For Patrizio Trelini, everything points to Keira Worthington's infidelity. The ruthless Italian throws his temptress wife out--he won't listen to her lies!
But, two months later, necessity brings Keira back into Patrizio's life, and into his bed, although his heart remains cold.
With her marriage revived, Keira has one last chance to prove her innocence. But she's just discovered she's pregnant! Will Patrizio accept the truth--that Keira's having his child?
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March 31, 2008
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Excerpt from Innocent Wife, Baby of Shame by Melanie Milburne
Keira did her best to ignore the murmur of speculative voices around her as she travelled on the tram into the city, but it was impossible to ignore the headlines on the front page of the newspaper the man sitting opposite was holding up to read.
Italian multi-millionaire Patrizio Trelini in bitter divorce wrangle with unfaithful wife.
Keira's stomach churned with guilt as the man folded the paper to read the rest of the scandal on page three. She didn't need to get up and look over his shoulder; she knew exactly what was written there. Every day for the last two months her shame had been plastered over every newspaper and every gossip magazine in the country.
The man lowered the paper and looked at her, his eyes narrowing slightly, his lips beginning to thin in contempt.
Keira got off four stops early and, with her shoulders slumping wearily, trudged the rest of the way to where the offices of Trelini Luxury Homes was situated overlooking the sinuous muddy curve of the Yarra River.
She arrived feeling sticky and uncomfortable from the unusually warm early October day, her dark hair in riotous damp curls around her face. She drew in an uneven breath as she made her way through the doors to the reception area where a perfectly groomed and coiffed receptionist sat with a chilly look on her expertly made-up face.
'He won't see you, Mrs Trelini,' Michelle informed Keira brusquely. 'I have been strictly forbidden to put your calls through to him or allow you entry. Now, if you will not leave immediately I am afraid I will have to call security.'
'Please, I--I have to see him,' Keira said, her mouth drying in despair, making it difficult to get the words out. 'It's...it's urgent.'
The receptionist's light blue gaze was disbelieving but after a long tense moment she let out a sigh and reached for the intercom handset. 'Your...er...wife is here to see you,'she said, obviously uncertain how to refer to Keira in the light of what had been going on.
Keira winced when she heard the stream of invective coming from the other end but the receptionist took it in her stride. 'Yes, I know,'she said calmly. 'But she said it's urgent.'
Keira swallowed back her anguish as the receptionist put the handset back down in its cradle a few moments later. 'He will see you when he finishes the call he is currently taking,' she said as she got to her feet. 'I have a tram to catch. Mr Trelini will come and get you when he wants you.'
He doesn't want me. Keira felt the pain of mentally acknowledging the words. She had killed his love for her with one stupid act of reckless defiance.
He was never going to forgive her.
How could he when she couldn't even forgive herself?
Keira sat on the leather sofa in the reception area and looked at the magazines neatly arranged on the coffee table, her heart contracting in despair when she saw that each and every one of them had her guilt and shame splashed over the covers. She reached for the top one, where there was a photo of her leaving Garth Merrick's apartment the morning after she had...
The magazine dropped out of her hand as she looked up to see Patrizio standing in front of her. She bent to retrieve it but his foot came over it.
She got to her feet, self-consciously tucking a wayward strand of hair back behind her ear. She felt so awkward, so out of place, so unrefined in his presence. She hadn't had time to change after working in the studio and she squirmed as she felt his dark-as-night gaze sweep over her. He was probably thinking she had done it deliberately to annoy him. She could almost feel the censure in his gaze as it burned over every inch of her body.
'I take it the urgent matter you wish to discuss with me has to do with your brother and my nephew,' he said. 'I was just speaking with the headmaster of their school, who informed me of what has been going on.'
Keira rolled her lips together in agitation. 'Yes...I had no idea things had gone that far. I thought they were best friends...in spite of what...what happened...'
His dark brows snapped together. 'How could you think your behaviour would not affect my nephew or indeed your own brother?' he asked incredulously. 'Your salacious affair with Garth Merrick has made me a laughing stock amongst my colleagues and associates, not to mention my family. There is a lot I am prepared to forgive, but not that.'