Stung, I shook my head furiously. “What could you offer me, Alejandro? Money? A castle? A title? I don’t need those things!”

He moved closer to me, his eyes dark.

“Don’t forget sex,” he said softly. “Hot, deep, incredible sex.”

In the shadowy hacienda, Alejandro looked at me over the downy head of the baby that we had created. My breasts suddenly felt heavy, my nipples tightening. My body felt taut and liquid at once.

“I know you remember what it was like between us,” he said in a low voice. “Just as I do.”

I lifted my gaze to his.

“Yes,” I whispered. “But what use are any of those things really, Alejandro? Without love, it’s empty.” I shook my head. “You must know this. Because the money, the palaces, the title—and yes, even the sex... Have those things ever made you happy?”

He stared at me. For a long moment, there was only the soft patter of the rain against the roof, our baby’s low whimper, and the loud beat of my aching heart.

Then abruptly, for the first time, Alejandro looked, really looked, at our son. Reaching out, he stroked Miguel’s soft dark hair gently with a large, powerful hand.

As if by magic, our baby’s crying abruptly subsided. Big-eyed, Miguel hiccupped his last tears away as father and son took measure of each other, each with the same frown, the same eyes, the same expression. It would have been enough to make me grin, if my heart hadn’t been hurting so much.

Suddenly our baby flopped out a tiny, unsteady hand against Alejandro’s nose. Looking down at him in surprise, Alejandro snorted a laugh. He seemed to catch his breath, looking at Miguel with amazement, even wonder.

Then he straightened, giving me a cold glare.

“There will be a DNA test. Immediately.”

“You expect me to allow a doctor to prick my baby’s skin for a blood test, to prove something I don’t want to be proved? Forget it! Either believe he’s your son, or—better yet—don’t! And leave us in peace!”

Alejandro’s face looked cold and ruthless. “Enough.”

He must have pressed a button or something—or else he had some freaky bodyguard alert, like a dog whistle I couldn’t hear—because suddenly two bodyguards came in through the front door. Without even looking at me, they kept walking through the foyer, headed across the courtyard toward the bedroom I shared with Miguel.

I whirled on Alejandro. “Where are they going?”

“To pack,” he replied coolly.

“Pack for whom?”

A third bodyguard who’d come up silently behind me suddenly lifted Miguel out of my arms.

“No!” I cried. I started for him, arms outstretched, but Alejandro held me back.

“If the DNA test proves he is not my son,” he said calmly, “I will bring your son back to you, safe and sound, and I’ll never bother either of you again.”

“Let me go!” I shrieked, fighting him—uselessly, for with his greater power and strength, his grip was implacable. “You bastard! You bastard! I will kill you! You can’t take him from me—Miguel! Miguel!”

“You are so sure he is mine?”

“Of course he is yours! You know you were my only lover!”

“I know I was your first....”

“My only! Ever! Damn you! Miguel!”

Something flickered in Alejandro’s eyes. But I was no longer looking at him. I was watching as the bodyguard disappeared through the door, my baby wailing in the man’s beefy arms. I struggled in Alejandro’s grip. “Let me go!”

“Promise to behave, Lena,” he said quietly, “and I will.”

How I wished I could fight him. If only I had the same power he did—then we’d see who gave orders! If I had his physical strength, I would punch him in the face! If only I had a fortune, a private jet, my own bodyguard army...

My lips parted on an intake of breath.


Would he help me? Even now?

That wasn’t the question.

Would I be willing to pay the price?

“I don’t want to separate you from the baby,” Alejandro said, “but I must have the DNA test. And if you’re going to fight and scream...”

I abruptly stopped struggling. Nodding, I wiped my eyes. “I’ll come quietly. But please,” I said softly, looking up at his face, “before you take him to Spain, could we stop in London?”