In Pursuit of His Wife(5)

By: Kristi Gold

Sebastian sent her a mock grin. “What gave us away?”

“The men around here order their meat rare.” With that, Darla waddled away, muttering under her breath.

Nasira immediately turned a sharp gaze on him. “Why do you insist on doing that?”

He opted to play ignorant. “Doing what?”

“Ordering my meals for me. I am quite capable of deciding what and how much I eat.”

“I’ve always ordered for you, Sira.”

“I know and I do not care for it.”

“And you waited ten years to tell me?”

“It seemed simpler not to make waves and avoid conflict.”

Did she think so little of him? “I’m not your father, Nasira. If you want something from me, you need only ask.”

She stared at him a few moments. “I want another baby.”

The one thing he felt he could not give her. “Impossible.”

“Why, Sebastian?”

He could only offer her a partial truth. “You had a devil of a time when you miscarried. The doctor said—”

“That I am quite capable of conceiving again and carrying to full term. The risk is not any greater than any woman who has lost a child in the first trimester.”

He imagined his own mother had believed that very thing. “Look, this is not the time or the place to discuss this.”

She lifted her chin and leveled a determined glare on him. “Unless we discuss it, I will not be returning to London with you in the foreseeable future.”

Sebastian swallowed around his shock. Not once during their time together had she issued threats. “We will talk about this some other time.”

The waitress returned with their drinks, and they waited in silence for their order to arrive. All conversation ceased as they ate food that was surprisingly palatable. He spent a good deal of time watching the patrons, when he wasn’t watching his wife pick at her meal.

Unfortunately, she only afforded him a glance when he asked, “How do you find the fare?”

“Adequate,” she said and then took another bite.

He wondered if he would spend the next few days dealing with one-word answers while attempting to convince her to come home. Would she rebuff his advances, or eventually return to what they once had? He longed for the latter. He longed for her. All of her. First, he had to regain her trust and respect, if at this juncture, and in light of his mistakes, that were even possible.

By the time he had paid the bill, Sebastian worried he had ruined his chances at reconciliation.

Not yet. Not until he convinced her they belonged together, with or without children. How exactly he would achieve that goal remained to be seen. He knew only one way to do this—by using a tried and true technique that had never failed to turn her into clay in his hands.

* * *

“Sebastian, what are you doing?”

“Finding a private place to talk.”

He had definitely found it, Nasira realized when he continued past the Wild Aces and took a dirt road that forked to the right. Once he reached the fence line, he backed the truck up beneath some low-hanging tree branches.

Before Nasira could voice a protest, Sebastian slid out of the seat, rounded the hood and opened her door. “Now if you will come with me please.”

Clearly he had taken leave of his senses. “I refuse to traipse around in the dark, Sebastian.”

“We’re not going to traipse. We’re going to sit in the back of this truck.”

She felt certain that might not be in her best interests. “Why can we not remain in the front seat?”

“Because it’s a beautiful night that should be spent beneath the stars and the moon.”

She started to say they could barely see the stars but the opportunity to respond was lost when he reached in, took her by the waist, and lifted her out and onto her feet. “First that dreadful fight with Mac, and now you are manhandling me like some Neanderthal. What has come over you?”

“My behavior isn’t necessarily so out-of-character for me, though it’s been quite a few years since I’ve engaged in it.”

Nasira released a cynical laugh. “You will have a difficult time convincing me that you ever behaved in that manner. In all the years I’ve known you, I have never seen you raise your voice, much less your hand.”

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