Manhattan millionaire Max Rolland didn't do relationships...until his one-night stand turned up pregnant. Blue-blooded Julia Prentice may have been a lamb by day, but she'd been a lion in the bedroom. And when the expectant socialite showed up on his doorstep, Max knew the baby couldn't be his. But he offered marriage anyway.For one year. He'd get his heir and a sexy bedmate. But before the prenup ink was dry, Max was wondering if he'd want more from Julia than just a business deal....
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July 07, 2008
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Excerpt from High-Society Secret Pregnancy by Maureen Child
"Damn it, Julia, answer the phone," the deep voice growled into the answering machine, and Julia Prentice winced when the caller hung up a moment later.
She'd been dodging Max Rolland's phone calls for two months now, and he still hadn't given up and gone away. Not that he was stalker material or anything, Julia reassured herself. No, he was just an angry male looking for an explanation of why she'd been refusing his calls since their one amazingly sexy night together.
The reason was simple, of course. She hadn't been able to think of a way to tell him she was pregnant.
"Whoa." Julia's roommate and best friend, Amanda Crawford, event planner extraordinaire, walked out of her bedroom. "He sounds royally pissed off."
"I know." Julia sighed. And she could even admit that Max had a right to be angry. She would have been, too, if she'd been in his shoes.
Amanda crossed to her, gave her a brief hug, then said, "You've got to tell him about the baby."
Sounded good in theory, Julia thought as she dropped into the closest chair. She looked up at her friend and saw the gleam of sympathy in Amanda's gray eyes. "How'm I supposed to do that?"
"Just say the words." Amanda sat down, making their gazes level, which she pretty much had to do all the time. Julia was short, at five feet two inches, and Amanda was eight inches taller. Built like a model, Amanda had short, choppy blond hair, beautiful gray eyes and a loyal heart.
"Easier said than done," Julia said, smoothing one hand over the sharp crease in her pale green linen slacks.
"You can't wait forever, honey," Amanda told her. "Sooner or later, you're going to show."
"Believe me," Julia said, "I know. But that night I spent with him was an aberration. I mean, things got all hot and heavy so quickly I didn't have time to think and then the deed was done and Max was telling me he wasn't interested in anything more than a mutually satisfying sexual relationship."
"Idiot," Amanda offered.
"Thanks for that." Julia smiled. "Anyway it seemed that that was the end of it, you know? Max wanted uncomplicated sex and I wanted more."
"Of course you did."
She dropped her head against the chair back and stared up at the ceiling. "Now everything's different and I don't know what to do."
"Yeah, you do. You just don't want to do it."
"I suppose." Blowing out a breath, Julia said, "He deserves to know about the baby."
"Fine. I'll tell him tomorrow." Decision made, Julia actually felt a little better about things. After all, it wasn't as if she was going to ask Max to be involved in his child's life or even to pay child support. She could afford to raise her baby on her own. So, all she had to do was break the news of impending fatherhood, then let him off the proverbial hook.
"Why have I been obsessing about this?"
"Because you're you," Amanda said, smiling. She gave her friend's knee a pat. "You overthink everything, honey. You always have."
"Well," Julia said wryly, "don't I sound exciting?"
Amanda laughed. "Hey, don't knock it. You over-think and I act on impulse too often. We've all got our crosses to bear."
"True. And it's time to pick up yet another cross." Julia pushed herself out of the chair, then tugged at the hem of her white linen blouse. "I've got to go to that residents' meeting."
"I really wish you could come with me," she said.
"Not me, thanks," Amanda countered. "I'm meeting a friend for dinner, where I will have a lot more fun than you will tonight. Personally, I'm glad to be only a roommate, with no place at those meetings. I'd be bored to tears in ten minutes."
Sighing, Julia said, "Five."
Julia checked the slim, gold watch on her wrist and just barely managed to stifle a sigh. The residents' meeting in Vivian Vannick-Smythe's apartment hadn't even started, and already she was wishing she could leave.
She felt as though her insides were twisted into taut knots that kept getting tighter. Despite that talk with Amanda, the tension gripping Julia felt as tight as ever. She could hardly remember ever feeling calm.
This whole thing with Max had gone on too long. She was just going to have to face him and tell him the truth. Tomorrow, she promised herself, she would call him, arrange to meet and drop the bombshell in his lap. Then, duty done, she could go back to her life secure in the knowledge that a man so dead set on avoiding any kind of emotional attachment wouldn't be bothering her again.
"You look bored," a soft, female voice said from beside her.
Julia smiled in spite of her thoughts and shifted a glance at Carrie Gray. The woman's green eyes were hidden behind a pair of too-practical glasses, and her long, chestnut hair was pulled into a high ponytail at the back of her head. She wore jeans, a T-shirt and sandals that showed off a dark red pedicure. Carrie was officially a house sitter for Prince Sebastian Stone in 12B, but she was also a talented--though currently un-employed--graphic designer and a good friend.