Chapter 41 : Just For Tonight (Part 2)

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Damn it. Why is he naked?

Oh, shut up. You know you like it.

That's not the point.

You knew he goes to bed in only his boxers. You were the one who invited him for a sleepover. Stop complaining.

Oh, great. Now I'm arguing with myself. Which is what happens when you can't sleep because you're cuddling up to the warm, muscular body of your irritatingly hot husband.

Raul doesn't seem to be having the same problem. He's fast asleep — at least I'm assuming he's asleep — and not at all bothered by my presence beside him. True to his word, he didn't try anything. God knows I will probably not be able to resist him if he puts any moves on me. Why else did I move out of our bedroom?

My arm is draped over his stomach and my hand is touching his hip. My fingers ache to trace the contours of his hard abs but I force them to stay still.

He's your husband. He's not gonna mind you touching him.

I sigh. That's the problem, isn't it? If I make a move, he's not going to refuse me. Then where would we be? Back to square one, that's what. That's not what I want. What he did to Nico and Yandra proved that things were never going to work out between Raul and me. I could never have a child with someone who could so callously disregard people's feelings just to get what he wanted. I promised him five years of marriage and that's all I'm going to give him. If he and I continue this... physical relationship, I might never disentangle myself emotionally from him at the end of five years. It would be much more practical for us to stick to the original plan — we pretend to be happily married in public, and in private we each went to bed with our respective lovers. No muss, no fuss. No emotions.

You're already in love with him, Kate.

The words in my head make the ache in my chest turn into an almost unbearable pain that tears prick my eyes. I blink. After a long moment, I brush my fingers over his skin, allowing myself one last brief gesture of intimacy. Then I pull away from my sleeping husband and lie on my back, making sure there's enough space between us so we don't touch.

Maybe I am in love with him, but I'll get over it. Whatever it is I feel for Raul, it's nothing that time and space can't cure. That's all we need. Just time and space.



"Are you all right?" I say, squeezing Kate's hand.

She nods, giving me a reassuring smile. "Fine," she says. "It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be."

The police interview went as well as it could have. Kate was a little nervous but she gave her statement with a clear, confident voice. We'd gone over it earlier with my attorneys, and if there's anything Kate believes in, it's being prepared for a meeting. Even if the meeting is to answer questions from the police about a possible murder.

"I think Kate did a wonderful job," Malaika Clarke says, looking pleased. Impeccably dressed in a wine-colored suit and tasteful gold jewelry, she sits across from us in my Bentley Mulsanne, beside Troy Connor, another attorney from her law firm. "Mr. Saldana's incident was... unfortunate, but your willingness to cooperate in the investigation will keep the police from directing any unnecessary attention toward you or your family."

I nod grimly. Kate didn't have to answer questions herself — Malaika and her team would have taken care of it — but I didn't want to give anyone the impression we had anything to hide. Especially the press. My temporary assistant Joshua has already forwarded to me a dozen requests for interviews from reporters about Saldana. The news of his death hit the papers this morning.

"Nevertheless, we're meeting with our PR department to decide how best to handle this situation," I say, then turn to Kate. "I'll drop you off at home first."

"Don't you think I should be at that meeting?" Kate says.

"Mi amor, I'd rather you be insulated from all this. Saldana was connected with the company, you have nothing to do with him."

"I'm married to the company's CEO," she says. "Of course this has to do with me."

"Cariño, please."

"Kate is right, Raul," Malaika says. "Especially since there's buzz around your marriage these days. The press will zero in on her. You can't shield her from this."

"I don't care," I say, my voice coming out in a growl.

"Do you think I want to do this?" Kate points out.

I scowl at her. Dios mio, this woman is the most stubborn I've ever met.

"But I have to," she says. "Because we're a team, Raul." Her tone is gentle now. "Isn't that what we agreed?"

My gut twists at her words. Familiar regret filled my chest as I stare at her. We are — we had been ... a couple. Lovers. With Kate, I felt like I had everything I wanted. I felt I could do anything. That we could do anything. Together.

Now, it seems nothing was going right: A possible breach of company secrets. Saldana's suspicious death. What's next?

"Yes," I say, trying to keep the frustration out of my voice. "We are a team." The word "team" leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Coworkers working on a project are a team. The Los Leones del Caribe is a team. It's not a word I want to describe my relationship with the woman that filled my thoughts all day and whom I yearned for every night.

"It's settled then," Malaika says. Her tone is light but she's looking at me curiously.

"Hey," Kate says, linking her fingers with mine. "I can do this."

My skin tingles from her touch. Dios mío, I'm pathetic. So eager for whatever scraps of physical intimacy Kate is willing to give me. "I know you can, mi amor. I just..." My words trail off as I see the burning determination in her eyes. Whatever reason she has for wanting to do this, I need to respect it. I swallow. "Thank you," I say.

Her response is a brilliant smile that sent my heart racing. I would do anything to keep her smiling at me like this.

Even if I have to stand by and, against all my instincts, let her walk into the lion's den.

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I'll post Chapter 42 on Monday, June 19  🎉.

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