Sun God Seeks...surrogate?(7)

By: Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

“Hell in a handwoven Easter basket!” she barked and began pacing in front of a large, mahogany—not pink—desk situated in the center of the room.

Her study was filled with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and a few leather armchairs. For all intents and purposes, it seemed like the study of a fairly normal person. I wondered if she just hadn’t gotten around to decorating this part of the house yet.

She quickly plucked a thick leather-bound book from the shelf and slammed it down on the desk.

Now? She chooses now to catch up on her reading?

Cimil flipped through the pages and ran her pointy little finger over the text. “No! It was here when I checked last week. I know it was. You weren’t supposed to come until tomorrow morning. This is bad. Bad! Something changed! Why didn’t I recheck the book? I always recheck.” She shook her head and covered her face. “Damn you, Love Boat and your sinfully delightful marathons! I shall shun you for eternity!” She swiveled in my direction. “You have to go. Right now! I need to figure this out. Something’s gone wrong.” She ushered me back to the door. “Come tomorrow. I’ll have the answer then.”

I had no clue why Cimil was in hysterics or why anyone would eternally shun the cheesy goodness of Love Boat—I mean, who could resist Gopher, Captain Stubing…Charo? Cuchi, cuchi, cuchi—but the insane didn’t need a reason.

In any case, her sitcom issues weren’t my problem. I pulled the check from my pocket. “I’m not coming back. I’m not interested in your money or having a…”—I winced—“baby. And, to be honest, I have serious issues with you being around any child, let alone any of mine—not that I want one. Yet. But, seriously, have you spoken to anyone about your problems? I mean, has anyone told you that—”

“Did you say you’re…not doing it? You’re rejecting my offer?” Cimil tilted her head and then glanced at the check in my hand.

“My eggs and womb aren’t for sale, and I resent you trying to take advantage of my situation. I have no clue how you’re even aware of it! And what kind of person does this? For Christ’s sake, my mother is sick. She could die.”

She frowned, regarded her feet, and then glared at my face.

I was a good six inches taller than her, but for some reason, I felt small. She radiated a sort of massive darkness despite her brightly colored clothing (hot-pink evening gown, of course) and flaming red, Cleopatra-style hair.

She unexpectedly burst out cackling like a madwoman on a mad, mad mission. “You drive a hard bargain, but okay. You can keep the five hundred G’s just for showing up. All you have to do is meet with my brother and hear him out. ’Kay?”

I was this close to stomping my feet like a three-year-old. “No. The answer is no!”

“Great! Come back in the morning, and we’ll finish this. But you need to leave now. You can’t be here.”

Oh. My. God! She’s frigging insane! “No! I said ‘no’!” Stomp. Stomp.

A rancid expression swept across her face. “No? Nobody ever says no! And…did you stomp your foot at me? That’s my move!”

I crossed my arms. “It’s mine now, honey.” Stomp. Stomp.

She closed the gap between us. “You’re supposed to take the offer,” she snarled. “I give you the money. You use it to save your mother and you end up mated.”

Mated? I moved one step back toward the doorway. “Don’t even think of doing that Vulcan thing on me again! It won’t change anything. I’m. Not. Interested.”

I shoved the check at her, but she refused to take it.

“Fine. I’m leaving.” I let it fall to the floor. “And I don’t know why you’ve decided to stalk me—which I’m pretty sure is illegal in most states—but I’m warning you to stay the hell away. I know people.” I really didn’t, but the owners of Carmine’s were Italian. Maybe they knew “people.” Or maybe I could find some “people” on Craigslist.

I reached for the door, eyeing Cimil cautiously, afraid she might jump on my back and pull out my hair. She seemed like the type who fought dirty.

I turned and ran straight into a wall. My palms quickly assessed the barrier and discovered it wasn’t brick or plaster but a very firm set of abs cloaked in very fine fabric.

I snapped up my head, and staring down with a surly expression, was the man who’d turned me into a mindless, sex-starved heap moments earlier.

Once again, my knees wobbled, and I felt myself tipping over.

He grumbled something and then grabbed my shoulders to steady me before shifting his gaze to Cimil.

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