Authors: Sophia Lynn,Jessica Brooke
Sheikh’s Pregnant Lover
By: Sophia Lynn and Jessica Brooke
All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2015-2016 Sophia Lynn
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Madeline Anthony drummed her fingers impatiently on the linen-covered table as she checked her watch for the tenth time.
Half an hour late,
she thought. Her heart sank as she glanced up toward the restaurant’s entrance, hoping that she would see her fiancé, Jason, walk in.
Instead, she watched a cute Asian couple walk through the doors of the expensive French restaurant, arm in arm as the wind swept them into the foyer. The flush on the woman’s cheeks could be attributed to windburn, Madeline supposed, but the sparkle in her eyes as she looked up at her man could only be the product of love. And by the way her lover tucked her in close to his side, possessive and protective all at once as he smiled down at her, Madeline could tell he felt the same way.
God, why can’t I have that?
Pressing her lips together, Madeline turned her gaze away from the couple and back to her wineglass. Empty again. She signaled the waiter for a refill, then sipped the pale gold liquid while she considered whether or not to text Jason and ask if she should order for him. It wasn’t really a surprise that he was late—he was a corporate banker, a very successful one, and he tended to work long hours to keep up with his demanding, multimillion-dollar clients.
It was his success that had drawn him to her, she mused, tracing the edge of her wineglass with the tip of her finger. Sure, they’d been college students when she’d met him, in her junior year at NYU, but he’d already donned the charismatic air that drew his clients to him, that had drawn
to him. He’d had a way with people and money that had made her decide early on in their relationship that he would be a good choice. And when he’d gotten down on one knee and asked for her hand in marriage, she’d not hesitated to let him slip a ring on her finger.
That ring sparkled in the golden light of the chandeliers above, and she lifted it now to study it with the same dispassion she sometimes viewed her relationship with. It was a princess-cut diamond flanked with emeralds just a few shades darker than her eyes, and at the time Jason had given it to her she’d loved it. But now she saw it more as a symbol of their relationship—shiny and glamorous on the outside, but hollow and useless on the inside.
She wasn’t exactly certain when the spark had gone out of their relationship. Maybe it had been sometime last year, after Jason had flown to Japan for a corporate conference. Or maybe it had been before that. But he’d been gone for three weeks, and when he’d come back, somehow the two of them had grown apart, and they hadn’t quite been able to manage the same level of closeness they’d had before. This dinner date, and the other ones she’d scheduled for later this month, were an attempt to rekindle that spark. They were supposed to be getting married in three short months, and if they didn’t have the spark back by then she was going to have to call things off. And she really didn’t want to have to give up after three years if their relationship could be fixed somehow.
The sound of the wind whistling in through the doorway drew her attention back to the entrance, and she sighed with relief when she saw Jason walk in through the doors. He was still as incredibly handsome as he’d always been, with his thick bronze hair, pale blue eyes and wonderfully tanned skin. The steel-grey suit he wore beneath his greatcoat fit his tall, athletic body perfectly. But there was no answering flutter in her chest when he looked across the room, and the ice that had slowly begun to creep around her heart didn’t retreat at the sight of his charming, apologetic smile. Relief was all she felt, and she supposed that would have to do for now.
“I’m so sorry, Madeline,” Jason said as he crossed the room toward her. Madeline stood as he approached, almost automatically—Jason was quite tall, nearly a foot and a half above her five-foot-three frame, so she didn’t want to greet him while seated. “I got caught up in a company meeting that just seemed to go on forever.”
“That’s alright.” She embraced him, and as he bent to kiss her she thought she smelled a whiff of perfume on his collar. She brushed it off—Jason was around female secretaries all day, so it wasn’t so strange that some of their perfume might have rubbed off on him. His lips met hers, a light brush of skin on skin. She waited for the familiar tingle, but it never came. It was no more thrilling than if someone had tapped her on the shoulder. “How was your day?”
“Oh, nothing worth talking about,” Jason said, shrugging off his greatcoat and draping it over the back of his chair before he sat down. His pale blue eyes settled on her mostly empty wineglass, and he smiled a little. “Looks like you have the right idea. Why don’t we order?”
Though Madeline had practically memorized the restaurant’s offerings, she retreated behind the shield of her menu to pretend to study the choices while Jason decided what he wanted to eat. Instead of reading the selection again, she watched Jason over the top of her menu, trying to pinpoint just what it was about him that had changed. Personality wise, Jason was the same as ever; part of the reason he was so successful at his job was because of his charming smile and glib tongue. But those charming smiles didn’t hold the same warmth as they used to when directed at her, and she was beginning to feel more and more like a needed client than a lover.
A chime went off, disrupting the silence between them, and Jason’s eyes flicked away from the menu as he withdrew his cell phone from his pocket. To Madeline’s surprise, a real smile tugged at Jason’s lips, his pale eyes warming.
“Who’s that?” she asked casually as she folded her menu and set it on the table. Jealousy stirred within her chest for the first time since she could remember. Who was this person who could cause such a reaction with a single text message?
“Oh, it’s just Max,” Jason said with a shrug, setting his phone back down on the table. “He’s just making some stupid suggestions about the bachelor party.”
“Oh.” Madeline relaxed a little as she sat back in her chair. Max was one of Jason’s best friends, and was going to be his best man at their wedding. “Has he finished finalizing your plans for Vegas yet?”
“Just about.” Jason smiled again, his grin a little wider than usual. “We’re going to have a blast.”
“Well don’t have
much fun,” Madeline warned playfully. She was glad they were talking about the wedding, or at least wedding-related things—it meant Jason hadn’t given up hope either. Madeline had to admit she was looking forward to her own bachelorette party. She had a trip booked to Honolulu with her five closest friends, including Vanessa who was flying all the way out from Dubai to join them. Madeline had initially expected her to already be home by now, as she was done with her medical degree, but she’d somehow managed to snag the attention of the reigning emir, and now she was married to him. Madeline and Jason had attended the wedding a few months ago, and it had been one of the most lavish and well-attended ceremonies she’d ever been to. The two of them had been so completely in love that Madeline had felt like her own heart was bursting.
She only hoped that by the time she and Jason walked up to the altar, their love would be the same.
The waiter came to take their order, and then Jason engaged her in light conversation about the wedding. But unlike the way his eyes had lit when he’d talked about his upcoming bachelor party, he seemed decidedly unexcited about the wedding. He kept checking his phone every couple of minutes, and his eyes would wander away to the window, where God only knew what was drawing his interest.
“Oh come on!” she complained after his phone chimed for the twelfth time. “Can’t you tell Max that we’re on a date! He doesn’t need to be texting you about Vegas right now!” She snatched the phone right out of Jason’s hands.
Something like panic flashed in Jason’s pale blue eyes. “No, Madeline, wait!” He tried to grab the phone back.
“No way.” Madeline twisted sideways in her chair, putting her hand out of reach as she swiped Jason’s screen. “If you’re not going to tell Max to stop texting you, I’ll do it myself.”
As her eyes landed on the screen, she realized it wasn’t Max texting Jason at all. The texts were from someone named Lucy, and Madeline’s jaw dropped as she was hit smack dab in the face with a photo of a naked blonde woman smiling up at the camera with her legs spread. Her heart sank straight into the soles of her shoes as she scrolled up through photo after photo of the same woman—all naked photos of herself in provocative positions. There were text messages, too, but Madeline didn’t need to read them. It was clear enough what was going on. Besides, her eyes were starting to blur.
She lifted her tear-filled gaze to Jason’s face. “How could you?” she whispered.
Jason’s expression was stony. “Give me my phone back, Madeline.”
“How could you!” she shrieked, jumping to her feet, the shock quickly eclipsed by a rush of pure, unadulterated rage. “You said that we were going to try and work this out, and yet here I find you sexting some bimbo who probably spends most of her time flashing her goods on forty-second and eight!” The buzz of conversation in the restaurant was starting to die out as patrons turned to look at them, but Madeline didn’t care.
“Madeline, you’re making a scene—”
“Damn right I’m making a scene!” Madeline chucked Jason’s phone at the ground as hard as she could. The loud crack and the splintering of glass and electronics was not nearly as satisfying as she wanted, so she stomped on the phone with her heel for good measure, then turned toward the gaping audience. “Hello everyone, meet my ex-fiancé, Jason Banden. He’s great with financials and he really enjoys pussy shots, as long as you make sure you shave down there first. Have a great night.”
And with Jason and the entire room gaping at her, Madeline turned away and stormed out of the restaurant.
Too furious to even consider calling a cab, Madeline hoofed the fourteen blocks back to her apartment on the Lower East Side. At first she could hardly see where she was going, thanks to her tears and rage, but eventually the exercise and bite of cold caused her to take deep breaths of fresh air. Her pounding pulse slowed, along with her steps.
Maybe she’d gone a little too far by making a scene in front of everybody at the restaurant. But damn if it hadn’t been utterly humiliating to know that Jason had been sleeping with another woman, and had cared for Madeline so little that he’d thought nothing of sexting that woman while talking about wedding plans with her over a date! Had he even been at a meeting, or had he been between that busty blonde’s spread legs? Was she one of his secretaries at work, one who he’d bent over his desk on his way out the door? Or was she really some whore that he’d met in Midtown?
Either way, it was completely humiliating, and Madeline had no problem dishing out a little humiliation back at him. She wouldn’t be surprised if the incident ended up on YouTube the next day for all his coworkers and family to see, and she really didn’t care. Just how long had he been sleeping around on her? Had his cheating started during his business trip in Japan?
Tears stung at the corners of her eyes and she swiped them away angrily. She wasn’t going to waste another tear on that bastard. She’d already wasted more than enough tears, not to mention time and money! She was going to have to cancel the venue, the caterers, the hotel reservations for her bachelorette party and honeymoon…all the work and preparation she’d put into her upcoming wedding and her future with Jason was going to go right down the drain.
The very thought was almost enough to drive her straight into one of the local bars lining the sidewalks. She could call up a few of her girlfriends and drown her sorrows away with booze underneath the flashing lights of a nightclub, and they would come more than willingly. Instead, she held her head up high and waited until she’d made it back to her apartment before she called the one person she really wanted to talk to.
“Maddy!” Vanessa squealed on the other end of the line as Maddy shut the door to her apartment behind her. “Oh my God, I’m so glad you called. I have great news!”
“Oh yeah?” A smile tugged at Madeline’s lips as she hung up her coat. She wasn’t about to burst her best friend’s bubble, not when she sounded so excited. “Well I could really use some good news right now. What’s going on?” She crossed her small living room to get to the kitchen, and cradled the phone between her ear and shoulder as she reached for one of the wine bottles in her cupboard. She wasn’t going to a bar, but she still could drown herself in booze tonight.