Secrets in the Marriage Bed

By: Nalini Singh

"I'm pregnant."

Caleb Callaghan's heart rocked to a standstill. "What?"

"I said I'm pregnant. Three months along—the doctor just confirmed it." Shoving her fingers through her shoulder-length blond hair, Vicki sat down in the chair across from his desk.

His entire mind restarted with a kick—this was the chance he'd been waiting for, for two long months. He would not let it slip away. Rising, he moved around the desk to kneel beside her chair. "You're carrying our child." Wonder held him in its grip. Within the space of a few seconds, the hell of his life had turned into heaven.

Vicki can't divorce me if she's pregnant.

As if she'd heard him, she shook her head. "It doesn't change anything." But her voice held the tiniest hint of uncertainty.

He seized the moment. No way was he going to fight fair, not when this was the most important battle of his life. "Of course it does." He took her fine-boned hand, delighting in once again being able to touch her.


"Yes." In the months since their separation, he'd tried everything he could think of to win his wife back. And failed. But this, this would not allow Vicki to so easily justify a divorce. "How can it not change everything? That's my baby you're carrying."

Her hand tensed in his. "Don't bully me, Caleb."

Warned by her tone, he rapidly recalculated his approach. Though he had no intention of letting her shut him out any longer, he knew that if he pushed too hard, he might lose her. But his Victoria had always had a soft heart. "I have a right to experience this with you. This is my first baby, too. Maybe my last."

Emotions he had no hope of understanding flickered across her face at the speed of light. "You want to move back in," she said, referring to their restored villa above St. Mary's Bay, not far from Auckland's city center.

"I am moving back in." That was non-negotiable. "I'm not letting you divorce me while our child is in your womb." That gave him six months in which to convince her that their marriage was worth saving, that five years of commitment shouldn't be thrown away so quickly.

She'd asked him for space when they'd separated and he'd given her that as far as he was able—limiting himself to a phone call a day and a couple of visits a week to ensure that she was okay. But that was all ending as of this moment. He wanted his wife back. "This baby is a gift, Vicki—our chance to make it. Don't throw that away."

Her eyes seemed to soften.

Standing, he tugged her up and into his embrace, her slender body a perfect fit against his larger frame. "I'll get my stuff delivered from the hotel this afternoon." He hated the damn place because it wasn't home, would never be home. "We'll be all right." He'd ensure it. No matter what, he wasn't going to lose her.

She was his everything.

Vicki let Caleb hold her and knew she was making a terrible mistake. But God, she'd missed being in her husband's arms. For two months she'd missed him every single day. Each time he'd invited her to lunch, each time he'd dropped by for coffee, she'd known she should back away but instead had always agreed. Now that dangerous pattern threatened to continue. "You don't need to be at home to share this with me."

He loosened his hold enough that she could look up into those hazel eyes, shades lighter than his dark brown hair. "Hell yes, I do. You want to raise our kid like you were raised? Barely knowing his—or her—father?"

She sucked in a breath. "You know exactly where to aim, don't you?" If there was one thing she didn't want, it was for their child to grow up feeling unloved by either parent.

Letting her go, he put his hands on his hips under his suit jacket. "I'm not going to sugarcoat the truth—if you insist on this separation, it's going to lead to divorce and eventually to a child shuttled from home to home."

"You think it's better for our baby to grow up in the middle of a battlefield?" She would not bring an innocent soul into the wreckage that was their marriage right now.

"Of course not." His voice rose. "But, Vicki, you can't have it both ways. Either you let me in and we start working on things, or you accept the alternative."

"This is moving too fast—I need time."

"You've had two months." His jaw was set. "More than enough time."

It was nowhere near enough, she thought. They'd seen each other several times a week during the separation but had yet to talk, really talk. "Caleb, look at it from my point of view. I just found out I'm pregnant. Having you back on top of that is going to be too much to cope with."

"And the longer you keep me away, the less time we'll have to fix things before the baby arrives," he responded. "I'm not backing down on this, so you might as well say yes."

If she hadn't already made her decision before walking into this firm that he'd built with sheer determination, his statement might have rubbed her raw. But though so much of him was a mystery to her, this she'd predicted. From the second she'd discovered her pregnancy—though she'd had every intention of trying to convince him otherwise—she'd known that Caleb would refuse to keep his distance.