The Prince and the Pregnant Princess(Desert Rogues, Book 6)(16) by Susan Mallery
“Yes. He came to talk to me about the presents, then managed to let it slip that you’d confessed you were pregnant. He thought I should know, which is more than you thought.”
This is what she got for trusting a man, she thought glumly. She could feel the situation spinning out of control. Who else had Hassan told, and what was going to happen if Sadik learned the truth?
She didn’t want to think about that now, so she pushed those thoughts from her mind.
“You’re getting married,” Cleo began slowly. “I wanted this time to be about you. If I’d told you, you would have gotten all worried and wanted to fix things.”
“Exactly. I care about you. I want to know what’s going on in your life. Don’t you think this was a big deal?”
“It is,” Cleo admitted. “I’m sorry.”
Zara didn’t look mollified. “So who’s the father?”
“No one you know.” Cleo shrugged and tried to look like she wasn’t lying. “After I went home, I met someone.”
Zara didn’t look convinced. “Funny how you never mentioned him in all the phone conversations we’ve had.”
“I didn’t know if it was serious.”
“It’s serious enough that you got pregnant.”
This was not going the way Cleo had hoped. “Zara, I’m going to be fine. I don’t want you to worry about me.”
“I can’t help it. You’re my little sister.” Zara climbed up onto the mattress and settled next to her. “What I don’t understand is how this happened.”
Despite her concerns, Cleo couldn’t help smiling.
“The usual way. I would have thought you’d figured out the facts of life by now.”
Zara rolled her eyes. “You know what I mean. You’ve been sexually active for a long time. How come you got pregnant this time?”
“Bad timing,” Cleo admitted. “I’d gone off the pill to give my body a rest. I wasn’t expecting to get involved with someone so I wasn’t prepared.”
Zara looked stunned. “You had unprotected sex?”
“We used a condom, but things happen.”
Actually what had happened was that one night she and Sadik had been so hot for each other, they’d both forgotten birth control. She hadn’t even realized it until several days later, when she’d been on her way home. They had been irresponsible, and now she was paying the price.
“I can’t believe this,” Zara breathed.
“Tell me about it.” Cleo looked at her sister. “I know you’re upset. This is exactly why I didn’t want you to know. The thing is, Zara, I’ll be fine, as will my baby. This is your time. You have a beautiful wedding in a week. I don’t want you thinking about anything else. Can’t we forget this and deal with it after you get back from your honeymoon?”
“I didn’t think you were still going to be here then.”
Cleo didn’t know what was going to happen, now that the news was out. “We can deal with it either together or long-distance. I promise.”
Slowly Zara nodded. “I’m giving in because I don’t have a choice. You’re a grown-up. You have to be responsible for your own life. I just wish you had told me.”
“I’m sorry,” Cleo repeated, thinking that she had a few wishes of her own.
The difference between a formal state dinner and an informal state dinner was usually found in the size and the details.
Cleo paused at the entrance to the cocktail party and studied the room. Flowers bloomed everywhere—providing a sweet scent and creating the sense of being in a garden. Small white lights twinkled, candles flickered and an immense crowd of people circulated and talked. The informal dinner had been for about two hundred people. There had to be at least five times that number in attendance to honor the bride and groom. Everyone glittered and sparkled, leaving her feeling like a very out-of-place, country cousin. A very tired country cousin.
She hadn’t slept in two days. Not since she’d found out that the king had told Zara about her pregnancy. So far no one else seemed to know, so she was keeping her fingers crossed that she could escape the situation without too much trouble.
A waiter paused and offered her a glass of champagne. Cleo declined, then decided to head to the bar where she could get her club soda with lime and pass it off as a cocktail. At least she felt reasonably attractive. Her red, beaded gown skimmed over her curves in such a way as to make her feel like a pinup girl from the 1940s. A twist of fabric in the midsection hid her tummy, which was good because it had really started sticking out. She was approaching her fifth month and none of her regular pants would fit. She was going to have to hit the maternity stores before long. But that trip would have to wait until she headed home.
The good news was she hadn’t thrown up in the past couple of days. Maybe that cookie toss into the royal garden had been her last.
Less than ten feet from the bar, she came to a dead stop. Sadik stood across the room, and the second she saw him, she knew that he’d been told about the baby.
His dark gaze fell immediately to her midsection and the look of accusation on his face rooted her to the floor. Even when he headed toward her, tall, angry and determined, she couldn’t seem to make herself run.
He grabbed her arm and herded her toward the far end of the room where there weren’t so many people. She glanced around to see if she could find someone to rescue her, then figured there was no point in putting off the inevitable.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online