Shock rippled through her at the question; it raised a host of images and possibilities in her mind. Pink frilled dresses or blue romper suits. And whatever this child was—boy or girl—they would be the parents. Together they’d be raising this person, putting this tiny being at the centre of their shared lives.

‘I don’t think I’ve let myself,’ she said slowly.

‘What do you mean?’

She swallowed, not wanting to admit how fearful she was, about so many things. How even now she was terrified of losing this child, of something going terribly wrong.

‘So far I’ve just wanted to make sure the baby is healthy,’ she said. ‘Do you want to find out?’

‘I haven’t thought about it,’ Leo answered, rubbing his jaw. ‘But I think...yes. If you do. It could help us prepare. Make it more real.’

Again she thought of the swooshing sound of the baby’s heartbeat, the reality of this life inside her, so small and vulnerable, so important. ‘Yes, I suppose it would.’

‘Dr Tallos has recommended a local obstetrician,’ he said. ‘You’re meant to have an ultrasound in three weeks.’

‘Just before Christmas.’

And what a wonderful Christmas present that would be—the promise of a healthy baby, boy or girl.

Something must have shown in her face, for Leo stopped to look at her seriously, and then took her chin in his hand, his touch light, his gaze searching.

‘Margo, what is it?’

‘What do you mean?’

‘You seem...afraid.’

Her throat tightened and she tried to smile. ‘I just don’t want anything to go wrong with the baby.’

‘Why do you think something might?’

Because she knew what it was like to lose someone precious. One day Annelise had been there—soft and smiling and warm, with her button-black eyes and her round cherubic cheeks—and the next she’d been gone. There had been nothing left but emptiness and heartbreak.

‘Margo...’ Leo said again, and he sounded alarmed.

She knew she must have an awful expression on her face.

She stepped back, away from his hand. ‘I’m a first-time mother,’ she reminded him as lightly as she could. ‘I’m bound to be nervous.’

But judging by Leo’s frown she didn’t think she’d fooled him into believing that was all it was.


A WEEK PASSED and Margo started to think she and Leo were finding that same page. Things had settled, more or less, into a routine: Leo worked most of the day and Margo drifted. She didn’t mind it for now, because with her nausea and her exhaustion drifting through each day was about all she could manage.

But as the days passed, and her nausea thankfully started to abate, she knew she needed to find some focus. Some purpose.

Xanthe and Ava had thawed towards her a little, which made life less tense if not exactly easy. And her things had arrived from Paris. Besides her clothes and toiletries she’d requested that some of her personal items—paintings and ornaments and books—be shipped to Greece. It felt both comforting and strange to arrange her things in the bedroom that still didn’t feel like hers. They were dotted around the yawning space like buoys bobbing in an unfamiliar sea.

Still, life marched on, and Margo knew she needed to march with it.

She drove into Amfissa one afternoon and wandered the streets, window-shopping. She went into a shop that sold nursery furniture and gazed in wonder at the array of cradles and buggies—at a whole arsenal of parental tools with which she would one day need to be equipped.

When she came back down the sweeping drive that led to the main villa of the Marakaios estate Leo came out of the house, standing on the portico as he glowered at her.

She hadn’t even cut the engine before he was striding over to the driver’s side and opening door.

‘Where were you—?’

‘In Amfissa. I told Maria.’ She’d managed to learn enough Greek, and Maria knew enough English, to communicate with the housekeeper.

‘By yourself?’

Leo sounded incredulous and Margo only just kept from rolling her eyes.

‘Leo, I’m a grown woman—’

‘You’re also pregnant—’

‘Pregnancy is not a disease.’

‘You’ve been suffering from extreme morning sickness, Margo, and I’ve seen how dizzy you can get. What if something had happened?’

She quelled the lurch of alarm she felt at that thought. Just when she’d been coming to grips with her own fear Leo had managed to rake it all up again.

‘I can’t just stay in the villa, Leo, like some knocked-up Rapunzel in her tower. I’ll go mad.’