“Of course you wanted to tell me right away,” he said in an unmistakably bitter tone. “Who wouldn’t want to inform their rich boyfriend that they got knocked up the first time they had sex? It’s exciting news. Worst case scenario, you’ve locked down eighteen years of child support payments. If you’re going to get pregnant, you might as well make sure the daddy is a millionaire, right?”
“What?” She flinched as though he’d reached out and slapped her.
This obviously wasn’t the reaction she was expecting. He didn’t know why. Did she think he would be excited over the prospect of the potential scammer having his child? Believe that fate had intercepted and brought them together to be one big, happy family? No. Life didn’t work that way without someone like her pulling all the strings. She’d been manipulating him from the very beginning—perhaps angling for this outcome since the day they met.
“You certainly didn’t waste any time,” he continued. “You must have sabotaged that first condom you handed me in the garden. Pretty bold. And to think I was relieved you had one ready to go. Of course you did. My stepmother at least married my father and moved into the penthouse before she locked him down with a child and spent all his money. I guess you’re in a hurry, though.”
“A hurry for what?” she asked.
“Well, I mean, the judge will rule on my aunt’s will soon. This really was the best way for you to ensure that you’ll get a chunk of cash from the Drake family, win or lose.”
A shimmer of tears flooded Lucy’s big, brown eyes. Crocodile tears, he had no doubt. “Is that what you think I’ve done? Do you really believe I’m capable of getting pregnant on purpose? Derailing my whole life just for money?”
“Not just money, Lucy. A shit-ton of money.” The flood of angry words rushed from his mouth and he was incapable of stopping them. “I had you pegged as shady from that first day. That Pollyanna ignorance when the attorney announced you were getting everything… I knew you were playing us all. Playing my aunt. Even playing Harper, unless she’s in on it for a cut. I thought that if I got to know you better, I could figure out your game, but I was wrong. You’re better at this than I ever expected. I was on the verge of dropping my contest of the will, you had me so convinced. I mean, well played, Lucy. Cover all your bases.”
He clapped slowly with a wide smile that probably looked more like a grimace. The bitter words were the only thing keeping him from being sick. “You’ve set yourself up for a win-win situation. You could walk away from this with my aunt’s fortune, half of mine and then that kid will be set to inherit more from my family someday. I thought Candace was crafty and cunning going after my father, but you’ve got her beat, hands down. You didn’t have to sleep with a lonely old man to get what you wanted.”
The tears in her eyes never spilled over, but the longer he talked, the redder her face got and the tighter her jaw clenched. “Yeah,” she agreed in the coldest voice he’d ever heard pass from her lips. “I just had to sleep with a lonely, bitter young man instead.”
Oliver laughed at her cruel retort. “Maybe I am lonely and bitter, but I never had to screw anyone to make my way in the world.”
“I thought you were a better man than this, Oliver.” Lucy threw her napkin on the table and got up from her seat. “Don’t point fingers at me and act so self-righteous. You may not do it now or tonight or even in a year, but one night, when you’re lying alone in bed, you’ll realize the mistake you’ve made and it will be too late.” She picked up her purse and slung it over her shoulder.
“Leaving so soon?” he asked as casually as he could muster. Of course she would act upset and insulted. That was part of the charade. He wouldn’t let her words get to him even if every arrow painfully struck the bull’s-eye in his chest. He would keep up the facade of the bored businessman unfazed by her until she was long gone. He wouldn’t give her the satisfaction of knowing she’d gotten to him.
Lucy just shook her head with sadness pulling down at the corners of her mouth. “You know, I am just as surprised by this whole situation as you are. I’m actually terrified and knowing now that I’ll be doing it on my own makes it that much scarier. The difference is it’s going to uproot my entire life, destroy my body and take over the next twenty years of my life, and you’re just going to sit back and cut a damn check. If you don’t want to be a part of your child’s life, then don’t bother sending money. That’s an insult to me and the baby. Let’s just skip the paternity test game with the attorneys and pretend we never met, okay?”