A Deal with Di Capua(63)

By: Cathy Williams

“But she was having your baby.”

“The night she told me about you...the man; the jewellery you’d pawned...I went out and got blind drunk because I couldn’t cope.” He’d thrown caution to the winds. He had laid himself bare for her to do with him as she wanted and he had experienced a weird sort of liberation. His mouth twisted. “I woke up the next morning and I was still out of it. I didn’t remember her in my room, or anything else that followed.”

“And she got pregnant.”

“I’ll never know if that was pure bad luck or whether she timed things just right. At any rate, I told her to get lost when she showed up for more of the same, but then she showed up with the news that I was going to be a father and the rest was history. I’d lost the only woman I’d ever loved and I was saddled with the one who put me in that place.”

“You loved me?”

“I didn’t realise how much until you were no longer around. You haunted me. I hated you for what I thought you’d done but I couldn’t get you out of my mind. Amanda and I never shared a bed again. We barely shared the same space. I made sure she had more than sufficient money to do whatever she wanted, but as far as any kind of relationship went there had never been one.” He pulled her gently up and Rosie sat on his lap and curved her body into his.

“You loved me,” she murmured, and she felt him smile against her. “And what about now?”

“Isn’t it time you committed to this conversation?” Angelo said gruffly. Even with her pressed against him he still wasn’t sure that she didn’t now dislike him for having made it clear that he was using her for sex.

“I love you,” he inserted, already aiming to win her over if only through repetition. “I love you and I need you and I can’t imagine living without you. The past week has been hell. I drove down here and I told myself that it was because I needed to personally work out where those boundary lines were going to be, but I knew that I was chancing on seeing you again. Even if all I did was argue with you. You’re like a drug...”

“I like being a drug.” She tilted her face up and closed her eyes as his mouth found hers and he began kissing her, a long, deep, tender kiss that left her feeling as weak as a kitten. “And, as for committing to this conversation, I’ve always loved you. I never stopped. I could never, ever have slept with you again if I didn’t love you, although I kidded myself that I was just doing what you were doing—just dealing with unfinished business.”

“I didn’t divorce Amanda because I never wanted to forget my learning curve,” Angelo mused. He slipped his hand under the strap of her dungarees and tugged it gently over her shoulder. “I figured I would never make the mistake of getting married again, so what was the point in getting a divorce? I was wrong. I want to get married again and this time to the only woman in the world I have ever wanted to marry. And I know I should get down on one knee and propose to you, but it’s so damned comfortable having you on my lap. So, Rosie, will you be my wife?”

Rosie took a few seconds to savour the sound of that. It was something she had never, ever thought she would hear.

“I can’t think of anything I’d rather be.” She hooked her arm around his neck and placed a kiss on the curve of his jawbone. “You came into my life and I fell in love with you, and you’re the only person I could ever imagine sharing the rest of my life with. Even when you kept telling me that it was only about the sex I still kept fantasising that one day you’d see things differently. I knew it was weak, but I just couldn’t imagine you not being in my life. It was like I’d spent three years trying to forget you ever existed, and then the second I saw you again I had to live with the fact that, without you in my life, I didn’t exist.”

“And will you have my babies?” His seeking hand found the warm curve of flesh underneath her T-shirt and he smoothed his hand along her side, enjoying the way she wriggled into just the right position so that he could slip his hand under her stretchy bra and massage her breast.

“I can’t think of anything I’d want more. I love you so much, Angelo. It’s been a long, rough journey but I never, ever want to let you go...”