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Fake Christmas Lexy Timms 2022/8/3 13:45:48

“And you haven’t sounded like yourself for weeks,” he said. “I guess now you know how it feels.”

“Please. Speak to me.” She squeezed her eyes shut, doing everything in her power to fight back the tears. Allyson had no idea what was wrong, but she had never seen him like this. There were times when they had argued. Disagreed. Even broken up. But this was different. His anger was so palpable, but it was like he was trying so hard not to let her see it. Trying and failing, because she could see it. She could sense it.

“There’s nothing left to say.” He shut the suitcase. “You got all the money you wanted. Now you and Phillip can go spend it.”

“Phillip?” She blinked in confusion. “Who the hell is Phillip?”

“Phillip Beckford?” Dane turned back to face her. The ice in his eyes had turned into flame. Her husband wasn’t simply angry. He was hurting. There was so much pain and disappointment in his eyes. “I trusted you, Allyson. The only person I trusted more than myself was you. And you played me.”

She pulled her hand away from him and placed it over her stomach. Her insides were churning. This wasn’t how it was supposed to happen. Everything was supposed to be perfect. Now her hopes had been dashed. All her plans ruined. “Please don’t jump to any rash conclusions.”

“What other conclusion could I possibly come to?” He glared at her. “You’ve been distracted for weeks. At first, I thought it was work, but work isn’t why you’ve been running off to call strange men. Work isn’t why you disappeared for two hours yesterday without explanation. It isn’t why you’d rather be anywhere else but here with me. Admit it. You used me for my money, and now that you have it you think you can flaunt your relationship with this guy.”

Tears stung her eyes. “How could you believe that? You really think I’m capable of such a thing?”

He stared at her, an expression of pure pain on his face. “Truthfully? I still can’t believe it. The Allyson I know could never do something like this. But you’re the one who told me you had a secret. It can’t be a good secret if it’s been making you act this way.”

“You’re going to leave me?” A painful lump formed in her throat.

“I thought it would be better if I left the villa,” he said. “It’s better for the both of us if we get out of each other’s way. At least until we figure out how to end this.”

“No,” he said passionately. “I want you. But you don’t want me. I can’t force you to love me—”

“I love you with all my heart and soul,” she blurted out. “I haven’t shown it very well lately, but I love you, Dane. I can’t live without you.”

He took a step towards her. “You love me?”

“More than anything.”

“So, you’re not having an affair?” he asked.

She shook her head and quickly brushed her tears away. “No. I could never do that. Never ever.”

“If you’re not cheating then I’ll stay,” he said. “As long as you love me, I’ll stay.”

“You don’t care that I’m keeping a secret from you?” she asked.

“Of course, I care,” he replied. “But you’re entitled to your secrets. I’ll just have to figure out how to live with it.”

“No,” she said firmly. She had put him through so much pain. This uncertainty wasn’t fair to him. “You don’t. You deserve the truth, Dane.”

He took another step towards her. They were standing so close she could feel the heat of his body.

“What is the truth, Allyson?” he asked.

She placed a hand on top of the hand that was already on her stomach. Her entire body shivered. “I’m pregnant.”

The pained expression on his handsome face seemed to melt away right before her eyes. It was like someone had flicked a switch and his entire demeanor changed. The blazing heat in his gaze turned into momentary surprise. And then, tenderness.

“You’re pregnant?” His voice broke with emotion.