Pregnant by the Tycoon
She hadnâ€™t known sheâ€™d slept with the boss. But the next morning Jewel Henley learned the exotic stranger whoâ€™d swept her off her feet was her new employer, Piers Anetakis. And before she could explain, Jewel found herself without a job…and pregnant.
After five months Piers had finally tracked his one-night lover down. Determined to explain the mistakes that had been made, he was confronted with an undeniable truth. Jewel was carrying his child. His Greek honor demanded he marry Jewel. But was there more between them than lust…and was it enough to make their marriage of convenience last?
Jewel Henley shifted on the hospital bed, one hand curled around her cell phone, the other hand pushing aside hot tears. She had to call him. She had no choice.
Having to depend on the man who couldnâ€™t get her out of his life fast enough after their one night stand wasnâ€™t a prospect she relished, but for her baby, sheâ€™d do anything. Swallow her pride and try to let go of the burning anger.
Her free hand dropped to rest on the burgeoning swell of her belly, and she felt the sturdy reassurance of her daughterâ€™s kick.
How would Piers react when she told him he was going to be a father? Would he even care? She shook her head in mute denial. Surely, no matter his feelings for her, he wouldnâ€™t turn his back on his child.
There was only one way to find out and that was to push the send button. His private phone number was already punched in. She may have been fired from her job, but for some reason, sheâ€™d held on to the phone numbers sheâ€™d been provided upon her hiring.
And still she couldnâ€™t bring herself to complete the call. She let the phone drop to her chest and closed her eyes. If only there werenâ€™t complications with her pregnancy. Why couldnâ€™t she be one of these beautiful, glowing women who were pictures of health?
Her thoughts were interrupted when her door swung open and a nurse bustled in pushing a cart with the computer she logged her charts.
â€œHow are you feeling today, Miss Henley?â€
Jewel nodded and whispered a faint, â€œFine.â€
â€œHave you made arrangements for your care after your release?â€
Jewel swallowed but didnâ€™t say anything. The nurse gave her a reproving look.
â€œYou know the doctor wonâ€™t release you until heâ€™s satisfied that youâ€™ll have someone to look after you while youâ€™re on bedrest.â€
A sigh escaped Jewelâ€™s lips and she held up the phone. â€œI was just about to make a call.â€
The nurse nodded approvingly. â€œGood. As soon as Iâ€™m finished Iâ€™ll leave you alone to finish.â€
A few minutes later, the nurse left, and once again Jewel lifted the phone and stared at the LCD screen. Maybe he wouldnâ€™t even answer.
Taking a deep, fortifying breath, she punched her thumb over the send button then closed her eyes and put the phone to her ear. There was a brief silence as the call connected, and then it began to ring.
Once. Twice. Then a third time. She was preparing to chicken out and cut the connection when his brusque voice bled into her ear.
It came out more of a growl than anything else, and she quickly lost courage. Her breath came stuttering out as more tears welled in her eyes.
â€œWho is this?â€ he demanded.
She yanked the phone away and clumsily jabbed at the buttons until the call ended. She couldnâ€™t do this. Issuing a silent apology to her unborn baby, she determined that sheâ€™d find another way. There had to be something she could do that didnâ€™t involve Piers Anetakis.
Before she could dwell too long on such possibilities, the phone pulsed in her hand. She opened it automatically a second before she realized that he was calling her back.
Only her soft breathing spilled into the receiver.
â€œI know youâ€™re there,â€ Piers barked. â€œNow who the hell is this and how did you get my number?â€
â€œIâ€™m sorry,â€ she said in a low voice. â€œI shouldnâ€™t have bothered you.â€
â€œWait,â€ he commanded. Then there was a long pause. â€œJewel, is that you?â€
Oh God. She hadnâ€™t counted on him recognizing her voice. How could he? They hadnâ€™t spoken in five months. Five months, one week and three days to be exact.
â€œY-yes,â€ she finally said.
â€œThank God,â€ he muttered. â€œIâ€™ve been looking everywhere for you. Just like a damn female to disappear off the face of the earth.â€
â€œWhere are you?â€
The questions came simultaneously.
â€œMe first,â€ he said imperiously. â€œWhere are you? Are you all right?â€
She lay there in stunned silence before she gathered her scattered wits. â€œIâ€™m in the hospital.â€
â€œTheos.â€ There was another rapid smattering of Greek that she couldnâ€™t have followed even if she understood the language.
â€œWhere?â€ he bit out. â€œWhat hospital? Tell me.â€
Completely baffled at the turn the conversation had taken, she told him the hospital. Before she could say anything else, he cut in with, â€œIâ€™ll be there as soon as I can.â€
And then the line went dead.
With shaking hands, she folded the phone shut and set it aside. Then she curled her fingers around the bulge of her abdomen. He was coming? Just like that? Heâ€™d been looking for her? None of it made sense.
Then she realized that sheâ€™d never told him the most important piece of information. The entire reason sheâ€™d called him to begin with. She hadnâ€™t told him she was pregnant.