Chapter 10, part 1

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This brought them to the point in their conversation where once again, Emmie insisted that she didn't owe him. He wasn't her boyfriend. He was just some guy she thought she could have fun with for a few weeks. She didn't say it exactly like that, but it's what she meant and he knew it.

The bees in his head began to sting.

"You don't know how complicated my life was before I moved here, Ryker. When I met you, I just wanted to forget everything. You helped me do that. But if I'd told you about the baby, you'd have asked questions. Questions I can't answer."

"You can't or you won't."

"Both."

"Jesus, Emmie."

"You don't have to believe me, but it's the truth. I arrived in Moon Beach. I was here, all on my own. I had no one, no one – until I met your sister, and then you. Don't you see? I just wanted to start over and not think about my past. I wasn't trying to deceive you. It's just... complicated."

"Yeah, I think you said that already. And you're right. I don't have to believe you. Really, you haven't given me much cause to trust anything you say."

"I'm telling you the truth now!"

"And like I said, that's because you have to. But it's not the whole truth, is it? You won't say who the father is, or why you came here, or why you waited four whole weeks to tell me this half-truth of yours. God, this is like Carin all over again!"

He resumed his pacing, not even sure why he was still in the same room with her.

"Who's Carin?"

He wasn't about to explain his lying ex-fiancé to her. If she wasn't going to tell him about her own past, there was no reason he should elaborate on his own. "Why do you think I was so keen to go along with your little sex only agreement?"

She shrugged. "Isn't it every man's fantasy? Sex with no strings attached?"

He stood at the edge of the bed, staring at her. Even now in the heat of their argument, a swarm of bees stinging the hell out of his brain, Emmie appeared to him as one of the most beautiful women he'd ever seen. "It's not my fantasy. It's the way I have to navigate around women."

She lifted her chin. "What, because you have so many of them fawning over you, I suppose?"

"Yes, actually. They fawn and they flatter and they attempt to sleep their way to my money."

That got her attention. "Just what are you insinuating?"

"I think you know."

No, please... enlighten me. How does me agreeing to have sex with you for a month equate to me wanting access to your fortune?"

Of course, that would be her response; denial was far easier than admitting the truth. "You made it seem as though you wanted nothing from me. You gave me a false sense of security with your asinine entanglement clause. And then you... you worked your way in! You knew I was through with that clause weeks ago, that I wanted more, but you played it cool, waiting until you knew you had me. What did you think, that you could drop this bomb on me, tell me you're pregnant from some other man and that I'd... I don't know... fall down on one knee? Did you think I'd be so pathetically in love with you that I wouldn't care?"

Angry tears welled at the corners of her eyes. "Wow. You really are an arrogant bastard. You have no idea how wrong you are, and I doubt you ever will."

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