Bedded for Passion, Purchased for Pregnancy(62)

By: Carol Marinelli

‘I haven’t done anything yet!’ Zarios grinned.

‘I know it’s not been easy with Beth and Jake…’

‘Hey, we’ve got my dysfunctional family next weekend…’

He could always make her smile, always make her laugh, always make her want him. His parents lived as if on extended honeymoon, and, as Zarios had pointed out on occasion, if Bella was holding her breath for Rocco to die—well, she was earning her inheritance. His father was the happiest, the healthiest, the youngest he had ever been.

‘This year was the worst, and you’re through it.’ He held her so close she believed him—and tried to come to terms with the fact that the worst year of her life had also, somehow, been the best.

Seeds of hope were budding all around them—love and hope were beckoning from even the darkest of corners.

A chirrup from the cot had them both jumping.

Zarios padded across the floor and didn’t even try to scold the twelve-week-old madam who, despite a clean nappy, despite being fed and burped and fed and burped again, had no intention of sleeping.

‘Wide awake!’ He held up his daughter and black eyes met black eyes, both equally entranced with the other. ‘You’re ruining my reputation…’ He blew raspberries on her fat tummy, making Lydia giggle and coo, before placing her gently back in her cot, to stand the full hour it took before a certain little lady closed her eyes.

‘Go to sleep,’ he said when, on this most difficult night, Emma turned to him as, cold, tired and beyond exhaustion, he crawled in bed beside her.

‘I don’t want to.’ Smiling, she kissed his full mouth.

She would never let him go.

Would never deny the comfort they brought each other.

She needed this reformed reprobate just as much as he needed her. And knew that, despite a cruel year, life was invariably kind.

After all, they had found each other.