The Marriage Contract(9)

By: Kat Cantrell



“You are Dr. Frankenstein,” she said with raised eyebrows. “When you get it to work, do you shout ‘It’s alive!’ or just do a little victory dance?”

“I, um...”

She’d turned to face him, crossing her arms under her breasts that he logically knew were engorged from childbirth, though that didn’t seem to stop his imagination from calling up what they looked like: expanses of beautiful flesh topped by hard, dusky nipples. McKenna had miles of skin that Des wanted to put his hands on.

What was it about her that called to him so deeply?

“I’m just teasing you.” Her eyes twinkled. “I actually couldn’t imagine you doing either one.”

A smile spread across his face before he could stop it. “I can dance.”

“Ha, you’re totally lying.”

“I can dance,” he repeated. “Just not to music.”

He fell into her rich, dark eyes and he reached out to snag a lock of her hair, fingering the silky softness before he fully realized that he’d given in to the impulse. The moment grew tense. Aware. So thick, he couldn’t have cut it with a laser.

“I should...go,” she murmured and blinked, unwinding the spell. “I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

The lock of hair fell from his fingers as the mood shattered. Fortunately her exodus was quick enough that she didn’t get to witness how well she’d bobbled his composure.

He’d have sworn there was an answering echo of attraction and heat in her gaze.

He wasn’t any closer to unraveling the mysteries lurking inside her, but he did know one thing. McKenna Moore had taken his seed into her womb and created a miracle through artificial insemination.

What had once felt practical now felt like a mistake. One he couldn’t rectify.

But how could he have known he’d take one look at her and wish he’d impregnated her by making love over and over and over until she’d conceived?

Madness. Build something and forget all of this fatalistic nonsense.

Women were treacherous under the best of circumstances and McKenna Moore was no different. She just had a unique wrapper that rendered Des stupid, apparently.

Of course the most expedient way to nip this attraction in the bud would be to tell her how badly he’d wanted to thread all of his fingers through her hair and kiss her until her clothes melted off. She’d be mortified and finally figure out that she should be running away from Desmond Pierce. That would be that.

* * *

McKenna fled Desmond’s workshop, her pulse still pounding in her throat.

What the hell had just happened? One minute she was trying to forge a friendship with the world’s most reclusive billionaire and the next he had her hair draped across his hand.

She could still feel the tug as his fingers lifted the strands. The look on his face had been enthralled, as if he’d unexpectedly found gold. She hadn’t been around the block very many times, a testament to how long she’d been with James, her high school boyfriend, not to mention the years of difficult undergraduate course work that hadn’t allowed for much time to date. But she knew when a man was thinking about kissing her, and that’s exactly what had been on Desmond’s mind.

That would be a huge mistake.

She needed to walk out of this house in three months unencumbered, emotionally and physically, and Desmond was dangerous. He held all the cards in this scenario and if she wanted to dedicate her life to medicine, she had to be careful. What would happen if she accidentally got pregnant again? More delays. More agonizing decisions and, frankly, she didn’t have enough willpower left to deal with those kinds of consequences.

And what made her near mistake even worse was that she’d almost forgotten why she was there. She’d fallen into borderline flirting that was nothing like how she usually was with men. But Desmond was darkly mysterious and intriguing in a way she found sexy, totally against her will. They shared an almost mystical connection, one she’d never felt before, and it was as scary as it was fascinating.

Okay. Seeking him out had been an error in judgment. Obviously. But they never crossed paths and she was starting to wonder if she’d imagined that she’d come home from the hospital with a man. It only made sense that she should be on friendly terms with her baby’s father.

Why that made sense, she couldn’t remember all at once. Desmond didn’t want a mother for his son. Just a chuck wagon. Once she helped Conner wean, she’d finally be on track to get her medical degree after six arduous years as an undergrad and one grueling year spent prepping her body to get pregnant, being pregnant and then giving birth.

In a house this size, there was literally no reason she ever had to see Desmond again. She’d managed to settle in and live here for over a week without so much as a glimpse until she’d sought him out in his workshop.

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