The doctor nodded. “Mademoiselle Ravenwood is doing well. Her blood pressure is fine and in spite of being so close to her due date, she shows no signs of imminent labor. Though that can quickly change, of course...”

“Then we have time to be married.” His expression hardened as he turned to Scarlett. “My lawyer in New York has sent the prenuptial agreement. As soon as we leave here, you will sign it, and we will marry.”


Scarlett’s heart fell all the way to her fur-lined boots. “I...”

Holding up his hand, he pressed his phone to his ear. “Ernest, find out where we can be married quickly. Yes, I know it’s more complicated in Europe. Tonight if possible, tomorrow at the latest.”

Staring at him, Scarlett instantly saw her mistake.

My God, she was stupid. She never should have let him get the legal proof that he was the father of her child. She should have screamed bloody murder rather than willingly give blood for the paternity test. Running away would be ten times harder now. He’d never give up looking for her. And he’d have the law on his side.

She rose unsteadily to her feet. “Thank you for the news, Doctor.” Her teeth were chattering as she glanced at Vin, who had turned away to bark questions to his assistant, about places like Gibraltar and Denmark and even, heaven help her, Las Vegas. In another moment, he’d be arranging the plane, then he’d be back to giving her his full attention. She had only seconds.

Adrenaline pumped her heart. It was now or never.


“Mademoiselle Ravenwood—” the Swiss doctor looked at her with concern in her kindly bespectacled eyes “—are you quite all right?”

“Fine, I’m great.” She forced a smile. “I just need to go to the ladies’ room. If you’ll excuse me.”

“Of course—”

Scarlett swiftly exited the brightly lit exam room. She saw Vin’s eyes look up piercingly as she closed the door.

She fled down the hall, past other beaming couples holding ultrasound photos and smiling nurses and doctors in white coats. She ran down multiple hallways, looking desperately for the back exit, since she knew that Vin’s bodyguards were waiting at the front entrance of the clinic.

She found the back staircase and raced down it, one hand over her heavy belly as she scrambled to think of a coherent escape plan. She’d go back to Gstaad and beg Wilhelmina to use her influence with her boss—Kassius Black—to hide her. If that failed, she’d borrow money and hop a train for somewhere Vin had no connections at all. She scrambled to think how far she’d have to go. Samarkand? Ulaanbaatar? Vladivostok?

Scarlett burst out of the steel-framed door to the sunlight and fresh air of the wide lawn behind the clinic. She saw the shining gleam of the lake, saw a local bus approaching on a distant road. She started to run across the grass—

Then came to a screeching halt.

Vin was on the grassy hill beside the clinic, his arms folded. “Going somewhere?”

Out of earshot but watching the exchange with interest, she saw his bodyguards. Her lips parted, but she couldn’t find her voice. Couldn’t find a single word of explanation or excuse as he came forward, his handsome, implacable face set in stone.

She stammered, “How did you—”

“I expected you to run.”

“But I didn’t argue with you at all!” she gasped. “I didn’t even criticize the obnoxious things you said at lunch!”

“That’s how I knew.” His voice was almost amused. “The fiery woman I know would never let such a thing pass.”

“It was a test?” Her voice squeaked in outrage.

He shrugged. “You seemed like you were willing to come quietly for the paternity test. I was glad to let it ride. But of course I knew.” He put his hands in his pockets, looking more devastatingly handsome than ever in his tailored dark suit and long black coat. He tilted his head curiously. “Actually, I’m a little disappointed in you, trying the same trick twice. I’d like to think you had a little more respect for my intelligence.”

She sucked in her breath as he came closer. His dark eyes were almost feral above the hard hungry slant of his cheekbones and rough edges of his jaw, shaded with five-o’clock shadow.

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