Read Lethal Affair Online

Authors: Noelle Hart

Tags: #romantic suspense, #murder and romance, #romance adult contemporary, #suspense and romance, #suspense crime thriller, #murder and suspense, #suspense action romance, #love and suspense, #romantic suspense best seller, #stalker suspense

Lethal Affair (10 page)

BOOK: Lethal Affair
10.32Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Kylie was nervous and exhausted. She'd
tossed and turned all night as dreams of wicked clowns with
bursting balloons had assaulted her, and then when those had
finally abated, other more sensual dreams had taken their place.
Horny, indeed.

Problem was, it had been Will Delaney
holding her in a sweaty embrace and not Drew. She'd woken both
aroused and vaguely upset. She guessed raging hormones were at the
base of it and realized that her choice of dream lovers was
something she couldn't control.

Bigger problem: how were her parents
going to take the news of her pregnancy?

Rita, a mature, slightly plump version
of her daughter, laid a hand over Kylie's. Her motherly radar was
in perfect working order. “What's wrong, baby? Something's
troubling you. No, don't try to pretend I'm not right.”

Joe, mild-mannered but nobody's fool,
accepted coffee from a meandering waitress and chimed in, “I see it
too, angel. Something on your mind?”

Kylie put her hands up. “Got me. No
sliding anything past the two of you.”

They gazed at her
patiently.


It's best if I cut to the
heart of the matter. Mom, Dad, I'm pregnant.”

Joe's cup clattered into its saucer
while Rita's eyes went wide. She was the first to recover. “You
just dropped a bomb!”

Kylie waited for the explosion and
wasn't disappointed.


Who's the father?” demanded
Joe, turning red in the face.

Kylie braced herself for a possibly
heartbreaking conversation. “His name is Drew Hammond. He works for
an accounting firm.”


You mean Hammond, Chase and
Waters? They do our accounting.”

That shook her a little. She hadn't
known that. “He's Stanley Hammond's son.”


I know of Stanley Hammond,”
said Joe, his color diffusing back to normal. “He's the senior
partner. It's a reputable firm or we wouldn't let them touch our
books. I wasn't even aware he had a son.”

Rita tapped her water glass with her
fork. “Hello? Are you two through discussing accounting yet? Can we
move on to something a little more titillating, like say, the fact
that our daughter is pregnant?”


Take it easy, Rita. Kylie,
how long have you been seeing this young man?”


About four months.
He's...”


That's all?” interrupted
Rita. “That's not long enough to really know a person. How did this
happen?”

Kylie rolled her eyes. “The usual way,
Mom.”

Joe stared above her head as his mind
went there and then quickly diverted.

Rita soldiered on. “Didn't you use
protection? I thought you were on the pill.”


I went off it, Mom. Had to
give my body a break.”


This was an accident. Oh
sweetie, have you told him yet? What was his reaction?”


He wants to marry
me.”

Another bomb. It had its effect as
they both sat back in their chairs as though the situation might
contaminate them.

Rita found her voice while Joe gaped.
“What did you say?”

Kylie shrugged. “I told him I would
think about it.”

Joe fixed her with an
intense stare. “Let's look at the facts. You got pregnant by way of
an
accident,
and
the father wants to take responsibility. He's got a decent job and
you obviously like him or you wouldn't be in this particular
predicament. The real question is, are you going to give him the
opportunity to do right by the child?” When she made a face, “Now
Kylie, life is full of twists and turns and we raised you to roll
with them. A baby is a big deal. A child needs family, and we can
provide this child with just that. Your mother and I will pay for
the wedding.”

Kylie had let him rally but now she
took back control. “I said I need time to get know Drew better. I'm
not even sure if I love him. There will be no wedding just yet and
regardless of how this turns out I'll do the right thing for the
baby. One thing's for sure; I'm keeping it no matter what. Not the
kid's fault if it was created haphazardly, so the kid will have a
good life. Everyone deserves a fair chance.”

Her parents held hands as they always
did, a unit, a solid alliance. Tight lipped, Joe nodded resignedly.
“Okay, baby. We'll help you raise the child no matter the
outcome.”

Rita reached across to smooth Kylie's
hair in a gesture of pure affection. “I'm going to be a Grandma.
Have you been to a doctor? I can recommend a good obstetrician.
I'll go with you to the appointment.”

Relieved that they'd made it so easy
for her, Kylie smiled. “That will be great, Mom. Let's eat. I'm
starving!”

Rita couldn't help herself. “Well it's
no wonder. You're eating for two now.”

 

*

 

Will clicked off his cell and let out a
long sigh. He paced to his living room window and gazed out at the
snow-capped purple mountains across the strait, not really seeing
them.

In his mind's eye was the image of his
ten year old son, Max, and the boy's mother, Julia McMillan. Their
relationship had been forged when they'd been young and throughout
the years had grown solid and strong. They'd parted on friendly
terms, she moving to the mainland whereas he'd opted to stay on the
island. He sent money every month like clockwork and rode the ferry
over every chance he got for a visit. On school breaks the boy came
to stay with him, spending summers generally getting under his feet
and digging ever deeper into his heart and soul. Max was a
firecracker, full of life and curiosity and vim. This summer their
visit would be cut short; he'd gone to summer camp for the first
time in his ten years, leaving Will with an unexpected emotional
gap. He missed him, and looked forward to spending what would be
left of summer with him once camp time ran out.

Julia had informed him that Max was
cooking up a new scheme, and while he himself was up for it, he
wasn't sure if it would be good for his son.

Max wanted to come and live with
him.

He'd had a two hour discussion with
Julia on the phone, both weighing the pros, the cons, trying to
decipher what was going on in their son's mind to have arrived to
this twist in the plot of their lives. Neither had been comfortable
making a snap decision but time was running out. Before they knew
it school would start and if he was to make the move, Max needed to
be registered at a local school.

Staring out the window, Will focused
on the arrival of an SUV. It was Kylie. Pushing his dilemma to a
corner of his brain he felt a wave of pleasure wash over him at the
sight of her. She slid out of the vehicle, walked to his front door
and rang the bell.

He opened the door. “Hey
you.”


Hey back at ya. Ready to
take that peek at your plants I promised.”

She wore a casual sun dress that
echoed the violet hues of her eyes and she smelled like... potted
herbs. She shoved the box in her hand at him. “Just got finished
having brunch with my folks. I brought some of these for my mother
from work. Thought you might enjoy some too.”

He took the box and inhaled the
heavenly aroma of rosemary and thyme. Oh yeah. Tantalizing. A great
adjective for her too.

He waved her inside. “Can I get you
something to drink?”


No thanks. Full up. Shall
we head out to the yard?” she prompted.


Right down to business,
huh.”

The day of the barbeque she'd been
ushered through this space quickly. She wandered into his living
room, a large open space that flowed into a sizable kitchen
boasting high-end brushed stainless steel appliances, ivory quartz
counter tops and cherry wood cabinets.

Amusement infusing her eyes, she
coveted his home. “You're living in my dream house. Your hardwood
floors are exactly the right shade of red oak. Did it come this way
or did you remodel?”


My folks got tired of
maintaining it so I bought them out. They handed me the key and
retired in Uruguay of all places. Apparently it's a retiree's
paradise. The winter rain up here was playing havoc on my Dad's
arthritis. Place is mine now. Did some remodeling.”

An understatement at best. He'd ripped
out the entire interior and started over from scratch. Done most of
the work himself with Lyle helping.

Kylie allowed herself twenty seconds
of wallowing in envy, then got over it. She walked through the
kitchen and out the back door onto the deck, forcing Will to
follow.

Outside the yard looked pristine. “You
have a gardener, Will?” she asked.


Planted the beds myself,
but Buster does the maintenance stuff, both here and at the
diner.”

She recalled the elderly man with a
glint in his eyes for Eileen, the mature receptionist. Kylie had
marveled at how they'd flirted with one another despite their
years. No age limit on love.


He strikes me as a hardy
soul with a healthy appetite for your hostess.”


Eileen. You've got a sharp
eye. He's been widowed for over ten years. Wife passed from cancer
and it broke him. Ended up a homeless man. We took him
in.”

Kylie mentally penciled that onto her
list of Will's attributes but merely nodded her
approval.

They made their way down the garden
path to the greenhouse. Stepping inside she immediately noticed a
rise in temperature typical of such structures, but here it was
highly humid. That could be both good and bad for plants, and there
was something amiss here as the ones Will had going were
struggling.

She fingered a tomato leaf, turned it
over. “Ah. Here we go. You've got mildew. A common scourge. Easily
managed.”

Will peered at the leaf. She turned
over more leaves, exposing the powdery looking white mildew
stains.


What's the
cure?”


Mix baking soda with water,
squirt in a little liquid dish soap, spray it on. Should do the
trick.”

He nodded. “Gotcha. I'll take care of
it.”

She moved over to the basil plants.
“See this? You've got yourself an epidemic. You'll need to spray
all the plants, even if you don't see any mildew
present.”


Okay, got it.”


You'll need to ventilate a
little better, create air flow. But this is pretty decent, Will.
You may grow a green thumb yet.”

His grin was wide and sincere. “I
couldn't ask for more.” Well, yes he could. But he sensed this
wasn't the time or place.

Oh what the hell, he decided, and
surprising them both took her hand, swirled her around so she faced
him and pulled her in close. His lips melded with hers and he felt
her immediate protest as she pulled away. She stared and chewed on
her bottom lip. Eyes still locked, she acted on instinct and gently
engaged the kiss again, tasting, nibbling. Devouring.

Sensations crowded in, heat infusing
Will's entire body as it came alive. It was instant and fierce, the
clawing need for more testing his willpower. He had plenty,
normally. A gift of sorts. But beneath her exploratory venture into
his mouth, he'd picked up a strong vibe of taboo.

Kylie pressed her length against his
and felt his insistent arousal. This had to stop. Now. Abruptly she
pulled away and stepped out into the hard sunlight. She'd tasted
sweetness and yearning with a hint of tempered impatience. It was
exactly what she'd expected and a laugh erupted as she realized
she'd been inadvertently leading him to exactly this moment all
along.

Shame on her. Although the temptation
had been right there, ripe for the taking. Choices had been to
analyze or act. Her hormones had decided for her.

He came out behind her looking
confused.


I shouldn't have done that,
Will. There's something you need to know.”


If you're going to hand me
a line about being a lesbian, I beg to differ.”


I'm pregnant.” There, she'd
said it. Out loud. And felt a strong measure of regret that they
hadn't met under different circumstances.


Jolene told me you're
single,” he sputtered. “Hell, Kylie, I wouldn't have touched you
had I known you have someone. I don't know what to say. You sure
don't look pregnant.”


I just found out
recently.”

He looked like he'd just sucked on a
lemon. “Who's the lucky guy?”


No one you know. I'm
considering his marriage proposal.”

This was too sad. For her sake he
needed to shake it off. “The fact that you're not jumping at it
seems like an area of concern. What's the deal?”

Kylie began to stroll the path back to
the house and he fell in step. “The deal is...” she hesitated.
Should she tell it to him straight? Somehow she felt comfortable
with the idea. “I'm not sure if I even love him, and for me that's
an important ingredient for marriage. Does that sound
lame?”


Not to me. When I get
married I want it to be for keeps, and love is not only an option
but a requirement. I know that's a common sentiment but I really
mean it. Guess that particular ideal complicates things for you,
doesn't it?”

BOOK: Lethal Affair
10.32Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Taste of Apple Seeds by Katharina Hagena
Mobley's Law, A Mobley Meadows Novel by Summers, Gerald Lane
4 The Marathon Murders by Chester D. Campbell
The Laughterhouse by Paul Cleave
Taken Away by Celine Kiernan