Proud Revenge, Passionate Wedlock

By: Janette Kenny

Her spine went stiff and her features tensed. “Do you bring your women here?”

He just barely bridled his muscles from snapping taut. How dare she ask him that! He stared at the woman he’d vowed to honor until his dying day and swore under his breath.

“Come now, there’s no reason to lie—”

“On occasion,” he interrupted smoothly.

She looked away, as if the sight of him sickened her, as if hurt by the thought of him bringing another woman here. Strange reaction for the wife who’d taken a lover behind her husband’s back. But then their marriage had grown strained the month before Cristobel’s birth.

“What of you, querida? Did you bring your lover here?”

“How dare you suggest such a thing!”

Her eyes flashed fire even as she seemed to shrink in on herself. Rebellious yet withdrawn. Those two opposites she affected with ease. Those two qualities had lured him to her from the beginning a lifetime ago.

“The only lover I entertained here was you.” Her chin came up, her lush lips trembling a fraction before thinning into a disagreeable line. “And do remember you lost the right to call me your darling six months ago.”

¡Dios mio! She dared speak to him of rights? She’d shut him out of her life to take up with her lover, then returned to Cancún to portray the affronted one?

He moved in on her, forcing her against the pristine-white wall, bending close to bracket his hands on both sides of her narrow shoulders that quaked despite their rigid lines.

Beads of unease pebbled over her skin, and he just barely caught himself from running a finger over her cool, smooth flesh. Damn, but this woman tied him in knots!

“You should use care before you remind me of what I’ve lost,” he said.

“I’ve lost, too, Miguel. Surely you realize that!”

She looked away before he could come back with a stinging retort, and it was then that he realized she still clutched the photo of their niña. ¡Hostias! Was that a sob she made?

He pushed away from her like she was poison and dragged his fingers through his damp hair, raking his scalp. He would not feel compassion for her. He would not wish to know she’d suffered a moment, for it would be nothing but lies. He would not care one bit for her. He would not!

Miguel knew the truth. When he’d confronted Loring Vandohrn regarding the whereabouts of his wife, her uncle had informed him that she’d gone on holiday with her lover. He’d suggested Miguel seek a divorce.

It would have been the simplest solution. But a divorce robbed him of vengeance. It did not punish his wife whose recklessness took their child’s life. It did not assuage the angst Miguel had lived with for months when he searched for his wife only to be thwarted at every turn.

He looked down at the woman who’d turned his life upside down and wondered why she’d decided to seek a divorce now. Did she wish to marry her lover?

The bead of moisture clinging to her full upper lip confirmed she didn’t like him this close to her. God knew it was a mistake for him to tempt fate as well.

It would be so easy for him to dip his head and lap that salty bead of moisture off her mouth. So inviting to trace the lush, provocative bow of her upper lip with his tongue.

Her enticing floral scent teased him with the memory of how much he’d enjoyed making love with this woman—and the countless times since she’d left when he’d reached for her in his sleep.

He hated that weakness for her, that after all that had happened his body still yearned to mesh with the sweet warmth hers offered. The darkening of her pupils proved she wasn’t averse to him, either.

Sí, she wanted a divorce? Fine, he’d grant her one after he satisfied his revenge.

“Please, Miguel, just leave me be,” she said and turned her face from his.

That would be the sane thing to do. Walk away and not look back. Grant her a divorce and let her have her closure.

But that wouldn’t satisfy his vengeance. She’d denied him the satisfaction of confronting her six months ago. Now she’d returned and he’d not be deprived of his just due.

“If that was your wish,” he said as he trailed a finger down her pale cheek and felt a shiver of awareness rock her body, “then you should have stayed with your lover.”

Her blue eyes snapped with a curious mix of anger and hurt. “Why do you persist in believing the worst of me?”

“You ask that after what you did?”

He pushed away from her then, because he’d never seen her look so miserable.

It was the image he’d tried to envision of her, but seeing it twisted something deep inside him. He hated these feelings she wrought in him. Hated her for making him feel something besides animosity toward her.

“I’ve had enough. If you won’t leave, then I will,” she said.

“Running away already?” he asked. “What of this closure you’ve returned for?”

“I’ll never have that as long as I’m subject to your ill temper.” She turned away from him and gave a frantic scan of the room, wavering slightly. “Where is the phone?”

“In the bedroom.”