tongue in cheek, deliberately misinterpreting his meaning.

Max gave a rueful shake of his head. 'Still able to find the clever remark, even when half-asleep, Clea!'

'I may bore you otherwise,' she teased.

'Oh, never boring, darling,' Max denied huskily. 'I count my blessings every single day since we married.

I haven't felt one regret.'

'Good,' she said, and fell asleep with a serene smile about her mouth that made Max have to kiss it.

'It's a good job one of them is blond and the other dark-haired,' James remarked about the two baby boys the next day, when he came to visit Clea. 'Because they both possess a matching pair of purple eyes that will drive the ladies wild when they grow up.'

'Rakes!' Clea instantly predicted. 'Just like their disreputable papas! It'll be bred into them, you mark my words. They'll pattern themselves on their lecherous daddies, and cause mayhem wherever they go!'

'You mean us?' chimed two aggrieved voices.

'Models of respectability, we are,' Max pronounced innocently.

'Hah!' said Clea.

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