Going from best friends to bed partners… to expecting a baby?
The tabloids love Kat Jackson. But hunky sports star turned TV presenter Marco Correlli always had her back. Now, after a night of indiscretion, Marco has just become a key player in the Kat saga – because he’s about to become the proud papa of her child.
Kat can’t fathom why she slipped up and slept with her buddy. She’d always managed to resist his admittedly irresistible charms. But when he takes her to his private island to regroup, it’s time to face the truth… this is way bigger than best friends!
Harlequin Desire ~ North America / Australia/NZ – March 2014
By the time they’d finished filming the week’s shows, it was eleven at night and Kat was dead on her feet. She said good-night to everyone and dragged herself to her car, fumbling with the keys as she went, her mind focused on takeout, a hot bath and double-checking her apartment for the impending storm.
Then she glanced at her car and stopped in her tracks.
Her heart pounding, her gaze swept over him-his suit, his loosened tie, the dark hair flopping over his forehead and curling at the collar. The faint shadow of stubble dusting his firm jaw. The way he stood, all sexy and casual, hands buried in his pockets. And those wide, piercing brown eyes staring straight at her.
On another man, one with less confidence and overt sexuality, his features could almost be called pretty, if not for the overabundant aura of pure male surrounding him. His hair was a controlled crop of curls, perfectly framing those high cheekbones, lush mouth and come-to-bed eyes. And when he smiled… Lord, you could hear the knickers dropping for miles around. He reminded her of days gone by, of stocking-and-breech-clad heroes, flamboyant coats and huge romantic gestures full of wild symphonies and desperate, love-smitten poems.
And he’d been the best sex she’d had in her life.
Yes, he was adored by millions around the world. Everyone knew the story – only son of Italian immigrants, raised in Australia until a talent scout had recruited him for the French futball league at the tender age of sixteen. Marco, the dreamy Italian with romantic eyes, and glorious touch-me hair. If that wasn’t enough of an unfair advantage, he’d also acquired a hot French accent from his years living and working in Marseille and Paris. Marco, her best friend.
Her heart contracted then expanded again, and she wanted to die from the sudden ache of it all.
They’d known each other for nearly twenty years. Telling him would irrevocably change everything. Marco didn’t do commitment. He loved his job, he loved women and he loved the freedom to enjoy both. And there was no way she’d lose him as her best friend after one foolish – amazing – night. She couldn’t.
With a deep breath she continued, heading straight for her car. And the closer she got, the worse the weird feeling grew.
They’d done things – intimate things. Things she’d never imagined doing with him. They’d gotten naked, and he’d touched her and kissed her all over. Now he wanted to talk about it, and she’d rather swim with a pod of sharks than rehash her supreme stupidity that involved that night.
God, could it get any worse? With false bravado, she clicked off her car alarm and then crossed the last few meters to open the door.
“What are you doing here?” she asked, resisting the urge to lay a hand on her belly. Instead, she tossed her bag into the passenger seat.
“We need to talk.” His unique voice-a sexy mix of French and faint Italian accents-never failed to make her shiver, but now she shoved her hair back behind her ear and steeled herself to face him. The bright security lights slashed across his face, revealing a serious expression that made her heart thump. But instead of giving in to the panic, she swallowed and crossed her arms, tilting her head.
“We can talk on my boat.”
She sighed. “Look, Marco, it’s late and there’s a cyclone approaching. Can’t this wait another day?”
“You’ve been avoiding my calls, so no. And the storm’s not due for hours yet.”
He glanced up at the dark sky and narrowed his eyes at the barely discernible wind that had picked up.
He stared at her, irritated. “Phone calls. Avoiding.”
She blinked slowly. “You’re not going to give up until I agree, are you?”
She sighed. “Fine. But be quick about it.”
He eased off her car, moving into her personal space, and instinctively Kat took a step back, which only prompted him to frown. “You’re not going to stand me up, are you?”
“No, I am not. Girl Guide’s honor.”
“Good.” With a firm nod, he walked past her, got in his car and drove off.
She watched his taillights blink as he turned left out of the parking lot before she had time to fully comprehend what her acquiescence really meant.
We need to talk. Those four little words lay heavy with meaning, conjuring up a multitude of awkward scenarios from her disastrous past. Ten weeks ago, they’d not only crossed that line between friends and lovers, they’d burnt it to the ground, and part of her wanted to run home and hide under the bedcovers. The other part wanted this awkward situation over and done with.
With a sigh she got in her car, fired up the engine and drove out of the car park. She couldn’t run from him forever. It was time to suck it up and face whatever consequences that one night had wrought.