The Italian Boss's Secret Child(2)

By: Trish Morey

But she wasn’t married.

No man. No prospects. Not a chance of conception unless she considered trawling the late night bars and clubs for a stud. Her teeth dragged a path through her lip-gloss. Would she dare? Was a promise made to a dying woman worth stooping to such levels?

Her mother’s pain-racked face flashed in her mind’s eye, her once soft features twisted and hardened with both the progress of her disease and the anguish of deep, unbearable loss. She thought she’d do anything to assuage her mother’s pain, to give her hope, but could she resort to picking up some no-name one-night stand in order to fulfil her promise?

‘No,’ she whispered on a shiver, her voice cracking in the empty lift. No question. She might be desperate but reckless wasn’t her style. She lifted a hand and swiped at the sudden moisture on her cheek, recognising that maybe it meant there was no way she’d be able to fulfil the promise she’d made.

Maybe she’d just have to accept that she wasn’t going to be able to give her mother the grandchild she craved more than anything—the grandchild she needed to make her smile again. It wasn’t fair but maybe it just wasn’t going to happen.

The button marked forty-five lit up with a ding, breaking into her thoughts as the door slid open on to the plush foyer of the executive level. She stepped out, fingers white-knuckled on the file as she tried to turn her thoughts back to the proposal. This meeting needn’t take long. She could focus on the proposal for the few minutes it would take. She knew it by heart after all, given she’d written just about every word of it.

Then she’d go back to her office and think this whole thing through again. She couldn’t give up now—not while there was still time. Based on her mother’s prognosis, she still had three months to conceive. Three chances to fulfil her promise. She would come up with something. There had to be another way.

There had to be.

‘Sam! You’re late. Come right through.’

The voice, deep and edged with impatience, emanated from the open office door adjacent to the unmanned workstation to her left. Dazzling light from the windows beyond illuminated the door, bright and radiant, before splashing into the corridor and bouncing along the walls.


It had to be him. She’d only spoken to him once and that had been very early on in her three months with the company when she’d answered Sam’s unattended phone, but if she wasn’t mistaken that was the voice of Delucatek’s esteemed and highly feared leader, Damien DeLuca. Admittedly it had been a very brief conversation as Sam had just about wrenched the phone from her ear when he’d discovered who was calling, but she’d lay money on those strident and demanding tones originating from the man everyone quietly and reverently called Numero Uno.

She tugged at the hem of her sensible tweed jacket, steeling herself for her meeting with a man coffee room chatter insisted was more to be feared than the Godfather.


Philly jumped in irritation. Godfather indeed! Just where did this guy get off? He might be her boss and admittedly he might even be a genius where his business was concerned, but she just wasn’t in the mood to put up with some egomaniac today. Especially not some shouting egomaniac.

She sucked some air into her lungs and pushed herself down the corridor in the direction of the open office door. The voice beat her to it.

‘Well?’ the voice rang out again impatiently before someone suddenly dimmed the lights. She blinked and opened her eyes to see the body that owned the voice filling much of the doorway. At least that accounted for the diminution of light—as his broad-shouldered body effectively blocked the dazzling rays. She stopped dead, just paces away, as his backlit form loomed tall and dark over her, his outline glowing like an aura, features indiscernible as her eyes tried to adjust to the sudden shift in the light.

She knew what he looked like, the marketing department had a filing cabinet full of photos of the boss in various poses—working at his desk, leaning over an employee at his computer, standing in the forefront of the building named after him.

She knew what he looked like, from the calculating, sharp eyes topped with thick, dark brows to his rugged, square jaw and the cleft in the centre of his chin. Dark hair backswept to control the strong natural wave and generous classic bow lips. He had features that film stars would envy. Some would have to spend a fortune on cosmetic surgery in an effort to attain the same brooding good looks.

Yes, she knew exactly what he looked like—yet still she felt a frisson of sensation shimmy down her spine. None of the photos hinted at what she now felt, at what his shadowed face spoke to her.

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