Jennie Lucas.

Virgin Mistress, Scandalous Love-Child






Obey me, and it will be easier for everyone. Especially you.

Obey him?

That was what had gotten her into this trouble in the first place. Just off Copacabana Beach, to the rhythmic beat of samba music and the howls of the crowds, hed looked back at her. Hed taken her in his arms and kissed her with a sudden ferocity that had made her weak. Youre coming home with me, hed whispered against the flushed heat of her skin. Youre coming to my bed

And she hadnt resisted. Shed thought she was in love with him. Shed dreamed so long of being his, and shed surrendered to his orders without a fight.

But back then shed only risked herself. Now she was pregnant. Her baby had to be protected at all costs. If Diogo meant her harm.

You said you didnt want to be a father. I accept that. She shook her head desperately. Send me back home. Well never bother you again. The child will never even know about you!

Diogos dark eyebrows lowered. Because you have other plans? No, he said with a curl on his lip. No baby of mine will leave Rio.

Jennie Lucas grew up dreaming about faraway lands. At fifteen, hungry for experience beyond the borders of her small Idaho city, she went to a Connecticut boarding school on scholarship. She took her first solo trip to Europe at sixteen, then put off college and travelled around the US, supporting herself with jobs as diverse as gas station cashier and newspaper advertising assistant. At twenty-two she met the man who would be her husband. After their marriage, she graduated from Kent State with a degree in English. Seven years after she started writing she got the magical call from London that turned her into a published author.

Since then life has been hectic, with a new writing career and a sexy husband and two babies under two, but shes having a wonderful (albeit sleepless) time. She loves immersing herself in dramatic, glamorous, passionate stories. Maybe she cant physically travel to Morocco or Spain right now, but for a few hours a day, while her children are sleeping, she can be there in her books.

Jennie loves to hear from her readers. You can visit her website at www.jennielucas.com, or drop her a note at jennie@jennielucas.com

Virgin Mistress, Scandalous Love-Child

BY

Jennie Lucas


www.millsandboon.co.uk

To Pete, who offered to whisk me to Rio for research. Happy anniversary, honey, today and forever.

CHAPTER ONE

PREGNANT.

As Ellie Jensen came up the stairs from the subway, her body was still shaking. She dimly heard taxi drivers yelling curses and honking their horns.

Vendors were already setting up hot dog and pretzel carts on the sidewalks. After a long, gray winter, New York had finally surrendered to the brilliant warmth of May.

But Ellie was cold to the bone. She hadnt felt her fingers or toes for hours. Not since she took the pregnancy test that morning and saw those two parallel pink lines

Pregnant.

She was getting married in six hours, and she was pregnant.

With another mans baby.

Her bosss baby.

Ellie stopped dead in front of the Serrador Building. She craned her neck to look up at the thirtieth floor, and panic ripped through her.

Diogo Serrador, the dark, ruthless steel tycoon whod employed her for the last year, was going to be a father.

I cannot get you pregnant, querida. She still remembered his sensual voice that hot night, riding the hot drumbeat of Rios Carnaval. Hed whispered against her skin, Do not worry. Its impossible.

And shed believed him!

How could she have been so stupid? With her history, how could she have fallen prey to the oldest clich? in the worldan innocent country girl moving to the big, bad city and getting seduced by her arrogant, wealthy, vastly sexy boss?

She should have left the company at Christmas, when Timothy did. At the very least, she should have given notice weeks agoas shed promised him she would. But shed kept procrastinating. As if something would stop her from losing the city she loved. The life she loved. The man she

She stopped the thought cold.

It had been just a crush. A wild, heart-pounding crush. Then a seduction

Ellies heart hurt as she looked up at the brilliant blue sky above the sweetly singing birds. The air was fresh and warm. The world was new.

But the news of her pregnancy wouldnt make Diogo a father. She knew that already. The notorious playboy had his choice of gorgeous, brilliant women. He took them out, treated them like goddesses, then discarded them like last nights rubbish. If women like that couldnt hold his attention, no wonder hed forgotten Ellie, a high school dropout with cheap clothes and unremarkable looks!

Diogo Serrador, a decent father?

The most likely scenario was that hed carelessly offer her money for an abortion.

Oh Covering her face with her hands, she cursed him aloud, causing the pedestrians hurrying past her on the sidewalk to give her a wide berth.

As inconvenient a shock as this pregnancy was, Ellie had already come to love this baby ferociously. This child was hers. Her family.

But Diogo had the right to know. Didnt he?

Ellie ground her teeth. She would fling his lie back into his face!

She pushed open the buildings wide revolving door and took the elevator to the thirtieth floor. Determination steeled her as she passed the glassed-in offices down the hall.

Youre late, Carmen Alvarez snapped at Ellie as she passed her desk. The numbers you gave me last night were all wrong. Whats the matter with you, girl?

Ellie felt the floor move beneath her in a sway of nausea. Shed nearly been sick twice on the subway ride from her tiny Washington Heights studio apartment. Shed been queasy for months. That should have warned her, but shed told herself her cycle was erratic. She couldnt be pregnant. Diogo Serrador had given his word! I cannot get you pregnant, querida.

Are you sick? Mrs. Alvarez demanded with narrowed eyes. Partying all night?

Party? Ellie gave a weak laugh. That morning, when shed finally been unable to zip up the black pencil skirt or button her close-fitting white shirt, shed gone to the twenty-four-hour drugstore and bought a test from the pimply-faced teenager at the cash register. No, not a party.

Then its some man, the older woman said. Ive seen this before. Wait right there. Holding up her finger in warning, the executive secretary answered the phone. Diogo Serradors office, she chirped brightly, turning away.

One of the other junior secretaries crept up to pat Ellies shoulder.

Did you see Mr. Serradors picture in the papers this morning? Jessica said in a sweet Southern drawl. He took Lady Allegra Woodville to the benefit last night. Shes so elegant and beautiful, dont you think? But then she comes from an upper-class background, just like he does. Blood will tell, my mama always used to say, class she looked over Ellie with hard eyes or trash.

Ellie ground her teeth. She never should have confessed her infatuation for Diogoor her heartache after Rio.

Jessica saw her job simply as a way to pass the time until she found a rich husband, and shed long ago set her sights on Diogo. Ellie had been trying to warn the girl with her own heartbreak.

Instead, Jessica had spread malicious rumors all over the office. Ellie was now despised by all the staff as a gold-digging slut. Elliea slut! She, whod never even kissed a man before. Diogo had swept her up into his arms in Rio!

Thank God shed finally given up on her dreams. Shed finally realized that her grandmother was right. Her heart wasnt hard or modern enough to survive city life. Shed given up. Given in.

Three weeks ago, shed finally told Timothy yes.

He had left his prestigious job as Diogo Serradors general counsel at Christmas, abruptly deciding to be a simple country lawyer in their small hometown. Hed pressured Ellie to leave with him, but shed refused.

But after today she would never have to see New York againor Diogo. She would be married to a safe, respectable man who loved her. A man she could trust.

Assuming Timothy still wanted her when she was pregnant with another mans child.

Mrs. Alvarez hung up the phone and turned to face Ellie. I dont know what youve been doing in your spare time, but your work has been unacceptable. This is your last chance

Diogos deep, accented voice interrupted her, booming through the intercom on the elegant dark wood desk. Mrs. Alvarez, come at once.

A thrill of panic raced through Ellie at the sound of his voice, causing her heart to nearly leap out of her chest.

Yes, sir, the executive secretary replied, then released the intercom button. Her critical eyes traced over Ellies pale, sweaty face and shapeless dark dress. I need you to create a new SWOT analysis on Changchun Steel in dollars. When Ellie didnt move, she said sharply, Get going, girl.

No, Ellie whispered.

Mrs. Alvarez turned back with surprise and anger in her eyes. What did you say?

Shaking but determined, Ellie faced down the older woman. I need to see him.

She looked dumbfounded. Certainly not!

Let her go, Jessica muttered under her breath. Once he sees her in that dumpy dress, hell fire her for sure.

Ignoring her hurtful comment, Ellie started toward the office door.

Stop right there! Sputtering in outrage, the older woman stepped in front of her, pointing at Ellie in an angry staccato as she spoke. This is the last straw. Whatever you might think youve earned on your back, youre nothing here. Ive had it with your incompetence. Your insolence! Collect your things. You are fired!

Desperately, Ellie pushed past Mrs. Alvarez into the private office of her billionaire boss.

Diogo Serrador was having a week from hell.

After a year of nonstop work and millions of dollars spent, his hostile takeover bid for Trock Nickel Ltd. had just failed.

Because hed lost his ally on their board of directors.

Because hed missed an important appointment.

Because his junior secretary had written down the wrong time.

And it was only Ellie Jensens most recent mistake. For the last few weeks, hed seen her work performance fall to ridiculous levels. Hed seen her come in late. Leave early. Take long lunches and spend far too much time hiding out in the bathroom.

Crying, probably.

Cursing under his breath, Diogo got up from his desk and paced in front of the curved wall of windows that revealed the skyscrapers of southern Manhattan and Battery Park. For an instant, he leaned his forehead against the cool glass, staring across the New York Harbor to the distant Statue of Liberty silhouetted against the pale morning sky. In spite of Miss Jensens inexperience, and in spite of the way hed hired hersight unseen, on his head lawyers recommendationshed been promising enough for him to take to Rio for an important deal when Mrs. Alvarez had been ill. Ellie Jensen had been on her way to becoming a valuable asset in his office.

Too bad hed made the mistake of seducing her.

Diogo ground his teeth. Biskreta, he never should have taken her to Rio. He should have fired her at Christmas, along with his treacherous ex-lawyer.

His body went tense just remembering the gleam in Timothy Wrights pale, feral face when Diogo found out what hed done. You should thank me, Mr. Serrador, the man had said slyly. I saved you millions of dollars.

Thank him? The man deserved to burn in hell.

Diogo should have fired Ellie, too. Why trust a woman who was Wrights friend? But Diogos conscience hadnt allowed him to fire her. Hadnt thought it fair.

And perhaps, he forced himself to admit, hed liked having her in the office. Unlike many of the other secretaries, shed always acted cheerful and kind. She hadnt stooped to gossip. Shed added brightness to his office.

Until hed slept with her.

Diogo ground his teeth. Hed known the girl was fresh from the country, but since she was twenty-four years old, it had never occurred to him she might be a virgin. If hed known, he never would have touched her. Virgins were off-limits. They took lovemaking far too seriously. They saw it as a relationship. Plus, they were usually boring in bed.

But Ellie Jensen had been so sweetly stunning. With those china-blue eyes, that angelic white-blonde hair, and the curvaceous body of a swimsuit model, hed naturally assumed she had experience. In the heat and lust of Rios Carnaval, hed acted on impulse. Ah, and it had been such a night His body got hard just thinking of it.

But no, he was done. There were many beautiful women in the world, and he had no interest in breaking little innocent hearts. Or encouraging naive little farm girls that they might be the ones to tame him.

He heard a scuffle outside his office door. Irritated, he turned and pressed the intercom button a second time. Mrs. Alvarez? What is the delay?

The door was abruptly flung open, banging loudly against the wall. He looked up, his jaw hard. Finally. Please take a letter

But instead of his competent executive secretary, he saw the bane of his existence. The woman whose beauty and innocence had just cost him a billion-dollar deal.

I need to talk to you! she gasped, struggling with Mrs. Alvarez. Please!

Miss Jensen, he bit out scathingly, then paused when he got a good look at her.

Her blond hair was pulled back in a disheveled ponytail, and there were dark hollows beneath her eyes as if she hadnt slept. Her forehead had a pale sheen, as if shed been ill. She looked truly awful, and her rumpled sack dress made her look as if shed gained twenty pounds overnight. What had happened to his neat, tidy, cheerful junior secretary?

Inwardly, Diogo sighed. He should have expected this. The girl no doubt intended to tearfully confess her love for him, then beg him for a commitment.

Exactly what hed wanted to avoid. He would have liked to keep her as his lover for far longer than a one-night stand, but hed denied himself the pleasure. Hed purposefully ignored her, hoping that shed realize they had no possibility of a future.

It had been difficult for him, working in the same office. Seeing her in her cubicle, hed often wanted nothing more than to drag her back to his office and make love to her on his desk, against the wall, on his leather sofa. But hed held himself back. Hed tried to be noble.

And this was the result.

Three months without a woman in his bed, and now a blown billion-dollar deal.

Im sorry, sir, the furious Carmen Alvarez panted, still pulling on the girls sleeve. I tried to stop her

Leave us, Mrs. Alvarez, he said shortly.

The older womans jaw dropped. But, sir

He gave her a look that immediately caused her to back out of the room, closing the door behind her.

Diogo placed his fingertips on his wide, dark wood desk. Sit down, Miss Jensen.

The girl didnt move. Folding her arms, she looked up at him bitterly. I think you should start calling me Ellie, dont you?

Ellie? He would never be so unprofessional to refer to a member of his staff by first name. Mrs. Alvarez had been his executive secretary for ten years, but he wouldnt dream of calling her Carmen. But thenhed never taken her body in the heat and madness of Rios Carnaval, kissing her in the street amid the collective madness of lust

He pushed the thought aside.

Sit down, he repeated, and this time the girl obeyed. Her knees trembled as she sank into the leather chair across from his desk. She hugged herself, looking unhappy, almost ill. It made him feel uneasy. The look in her eyes troubled him. Made him feel guilty.

He resented the feeling. Maldi??o, he hadnt known she was a virgin! If he had, he never would have touched her!

Still. Best to have it out now. Obviously his silence hadnt given her the message. Nor had the fact that hed taken out other womenalthough that had been for charity benefits and business engagements, hardly pleasure.

He would just have to be brutal. Inform her that he had no intention of ever settling down with any woman, no matter how sweet or pure or good in bed she might be.

With any luck, Ellie would accept his decision. She would return to being a competent secretary. He had to give her the chance. Although, if a different member of his staff had made a billion-dollar mistake, he would have fired the person without thought!

But he couldnt do that to Ellie. Not after hed seduced her in Rio on a whim. Not after hed unthinkingly debauched the innocence of the only purely good-hearted girl hed met in New York.

He looked down at her.

What do you wish to discuss with me, Miss Jensen? What is so important that you nearly started a fistfight with Mrs. Alvarez?

She swallowed. I needto tell you something.

Yes?

He waited, bracing for her to blurt out that she loved him, that she couldnt live without him, that she wanted them to move in together, or some other such nonsense. Hed heard it all before.

Instead, she said, I Im leaving you. She licked her lips. Resigning. Effective immediately.

Relief rushed through him. Then

Sharp regret.

Regret? Ridiculous. He was just surprised, that was all. And rather sorry to lose a competent secretary.

And yet

He sat down heavily in his chair.

Im sorry to hear that. But I understand why you want to leave. Ill write you a recommendation that will get you hired by any firm in the city.

No. She shook her head. You dont understand. I dont need your recommendation. Im getting married.

He stared at her, shocked.

Married? The center of his chest went cold. When?

This afternoon.

That soon? His hands tightened. Thats fast.

I know.

He took a long breath. All these months, she hadnt been heartsick over him. He hadnt hurt Ellie at all by seducing her. Since then, shed just been distracted by a hot new romance. Diogo should have been glad.

But something like cold fury went through his body. For no good reason, he had the sudden urge to punch the man who would soon have Ellie Jensen in his bed every night, doing his bidding and moaning his name. Giving him her body

He ground his jaw. Who is he?

Her posture went straight in her chair. Do you really care?

No. He clenched his jaw. I dont.

She stared at him for a long moment.

You really dont, do you? she whispered. She shook her head. Women are interchangeable to you. Useful only for organizing your schedule, making your coffee or warming your bed.

Warming his bed? If hed followed his own desires, he could have had her in his bed every night for the last three months. Diogo tried to remember why he hadnt. Something about being noble. He cursed under his breath. He should have just enjoyed her. Now hed lost the chanceforever.

Hed been replaced so easily!

Diogo had never had the experience of being left by a woman he still desired. This was his reward for doing the right thing? To see his prize carried off by some other man?

He leaned forward in repressed fury, placing his fingers on his desk. Useful, Miss Jensen? Hardly. Your distraction over your love affair has just caused me to lose the Trock deal

I told you, call me Ellie! she cried. And Im not finished!

Feeling like a saint, he folded his arms and forced himself to wait.

She rose slowly to her feet. There was a sheen of tears in her eyes. She seemed to sway with emotion.

Im sorry about the Trock deal, Diogo. But theres something you need to know. She spoke so softly he could barely hear. Imhaving a baby.

The coldness in him spread, turning to ice. A baby?

Ellie was pregnant. With another mans baby.

For a second, he couldnt even breathe. He heard the echo of a womans voice long ago, pleading in Portuguese. Will you marry me, Diogo? Will you? And later, a mans voice in the same language. Im afraid shes dead, senhor. Beaten to death

Diogo?

Ellies voice brought him back to the present.

Pregnant. That certainly explained the weight gain and the pallor and all the time shed been spending in the ladies lounge. She hadnt been suffering tears of unrequited love. It had been morning sickness.

Pregnant. Ellie had been in bed with another man. Her legs had wrapped around his as she pulled him down on her naked body with an ecstatic cry of joy. How many times had they made love for her to get pregnant? Three times a week? Three times a day?

Anger rushed back in force, careening over the numb shock like raging water filling a dry riverbed. Ever since theyd returned from Rio, hed been celibate as a monk, striving night and day to bring the Trock deal together. And while hed been blaming himself for taking the poor, sweet, innocent girls virginity, shed nonchalantly gone from his bed into a hot love affair with another man. As if her night with Diogo had been a mere stepping stone to bigger and better things.

She was pregnant.

Engaged.

And getting married in a hurry.

Suddenly, he saw the whole situation in a new light.

He sucked in his breath. He turned to face her, and his lip curved into a sneer.

Ellie, youve got quite the act going, dont you? Playing the part of a sweet, innocent girl. But when you realized that giving me your virginity wasnt going to pay off, you quickly moved on to the next man, didnt you? You accidentally got pregnant. I assume hes very rich? Congratulations.





: 1 2 3