Authors: Ella Cari
Key to My Heart, Book 4
Copyright 2016 Ella Cari
This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be resold. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems – except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews – without permission in writing from the author.
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious or used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.
Cover Image courtesy of Inarik at bigstockphoto.com
Table of Contents
"How much longer?" I asked quietly, desperation coloring my words though I cleared my throat in an attempt to seem casual.
Outside my passenger side window, trees breezed by so quickly they blended into a single green illuminating flash. Dawn had only recently cracked the horizon, sending tired blue throes across the still semi darkened sky. I’d all but dragged my billionaire husband out of bed this morning as soon as I’d seen the barest hint of sunlight.
"Just a bit longer, Macy." Sebastian replied with a soft yawn, one hand slowly crawling over to find where my fingers curled too tightly around the middle console of his white BMW, as though it could keep me grounded instead of flying off into space.
I nodded, biting my lip, leaning my head back in exhaustion against the headrest of the seat. I felt as though I hadn’t truly slept in weeks.
My other hand smoothed over my belly, where up until a few weeks ago I had carried our daughter inside of me. She was born too early, and had to be left at the hospital in order to grow stronger. That had been the single hardest day of my life, when I was discharged without her. I couldn’t help but to feel as though I were abandoning her by leaving her in the cold halls of that hospital, though the doctors and Sebastian assured me otherwise. Her health was the number one priority right now.
My head tilted to the side, taking in the way Sebastian’s deep cerulean eyes remained locked on the road, one hand guiding the steering wheel expertly. The handsome man had always loved driving, and on a day like today, where the birds were already singing and the trees merrily tossed leaves in the path to his daughter, he adored it even more.
There were still frequent days when I couldn’t believe Sebastian Davis was my husband. Billionaire heir to the mega fortune of his family, and debatably sexiest man on Earth – at least if you asked my opinion – and he’d asked me to be his wife.
It hadn't even been a year and a half since we stared at each from across a marriage pulpit, vowing in front of everyone to love each other in sickness and in health.
Though, honestly, that was a bit laughable. There had been no love in our hearts for each other then, and only now was the most confusing of little glimmers blossoming inside of me.
Did I love my British billionaire husband? He claimed to have carry feelings of affection towards myself. Hell, he'd even sold the half of his lucrative business based in London so that he would never have to leave my side again. Gone were the long months where he was apart from me. But, to what extent I had no idea. His feelings were just as much an enigma as my own.
Sebastian was so hard to read. He could be so aloof, so…cold almost. Then, as though it were nothing, he could turn the tables, lavishing me with praise and adoration. There was no middle ground with my mysterious husband.
The whole reason we'd gotten married in the first place was for the sake of his business and wealth, as well my own. Sebastian needed a bride in order to keep control of his financial empire. I needed money to save the failing bakery my parents had left for me in their unexpected passing.
Surely, if he'd been willing to give up a chunk of that opulence, it meant that he had true feelings for me. Right?
As if that wasn’t complicated enough, I had another man vying for my fondness as well.
On the one hand, there were the tender blue eyes of my husband, set like glimmering sapphires on the firmly lines of his tan face. His simple touch illuminated the darkest corners of my desire and need. On the other hand, however, was dimpled and funny Lewis Carson.
Put in charge of managing the bakery formerly owned by my parents, the tall blond had never been shy about his feelings for me. I'd be lying if I said his perfect smile didn't send butterflies fluttering inside of me.
Even though I was married, it didn't sway Lewis’s conviction at all. He knew all about the financial reasons Sebastian Davis and I had been married, and he was determined to steal me away from such an arrangement. He proclaimed to be able to show me what true love was, though I had begun to doubt that even existed.
Or at least I had doubted it, until just a few weeks ago when I had given birth to a beautiful baby girl.
Sebastian's and I had visited frequently, of course, spending almost every possible waking moment at her side. I wasn’t used to seeing so much of my husband, who frequently had to leave on business trips, but I had never been so glad to have him nearby. I don’t think I would have been able to see myself through this mazy of terror alone.
The man beside me softly squeezed my fingers again, deftly turning my hand and interlacing his smooth, strong fingers within my own without taking his ocean eyes off the road.
I glanced up at the rearview mirror over our heads, gaze tracing the soft yellow lining of the car seat waiting patiently in the back of the car.
Today was finally the day. We would be bringing our child home.
Even my typically straitlaced and unemotional mother in law was clearly overjoyed. She'd all but begged to come with us this morning, but Sebastian had insisted it just be the two of us.
A slight smile curved the corners of my lips as my eyes sidled over towards where our fingers laced together. The coffee colored back of his hand glowed like honey in the early morning rays peering through the tinted car windows.
The baby had finally begun to color as well, I’d noticed the other day, after almost two weeks of yellow tinted cheeks. She had Sebastian’s tan skin.
"It's completely normal." Doctor Alvarez had said calmly while I teared and gazed down at the sweet, tiny face of my sleeping girl in those first few days, "Her body is learning to function without you."
She looked so frail and so tired. I didn't want her to function without me. I didn't want that baby to need for anything without me.
I'd never felt so powerless and feeble as in that excruciating moment, staring at my baby in a plastic shell, all hooked up with IVs and breathing tubes. There was nothing I could do but stand beside her. There was nothing I could do but hope and pray that she would be a fighter and pull through alright.
Thankfully, a fighter she did turn out to be, and soon enough our child would be safe within our home.
Suddenly, as we turned a corner, the hospital loomed into view. The white tiled walls glittered in the sunlight, nurses and doctors already bustling through the wide halls though it was still so early.
The excitement to see our baby bubbled in me like a wild spring. Every second that I'd been apart from her was painful, as though a chunk of myself had been left behind.
I couldn't wait to hear her cry in the middle of the night, I couldn't wait to feel her pressed to my chest, I couldn't wait to be so exhausted my bones ached from caring for her. I wanted everything, I wanted every experience…I wanted my daughter.
It took too long to find a parking spot in the busy, crowded lot of the hospital. There were so many other people here this morning, it was rather startling. Had it been this crowded when I’d been rushed here in an ambulance to give birth? I couldn’t recall, I’d paid attention to nothing but the painful contractions that rippled through, I’d paid attention to nothing but the fear of losing my baby. Where the other cars here for a joyful birth or recovery? How many were here in somber sadness?
"Are you ready?" Sebastian asked gently as he withdrew the key from the ignition and unlatched his seatbelt. He faced me, leaning slightly over the middle console towards me.
I turned back to him, studying the way his blue eyes glittered like jewels in the dawn.
"I’ve never been more ready." I responded eagerly, gripping the handle of the door to swing it open.
Sebastian stopped me abruptly, his hand brushing over my shoulder in a way that sent prickles of goosebumps spiraling down the tingling flesh of my arm. How was it possible to be so affected by the single touch of this man?
With a frown, I turned back to meet his intense gaze, eyes like blue fire, the hottest of heat. A smirk tugged on his lips. He knew exactly what he did to me, that coy, coy man,
His tender finger pads trailed their burning path up my neck to my cheek, where he held my chin warmly but firmly in his hold, making our gazes remain strong. My breath locked in my chest, as though my lungs were shrinking. I was lost in the waves of his azure stare.
"She’s lucky to have you, you know." He said gently, eyes narrowed and serious on my own as I struggled to remember how to inhale properly, "I'm lucky to have you."
I could feel a blush begin to crawl up the skin of my neck. It wasn't often that such a sincere compliment left the stoic lips of the British billionaire.
Before I could deflect his words shyly, Sebastian pressed his other large hand against my cheek and pulled me closer. The space between us shrank so rapidly it made my head spin like a carnival ride, until his warm lips pressed against mine. Then, it was as though time itself stood still.
I could feel nothing but his warmth breathed into me, I could smell nothing but the sweet musk of his cologne, I could hear nothing but the slightest of sighs parting his perfect lips.
His kiss was tender, though chaste and quick, parting before I'd even had a chance to close my eyes.
"Let's go get our girl." Sebastian murmured. Though he didn’t smile, his eyes sparkled.
"I...um. Yes." I finally gasped, head still whirling dizzily, though I wasn't sure if that was from excitement or the kiss.
Somehow, I managed to climb out of the car, joining my husband as we walked quickly into the hospital. To be honest, I don’t think I even inhaled until we finally breached the sliding doors of the infant ward.
"Good morning, Mrs. Davis!" The curly haired receptionist of the called cheerily. She was already quite familiar with our presence, "Today's the big day!"
"It is." I gushed as we approached, leaning against the counter, "Is Dr. Alvarez going to be discharging us?"
"I'm right here, everything’s almost ready." The female doctor said from behind us, "I saw you coming in."
The blond woman beamed at us as we turned to face her, something small and delicate and utterly precious wrapped in a soft blanket in her arms.
I instinctively gripped onto Sebastian's suited arm, eyes going wide at the sight of the wee little bundle. My heart thudded in my chest with sudden force, as though it was trying to beat out of my ribs to get a look at the infant for itself. I could see the doctor's lips moving but I couldn't hear her words beyond the thrum of my own drumming heartbeat between my ears.
It was really happening. It was finally happening. She was healthy, she was here, and she was coming home.
I wanted to pinch myself just to make sure this joyous moment wasn't a dream. I wanted to jump around and dance like crazy.
I wanted to hold that child in my arms.
"Here she is." Dr. Alvarez said softly, sweeping back the pink blanket so I could see her tan little face.
She looked so much like Sebastian already. The baby moved slightly, eyes almost cracking before tiredly falling back to sleep.
"She's exhausted." I murmured, reaching out my arms to take her.
"She's been through a lot." The doctor smiled as she carefully passed the baby over, "She's ready to go home with Mommy and Daddy and finally relax."
"We're ready to have her home with us." Sebastian replied, tentative fingers reaching out to stroke the little hand that intuitively wrapped tight around his finger. If I thought my heart had been stolen already, I hadn’t seen anything yet.
He swallowed, clearing his throat as he glanced back our doctor, "When can we leave?"
"I just have some forms for you to fill out." Alvarez replied, gesturing over a nurse with a clipboard, "Have you finally decided on a name?"
As Sebastian quickly scribbled over the papers, I nodded my head.
"Lydia." I said softly, afraid to wake the sleeping little bundle held tight in my arms. I was never letting her go again, "Lydia Rose. After my mother."