Her Little Secret, His Hidden Heir(60)

By: Heidi Betts

“I have more good news,” he said while she continued to admire the pages of the catalog.

“What?” she asked, lifting her head and looking positively giddy.

He smiled in return, because he couldn’t seem to help himself. “Adam and I finalized an agreement this morning to open a Sugar Shack bakery in the lobby of the Keller Corp building.”

Marc expected her to shriek with joy and throw her arms around her neck, but instead she grew quiet and simply studied him.

“What’s the matter?” he asked, cocking his head in confusion. “I thought you would be happy about this.”

She nodded. “I am. Everything you’ve done has been wonderful—more than Aunt Helen and I ever could have imagined.”


Her mouth twisted, her eyes growing concerned. “But I worry about what your mother will think of you and Adam working together to put my business in the lobby of your family’s company headquarters. And if we really do move back to the city one of these days the way we’ve discussed…”

She trailed off and he could see every one of her doubts playing across her face.

“She already knows,” he told her.

Her mouth went slack with shock.

“According to Adam, she’s asked about us several times, and he’s been updating her. I don’t want to get your hopes up—” he grinned as she rolled her eyes at the possibility “—but he seems to think she might be coming around.”

Vanessa gave a disbelieving snort and he chuckled. “All right. So she’ll never be the cookie-baking, story-telling sort of mother or grandmother we might wish she were, but I think walking away and cutting her out of our lives for a while showed her that I’m serious in my devotion to you. You’re my wife and I won’t allow anyone or anything to ever hurt you or come between us again. Not even the woman who gave birth to me.”

Stepping forward, she rested her hands and then her head on his chest. “Are you sorry?” she murmured against his shirt.

Framing her face with his hands, he tipped her chin up and met her storm blue gaze. “Not even a little bit. I don’t ever want you to think that, okay? You and Danny—” he tipped his head toward their crumb-covered son “—and this tiny tyke here—” he pressed a hand flat to her growing belly “—are all that matter to me. I haven’t closed the door on rebuilding a relationship with my mother, but I wouldn’t trade my life now with the three of you for anything in the world. Do you understand?”

It took her a second, but she nodded slowly, and he stared into her eyes until he was sure she believed him.

“Good. Then I’ll get our little Cookie Monster cleaned up while you go show your aunt the new catalog. Hopefully it will put her in a good enough mood that we can ask her to watch Danny for a while this afternoon.”

“Why?” Vanessa asked.

His mouth spread in a wolfish grin and he leaned in to brush his lips across hers. “Because I’m in the mood for something sweet.”

Cocking her head to the side, she narrowed her eyes, giving him a sultry, seductive look. “Well, this is a bakery. Sweets are what we’re all about.”

He gave a low growl at her wicked flirtation and nearly told her how lucky she was that Danny was with them and the bakery was fronted by floor-to-ceiling plate glass windows. Otherwise, he would be lifting her onto one of the countertops and divesting her of her clothes already.

“What I want isn’t on the menu.”

“So you have a special order?” she asked, batting those lashes until he felt his insides start to boil.

He nodded, mouth gone too dry to respond.

“Lucky for you, and thanks to my very business-savvy husband, we’re set up to take special orders now. You may have to pay extra for shipping and handling, though.”

Lips twitching, he said in a low voice, “That shouldn’t be a problem. In case you haven’t heard, I’m rich.”

She smiled softly and reached up to wrap her arms around his neck. “So am I,” she whispered.

And neither of them were talking about their bank accounts.

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