Conveniently His(5)

By: Penny Jordan

It wasn’t that Jonathan wasn’t physically attractive, she mused, suddenly realising that fact. He was! It was just that he carried about him a total air of non-sexuality.

‘Louise has gone,’ Alexandra told her importantly, tugging on her hand and interrupting her thought train. ‘I expect it was because she fell in love with Uncle Jon like the others,’ she added innocently.

While Sophy was gaping at her, totally floored by her remark, David remarked sagely, ‘ was because Uncle Jon wouldn’t let her sleep in his bed. I heard him saying so.’

Conscious of a sudden surge of colour crawling up over her skin Sophy stared at Jonathan. He looked as embarrassed as she felt, rubbing his jaw, looking away from her as he cleared his throat and said, ‘Uh...I think you two better go inside.’

It couldn’t be true. David must have misunderstood, Sophy thought, still trying to take in the mind-boggling implications of the little boy’s innocent statement.

She forced herself to look at Jonathan. He was regarding her with apprehension and...and what...what exactly did that faint glint at the back of his eyes denote? Sophy mentally pictured Louise. Small, petite with black hair and a pixieish expression, the other girl had exuded sexuality and, from the brief conversations Sophy had exchanged with her, she had gained the impression that the other girl had men coming out of her ears.

Jonathan hadn’t denied his nephew’s innocent revelation, however. She studied him covertly, suddenly and inexplicably granted another mental image. This time it contained Jonathan as well as Louise...a Jonathan somewhat unnervingly different from the one she was used to seeing; his body naked and entwined with that of the other girl’s.

Sophy blinked and the vision, thankfully, was gone, Jonathan was restored to his normal self. There was that strange glint in his eyes again though but his voice when he spoke was familiarly hesitant and faintly apologetic.

‘I believe she had some strange notion about, er...compelling me to marry her. She wants a rich husband you know.’

Sophy’s mind balked a little at taking it all in. That Louise should attempt to seduce Jonathan, of all people, into offering her marriage, seemed impossibly ludicrous. Surely she realised, as Sophy herself had, that he was immune to sexual desire...totally oblivious to it in fact.

Another thought struck her. ‘And the other two nannies?’ she asked faintly.

‘Well, they didn’t actually go to Louise’s length, but—’

Sophy was too amazed to be tactful. ‘But surely they could see that you aren’t interested in sex?’ she protested.

The dark head bent, and she watched him rub his jaw in his familiar vague fashion, his expression concealed from her as he responded in a faintly strangled voice that betrayed his embarrassment.

‘Uh...obviously they didn’t have your perception.’

‘Well, next time you’ll have to employ someone older,’ Sophy told him forthrightly. ‘Do you want me to get in touch with the agencies while you’re away?’

‘ We’ll leave it until I get back. Can you stay with them until then?’

‘Well, yes...but why delay?’

‘Well, I’m thinking about making some other arrangements.’

Other arrangements. What other arrangements? Sophy wondered. As far as she knew, he was the children’s only family. Unless—her blood ran cold.

‘You’re not thinking of abandoning them...of putting them into foster homes?’

‘Of course...of course, it’s always a possibility.’

Trying to come to terms with her shock, Sophy wondered why she had the feeling that he had set out to say one thing and had ended up saying another...perhaps he was embarrassed to admit the truth to her. ‘Surely there must be another way,’ she said impulsively. ‘Something...’

‘Well, there is,’ he looked acutely uncomfortable. ‘In fact I was going to discuss it with you when I came back from Brussels.’

‘Well, why can’t you tell me now?’

There were times when his vagueness infuriated her and now was one of them.

‘Well...this evening perhaps, when the kids are in bed.’

It was only natural that he wouldn’t want them to overhear what he might have to say and so she nodded her head. ‘All right, then.’

It was nine o’clock before both children were bathed and in bed. Jonathan’s case was packed, his documents neatly organised and safely bestowed in his briefcase. He had offered to make them both a mug of coffee while Sophy finished this final chore and she had urged him to do so. Up until then he had been hovering like a demented bloodhound in his study, frantically searching for some all important piece of paper which had ultimately turned up under the telephone. Gritting her teeth, Sophy set about tidying up. Talk about disorganised!