Slowly, Madly, Deeply

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I blink twice, wondering if I'm imagining his presence

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I blink twice, wondering if I'm imagining his presence. I know pregnancy hormones can be powerful, but can they cause hallucinations?

His handsome face is marked with deep circles under his eyes and even darker stubble on his chin. His white shirt is unbuttoned one too many times to be appropriate for a businessman. Rubbing his lips together, he runs his hand though his hair. He looks straight into the glass and into my eyes.

I slowly open the door, and his sheer, masculine presence makes my knees wobble. I can't say anything because I don't want to cry. Instead, I stand aside and let him sweep past me and into the kitchen.

I peer at him closer. He looks like hell, with longish, rumpled hair. Brooding and tortured. Broken, even. He never looks disheveled like this, and his posture isn't the usual straight-and-haughty.

He whirls to face me. "When were you going to tell me you were in the hospital?" he demands, half-shouting.

I open my mouth, then close it. I wasn't expecting him to yell at me.

"I had to hear it from Caroline yesterday, and I chartered a flight all the way from Madrid because I was so worried. You could have told me in your emails that you were sick. Or in your phone messages. Are you okay? What's going on?"

I stand by the table, and my eyes go to the hospital file. I cling to the back of the kitchen chair so I won't tumble over. Caroline called him? Does he know about the baby?

"Justine, talk to me. Tell me you're okay." He grabs my shoulders and squeezes, spinning me to face him. Deep lines of fury are etched between his brows.

"I'm okay," I say quietly. "I was severely dehydrated."

"How many times have I told you to drink water? You never drink enough water." Scowling deeper, he releases my arms and pinches the bridge of his nose with his finger and thumb. He gestures with a broad sweep of his hand. "Christ, Justine. Do I have to remind you to take care of yourself?"

I puff out a little laugh, and it dawns on me that he doesn't know about the pregnancy. Caroline obviously told him I was sick as a ploy to get him back here, back to me, so I could tell him the news in person. I giggle. "You...you came all the way from Spain to tell me to drink water?"

His glare turns into a small smile. "No. I came here for something else."

Rafa kneels before me on one bended knee, and the hummingbirds in my chest began to alight. "Amor. I came to apologize. I've been doing a lot of thinking this past month. Like usual, I wanted to put business first and get everything squared away before letting you in on any decisions. Then I realized that was wrong of me. I'm sorry. I just wanted to make sure everything was right for us. I've only ever worked hard and wanted to succeed for you."

"Why are you sorry? You have nothing to be sorry for," I whisper, running my fingers through his dark hair.

"I acted terribly when we were younger. And when I arrived in St. Augustine. I was scared because I loved you. I've never loved anyone the way I love you, and I never will. You're the person I've never stopped looking for in a crowd. Te quiero. Te amo. I love you."

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