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Rowan Carmichael hesitated in the hotel lobby. She did not expect find a more luxurious and even properly dressed, felt moved in this universe. She looked around her and a shiver ran down his neck: it

was so long that she had not come in this kind of place

was another woman. She crossed the bar door, trying not to give in to

panic invaded. This was not the time to talk about the past. This existence then

was over

Suddenly, she felt terribly old, despite his twenty-seven years. After re-keying, she went to an empty table and sat down with relief in a comfortable black leather chair. A server came eagerly take his command. When he was gone, Rowan leaned his seat and backrest folded legs inspiring thoroughly. She had to gather her wits and above it controls his emotions. In less than ten minutes, his lawyer would be there and they would discuss the best how to reconnect with the husband she had left two years earlier and his son. Acute pain crossed it again. Perhaps she had been foolish arranging this meeting so quickly. After all, she had just come down from train, and it was the first time she found herself in a public place after two years passed away from this great noisy and hectic metropolis - London, where she had sincerely thought never to return.

She resolutely straightened in his seat. Everything would be fine. His fears were ridiculous, had she not gone through much more terrible trials?

At that time, it

A sharp pain shot through her chest and she had to stop for a moment.


new chapter of his life began. And maybe

A little hope shudders


his chest. Maybe a new chance at happiness? She had had so little

until now Just then, his attention was attracted by a little boy who ran and came spread on her face at his feet on the marble floor. Without thinking, Rowan stood up and bent to take it gently.

- It's nothing, 'she said with a reassuring smile. You did not really hurt, eh? You seem to be very brave. He stood awkwardly on his little legs, trembling lips, obviously asking if he was going to cry or not. It was adorable with its

dark blonde hair, her dark skin and huge eyes

A shade so rare

Rowan had the impression to receive a shot in the chest. The child's eyes

the shade of purple.

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were exactly the same color as his. An intense feeling, primary, came over and she felt the world tilt around her.

Apparently the boy had decided not to cry and looked with air candid, with a big smile showing off her little white teeth. Then he rubbed his forehead and said a few unintelligible words she barely heard. The shock was so intense she could barely breathe.

It could not be him

She had dreamed of this moment for so long that she had a hallucination? Probably, she thought, looking at the little smiling face and those big eyes violet. Yet his heart cried to him otherwise.

Would she feel such an upheaval whenever she perceive a small boy his age? At this time, the legs of a man appeared behind him. He leaned a brief moment to raise the child and the spicy scent of his cologne mixed with essence manly happened to her. She immediately recognized the familiar mixture and his blood froze in his veins.

A deep, deep voice rang above his head, tinged with a slight accent

barely detectable.

- To leave them for a moment, they spin so fast

Shaken to the depths of his being, Rowan straightened. He dominated his high size and was so beautiful that it felt as if his brain stopped working, just like the first time she had seen him. Almost three years ago. This could not be true. It was too cruel. After all she had already crossed Suddenly he stopped short of speaking and warm smile faded. His dark blond brows came together above his eyes a piercing blue color ice. Rowan felt pierced to the heart with his eyes torn raw. She lives

a succession of emotions succeed on her beautiful face - after the shock, disbelief

then, more powerful, disgust, anger, hatred, rejection Paralyzed, she tried to speak, but no sound crossed his lips. Everything seemed stand still around them, as if they were in an invisible bubble suspended

in time. When she looked at the boy he was holding in his arms, she had

the impression that his heart would explode. It was really too much. "My son,"


She then collapsed at the feet of her husband. Isandro Vicario Salazar stood before one of the following where he had windows

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Rowan took a few moments earlier. He looked at the high tower of telecommunications that stood nearby without seeing it. Rowan Carmichael. Rowan Salazar, his wife.

His mouth twisted in spite of himself. His wife

She who had left him,

abandoning his child just hours after her birth because she was not ready to assume that. He could hardly contain the rage that roared in him, beat in his veins. That day, he had left to rest after childbirth. On his return, some Hours later, she was gone and he never had seen since until today He was still shocked to have met in the bar of his London hotel. Emotions he had deleted long jostled him. He had extirpated his soul that day, discovering its true nature in perceiving how the point he had been duped.

Suddenly a slight noise interrupted his thoughts. Stiffening, he turned slowly. Rowan waited a few moments before lifting eyelids as she was accustomed in the past two years. A few seconds of respite before to face the reality shock, a few seconds to take inventory of his body,

discover the thrill, look for the pain

Horn reached him from the outside and what had happened suddenly came to his memory. She stiffened: for now, she laughed madly whether it

sure it was fine. The sounds of

felt any physical pain. She opened her eyes and saw him. It was not a mirage, he stood with his back to the window, the hands in trouser pockets of his suit tailored. The clothes emphasized the contours of his manly figure, highlighting his shoulders powerful and lean and muscular body. It was exactly as he remembered He was so handsome and he was there before her, alive, vibrant sensuality. - Well, he began sarcastically, caused you find me a shock, apparently. Yet here belongs to me, you would not have been surprised me see. "The hotel belongs to him? "Rowan asked himself out of his daze. From when he owned a hotel in London? He often came to business, but had

never liked the city. How could she choose this hotel

from unintentionally

dozens of others? And how did she get in this room? The memory suddenly came back to her and she was overwhelmed by a flood of emotions just bearable. She had seen her son had touched him, held her in his arms for a few

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seconds This simple thought the upset to the point that his brain seemed on him explode.

- Is

Is what I scared him? she asked weakly.

The expression of disgust that came over the face of her husband made him like a slap.

- No. If this were the case, you would not be here right now.

Rowan stood up and sat on the bed She still felt terribly head Isandro heavy and looked warily. After all this time, the fact of seeing him again

made her almost hurt physically. She had dreamed of this moment for so long

- The Zacarias did you call? she asked in a hoarse voice.

- Yes. But do not make me believe that you care, I beg you, he added,

contempt. Rowan shuddered and felt pale. She knew exactly what to expect when she would find herself in front of Isandro but had certainly not expected that this would happen so fast. She had arranged to be in possession of his means, to have

the opportunity to explain

the impression that she would never be willing to explain.

- Your lover is gone.

She was about to get up but was stale.

Despite the frigid attitude that was needed, Isandro was far from feeling calm. He appealed to all his control not to move toward her, suddenly up and

Require require

Who was she wanted to deceive? Now she had

what? He flinched involuntarily under the force of emotions

that thronged him. To his chagrin, he realized that the strongest of them was jealousy. No, he said, immediately pushing this idea, the only armor that remained to him was his

pride, and swirl had seized him had nothing to do with feelings. He had learned the hard lesson that it had imposed it two years ago.

- What? she asked, giving him an incredulous look.


Your lover is gone, he repeated. The man with whom you had an appointment. I

suppose you reserved a room? Is this how you spent the last two years? On a walk around the world, stopping you in hotel rooms passage of lovers? Did you think about that when you wrote that you were not ready to take on marriage and motherhood? Rowan felt a stabbing pain twisting his temples and put his hand to his head, desperately trying to grasp the meaning of his words.

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- Oh, you have to talk to David Fairclough. This is my lawyer. I had an appointment with

him here

- To cause to me, is not it? he interrupted her looking at her with contempt. Rowan had barely heard. She finally find the strength to get up.

- I do not lie. We had an appointment

Invaded by a terrible sense of helplessness, she was silent.

She really had not expected that things would go well. Gathering her courage, she raised her chin.

- I wanted to discuss with him the best way to contact you, so

we were talking about you and me the opportunity I see my son.

Isandro crossed his arms over his powerful chest.

- I can tell you right now that you better give up this idea.

A wave of panic crossed Rowan. She nervously stepped forward.

- I have the right to see my son, despite what happened. You can not me

prevent. Horrified, she realized she was going to burst into tears. She tried to control himself. He she had not collapsed, not here, not like this. She had to be strong.

- I can and I will, says Isandro an icy voice.

She shook her head and opened his mouth to answer, but he interrupted


- I'm surprised you remember that you have given birth to a son - if you left fast. Rowan felt devastated by the pain.

Of course I knew I had a son, she said in a trembling voice. I have thought of nothing else since

- I

Isandro took two quick steps and took her by the arm so violently that it hurt him.

- It's enough!

Paralyzed, Rowan breathed deeply to hide his pain It was worse than

all she had imagined.

- Isandro. I beg you, I can explain everything. Perhaps you'll be so understand

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He interrupted her harshly.

- Understand? Understand?

His face was so close she could see his fine wrinkles around them corners of his eyes. Back the sensations that jostled her, she stiffened. Furious, he continued and contempt of sweating every word:

- I know what happened. You left a word

remember? Nothing, not a

single word, you hear me? Not one lame story that could excuse what you did done that day! You have an innocent child deprived of his fundamental source of love. Nothing no one in the world could absolve you of this crime. When thou hast forsaken, just hours after her birth, you gave up the right to be his mother. "

These words unspoken weighed heavily between them. Rowan felt his poor explanations die on his lips as the words Isandro sounded cruel to her. For a brief moment, she felt as numb and poisoned arrows plunged into his heart, mingled with guilt that had never left her. What would she have said for his defense? He was right, she thought, unable to utter a word. How could he understand what she herself had worked so hard to admit? It began just to forgive? She had abandoned her newborn. Had she really believed qu'Isandro would let explained? He would forgive him one day? She did not deserve it. Rowan felt ready to collapse, but could not afford it now. It had to face the consequences of his actions and give up looking for absolution. Gathering her strength, she managed to free himself from his iron grip. Isandro looked indifferently a few steps back and rubbing his arms, eyes downcast. He felt his anger turn into icy rage. She was much more thinner than when he had met her, he realized it now. The short jacket his tailor and straight skirt made out exceptionally slim, he remarked. Even if everything in him rebelled against this involuntary reaction of his body, a wave of burning desire shudders in the pit of her stomach.

"And you have waived the right to be my wife

He hastened to suppress disturbing sensations that had invaded, but could not however help but notice that it now seemed terribly fragile, vulnerable, even. Her strawberry blonde hair, which once hung over her kidneys, were now much shorter. She had lost none of his noble class, he noticed contemplating the graceful line of her neck. In any case, it was terribly mistaken about her, for the first time in his

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life, he had made a huge mistake, catastrophic.

Suddenly she looked up at him, taking him by surprise. Resolution strengthens. This woman was the abject creature he had married, after all, his gaze remained irresistibly attracted to women and sensual curves of her slim body and, at its amazement, he again felt his body react violently.

- Whether it pleases you or not, I have rights, 'she said, and leaving the misguidance which had led to his senses. Any court will recognize it. Despite my past acts, allow me to see my son, you can not help it. Rowan watched his reaction warily. He did not suspect that she had to

made superhuman efforts to speak to her like that. For a few seconds he looked at her without saying anything, his face impassive, then turned and walked toward the door.

- You'll stay in this room until I allow you to leave, he said before

leaving the room. There is a bodyguard behind that door, if you try to escape,

He has orders to stop you. Stunned, Rowan advanced towards him.

- Wait! if she exclaimed. What do you do? We have not finished this conversation. When he turned back, the coldness of his gaze froze to the spot.

- Oh, yes, we have completed. For now

But remember this: you

left your son and you left with me. Now I can help you or things, or you make them very difficult. Is up to you. Then he opened the door. Rowan had barely time to catch a glimpse of the mass impressive bodyguard before hearing a little voice exclaim joyfully "Daddy, Daddy! » The door closed once and Rowan stepped unsteadily. Just hearing the voice of his son was more than she could bear. His legs gave way and she fell dragging on the ground. She remained seated and long, legs folded under her, completely stunned. It was only after a few minutes she realized her cheeks were flooded with tears, and she clutched his chest like soothe the pain that radiated from his heart. She eventually get up and walked to the window. How he had been the fate together well? wondered Does contemplating the buildings that stood before his eyes. It was a savage irony. She chose this hotel because it was close to the St Pancras station, where she had arrived by train from Paris, and because of his firm lawyer was too close to the London offices of Isandro! And as the name

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began with an "A", the Alhambra Hotel was one of the first to appear on list proposed internet. Rowan had thought qu'Isandro would probably Spain and had considered the

Contact by mail announcing his desire to get to know his son

Instead, they were there, both Now, all these projects were destroyed. Needless to consider writing a letter

detailed and true to explain why she left that day


Facing the

Isandro anger, she understood that he was in no mood to listen - and would remain probably a good time. In addition, he believed that she had a tryst Really, everything seemed to have conspired against her. And then there was his son. Zacarias. He was so beautiful, she thought, feeling an immense happiness mingled distress hugging her heart. She had been so unprepared for this meeting. But how could she expect to find the child and she had thought never to see again? Every second of that fateful day when she was away from him remained engraved in his flesh as printed with a hot iron. His heart was beating irregularly in his chest. Suffering and joy melted into her, giving her want to cry and laugh at a time. At this time, Rowan heard the door open behind her. She started and inspired background before turning. Isandro's face was so dark and severe she held her breath. She felt the full force of hatred she inspired him when he approached her, watching with obvious disgust. His blue eyes were icy as ever. - You can you go if you want, he said coldly. Before this about-face, Rowan felt a painful spasm through his chest. After she had been so close to his son, the idea of being referred to it now seemed unbearable.

- No! she said, shaking her head. I will not move from here. I returned to London back in touch with you. Believe what you want, but I really did not know

not that this place belonged to you. I will not leave before you have let me see Zacarias. His lips tightened within the scope of annoyance, apparently he did not expect not that. - Very good. In this case, you will spend the night here, and tomorrow morning we will discuss all of this. Rowan gave him a skeptical look. She had not thought it would sell as easily. - It's not worth looking at me with that suspiciously, Rowan. After all, you're

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my wife, is not it? I am delighted to see you. Then a sardonic expression on his face, he turned away before leaving the room. For the first time in hours, Rowan began to breathe more freely. She went to sit on the sofa and curled up, hugging her knees against her before surrender to grief. Much later in the evening, before the door of the suite where Rowan was, Isandro wondered what he was doing there, a few meters from his own apartment. He entered the dimly lit room, and it was only when he tried to move towards the room he saw the coiled form on the sofa. His heart clenched painfully. Why was not she remained where she was, away from them? Damn, he knew why. She had come to take all that his greedy hands could grasp it

including his son, no doubt. He wanted to giggle watching the way she was curled up like a desperate child. She reappeared in her life, as a hidden backstage actress made her entrance on stage. Yet before this sleepy harmless form, Isandro could not stem the tide memories that crowded into his memory. He remembered the first time he had seen in this crowded reception room, where he had come to meet Alistair Carmichael. Rowan's father was on the brink of bankruptcy and hoped qu'Isandro accept a deal that could be beneficial to both parties. Carmichael knew what what did Isandro and Isandro knew that his opponent was desperate to avoid public humiliation of ruin. Rowan had been part of the market. When he saw her in the middle of the crowd, their eyes were crossed, in the purest romantic style. He felt those eyes magnetized by a rare shade, a beautiful dark purple, their seriousness. Women contemplating the general with any other expression. It had seemed so shy - too shy, in fact, he knew now that all this was only comedy. He then saw his father with him and he understood. The old man wanted to marry his daughter and made him shimmering considerable property she would inherit her mother the day she would marry. Suspecting the banker to have itself views the legacy of Rowan, Isandro was led to believe that the prospect of this windfall interested. He had no need the money, of course, but on the other hand, was looking for social recognition. Without his marriage Rowan, after the good English society, the fact that he takes the Carmichael seat at the bank would always be viewed with suspicion. Isandro his lips. He would not let the thoughts that result in

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crept into his brain. Two years earlier, he had sworn never to venture into this dangerous ground. He had not expected, when he entered this market, the place that his new wife take in life, and what he would experience discovering his true nature. For a moment he thought back to how he felt when he was back in the maternity room to discover that she was gone, leaving him a word, accompanied by his ring Engagement and its alliance. What a fool he had been! Did he not different flood other women he had known? Well, if he swore silently silently before leaving the room, she was pay for his actions - a hundredfold.

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The next morning, sitting on a chair, Rowan contemplated the door of the suite apprehensively. After spending the night on the sofa, she woke up early, aching limbs. By the light of day, she had the clearest ideas. It will not be intimidated by Isandro and make her admit that she had rights. Unfortunately, it was Saturday, she thought, wanting in its lack of reflection: she knew neither private number of his lawyer nor the mobile. She should have called the day after the departure of Isandro but was too shaken to think about it. This error might it

expensive. Actually, she had appealed to his lawyer in case Isandro after

contacted, would prove intractable. She dared not acknowledge that she had fed naively hope that despite everything, once it could, they could rebuild

a united family.

Yet they were happy. They had shared something, says Rowan,

thinking of the early days of their life. Isandro was the first man to successfully

get her out of his reserve, the first with whom she had made love

fell in love. Thanks to him, she felt beautiful and desirable. It was not

the only she

probably because of this that she did not realize the essential: he felt nothing for her. This painful certainty brought her back to the present. Isandro had probably already consulted his army of lawyers to study the best attitude to adopt before the reappearance of his wife. Suddenly the door opening startled. Aback by the arrival of his husband, she immediately got up. The body stiff with tension, she contemplated her beautiful face dark and dark blonde hair slightly disheveled, as if he had to spend the hand. Aback, Isandro quietly closed the door behind him looking at her. His face was still very pale and his eyes stood out on her alabaster skin as two large purple spots. He then realized she was trembling imperceptibly.

- I hope you slept well? he asked quietly, hiding the effort was required to master.

- Very good. The bed is very comfortable.

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Rowan refused to tell her that she had spent a terrible night. Before his indecipherable speech, she could not help but cringe when he approached her. He wore neither jacket nor tie and rolled up the sleeves of his shirt over his forearms. Had he just give food to Zacarias? A strong desire to see his Children engulfed. She needed to make sure it was real, it was not dreamed of. It was as beautiful and healthy as it had seemed Isandro crossed his arms, frowning and was suddenly look so formidable as Rowan had to make an effort to control the trembling that had seized all his body.

- Your timing is impeccable

but it is not new, is not it?

Ignoring his provocation, Rowan held his icy stare and waited for an explanation.

When he walked to the window bordering on the way, as for the cause, it felt enveloped by this species in both fresh and musky that reminded him so much intimate and sensual memories. Isandro remained his back a few moments. He was not confident enough look at it and hated the helplessness before his own reactions. - In two months, he began a neutral voice, it will be exactly two years you're part of this motherhood. If you're back now is to ask the divorce in order to recover the amount provided in the marriage contract. I see you is careful not to exceed the clause two years of abandonment, which would have turned the position against you. That must Thee painful to have to disturb your existence to return in time, but after the divorce, you can disappear again.

He turned to her and glared at him. Rowan reached out to overcome the shock of his words, while barely understood. She had no notion of legality. She came now because she was capable of, because she finally felt well enough Isandro let out a short laugh and hard.

- Come on, you do not even expect you to when we played the comedy of family reunited in joy?

Rowan shook his head and remained silent. In a few words, he had to reduce to Dust secrets and childish dreams.

- You made me the service, he resumed a careless tone that shook him even more heart. Your recurrence saves me from having to make you look to get your consent Divorce - get me at least spared the inconvenience. He came back to her and her expression suddenly changed as he gazed appraiser air.

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- Let me guess. You've spent all your money?

Rowan felt pale. The colossal legacy of his mother was indeed running out, but not for the reasons which he clearly envisaged.

- That's what I thought, he said, darting a triumphant look on it. He is disappointing to see how women are predictable. I wonder why I am also surprised. So you're back for lay hands on a nice sum which will allow you to He paused a moment and stared the contempt.

- But when you consider how quickly you squandered money from your mother,

not mine not last much longer. Cold rage seized Rowan and suffused her cheeks.

- I do not want your money, Isandro. My only desire is to see my son.

- You only considered it as an asset in your game, he replied with contempt. You really take me for a fool, but your back just shows how much you

are interested. Being the mother of my son an additional guarantee for you, is not it? You think you use it to get the most out of me. My God. If he knew

- Tell me, 'he said, looking pensive, have you already planned your vis-à-vis the media defense? Will you talk about postnatal depression, as suggested by the newspapers when they found your sudden absence from my side?

- A postnatal depression, she began, genuinely bewildered. You mean

nobody knows

Rowan was convinced that the press had announced that it was part


abandoning her child and was prepared to face the issues contempt. Thus,

Of course, it was probably this

formidable Spanish pride. How could she have forgotten that?

- Why are you asking this question? he threw the setting of his piercing gaze. Why do you pretend not to be aware of?

- But

She felt increasingly losing ground. During the first months following her departure, she had not read any newspaper or watched any television program. When she

Isandro had not used his escape to his advantage

I do not

had resurfaced, no posts mentioned Isandro. Her husband was not a man to be mentioned in the tabloid press, its power and wealth allowed him to stay away from the media. Nevertheless, the papers were well have talked about the sudden disappearance of the

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woman Isandro Vicario Salazar.

- Nobody knows you left the day of the birth of Zacarias, he said, as

if he had guessed his question. When I returned to Spain with him, the media if its disinterested us, thinking that you were a refugee you safe from intruders


Rowan was struggling to assimilate.

- And your family

She remembered the austere face, marked by suffering, mother, coldness with which she had attended their wedding in London, seemingly hating every moment of the ceremony. The Isandro older sister, Ana, had been equally icy,

suspicious. Neither one nor the other had welcomed him.

- They know exactly what happened and were not surprises.

Rowan realized that if she stood a second longer, she might collapse like the day before. She walked hesitantly toward a chair and sat down,

feeling terribly weak before the magnitude of the battle that awaited him. She refused to overwhelmed by the dark reality. Isandro was unaware that she felt unable to face the situation. Finally, she had done well to contact his lawyer before

in my house of Seville.


return to England.

- All I want is to see my son, she replied in a firm voice. This is

why I had an appointment with Mr. Fairclough yesterday. I do not know much

about it, but I know that as a mother of Zacarias, I have the right to see it. Isandro tried to quell the anger that had seized her when she was mentioned the name of Zacarias.

- I can prepare divorce papers today, he said quietly.

Alas, she would have to face the full arsenal of Isandro

feeling his heart sink.

- If you accept the divorce, he continued, and my conditions concerning your

rights against Zacarias, I triplerai the amount mentioned in the marriage contract and will be transferred to your account immediately.


Rowan thought with an involuntary shudder. But money was not interested.

Straightening chin, she got up, determined to be strong. She had to focus on her child, she could collapse later

- No.

- No? Isandro repeated, the angry face.

, thought Rowan,

That amount could run a small country for years,

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- I will accept the

To his dismay, she realized that her mouth and tongue seemed to refuse to work.

- To divorce, of course, 'she said, feeling ashamed. This marriage was not

a love story, I am very aware. But I will not sign any document that

deprive me of my rights to Zacarias. This amounts to an attempt to intimidate, Isandro, and I will not let you do.

She crossed her arms to hide her trembling. Actually, Isandro felt rather perplexed. No one had ever accused intimidation, and it does not like. To use such methods it

to be afraid

could do to her son, afraid of disturbing sensations that crept into him and he refused to face.

- Zacarias is my son, she went on. I carried him for nine months, I put in

world. You do not have the right to take away my right to see it. You can not

Surprised, Isandro calmly looked at the face.

- And yet, he said tartly, you could go away and give up without a single

look back. Rowan felt his throat tighten. She had thought only of her son. If she had looked

back, she would never part, and this would have meant that

Forcing himself to stop the flood of painful thoughts that raced through her mind, she repeated:

- I do not care your money. I just want to know my son.

and he had to admit that this was the case. He was afraid of what she

What nerve! Which she hoped to deceive? Isandro almost laughed. After married to get their hands on the legacy of her mother, she became pregnant in just to get as much money from it. Oh, she was very intelligent, he was willing to admit. Returning just before two years have elapsed, it knew exactly what she was doing. Although he argued his departure, there would

questions, an investigation

maternity, but knew that taking it well, she could use to his advantage. The extent of his duplicity sidera it again. On their wedding night, she was

He had kept the letter she had left before leaving

virgin and managed to maintain this illusion of innocence and purity. He interrupted his thoughts and thrust his hands into the pockets of his pants. For a second, the sensuality that emanated from Rowan Isandro struck, making arise in his mind a vivid memory. She saw herself lying under him, her naked body marrying his. Their physical union was so deep that she felt

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he had reached his soul.

Suddenly, she felt hot and panting weakly shook his head. "It must be the atmosphere of this room, there's too hot, "she told herself.

- In this case, you leave me no choice, then resumed Isandro.

- No choice

She fought back the urge to unbutton Mao collar of his shirt to breathe better She had behaved despicably with his own son, how could she back quietly and demand their rights? Isandro wondered indignantly. He knew perfectly well that any court would be inclined to give a child the chance to know her mother. His own lawyer had advised him not to oppose reasonable access, adding that a refusal would only be detrimental. Isandro wanted to turn tail at the moment, away from her, forget her existence, but it was impossible. Why does not she accepted the small fortune he proposed? No doubt she hoped to get more praising the comedy of grieving mother. Very good. He went the area believing that it gave him a chance, but would raise its conditions, on his land.


- If you are sincere, if you only come to the knowledge of Zacarias, am ready to go with us to Seville in an hour. His words caused a strange reaction in Rowan. Focusing on its light blue eyes, she felt bewitched by them.

- Continue she said in one breath.

- You'll come live with me for a time sufficient to prove your good intentions towards

Zacarias. You will have the right to see for a limited time, we monitor

- More

- There are no "but." These are my terms, Rowan, and you're in no position to challenge them. As if she was not aware

- I've told you. My only concern is to be with Zacarias, as much as possible.

- In this case, I suggest you should meet you.

Live with him at his home

observed, spied


In such proximity

His every move

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Could I not live somewhere nearby?


Isandro waved his hand impatiently.

- It is not possible. If you really want to know Zacarias is in its

usual environment you have to go. I will not let you disrupt his rhythm, or

take him outside his home. It is out of question.

- I was not talking about that, I just wanted to

- Take it or leave it, Rowan.

Isandro see the torment that obscured his eyes. He was not surprised that she

reluctant to accept his proposal - it showed that his intentions were not

honest. After two years of freedom, getting stuck at home, in a small town

outside Seville

Angel, Zacarias would have the patience of a saint to the test. - You have five minutes to think about it, he added. Flabbergasted, Rowan looked out of the room. Once the door closed on him, she walked nervously up and down. She had to reflect fast. Isandro was not used to waiting. She was aware that it was better for her to stay in London meet with his lawyer and reflect with him on the best course of action. But for that, he would wait until the following week. Meanwhile, the link fragile that it had returned her son would be broken, Isandro would go again in Spain with him. On the other hand, her husband was determined to divorce and would probably be very difficult to contact once the case would be in the hands of his lawyers. It could last months, maybe even longer, before she could see Zacarias. Furthermore, if Isandro advantage of his refusal to accompany them to accuse him of having refused the chance to live near her son, that she could respond to his defense? Maybe it was just what he expected? She had to put aside his feelings Isandro. His only priority was her son. She had to abandon his dream of rebuilding a couple, a family. In

Starting two years ago, she had destroyed everything irrevocably. Fate and circumstances had driven a terribly painful way and now she could not go back.

She would crack quickly. Besides, even with a smile

"This is not the time to soften," she thought, straightening her shoulders. It is surprising a conversation between Isandro and sister while her pregnancy It was late, she understood exactly what qu'Isandro felt for it. Yet she had believed that their marriage was for him the same as

Page 19

for her. She despised him for his ridiculous fantasies. On their first night, she

was a virgin. And he

Zacarias was there. She had seen him, had touched. There was no way she

away from it again. She did not feel able to. It would prove his courage and her determination and her husband would be forced to admit she had a role to play in the life of their son.

- Well?

Standing in the door opening, Isandro looked, dressed in a suit

impeccable and tie. Everything about him exuded virile power and sensuality. Rowan, however, saw a small muscle twitched in his jaw.

- I'm going with you, 'she said quietly supporting her look.

From that moment on, things went at breakneck speed. Isandro pulled a phone from his pocket and passed a call, speaking so quickly that Spanish Rowan did realized that some bits. Two years earlier, she had yet spoken commonly this language An implacable expression on his face, he finished his conversation and laid the device in his pocket. She felt anger and impatience vibrate in him, he would not accompanies it. She was sure that someone, probably his lawyer, he had advisable to bring in Spain and that he had expected a refusal on his part. She knew

well, certainly not, she thought bitterly.

that his presence was not wanted and it made her nervous.

- Where do we go get your stuff?

- Nowhere, she answered, everything is with me.

He threw a mocking look on his suitcase.

- Everything?

- Yes, everything is in that suitcase and my passport is in my purse.

- You do not live in England?

Injured by the careless tone of his words, she shook her head. He really took a word to the letter and had not tried to find her. It had been his goal, of course, but this finding was not less painful. He took a step toward her.

- You really think I'll believe you lived with the contents of the suitcase for two years? he threw advancing toward her. Yes, indeed. If he looked out this suitcase, he would see that it was the she had taken to motherhood. Similarly, it could recognize the tailor

Page 20

she wore, the only one she had won two years earlier.

- Regardless, Isandro. What matters is that I'm here now.

- Come on. It is time to go, merely there to reply, shrugging casually

shoulders. Rowan took her purse and ran the strap over his shoulder before lean toward her suitcase. To his surprise, he came and took it from her. To his contact, she received such a shock that she quickly removed her hand, as if she had been burned. She felt his breath accelerate and his heart beat so hard she could not hide her

reaction. He dominated his full height. Unable to meet his eyes, Rowan was experiencing a whirlwind of sensations, images and memories that tortured her. Isandro seemed to know exactly what she was feeling and eyed her with studied insolence. When his gaze came to rest on his face, he was cold and distant, and Rowan guessed

he perfectly understood her reaction and it displeased him. Such a rejection exuded him that Rowan felt terribly humiliated. God thank you, he said nothing. After turning on his heel, he left the room, carrying the bag without looking if Rowan followed. Cheeks burning, she caught him before elevators.

- Where

The doors opened silently and she followed Isandro in gleaming cabin. When

the unit began to descend, he said calmly:

- Zacarias is already at the airport with his nurse. When we get there, it should be aboard my jet doing a nap. I will ensure that their habits are minimize the disruption.

- Oh, she whispered.

Stunned, she noted that it had adapted their lifestyle to that of his son. At that moment, the elevator doors opened again on the ground floor. Isandro strode into the luxurious lobby and Rowan had to pick up the pace to stay at his

level. Outside the hotel, a sumptuous black limousine was waiting, doors open. Isandro showed him a gesture to settle in, taking care not to touch, noticed Rowan. Once they were both sitting in the back, the driver

? she began in a faltering voice. Where is Zacarias?

closed the doors before going to get behind the wheel.

- I thought you hated this town, she noticed while the limo

sneak in heavy traffic. When her business had detained in London after sham marriage, she remembered that he had been particularly irritated. Then her pregnancy had

Page 21

unable to leave Spain.

- Yes, I hate it, he replied, giving her a brief look hard.

- So why buying this hotel?

This time it squarely turned to her and instinctively felt his body Rowan


- Where does this sudden interest, Rowan?

- I just asked myself, that's all, 'she said, looking ahead

it. Isandro studied his profile - straight nose, the determined chin. Long black eyelashes. The incredibly soft and full-attractive lips. He despised soon to let

go to contemplate the features of a woman devoid of any moral sense. Just now, he had contemplated with desire and, just for a moment, had forgotten who she was while his body reacted violently. It was probably what she wanted to provoke. Hell, he had to talk. It deletes the images that were flooding into his brain, memories

- I bought this after the birth of Zacarias. I can not ignore its origins

English. It's part of his legacy. If he ever decides to settle here, this

facility will be a good investment. Rowan said nothing, too shaken by the implicit tenderness contained in these words. How many times had she felt this tenderness, then headed toward her. The contrast between the ruthless businessman and this other aspect of it, much more secret, had made irrevocably in love with him. She never should have duped as well. She had to protect himself, now, do not forget this conversation heard accidentally.

Page 22


Sensual and mocking face was close to hers growing. Panic came over and she struggled to escape the cruel smile, the icy eyes. Suddenly, someone tugged insistently on her skirt and she found brutally brought back to reality. She opened her eyes and remembered that she was on board the plane. It must have been asleep. Was again pulled her skirt. Looking down, she discovered the blue-light purple of her son plunged into hers. His heart stopped beating for a moment. The

cheeks still red from sleep, all disheveled, Zacarias dragged behind a old blanket to past shades. An emotion so intense she hugged feared to faint again. But she managed to control himself and smiled shyly. - Hello, Zacarias, she said in a voice hoarse with emotion. Clinging with one hand to the fabric of her skirt to stay balanced, he appointed himself same index and proudly repeated:

- Zacarias!

He put his free hand to his head with a grin, obviously making a link between Rowan and his fall the day before.

- Yes, you fell. You got a headache? she asked, leaning towards him.

After pretending to look for a bump with a trembling hand, she exclaimed suddenly, as if she had found. Zacarias immediately began to laugh

like crazy small.

At that moment, a woman older than Rowan Spanish and probably appeared behind the child. She leaned over and took the hand of Zacarias to take him while Rowan watching curiously.

- Hello madam, I'm Maria, the nurse Zacarias

- Pleased, I

She paused. What could she say? "I am the mother of Zacarias," "Mrs. Salazar "? Without waiting for more details, the nurse smiled and took the hand extended to him Rowan.

- Excuse me, he must eat.

Rowan nervously agreed with a nod and took goodbye to that Zacarias was walking away with the carefree attitude to his age. She turned to the door and

Rowan, she began extending her hand.

Page 23

watched the clouds without seeing them. She was too shocked and heart was too tight to cry but could not help to feel deeply relieved to see Zacarias in such good shape. This concern had always been his priority, it would have been unbearable

he suffers a moment. Two years earlier, she certainly had not expected to find themselves in this situation. Had she shown selfish to come back, wanting to see Zacarias know? She was certain to be right but could not help thinking she did not deserve this luxury: his son, touch, spending time with him Maybe she should have to stay away. Let them continue their lives, but it does

had not had the strength. When she learned that everything had changed, she had a luck

- Well, you were very hungry

Rowan turned his head sharply. She had been so absorbed in her thoughts that she

had not heard Isandro approach and sit on the seat across the aisle. He had again removed his jacket and tie, as if to free his vibrant energy virile. His shirt half open on his neck, discovered his dark skin. Rowan wondered what happened to him? She was undeniably attracted Isandro from their first look, but did not remember ever having felt a carnal desire as violent.

- Yes, indeed, she replied, considering his empty plate.

Isandro frowned at the memory of the crumpled form on the sofa. The vulnerability that had inspired him this vision continued, despite himself, to disrupt.

- You did not eat dinner at the hotel?

Rowan blushed and shook his head while the eyes of her husband walked on its silhouette of an unflattering look.

- You lost weight, he said in a tone of reproach.

- I know.

He really did not need to show him how he found her unattractive. TO

this time, a small dark meteor blonde rushed to Isandro who bent down and lifted the deftly in his arms before he fell. He turned to Rowan, and for the first time, addressed her with a voice in the hint of heat.

- As you have already seen, it is not yet quite able to stop

once launched. Rowan felt his throat tighten when Zacarias put her little arms around his neck of Isandro and pressed against him, before wriggling just as quickly to clear.

Page 24

Isandro put it down to his feet and watched from the corner of his eye until his nurse come looking for it.

- He is very handsome. You did a great job, she said without looking Isandro.

- That surprises you? he replied dryly. Rowan looked up at him.

- No. I knew you'd be a good father

She stopped suddenly, about to say, "I was afraid you only

hast not enough time for him

and, of course, she had to worry about it. Obviously Isandro did not hesitate to take Zacarias in his business trips. Isandro examined it in silence. His voice had revealed a feeling he could not identify with. In his eyes, he also discovered an indefinable glow, and for the first time since he had seen her, he saw shadows that did not exist before. Was he suffering? Grief?

"Her feelings were too apparent

At that moment, she turned her head and when she looked back, her eyes were perfectly clear. They were so similar to those of Zacarias that took her breath away. Every shadow had disappeared from their depth, it had been


optical illusion due to the light, he thought wryly. The hostess then came to tell them that the plane was landing. When she was gone,

Isandro stood before coming to stand in front Rowan, hands on the arms of

his chair, as for the trap. Plagued by a mixture of amazement and fear, she felt the heat that radiated his powerful body. Instinctively, she leaned back in his seat. He gazed with such intensity that she had to make an effort to speak.

- What

She had to erase the memories of his brain that precipitated it, those other times when he had looked at her with the same intensity. - Simply this, Rowan. If you try anything that could put Zacarias in danger, if you do him any harm, believe me, not a single court in the world grant you the right to see it after the divorce. I will not hesitate to use all my power, and get lucky if you manage to find any information on it in newspapers. He smiled with such coldness Rowan could only look at him, terrified by what

perfect stranger. Then he straightened up and walked to the back of the plane with


silent panther. How Isandro react if he knew that she had already risked his own life to protect Zacarias? That would leave him indifferent, she thought

What does he?

darkly. As he said himself, in his eyes, nothing could ever absolve of his crime. Rowan sighed and looked out the window as the plane touched the ground Spanish. Rowan stared mechanically the rolling plains of La Campina while the jeep was heading east of Seville. Actually, she still had a lot of trouble assimilate what was happening. Isandro was driving, next to her and Maria was in back Zacarias. Sitting in his child seat, it babbled happily. Hernan, the bodyguard who had been introduced to Rowan before departure, followed them to driving another vehicle. When they entered the picturesque town of Osuna, where was born and where his Isandro house was, she could not help but admire the facades old houses and their carved balconies. - It's beautiful, she whispered. - Yes, he said, giving her a brief look on the sly. While driving, he had seen without her noticing. It was expected her shows disappointed they move away from Seville, but it was not manifested. Instead, she seemed uncomfortable in noisy streets. Of course, she was not going to unmask as quickly. They were now at the top of Osuna, overlooking the impressive Baroque buildings. Isandro took a small road, to the surprise of Rowan, turned out to be a dead end. The vehicle stopped in front of an imposing iron gate forged, embedded in a stone wall over which we could see the tops of large trees. Isandro wrote a code on a small device and handed it through the window and doors

opened slowly. A security guard came out of a gate to greet Isandro who kindly answered. Rowan had vaguely expected some sort of hacienda. Instead, it discovered a huge baroque-style mansion that seemed straight out of a fairy tale medieval. The cream walls gleamed in the sunlight, through which shimmered glass in many windows. On each side of the steps leading a carved wooden door, a profusion of flowers overflowing with terracotta pots. It all gazed in amazement during qu'Isandro was parking. He went down nimbly from the jeep before coming off Zacarias. Hardly placed on the ground, the child began to jump excitedly to recognize his house. When Rowan slowly out of the vehicle, the huge front door opened as if by magic, revealing the staff lined up waiting. The heart pounding, she followed her husband and son inside the impressive remains. After rapid presentations, Isandro gave instructions and Luisa, the housekeeper, took the suitcase Rowan and led upstairs. Rowan tried in vain to take it from him.

Page 26

While pink and ivory shades, his room was a paradise. Inexplicably, these soft tones soothed once she understood why:

was not the dreaded white of his nightmares. Nice to think of anything but his demons, Rowan listened to the explanations of housekeeper carefully. This part, she took a deep breath and explored the area. A huge canopy bed crowned sails off-white chiffon occupied the center of

the room. Contemplating the beautiful honey-colored waxed floor, she walked to the holder window and discovered with amazement a cute little stone balcony that overlooked on a private patio. Complete with a pool lined with colorful mosaics whose bottom was covered dark green paving stones, the place exuded charm and incredible calm. She went down

Slowly the steps. The patio was surrounded by flowers and olive trees. "This place is so

"thought Rowan breathing in the delicious smells that filled

the atmosphere. Suddenly she jumped - Isandro was there, a few yards away,


standing to the same glass door to his, with a balcony and steps down in the courtyard, litait this room? if she asked, wincing at that thought. The scowl, he came toward her. Rowan could not go back, unless you end up in the pool

- That Please? he asked in a strained voice.

Rowan shook his head, suddenly horribly dry mouth. It was stunningly beautiful, almost unreal.

- You really blew it, you know, he said suddenly, looking around him.

During the last two years, you could enjoy all this, while Now, you'll never be at home here. Rowan felt his heart sink: he thought she did not want that evidence

material of his wealth.

- Do not forget, dear wife, he looked with disdain, you're here only

my order and on the advice of my lawyers. They think that it is good for me to show how magnanimous I see you leaving Zacarias, despite what you did. So do not be too greedy and do not imagine for one second that you are entitled to one square centimeter of this property. The least of your movements will be monitored and you Zacarias not see when and only when I will permit.

- That's all I want, she finally managed to articulate. I'm not here for you take anything, Isandro. Your property does not interest me. I just want spend some time with my child.

- And to see what you could reap after divorce. Do not tire you, Rowan.

If I had been less blinded by your alleged naiveté, I would have realized since

Page 27


- What would you put thee account? she interrupted violently overwhelmed by

his emotions. The woman that you had married her only to allow you to introduce yourself in English society was actually that - a stripped facade any real interest? Taken aback by his reaction, Isandro remained silent for a while. His words revived his own humiliation - he hated to admit - his disappointment. She stood before him with his arms crossed over his chest to protect themselves and highlighting the soft swell of her breasts. He looked at her, unable to think of anything but the desire throbbing which spread in him. Even if he rejected it with all his strength, he went

that the more he saw Rowan, over his desire for her became irresistible. This finding strengthened his resolve. He should have realized that the passion burning that had once hidden under his shy and timid appearance is manifest again. Although she was a virgin at marriage, he had awakened to sensuality and as soon as she was released from her baby, she fled. He had never thought that their marriage would be consummated, but when he was,

it had seemed so natural, so right. Then, when she was pregnant

interrupted the course of unsettling thoughts. The woman who stood before him was her only weakness, and this weakness had proved fatal.

- Our marriage was never meant to be anything other than an arrangement, he said

dryly. We both knew.

- Obviously. I knew

Unable to continue, Rowan broke off miserably. Why was it left and intimidating? if she asked, irritated against herself. In any case, it should

especially that he is aware of its vulnerability.

- I expected no more, 'she said in a firmer voice.

Under the sun of the afternoon which darted its powerful rays, Ile felt hot, hot and tired. She did not have enough energy to support this confrontation. In addition, she wanted to forget that their marriage destined to remain platonic


transformed - at least for it - a sensual and intoxicating passion. Lord, she

had given him so hard

Forcing himself to focus on the present, she felt wobble treacherously while the heat suddenly seemed to intensify. In an almost brutal gesture Isandro grabbed her arm and led her toward the stairs leading to his room.


Now, shame tied her stomach.


It is not necessary that you stay in the sun. You're not used to such heat.

Page 28

When she pulled away from him and looked at him suspiciously, he backed in turn by bursting a laugh hard.

- I am stupid! How do I know that you're not used to the heat?

Who knows where you spent the last two years Rowan felt pale. Sooner or later, she would be forced to reveal her where she

had actually found. But for now, she was too vulnerable. If she could only Isandro not see for a while, focus on


control emotions. They were now in his room and Isandro walked to a door she had not even noticed. Painted the same color as the wall, she was almost invisible. This was to be a connecting door with the Isandro room. His heart leapt painfully in his chest. At this point he turned and looked mockingly.

- No one here expects us to play the comedy of the happy couple. Not

not worry, Rowan, I will not come knocking on your door at night. No, indeed, she thought, trying to ignore the sharp pain that ran through him chest. She knew well qu'Isandro was a crowd of mistresses at his disposal. Perhaps he had even attended by one during their life together, she thought as Thinking back to what he had made disparaging remarks about her to her sister. When the door closed behind him, Rowan let out a sigh of relief and sat on the bed, exhausted, while the memories crowded into his memory.

She would talk to her when she would feel stronger and more able to

The night of their marriage, she had not expected him to come in his room. He had then looked as if he saw her for the first time and she still remembered the desire she felt it vibrate when his blue eyes had

beheld his body. He approached her, more and more closely, and it was first thought he had come to wish him good night of sheer politeness. But suddenly her own body and her heart had seemed to exhale the desire that consumed. As if

heard his silent complaint, he had taken in his arms

awoke in her a passion she never knew existed. Rowan shook head, as if to drive the painful memories. She was so hungry for fun With a groan, she jumped up and began to unpack his suitcase. Fortunately, that drove the fever of his thoughts. She granted the luxury of a long hot shower and then wrapped in a fluffy bathrobe before lying down with delight on the bed Gradually, she let herself be wrapped in the peaceful atmosphere of its room. She had found her son, she thought abandoning himself to the sweet torpor who invaded. Nothing else mattered. She was back in that room. The white room with two double doors. She knew she had to get out, that if she did not, she could never

kissed her

Page 29

go, could never see his child. Panic seized her, making its clumsy movements. She could could not get up. No noise came closer. They came to enclose. Two double doors. She wanted to scream, but no sound crosses his lips. She had lost her voice. The bed covers were guarding prisoner, like a trap. A strangled cry in the throat, Rowan felt tears hot running down his face. Suddenly she felt someone shaking while

mad terror paralyzed his limbs. Rowan became aware of two things in the same time. It was the dream. The same dream that regularly came back to haunt her, although this time it is manifested in a slightly different version. Moreover, it was truly pure shaken someone. Lifting eyelids, she soon met the icy stare of Isandro watching her with an expression impatient. She was Spain, in his room, not in that horrible room.

- What the hell is wrong with you? Your screams echoed in almost any home.

Zacarias sleeping a few meters from here. Zacarias. The terror of his dream was still so vivid that she trembled in every limb.

She felt completely disoriented. It was dark and the curtains billowed gently in the warm breeze. The large hands were still resting on Isandro

his shoulders and he was half sitting on the bed, so close she could feel manly


emanated from him, the warmth of her body

- What time is it? she asked, sitting up abruptly.

He let emerge and looked at the platinum watch that surrounded her wrist.

- 23: 30 pm.

- Really?

He nodded and moved away from the bed

- Julia picked you from the hour of dinner, but you were sleeping so deeply

I told him to leave you alone. He looked at before asking a harsh voice:

- No, she replied weakly. I'm just

I I did not realize I was screaming.

Putting his hand to his temple, she realized she was wearing a bathrobe, which

tired. And I had a nightmare.

was ajar. After tightened around her, she stood up awkwardly.

- I had to be more tired than I thought, that's it.

Isandro turned on the small bedside lamp threw mysterious shadows on his

stern face. Rowan saw that he was still dressed.

Page 30

- I was going to bed when I heard you, he said, as if he had read in his thoughts.

- Oh

- If it happens again, I'd have to settle down on the other side of the

home away from Zacarias. When he wakes up at night, it is impossible to sleep.

- It will not happen again, I assure you.

How to prevent these bad dreams to come back to haunt her? if she asked, despair. Most of the time, they were sad and she woke up in tears. But celui- there was particularly scary. Isandro looked. With rosy cheeks and her hair disheveled, she was terribly sensual. She had faked this nightmare to draw him into her room in order to seduce him? Boy, was she aware of the effect it produced on him? During these two years, was she became an expert in the art of seduction? This thought tied her stomach. He could not forget what he had felt some moments earlier, when he had taken her by the shoulders. His bones had seemed so fragile

He had tasted its delicate perfume, slightly floral. But the terror that had pierced in her cries were real.

- Arrange for yourself that this does not happen, he said while realizing the absurdity of his words.

she whispered. I'm sorry.

If she had been plagued by a nightmare, how could she control her reactions? He turned and left the room. Damn it! Why the hell did was- she not stay where she was Isandro went slowly open the door of the chamber Zacarias. Her son slept peacefully, while the body on the bed He walked over and gently put it back in the middle, heart full of love. Why did his mother have the right to see the child she had so cruelly abandoned? thought he, clenching his fists. Alas, he was obliged him grant it, but if she imagined he would take leave Zacarias The next morning, Rowan felt dazed and horribly heavy head. Awakened by a knock at her door, she saw a young maid entered the room. Celle- it walked to the glass door and drew the curtains before opening more widely doors, letting in the sunshine to flood the room. A bird sang some part. It was so good, Rowan thought, feeling her body welcoming warmth provided by the light breeze. - Buenos días. - Buenos días, Rowan repeated by sitting on the bed She smiled hesitantly to the girl who sent him a shy smile. This one

Page 31

told him that breakfast would be served downstairs in fifteen minutes. After a quick shower and put on a plain skirt and a T-shirt - one of only three outfits she possessed - Rowan went down to the ground floor. She realized that she had to have the dismal air, but did not have to worry about her appearance a long time. Moreover, it does not ava expected to find there. In

approaching what was to be the dining room, she heard the screams of Zacarias. Heart pounding, she took a deep breath and entered the room. Three pairs of eyes immediately turned toward her. Carefully avoiding looking Isandro, she approached

Zacarias smiling. From his high chair, he had quite a mess

food everywhere, and especially on his face. He smiled, waving his little hand

who was holding his spoon without worrying that it is full.

Resistant great difficulty in fierce desire to care for him, she sat down and greeted Maria, who was sitting on the other side of the table and also took his breakfast. The Zacarias nurse gave her a hesitant smile and returned it with Rowan recognition. At that moment, Julia appeared with a plate loaded dishes appetizing. After having laid before her, she told him where the fruits were, the croissants, and poured him a cup of coffee delicious aroma.

- I hope you slept well? Isandro asked, giving him a look as colder than the color of his eyes.

- Yes thank you. The room is very comfortable.

Maria then broke the silence that followed:

- This is an amazing house. I have often thought it must be a place magic for a child. Zacarias had much luck.

Isandro slipped a mocking glance at Rowan, before turning to Maria.

- Yes, is not it?

Rowan felt the weight of the insult in the remark but Maria did not seem aware of the tension that vibrated between them. She continued to talk about the

house, asking a lot of questions and Rowan was relieved of his presence. Now Isandro finished to eat that Zacarias had calmed down and finished

There was

obediently breakfast. Maria stood up and apologized. Isandro stood up in turn and pulled away from his Zacarias soft chair before him.

- I think he has eaten enough.

- I'm going to dress, said the nurse by taking him out of the room. When Isandro sat Rowan gasped. She had only just

Page 32

noticed he was wearing jeans and a T-shirt that hugged his chest broad and powerful. He looked over his coffee cup.

- More nightmares last night?

- No, she replied, shaking his head.

By the time she looked away, Isandro noticed the shadows that highlighted

his eyes. A violent sensation struck him in the chest as he remembered the desire that had seized him the night before.

- I'm sure, 'he said in a neutral voice, they are caused by the guilt

you must repress. Rowan jerked his head. His words had torn with the precision a scalpel. For a short time, Isandro refused to see the excruciating pain which read at the bottom her violet eyes. It could not exist, he said. He had already noticed the smiles falsely shy she addressed to Zacarias and insidious way she charmed Maria

- Isandro, Rowan began hoarsely. I only ask one thing:

give me a chance. Nothing else, am here following your requirements and I will bend me.

He leaned back on his file and looked at his body visibly tense. It was really too thin. The bones in his wrist seemed so fragile - as if they would break if he grabbed

- Since you're here, that means you got lucky, though you do

not deserve, he said tartly. Damn, why was he so sensitive to his presence? He hated that feeling. After approving a nod, she looked down, her hair falling his face and stealing his gaze. He almost reach out and push them back and drag him behind the ear.

- Thank you, 'she whispered.

He had to get out of this room, he sees his most vulnerable air. He rose from table suddenly dropping his towel and Rowan looked sternly.

- You are here, as I have said, first because I did not have a choice - and then because I know you will not hold one week. He glanced with disgust on his worn clothes.

- All these efforts to play comedy

When he turned away, ready to head out the door, Rowan gathered all his

It really was not worth it, you know.

Page 33


- Wait! if she cried, rising.

He immediately stopped and turned, looking visibly impatient.

- When

when will I spend some time with Zacarias, please?

- You could see the two hours before his nap after lunch. When he returned to her, Rowan gripped the table with one hand. - I took a leave of one week, Rowan. I will not be far away and I will keep least of your movements. So do not worry illusions. Rowan watched him walk away and leave the room. A week? Him take over a

day off

had changed? Because he had changed, undoubtedly. This sweetness, tenderness even if it was not for her. Moreover, he had taken the distance to his work, as he had to prove it Even if he had married her coldly to take control of one of the banks the most important of England, he had welcomed the prospect of fatherhood. Good her pregnancy had not been planned, it had seemed pleased to have an heir. She took a sip of lukewarm coffee, trying in vain to push the memories assailed. During the evening at the Savoy, his sick father had appointed him Isandro, but in reality, she had seen him when he entered the reception room, he contrasted so the middle of the room blandness. After a sort of general murmur all women had appeared parade for him. Looking at the crowd with insurance it seemed carefree reactions it provoked. Rowan was, like all the other women present, unable to detach his eyes with his tall figure. Yet he had met his gaze and had headed her with a special interest. Trembling, she saw him approaching, then stop before her and had then realized it was not her he looked, but his father.

After briefly greeted Rowan, he shook hands with his father and retired with him in a private room, where they found their market, the market of which it was

? She sat back, trembling all over. Was it the fact of being father

party, which had swung his life. Rowan realized she was holding her cup so tight she might break it. She relaxed and rested the forcing himself to breathe calmly. So many events had taken place since that day, so as cruel and unexpected events. It could not afford to indulge in those memories, she had to focus on the present and Zacarias.

Page 34


- Excuse me, Ms. Salazar, it's just that

unusual. Rowan flinched Maria had automatically called "Mrs. Salazar" in its

clumsy English. She replied in Spanish:

- Please, Maria, call me Rowan, she said, looking at the nurse with

sympathy. I know it must be strange for you to see me arrive suddenly and,

but my only goal is to get to know Zacarias. Maria seemed stunned to hear him speak Spanish, but still looked worried. Apparently, she did not know how to deal with it.

- Listen, 'said Rowan, all I want is to spend some time with you

and Zacarias. After all, he does not know me, so he will get used to me. She saw a look of relief crossed Maria's face and wondered if Isandro had asked him not to lose sight of Zacarias in his presence. The nurse then proceeded to explain their habits while playing Zacarias happily on the lawn with a pile of toys, especially cars. Rowan felt the skin of his neck shiver but did not turn around. She knew very well qu'Isandro watching from one of the windows overlooking the main courtyard.

this is a little

It does no trouble concerning the surveillance of her husband. She had two Zacarias hours and she was not going to spoil. Emotional tears in his eyes, she looked at the little boy. His personality was well stated. Feeling she looked, he looked up and held out his hand. After throwing a reassuring look at Maria, she let him draw in the grass to play with him. Isandro stood before the window, arms folded tightly across his chest. Apparently, Zacarias joyfully welcomed Rowan in his life - as if it had ever turned away from him, as if she had not rejected when it was more vulnerable. Crossed by a wave of anger, he had to remember not to go for Zacarias

in his arms and take her away from this woman. And yet

About to her, she did not seem at all bored. Zacarias was usually wary towards strangers, but from the first moment he saw her at the hotel, he had showed no reluctance towards Rowan, as if he had recognized her. Isandro shook head irritably. It was impossible Sitting in the grass next to the boy, she shook her head while he patiently

he looked happy.

Page 35

babbling incomprehensibly with the utmost seriousness, convinced as to its Usually it was included. She always wore this old skirt and T-shirt worn. He looked down on the skirt lift that showed much of his leg shapely end. His stomach clenched and he immediately turned away from the window abruptly before heading to his office where he took the phone with determination. The next day, Rowan went into the house after Zacarias had disappeared with his

nurse to go take a nap. My God, she thought quickly through the hall, she ever find a spend time with her child without feeling that his heart was torn

every time she looked at him? She had just set foot on the first step of the stairs when she heard himself called an authoritarian tone. He therefore left her no


in its most vulnerable moments. She turned reluctantly, hoping she was not too bright eyes. Isandro stood in the doorway of the piece that was to be his office.

- Could you come here a moment, please?

She nodded and walked toward him, avoiding eye contact with him. When he stepped aside to let her pass, she brushed and held his breath not to breathe smell of his manly scent. She was so concentrated not to react to his proximity, it does not immediately saw the man who had to get up and held out Now the hand.

- I present Ricardo Sanchez, my lawyer said, Isandro.

Rowan stepped forward and took the outstretched hand toward her.

- Good morning, Mr. Sanchez.

His heart was beating painfully. The divorce papers. This had to be it. It

had expected from the moment they arrived in Spain, but was not

less horribly wounded: he did not even give him time to make his evidence

- Sit down, Rowan, I beg you.

Rowan sat on the seat designated Isandro him and looked around the office before sitting down in turn. Even in jeans and T-shirt, he looked terribly

It looked qu'Isandro was a kind of magician, his ingenuity to surprise

powerful, formidable. A ray of sunlight fell on her hair, surrounding them with an aura golden. She blinked and focused on the lawyer sitting to his right. He must have forty, she evalua and was attractive, although it was a bit too stuffy for his taste. At that moment, he turned to her and smiled. After these forty-eight hours of terrible tension, Rowan was grateful for this kindness brand and returned his

Page 36


- Ricardo

Feeling guilty for no reason, Rowan blushed and looked away. Isandro

gave him a stern look before turning to his lawyer.

- Could you show documents to my wife, please?

- Of course.

The lawyer leaned over and pulled out a sheaf of papers from his briefcase dark brown leather. He handed one game and another Isandro Rowan, keeping one for himself.

Rowan had not deceived - it was indeed the divorce papers, written in Spanish. An awful feeling hugged his chest, cutting off her breath.

- You could see that everything is in order. Regarding the contract

marriage, nothing has been changed. You will touch

- Isandro, interrupted Rowan clenching fingers over the pages, I have already told you that He stopped her with a sudden movement of the hand.

then began Isandro forward.

- Spare us, please. Mr. Sanchez is aware of the circumstances of

that divorce. It is not necessary to play the comedy front of him. She turned to the lawyer, obviously very uncomfortable, avoided looking at her. Very good. Isandro did not want to hear it? He insisted to give him the money? Perfect, it would put immediately into an account in the name of Zacarias, and may give a part

- If you'll sign here page.

Outraged, Rowan looked Isandro with incredulous eyes.

- You're joking, I suppose?

Isandro suddenly gathered the leaves.

- You're not going to tell me that you refuse

Rowan stood up, determined not to show her how she was affected.

- Do you think I'm stupid enough to sign these documents without reading them?

she asked, laying the papers on the desk as if they were burning his fingers. Terrified, she hoped he did not see that his hands were shaking.

- Everything is written in Spanish, she continued. Should I remind you that this is not my

he went on, referring directly to the last

Page 37

mother tongue?

- But you speak fluent

- Yes, indeed, but I do not know the legal vocabulary. How do I

whether you have not added a clause for the custody of Zacarias, depriving me of all

my rights to him?

He stood up and glared at her. Obviously she had piqued his honor to the quick.

- I have obviously not done that. It is only the divorce.

- Well, I will not sign anything until you release these documents in my

lawyer. When he tells me that everything is in order, I will sign, not before. Isandro felt impotent rage boil. Yet he knew she was right and in other circumstances, would have advised him to do exactly the same thing.

- She's right, then said Ricardo. It is necessary that we send a copy of these documents to his lawyer.

- Could you send him in English, please? Rowan intervened.

Its obvious provocation Isandro irritated at the highest point.

- Of course, Ricardo said, with a shade of respect in his voice. Rowan turned back to Isandro.

- I would like to call Mr. Fairclough to prevent.

She looked in the chin and straightening Isandro suddenly felt unpleasant he should apologize. Damn, this woman had committed a crime

unforgivable! What right did she do it moral? He clenched his jaw and took the soft phone before him. She merely look down on the front camera to look again.

- In private, she said dryly.

Without making a gesture, Isandro the length contemplated. An extremely high tension now reigned in the room and Ricardo was feeling very uncomfortable Isandro perfectly realized that the way he had acted only him

not like at all. But it was the fault of Rowan, it caused in him visceral reactions that had led him to organize this meeting and to write Documents in record time.

- I'll ask someone to bring you a cordless phone in your room, he said in a tone overly polite.

- Thank you.

Page 38

Head high, Rowan left the room. Once in the hallway, she went in haste toward the stairs. She knew perfectly qu'Isandro would never lowered to add

a clause concerning the custody of Zacarias, it was not her style, but she knew she was right to take precautions and to assert his rights. Arrival in her room, she walked to the window and stared at the door patio. Immediately, she felt soothed by the tranquility and beauty that emanated from it

haven. What a contrast to the hardness of Isandro

divorced in a moment. It would be rid of her as if they had never done anything shared At this time, we knocked lightly on the door and she jumped. When she opened it, she found herself facing the right young man who had come to wake up the day before. Everything about him

smiling amiably, the latter handed him a cordless phone that Rowan took in thanking. Moments later, she told David Fairclough what happened and warned him that he would receive the documents relating to the divorce. There you go. Their marriage of convenience would end. This marriage had been supposed to remain platonic and gave birth to a child. Rowan regretted nothing, even if it caused him more pain and grief she would herself capable to bear. It will continue to endure suffering until it proved

If he had been, he would have

Isandro that his intentions were sincere. During the rest of the week, Rowan avoided as much as possible her husband and managed to do crossing at the time of breakfast and dinner. Anyway, he spent a lot of time locked in his office, not leaving that to keep company to his son or ride a horse. Rowan loved the brief moments she spent with her son, when she played

with him before his nap. It noted with pleasure that Maria was increasingly ave relaxed her and even took advantage of his presence to match a little break. It now brought a book and left her to care for Zacarias. That day, when the nurse tried to take the child at the time of his nap, he began to scream, he wanted to continue playing with Rowan.

- This is really well accustomed to, 'said Maria, smiling at him uneasily. But Senor Salazar's instructions are very clear.

- You do not need to justify yourself, Maria. I know perfectly.

The nurse blushed while Zacarias continued to scream in her arms.

- I know, but you seem so

- What's happening?

so friendly. And you are his

Page 39

They turned their heads simultaneously. After crossing the lawn around the corner, Isandro of Maria Zacarias came to take arms and examined his face in tears.

- He's just tired, Señor Salazar, Maria hastened to explain. It's time to

his nap, but he was much amused with Row

The suspiciously, Isandro looked round the tower.

with Ms. Salazar.

Before he could reply, she walked away quickly. Feeling terribly nervous, she decided not to take refuge in her room as she did every day and went instead to the living room. A few minutes later, she heard steps closer and saw Isandro enter the room before closing the door behind him. A menacing expression on his face, he advanced towards her.

- What does he? she asked, wincing.

- What did you do to my son?

Rowan shook his head.

- Nothing. I was just playing with him.

- He was very disturbed. It must be because of you.

Stunned, she stared at him. How could he also accused of unfairly?

- He was tired, nothing more, Isandro. Children this age become easily

excited. He found me a new playmate, but next week it will be used. Isandro felt an unbearable irritation invade. His allusion to the week next aroused in him all kinds of reactions.

- Since when do you know so much about the children? he asked with disdain.

- I'm a woman, she replied in a calm voice. And I worked as an au

hand. Moreover, Zacarias is my son, I Rowan paused. She was about to say "I love", but she knew it would only cause a torrent of insults from her.

- I'm her mother, she said calmly. It will take you accustomed yourself to my presence,

you too. I do not intend to leave, and now I will stay close to my son. Isandro looked at her from head to toe.

- Until you lay your hands on what you came to look, do you want to say.

Page 40

Then thou forsake again, and this time it will be worse because it will accustomed to you. He turned violently and walked away, then turned around and came back to her, eyes gleaming. Prohibited, Rowan saw him approaching so close that she could distinguish different shades of blue at the bottom of his eyes. She shuddered violently. If the Lord suspected - I know what you're doing to him he threw aggressively. But listen to me: I his father and I'm here - if you do it any harm, you will not see ever again! Rowan felt his throat tighten painfully while an infinite sadness was seized from her. She guessed the anxiety of Isandro, its uncertainty. It included the because she had gone through the same torments a million times. She wanted reassuring, comforting him and his hand rose despite it.

Immediately Isandro recoiled sharply. He contemplated his hand suspended in the air horror. Damn, for a second, he nearly meet his gesture - Do not touch me, 'he said with disdain. You disgust me. Then he turned and left the room. Paralyzed by the poison contained in his words, Rowan felt unable to

move. He hated so much

rolling down her cheeks. Isandro loved his son so totally, unconditionally if she

Hot tears came to his eyes before

knew that, like her, he would have given his life for his child. He may consider as a threat to Zacarias caused unbearable pain in it. During his last days off, Isandro seemed observe Rowan with even more careful. Instead of leaving her alone with Zacarias and Maria afternoon as First was the fact he joined them. His attitude made her harden. She would not let bully, he had no idea how she had become strong. She endured without flinching its obvious distrust. However, when Sunday came, she was a nervous wreck. They took their coffee in the dining room after dinner. Rowan swallowed in one gulp and closed eyes to savor the aroma, which allowed him to avoid looking Isandro. When the cup was empty, she got up quickly, but he joined in an instant and grabbed her wrist. This physical contact provoked in her a reaction so violent that could not help wavering. If Isandro had not seized by the shoulders, she would fallen. Stunned, she looked up at him. His hands on her burning under the thin fabric his waistcoat, the look he darted over it sparkled. Suddenly, the air seemed to load

Page 41

electricity. It was impossible

felt that she had experienced that night. The night of their marriage. And during the countless nights that followed. Crazy nights of intoxication, of passionate embrace

She was wrong. He despised. And yet


A hand left his shoulder and came to relieve her chin.

- I wonder

last two years. Now, you're probably much more experienced

, he began hoarsely, what you have learned during these

Page 42


It was only when she saw his face close to hers that Rowan knew what he would do. She felt her body involuntarily switch to him. When his mouth gently brushed her lips, she could not repress a groan. She wanted his mouth seized hers, his arms shaking the against him to feel his manly strength. She had waited for this moment for so long. Always.

Isandro felt himself sinking: he first wanted to kiss that lucidity to prove to himself his detachment, but now dying of envy hugging what consenting body before him. He wanted to feel her breasts crushed against his skin naked. He felt her soft lips ajar, as if she hesitated Abruptly, he released her and stepped away from her. Surprised, she stumbled for a few moments before recovering. This time he made no move to help him. Damn, after telling him the other day it disgusted him, he had to prove him wrong! He cursed himself with all his might. How could she make him lose control of himself? In addition, it could not deny that he always wanted wildly, despite what she had done. He rubbed his mouth with the back of his hand, as if to erase the imprint of his lips. - Finally, you were perhaps not as inexperienced as you had the air, it he launched a cruel tone. Women may be able to fool anyone this is the first time it is well known

Rowan had to make a terrible effort on itself to restrain the emotions jostled in it. She was horribly wounded of how he had erased the traces of their kiss. Yet while his body still trembled with desire. How

could she have left to do when he wanted one thing: to hurt? When she tried to miss him, he took her arm, forcing her to turn around. His face was hard, his mouth tight.

- You married me just to get your maternal inheritance. But you went

too far, Rowan. In order to secure your future, you got pregnant, as a additional insurance while intending never to take care of your child. Great difficulty in concealing her pain and grief, she impliqua a voice trembling:

Page 43

- You are wrong so much that it's almost laughable Isandro.

She had to say something - anything - to mitigate the injury.

- You forget that I did not really have a choice, 'she said. I was part of

market, remember? I was forced to marry you, for your gratitude Social and save my father's humiliation. Hesitant, Isandro looked, unable not to look down on his chest simmering. His words stirred something disturbing in it, which resemble an inexplicable pain. Trembling, Rowan managed to keep his arm. At that moment, she hated it with intensity. It is, however, realized that his reaction was only hide

other emotion, much more frightening. She absolutely had to protect themselves.

- Go to hell, Isandro, she whispered.

- Not without you, replied he violently.

"I'm already gone

- I'm not going anywhere, Isandro. We will have to get used to you.

She turned and left the room, the flickering approach. That night, she repeated the nightmare. She was locked up in a white room with she could not get out. But when she woke up, wet cheeks and heart beating wildly, she was alone. God thank you, this time she had awakened person, thought-


it listening to the silence in the house. The next day, sitting in his office in Seville, Isandro found himself plagued by almost irresistible desire to leave, to get into his car and go home.

It was there, at home, alone and unattended, apart from Maria and staff. Was it crazy to have left? He got up and ran his hand angrily in her hair. At that moment, the phone rang.

" The words trembled on her lips but she swallowed them.


Hello, he said, recognizing the voice of Ricardo Sanchez. What he has, Ricardo?



am busy.

- I just wanted to tell you that your wife's lawyer had informed us

that it could sign the documents. He contacted for specifying it. Isandro sat back in his chair. A terrible heaviness weighing on his chest.

It was absurd, would not it have felt relieved?

- Perfect. The papers are always in my home office. If you can come tonight, we will sign them.

- Of course.

Isandro put the phone with an irritated sigh. Without the looming presence of Isandro, Rowan was able to relax a little. Maria had received strict instructions, but softens a little. Rowan was him terribly grateful, now she could really care for Zacarias. It was aware of irritating Isandro at the highest point with his presence during the time he spent in Seville. When he came home, he looked at his son before turning to

it suspiciously, as if he feared she did something to him.

A few days earlier, Rowan had signed the divorce papers and since weight

terrible oppressed his chest. Friday night dinner was uneventful, and Rowan managed to escape

quickly. Once in her room, she was too upset to sleep and thinking qu'Isandro had to work in his office, she left and went down into the garden. In this haven of peace, she tilted her head back and gazed at the stars. Suddenly feeling very vulnerable, she sat for a moment on the last step and let the hot air of Andalusia caress her skin. Closing her eyes, she breathed deeply until a sudden noise makes him dizzy. She saw the high dark figure coming off the wall and rose up in haste.

- Isandro

God thank you, his voice had not trembled.

- Did you think that it could be a burglar? he asked in a light tone.

Rowan leaned against the wall behind her as he descended the steps with a feline grace.

- With all the security system he has there here? she replied with a tight smile.

He approached and stopped in front of her. In the night lit only by stars, it was invaded by the sudden desire to raise his hands to his face to draw

to his.

- Isandro, what do you want? she went chasing unwelcome vision.

At the same moment a cry reached them of the Isandro room. The voice was filled with

panic and immediately recognized the Rowan.

- Maria, she whispered, as Isandro who had already rushed to the room. The nurse was wringing her hands, face white as a sheet, near fainting.

- Maria, what's happening? Isandro questioned. Try to breathe Explain you.

Page 45

- Zacarias

believe not breathing. Horrified by his words, Rowan saw Maria Isandro push before rushing to the her son's room. No No! "She begged silently, rushing after him. Not now, not after all she had already endured. She felt dangerously close to Isandro panic, too, and with an instinct which she did not know existed, she pushed to approach the small bed Forcing keep calm, she looked at her child with attention. She immediately felt a huge relief: convulsions ceased and based on the sheet, the rigid body. His skin turned blue. He was unconscious, but God thank you, breathing. She bent down and quickly returned the boy to her on the side, then unbuttoned the jacket of his pajamas and felt his forehead. It was hot. She then turned to Maria who had followed them and stood before the door, frozen

managed to articulate the nurse. This is Zacarias It has a crisis - I

in shock. When Rowan called him by his first name, she went out of her stupor and obedient to his instructions, rushed to the bathroom. That seemed to go out of his Isandro Rowan trance and felt his hands rest on his shoulders, as if to pull it back.

- What do you do? he asked in a strained voice with fear. You're going to hurt him. Rowan pulled away.

- He'll get by, do not worry. He had feverish convulsions. Will call a

ambulance and doctor. She looked Isandro motionless and pale

- Go ahead, call an ambulance. We must take him to the hospital. It will wake up

when you come back, I promise. Seeming finally grasp the urgency, he left the room. Maria then returned with glass fresh water and paracetamol requested by Rowan. When Isandro reappeared, Zacarias actually recovered his spirits. Rowan was trembling with relief. She made sure it stays on its side and spoke to him softly. He was confused and disoriented, which was quite normal. It waited a bit, then made him swallow paracetamol tablet with a little water.

- What is it? asked Isandro approaching.

Rowan understood his reaction: he felt terribly helpless and hated to have been able to act.

- This is paracetamol to children. This is going to go down the temperature.

Page 46

Just then, she heard the siren of the ambulance approached the property. When nurses were there, she told them what had happened. Isandro had Zacarias lifted her up and had descended to the ground floor where the waiting doctor ever. After a short check the toddler, he confirmed that he was well enough to be transported. Rowan stood at the door and watched them get into the ambulance, feeling now frightfully low. The doctor turned to her.

- You're not the mother of the child?


- We need you to come with us. The child will ask for, it is enough



- You must come to explain what happened, 'said the doctor with

impatience. Rowan met the gaze of Isandro, already installed in the ambulance, Zacarias always

in the arms. His face was drawn and exhausted.

- He's right, he said in a hoarse voice. Come on.

Without saying a word, she obeyed him. Ten minutes later, they reached the small local hospital. All the way, Rowan had not left his son's eyes. He was recovering quickly and when they entered the establishment, looked around with wide eyes. After careful consideration, the doctor on duty said it best it remains under surveillance for several hours. Isandro once declared that


if. More


she repeated.

stay with her son. Rowan, silent, left the room with Maria, who had reached.

- I'm so sorry, 'stammered the poor woman, apparently inconsolable. I was paralyzed. I felt such a shock when I saw him doing a


I knew what it was, but I had never seen

- Do not worry, says Rowan passing his arm around her shoulders. You

have acted for the best coming preventing Isandro.

Maria looked at her with a kind of wonder.

- But you, you knew what to do. You are her mother.

- Maria, you should go and take Rowan with you.

Page 47

Rowan turned to Isandro who had followed them. He looked exhausted. She had not intend to contradict him now, but there was no way she left. Isandro returned to the bedroom of her son and she accompanied to Maria vehicle where waiting Hernan then returned to the hospital and sat on a chair in the corridor. She only wanted to stay close to Zacarias. At this time, she began to shake uncontrollably. Horrified, she went that she was in a hospital, and was surrounded by white walls. Zacarias Isandro left the room to relax a bit and saw him. His state gave him a shock. Staring, hands trembling on his knees, Rowan was so pale he wondered how she could still sit.

- Rowan

No reaction.

- Rowan?

Still no reaction. He sat down beside her and ends up taking her hands in

he said, approaching slowly.

his. Rowan felt the heat come from somewhere, but she remained locked in his nightmare come true. She knew she was not asleep. It was surrounded by walls white. Finally a sound came to his conscience.

- Rowan.

Someone forced her to turn her head. Making a tremendous effort to raise its

eyelids, she met blue eyes, those she dreamed for so long. Little

Recently, the warmth of his hands won his bones and his icy frozen body.

- Rowan?

Isandro watched with a strange, unreadable expression.

- I could not go, she stammered. I'll just sit there and wait, if

it does not bother you

Isandro felt the surge anxiety in him. Apparently, she was in shock. A very deep shock.

- It'll be if I let you have a minute?

Dazed, she nodded and watched him get up and walk away. She wanted him screaming not to go, but he came right back and slipped a steaming cup of tea between hands and encouraged him to drink. The liquid burned his throat, but she felt the heat spread through his whole being. While observing the color slowly returning to her cheeks, remembered the Isandro

Page 48

when he was out on his balcony and saw her sitting on the last step of

the stone staircase


There was something so vulnerable in her figure

He remembered that when he came to it, he had thought only one thing -

kiss her. How could he think of that at such a time?

- How did you understand what he had?

Rowan looked at him suspiciously.

- I read a chapter devoted to convulsions in a manual that I

purchased during my pregnancy.

- You learned this in a book? he asked, staring at her in amazement.

- Yes. It is quite common at this age.

Isandro stood and stuffed his hands in his pockets.

- Yet neither Maria nor I knew what to do - then I am his father and it his nurse. Damn, that woman was supposed to be the best! Rowan immediately took the defense of Maria.

- It's very easy to know something in theory, but when you find yourself

before a child convulse and turn blue

Isandro, but she was paralyzed.

- And yet, without receiving his training, you knew exactly what to do.

A heavy silence settled between them then. What could she say? She looked at the

floor and saw the feet of Isandro enter his field of vision. She suddenly felt horribly tired.

- I did not even say thank you.

She looked up and shook his head, hiding his surprise.

- It's not worth it. I am pleased to have been useful, that's all.

"And I could not. "The words echoed in the head of Isandro. He had never felt so helpless in his life, nor as lost. He had left someone

else control the situation, and it had almost wiped out. Rowan felt his gaze on her. What was he thinking? Suddenly, he held out his hand.

She understood what it was,

- Come on, he said softly Her face was unreadable. Rowan stood up and let him take her by the elbow. He took him to the Zacarias room and made her sit in the chair placed near the

Page 49

window. As for him, he took the chair placed right next to the bed She wanted to protest but stopped him with a gesture. In the dim light of the hospital room with her son sleeping peacefully, Rowan finally allowed himself to drift off to sleep The next day, on their return, Maria came to welcome them, visibly uncomfortable, then took Zacarias in his room. Isandro looked at Rowan. - You should go rest, you have not had much sleep in this chair. And you? "Had she wanted to replicate. But he was already gone after Maria and Zacarias. He did not return to the office for a few days, apparently shaken by what happened on Friday night. Rowan was aware of a slight softening in his behavior, but knew that it meant nothing and that it should be no illusion. The evening of his first day in office, Isandro walked to the dining room after taking a shower. A confused rage beating in his chest, mixed with a feeling more troubling. All day he had felt dark mood and unable to focus on his task. During that fatal night, he remained plagued so many contradictory feelings,

and fear

when he saw Zacarias defenseless

This terror was still

present in him and it was Rowan, the woman who had abandoned them, which had saved the Boy, fulfilling her role as mother as if she was never left. All of these Events plunged him into trouble and perplexity. It was dangerous, he thought as he approached the door. He must remember, Despite his heroic behavior, and this time, she could make even more evil. A Zacarias. To him.

No, he said firmly, clenching his fists, she had no power over him, it was only Zacarias he thought. Yet when he opened the door and came face to face with her, he felt completely disoriented. Riveted to his, eyes sublime Rowan widened in surprise and look is enough to confuse him thoughts, making intensify rage simmering in him. Stunned, Rowan looked at her husband, breathless with his sudden appearance. With her hair still wet, it was superb in his white shirt and black pants. Its scent intoxicated despite her and she had to make an effort to regain normal breathing.

- Excuse me

She paused, embarrassed in front of his eyes sparkling with anger.

I was

I do not know if you

Page 50

- As I thought was only for dinner, said she, I would say to Julia I eat in the kitchen Unable to help herself, she felt his eyes wander over brown torso appeared in the half-open neck of his shirt and blushed.

- There is nobody, Rowan

he said, passing her side. Who are you trying to

impress? Rowan ignored his words but winced at this cruel humor. She knew in this state, he could be very bitter. She turned and followed him into the room eat.

- Well, since you're here, I'm staying.

- Oh, I beg you, do not stay for me, he said, settling at the table. Will dine in the kitchen if you wish. At the time it would take him at his word, Julia arrived with the soup. How he explain that she was not dining with Isandro? She did not put the housekeeper embarrassment, and also she unfolded her napkin she sat down to give a countenance. In recent days, Isandro had shown quite courteous, but this phase was apparently complete. She avoided eye contact with her while they ate the soup in an oppressive silence. Rowan was dying to take refuge clans her room with his bowl, but was determined to not show him how his attitude to touched. Julia soon returned with the main course and a bottle of red wine. Rowan tasted meat, so delicious she closed her eyes for a moment to savor the taste better. When she opened them, she caught the hard look of Isandro placed on it.

- It's delicious, she said, as if she felt compelled to defend himself.

- Only the roast.

Rowan took a sip of wine, delicious too, but this time, remained quite quiet and they continued eating in silence.

When they had finished, Isandro put her towel and leaned forward, his glass by hand. Instinctively, Rowan back in his chair. She could not help look at him, he filled his field of vision, as in the time of their first


Isandro intently watching, pushed him despite questioning. He had the

feeling that she had something to tell her understand?

something that would help

Page 51

- Why your father wanted to get married there so?

Rowan felt his brain pausing. This was the last question

which it was expected.

- Why do you-asking this question now? Isandro shrugged carelessly.

- To keep the conversation

Suppressing an unpleasant response, Rowan shrugged casually, she also.

- I thought you knew why.

- Well, because of your heritage, I guess. But as he never attempted to get after our wedding, I Sincerely surprise, Rowan interrupted

- You thought my father coveted my heritage?

- Was it not? he replied, frowning. He was on the verge of

bankruptcy. I thought he saw you as a way to restore the situation, he marriage offered you for this purpose.

So, that was what he thought? Rowan felt gripped by a kind of vertigo. As if he had guessed his thoughts, he added:

- Anyone could realize that there was not much affection you, Rowan.

Rowan felt reached this conversation terribly disturbed. Lord, see

his secret exposed and humiliation

barely tolerated by the only parent she had left. On a slightly trembling hand, she raised her glass and drank some wine.

Isandro showed too curious and she was unable to escape his penetrating gaze.

- There is one thing you apparently was not aware.

- I listen to you, he said, bowing his head slightly to the side.

Pushing the nausea that rose to her lips, Rowan continued:

- My father was ill. Apart from his cardiologist and I, no one knew the

seriousness of his condition. It was inoperable. That's why he lost control of his business and that is also why he was looking for someone to help him get by

financially. He wanted to save face before dying.

Indeed, it was neither desired nor loved,

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She shrugged slightly.

- As for me, he just wanted me to find a suitable husband. Money

not interested. Isandro seemed genuinely puzzled.

- I did not know he was sick. But why was it so important for him

see you married? Rowan felt anger rising in her. Was he so humiliate completely?

- Because he had promised my mother, on her deathbed, she began in a tone

as light as possible, he would ensure that I married a trustworthy man that I may inherit safely of his fortune. For a brief moment, Rowan clenched lips before continuing:

- He knew he was dying and needed to ensure the bank's fate

Carmichael and my heritage. You allowed it to achieve its two objectives. Isandro contemplated her with intensity. After giving her a tight smile, Rowan looked down at his fingers played nervously with his napkin.

- You probably noticed quickly that I was raised since birth

in order to be a perfect wife, she continued. I speak five languages fluently. I can converse on any subject, from possible extinction gorilla

Rwanda's Mountain to the theory of the butterfly effect. She let out a little laugh, as if to prove that it was all indifferent.

- When I was eighteen, my father threw the glasses I wore for my

childhood and made me operate the laser. If I were more attractive, it multiplied

my chances of finding the perfect husband For a long time, Isandro remained silent. Appalled, Rowan realized his own breathing was chopped, as if she had just run. Suddenly, he said, softly

- Maybe he wanted us to see your eyes because they are so beautiful.

The heart shuddering in his chest, she gave him a puzzled look. During a moment, their eyes remained welded and Isandro blushed slightly as shocked his own words. But his cold mask came quickly and he turned the attention

again filling his glass of wine. Rowan felt horribly confused.

- And why are you not married sooner you?

- I do not know

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But she knew perfectly. She thought the men to whom it was presented

All insipid, boring. As soon as she saw Isandro she had felt something spring deep in her, awakening to life, as if she had slept until now. The first time they had dinner together, she arrived at the restaurant before him and sat back to the door. She had waited so back so steep that made him wrong, and suddenly had felt his presence. She remembered having closed eyes during a split second before he came up to her and asking her surprise:

- Excuse me, is this seat free?

She then looked up and smiled at him. A slightly mocking smile, so sure of

him so seductive

- You married me for access to British banking circles. Tell me, as- you get satisfaction?

- Yes, you could say, he replied calmly. I now controls most

Bank of England,

- In this case, you have to be happy. You got what you wanted.

He shrugged and drained his glass.

- Happy? I would not say this, Rowan. Satisfied, maybe. Could you say that

Having inherited a fortune from your mother made you happy during these two

last years? Rowan felt like receiving a blow to the heart. She shook her head you.

- No. Certainly not.

Disoriented, Isandro watched carefully: there was such devastation in its voice At that moment, Julia entered the room, bringing coffee and dessert. The Rowan

thanks for this delicious dinner and waited she left her towel to rest with trembling hands and stand up.

- I'm tired. I think I'm going to bed.

By the time she reached the door, Isandro caught her and grabbed her wrist. It tried to calm down before turning to him. She even managed to shrug casually eyebrows quizzically, while his pulse was beating wildly. "Provided he does not notice it," she prayed silently.

- Tell me. Is that why you left, Rowan? Because you wanted to escape the prison in which your father had put you?


" She could not answer him. Not yet. She just look

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head slightly, noticing the strange light at the bottom of the sight of Isandro.

- Yes. That's why I left.

He squeezed her wrist a little harder.

- You want me to believe you were only a poor little rich girl, Rowan? A

overprotected girl who ran away at the first opportunity

- Yes, she repeated wildly.

Lord, he absolutely had to be far from him.

- Well, I hope it was worth it, Rowan

She forced herself to look away and released her hand before running away, without worrying about appearances. Once in the hall, she went into the garden, where she sniffed the night air with avidity. He was so right and yet, so wrong.

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Isandro left alone, a prey to the questions that raced through his mind.

Damn, what had taken him to stir up the past? So far, he had never tried to find out why she married him. He had clear terms their wedding and thought doing him a service by ensuring that his father can ever get their hands on her inheritance. It died shortly after their marriage, and if what she said was true, he had never had this intention. That the worried now. He was not used to being wrong about individuals. And apparently he was wrong about the father and daughter In truth, she sparked a protective instinct in him from the first moment

he laid eyes on her, she seemed so incredibly shy, so naive

Yet she had taken for a fool from the beginning. When he had seen her at the hotel, he had immediately seen as a threat

formidable, but it had become otherwise perfect

room, he saw that her eyes watching him. It had looked like forward, as in the days when he had foolishly believed that his wife was feeling maybe feelings she kept secrets.

He had felt stung when she asked if he was happy. Zacarias made him happier than he had ever been, and to him who had

meticulously organized his life around power, it was

revelation which it was responsible. He was pleased to feel the anger seize

new to him. More than a week had passed now. Why did not she

enough? Why had she ever attempted to go to Sevilla? And why the hell


she wearing three outfits worn day after day? When Rowan went down on the ground floor the next morning, there reigned incredible confusion. Zacarias was in the arms of Isandro who was trying to make Julia heard, despite the screams of the child. Scarlet face, the little boy


Upon entering the room

a revelation. A

crying and screaming. This was not good as it gets angry, so soon after making convulsions, she thought, resisting the urge to take him in her arms.

- What's happening?

Surprised, they all turned toward her. Zacarias himself stopped crying after a big sob.

- Maria is a party, said Isandro in the withering look.

- Part? But why? Rowan asked, stunned.

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Isandro handed her a piece of paper.

- Here. You seem to have a lot in common.

Rowan ignored the irony and read the word. Maria y said she had not been able to

react to the convulsions of Zacarias and now that her mother was there, she longer thought to have a role to play with the child. Prohibited, Rowan looked Isandro in silence. He quickly looked away and smiled at his son.

- Give it to me, 'said Julia. I'll give him his breakfast. It must have hunger.

Heavy heart, Rowan looked Isandro Zacarias tender to the housekeeper. She had fully understood that her husband made her responsible for the departure of Maria.

- Isandro she said, crossing his arms, I'm sorry that Maria is gone.

- You're kidding

for it go away?

- How dare you say such a thing? Rowan replied without thinking. I have

You have to be happy, on the contrary. Tell me, have you paid

nothing to do with his departure. It's not my fault you hired someone who abandons from the first attack. Approaching her, he slipped a silky voice:

- Yet everything was perfectly fine before your return.

He knew he was not honest, truly, he doubted skills Maria from previous month. But he was too angry against Rowan to show

rational or fair. Rowan gave him a glare, clenching his fists.

- Well I came back, and I intend to stay. Will you also accuse me of caused Zacarias of seizures?

For a long time, they defied the look, vibrant anger them. Isandro finally take a step back and ran his hand through his hair.

- No. Of course not.

He remembered the fear that had paralyzed that night and coolness Rowan. This

Once he had gone too far.

- I have to leave today to Kuala Lumpur to attend a conference

three days. I absolutely have to go there, believe me, if I would stay here.

Rowan knew he felt trapped.

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- Well, you risk swings me by the throat by insulting me, know that I will be

happy to have the opportunity to take care of Zacarias during your absence. You can not be never find replacement as quickly.

- I know, he said, making a visible effort to keep a straight face. If my

mother and sister were not on vacation for a week, he would go home He ran his hand again in the hair forward.

- Needless to say, Rowan, I let thee with extreme reluctance.

Do not forget that the least of your movements will be monitored and will be reported to my return. Hernan will stay here with you and Julia can help. So she was a prisoner, thought Rowan straightening chin. But, it would be

Zacarias only

- I do not intend to leave the property, she said quietly. All I

wants is to spend some time with my son. His eyes took a soft purple color and deep emotion could be read in depth, although Isandro instinctively guessed she was trying to conceal. He preferred not to know how he understood. He looked down on the

curve of her breasts, on her narrow hips under his worn jeans. Damn, his eyes, his

body, fragrance threatened to destroy his ability to think this woman.

- I'll call often.

- Of course, she said softly.

He expected an expression of victory, triumph, but nothing like this will happened. His reply made him even more confused and more disturbed. Rowan looked at his son sleeping. He had been so excited by the change in habits and being with her every moment she had a hard time to bed She was exhausted. Yet she felt happier than she had ever been. She leaned forward and pushed with love a lock of hair behind his ear. Suddenly, she remembered watching and Isandro sleep after love. His heart clenched painfully. She gazed long and her son went to live in a chair near the window, before feeling sleep win, too. It

he had to get away from

would not leave a single second of Zacarias. A week later, Isandro stood in front of his office window. His return was delayed due to a sudden financial crisis in Asia. If he could provide for such a thing, it would never left. Apparently, Zacarias was being bitten one of his frequent tantrums due to

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approaches its second birthday. While Rowan was trying to calm him, he struck and fearing she riposte, Isandro prepared to jump in the garden, but a kind instinct stopped him. When he saw that Rowan was not responding, Zacarias struck her again and Isandro started, this time of concern for Rowan. She remained calm and, ignoring Zacarias completely, got up to collect his toys. Puzzled, the boy began to calm down, then walked to Rowan for his attention. Isandro saw look at him, talk to him and show him where he had struck her. In its place, Isandro noticed that the skin was red. Apparently, she was trying to explain he was wrong. Suddenly, Zacarias passed her arms around his neck and kissed him. Rowan kissed in turn Isandro and then felt a totally unknown emotion shake breast. He turned abruptly before leaving the room. The strength of what he had feel at the sight terrified him. Decidedly, Rowan Carmichael represented a serious threat. Only he no longer understood quite why. Rowan knew he was there. However, it did not turn around and waited Zacarias's noticing. The child uttered a cry of joy before running off to her

father. When she saw him, she felt his breath crash: it was so beautiful. Dressed in


light gray suit and a crisp white shirt, he smiled to Zacarias before the raised in the air. The child immediately began to laugh out loud wriggling in all sense. Rowan felt shy and awkward. After standing on the floor Zacarias, Isandro approached her.

- How did that happen?

Rowan smiled weakly, watching what was Zacarias before looking up.

- Well, since it is barely two hours elapsed since your last call, I do not have much new to tell you.

Isandro had to make an effort not to smile back at him. Instead, he pointed the brand still red on his arm.

- Is Zacarias

He saw her blush and quickly nodded.

- He does not realize what he is doing, she said, crossing her arms

nervously. It's not much. It tests just limits. I try to do it understand that he can not His immediate reflex to defend Zacarias had surprised.

- You responded, he interrupted. I saw you.


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Obviously, he did not trust him for a second, thought Rowan and icy current invades his chest.

- You mean you spied me?

He shook his head before removing his sunglasses. His eyes were so blue it

trembled in his heart.

- No, I've just seen through the window before leaving the house.

- Oh


- Why do not you come join me in my office after having given

bed? There are two or three things I want to talk to you. Custody of Zacarias? Divorce? Rowan could not prevent his heart to tighten. She only approve a nod and took his son in his arms before towards the house. At the last moment, Isandro stopped to kiss on the child's head. His face then approached her breasts and Rowan felt immediately respond.

"Lord, it goes by quickly," she asked, closing her eyes. When Isandro finally parted, she hurried off towards the house, trembling legs. Rowan knocked on the office door. When she opened it, was on the phone Isandro but beckoned him to enter. Not daring to sit down, she went to stand in front of the library and looked at the books.

- Sit down.

Feeling caught in the act, she turned quickly. She had not heard finish his phone conversation. She sat down awkwardly and forced to support his gaze. He leaned a moment back in his leather chair before standing up. Then he came if carelessly support outside his office, thus tense the fabric of his pants on his muscular thigh. Rowan did his best not to look down.

- Several nurses will come tomorrow to pass the interviews, he said in a neutral tone. Rowan immediately stiffened in his seat.

, excuse me, 'she whispered. It's time to go Zacarias napping in

- More

He interrupted with a wave of the hand.

- It's not because you're busy you Zacarias during this week. I

am sorry to have been away longer than expected.

- It really was not difficult or unpleasant Isandro. Zacarias is my son. If I could, I would take care of it willingly every day.

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- We both know that this is not possible, Isandro said, suppressing a movement of irritation.

- Yes. I know.

Unable to stand still, Isandro stepped away from the desk and began to pace breadth behind it. Then he returned the look in her eyes, thrusting his hands into

his pockets.

- Could you attend these meetings. I will not repeat what happened

Maria, and you will perhaps be able to see if they are really qualified. Rowan stood up in turn. She knew how much he had to have trouble saying this, if he did, it was only to Zacarias. However, it was the first time he

showed him something like respect.

- I will do it with pleasure, she said hoarsely. Thank you. But

impression you're not ready to engage a new nurse, I'd be very happy continue to take care of Zacarias. He shook his head disapprovingly.

- No. As I've already said, I do not want him too attached to you in anticipation when you will not be all the time with him.

if you have the

Rowan sat down heavily. He referred. She made a quick mental calculation. Maybe Could rent a small apartment in Osuna

- Rowan?

She had not heard a single word of what he had said.

- Yes? she asked, looking stupidly.

- I said I was going to take you to Seville to buy clothes and for

you go to the hairdresser. Terribly confused, she rose again.

- Why?

- The annual ball of the Feria de Abril will take place next week, and I would like you accompany me. Last year you did not attend there, and people began to

to ask questions.

A cynical light flashed in his eyes.

- Since this time we have the privilege to enjoy your presence, he continued,

you come with me and we will silence and gossips. Rowan would immediately protest, but he stopped her with a gesture and approached her.

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- Do not you think that's the least of it?

Prey to a kind of vertigo, she looked up at him.

- I

they react when they learn that we are getting divorced? He pushed his objections of hand.

- I do not care. I am only concerned about the present. I am involved in

If, of course. But people will they not find that odd? And how

important negotiations with a Madrid bank and the Director General is invited to Feria. I want him to see that my marriage is real. A week later, while Rowan was preparing for prom, she reflects on

Isandro words and shuddered: the icy determination, this ambition

recalled that it was a businessman cold heart and in his life, there was no room for love or emotion, except for his son.

Isandro took her three days earlier in several sumptuous boutiques Seville. Despite his protests, he bought her a true wardrobe and once back, insisted she throws her old clothes in the trash before him. She looked in the mirror, trying to reach the zipper of the dress silk she had decided to wear that night, when a voice startled her.

- Do you want me to help you? The heart beating wildly, Rowan shook the dress against her chest. - You could knock! if she exclaimed eagerly, trying to hide his surprise and stir. Without saying a word, he walked casually towards her. Dressed in a black tuxedo,


white shirt and a non-knotted silk bow tie, he was the picture of the manly perfection. After taking it gently by the shoulders, he swung. She felt his hands landing on his back before slowly slide closure. When his fingers brushed against her bare skin, Rowan flinched despite it. The barber who had taken her in Isandro had cut her hair into a square shorter, clearer, so that now they got him just below the jaw. Neck and exposed, she felt even more vulnerable With this dress, she could not wear a bra and when silk came to him molded breasts, Rowan felt sensitive points stand under the fabric. She was

He had it

increasingly tense. She dreamed, or fingers of Isandro are they lingered in his shoulder blades?

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He swung again and looked at her from head to foot, without any heat in his eyes.

- Now, if you could do me a favor

Rowan looked at him, confused, then realized he was talking about his bowtie. He

did never been able to do and always asked him to do it. These moments were often the beginnings of passionate embrace The memory came back to him one evening when they were preparing to attend a reception.

Pressing her body against him, she felt her burgeoning erection and they arrived very late in the evening. How could she help remaining indifferent to such Nearby?

- Do you not a ready? she asked in a tense voice. Isandro frowned.

- Is it too much to ask?

Isandro felt absurdly angry. Cursing himself for having yielded to the impulse of

come find her, he was preparing to leave when she took his arm. His eyes shone an indefinable glow, their violet shade contrasted with his pale skin and hue barely darker than her dress. For a moment he felt he could no longer breathe.

- Wait, she said softly. Let me try. For a long time, that's all.

When she raised her hands to his neck, he automatically leaned his head back

to facilitate its work, and to avoid meeting his eyes. Its fresh and natural fragrance stroked her nostrils. A silky rustle revealed her approach, but she recoiled if abruptly when their bodies touched he looked down once.

- Excuse me, 'she whispered.

Fascinated, he could not look away. Rosy cheeks, tongue out a little bit between his regular teeth as she concentrated on the bow, his woman was terribly moving. His black lashes incredibly thick planned

a shadow half moon on her cheekbones. He let his gaze wander towards the neckline Deep in the dress. The fabric was slightly up her breasts, full and voluptuous. Once again, she brushed against his body and he had to tighten the jaws. His erection was the now suffer. Hell, he had not felt like this for a woman since

- Well, she said, with evident relief nuance in her voice.

Lord Rowan thought in stepping back, it had been a bowtie real test

- I do not have to put on my shoes and take my bag, she went without

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watch. Then I will be ready to

- You're going to need this.

Rowan looked down and saw the covenant and qu'Isandro engagement ring held in

the palm of his hand.

- Thou hast kept

His alliance was a simple platinum ring and engagement ring, a ring old, Art Deco, she had chosen herself. She looked green diamond

she whispered.

square surrounded by tiny diamonds while clear qu'Isandro took her hand, deftly through the rings on her finger. She had lost weight and they were a too large.

- I'll have to do the shrink.

- What for?

Rowan looked up and drove a sharp pain. How could she tell a that?

- I'm stupid, I spoke without thinking.

- I'll see Zacarias before leaving. I'll be waiting downstairs.

When he left the room, Rowan forced herself to breathe calmly and looked at them rings adorning her finger. A feeling of imposture hugged his throat.

Casting a glance at her reflection in the mirror, she tucked a lock of hair

rebel. Would have thought Isandro he had seen last year in the same period? Anyway, he would learn the truth sooner or later

- Ana Lucia like. I think we were right to choose.

Located close to him in the back of the car, Rowan turned in surprise to

Isandro. His helicopter had deposited on a small private land outside the city and they are now heading towards the place of receipt. His use of the word "we" had squeezed his heart.

- Yes. I like it to me too.

When they had met with various nurses a few days earlier, for the first time, they were agreed on one point: none of them their seemed appropriate. Some had not left Isandro eyes a moment, other had proved too curious, others, too greedy. Julia them had then spoken to a friend who was looking for work. When they had encountered, they understood immediately that she was the person they

looking for. In addition, Rowan preferred to hire someone in the area and had Isandro

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seemed to approve. The car soon stopped before a high-Moorish building. Impressed, Rowan tried to hide his amazement. - This is the Don Pedro Palacio said Isandro. It rivals the beauty of the Alhambra Granada. He got out of car before coming to open the door for her. When he held out his hand, she remembered other similar occasions when he had been attentive, giving it the feeling of being safe. She suppressed the emotion that seized her and after him taking his hand, tried to gracefully down the vehicle. As soon as they arrived in front of the red carpet, she noticed the flashes of paparazzi. The crowd of guests consisted of beautiful women, dressed beautifully, who wore sumptuous jewels and were accompanied by very elegant men. None of them was as attractive as the man who stood at his side, found with Rowan mixture of wonder and fear. The ball was held in the magnificent Hall of Ambassadors. Fascinated, Rowan stared at the ceiling, made of a wooden dome covered with thousands of stars. When she looked down, she saw a few women who were watching, laughing behind their hands. - Who are they? The do you know? asked Isandro close to his ear.

She shook her head.

- No. I admired the ceiling and I guess I showed a little too my

wonder At that moment, he gave him a strange look and Rowan looked away before wearing his champagne glass to his lips. The liquid flowed pleasantly fresh in his throat. Unconsciously Isandro pulled against him and immediately felt his body stiffen.

- Come on, he said softly. I would like to introduce you to a few people.

Before she could react, he took her hand and led her through the crowd of

guests. Rowan soon found that the persons to whom were presented Isandro

really charming. It was other couples, colleagues in the world of banking and none of the women looked like she wanted Isandro devour him. Rowan was happy to speak Spanish and when she turned to Isandro she saw a Heat gleam in his eyes, which made her stupidly happy. A little later, when one of the women took her arm, just heard the Rowan

last words: "

the financial crisis. »

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Rowan raised her eyebrows apologetically.

- Sorry

- The European crisis that took place on the market there are eighteen months

You do not remember? Rowan desperately tried to remember if she had heard of some thing.

What are you talking about?

- I'm sorry

Isandro looked grimly. Around them, people were silent. Rowan knew very well why she had known nothing. She pretended to remember and


- Oh, this crisis there

you were talking about. The woman laughed.

- How could you not remember it, you, the man's wife control European banking community? Rowan smiled weakly. She wanted to go underground

Isandro to tighten around his waist and looked at him uncomfortable. When she

met her look, he had lost heat. Apparently he was not fooled by his little comedy. Suddenly, she felt her heart sink into his chest Ana's sister Isandro if towards them. Too late to escape. Soon, the entire crowd seemed disappear, leaving only her and Isandro, opposite Ana and her husband.

I do not remember

- of course I remember. I did not understand what

She felt the arm

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After kissing Isandro, Ana stepped back. Tall and thin, she looked

much to his brother, but his eyes of her mother, dark and hard.

- Well, she said, examining Rowan from head to foot, the wife of the prodigal return.

- Ana, said Isandro a warning tone.

His sister gave him a passionate look.

- How? After what she did to you and to my nephew, you accept its return

without saying anything? Rowan felt shaking. She remembered another conversation between him and his sister. Ana of Spain came to see him and, on this day doubly fatal Rowan had heard them arguing in the living room. They were so high that the voice could not help but hear them. Now, all the sordid details came back to him and remembrance of the past washed over.

- After all the pain and all the humiliation that our mother has suffered because of Dad said Ana, the vibrant voice of indignation, not only you that we inflicted English whore, you marry him, and besides, she was pregnant with you? You will do this to us? The tone of Isandro had Rowan shudder.

- Ana, nothing has changed. It's just business. The fact that now bears

my child is an unexpected bonus. This will save me from having to marry me for an heir.

His sister had then replied in a voice full of suspicion:

- Are you in love with her?

Isandro issued a short laugh and hard.

- Of course not.

- So why did you sleep with her?

- This does not concern you absolutely, Isandro replied icily.

- In any case, this has not been funny, Ana had replied with such contempt that Rowan had felt devastated. I'm sure this woman is completely frigid. Then they lowered their voices but pierced by pain, Rowan remained

frozen in place. And suddenly the voice of Isandro had risen again.

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- It is only a means to reach the goal I set myself. This woman has

never represented anything for me. On the other hand, I do not care what did our

father. It does not affect the way I live my life and understand I will not be

certainly not directed by you. As a wife, Rowan has more than fulfilled its function and you must accept it.

- Well, she trapped you well, my dear brother voice.

Slowly, Rowan returned to the present. Ana was still standing in front of her, addressing aggressively Isandro. As for her husband, he seemed very uncomfortable.

- Bastante! Isandro suddenly said to her sister.

It stopped in mid-sentence, then, with a strangled sound, took her husband's arm and walked away. Rowan was like receiving a blow right in the stomach. Hesitant, Isandro turned to his wife. Damn, she was so pale it seemed about to faint. He swore before him on a corner

quiet. When almost instinctively he pulled against her chest, she recoiled nervously. Damn, had he become so soft? if he asked, mocking himself even. Rowan looked like it was going to crack. Isandro wanted to comfort her, but she felt unable to bear him to touch. He spoke to her coldly, as if nothing had happened.

- She had no right to attack you as well.

Rowan helped her coldness to regain some balance. She vaguely shook his head.

Ana had replied with a cynical

He could not understand how her sister had hurt. The memory of that Conversation cursed still burned with unprecedented violence, unbearable. Nevertheless, it had occurred to the point, it should not be forgotten. If it had not heard that day, she would have revealed Isandro, thus losing the pride and dignity she had managed to keep.

- Are you ready to face the crowd again? he resumed.

- Yes of course. I just needed a breather.

During the rest of the evening, Isandro appeared attentive but distant and during the journey back, gave him barely speak. Rowan looked at the clouds running around the sky, hiding and revealing turn the full moon. The atmosphere was more heavy, presaging a storm. Rowan shivered slightly. Once back in the home of Isandro, it undid his bow tie.

- I'll take a drink, he said. Will you join me?

- No, thank you, 'she said without looking. Good night.

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Before you set foot on the first step, something pushed to add:

- Do you have a mistress?

He stopped and turned slowly toward her. Rowan was vexed to have asked him

that question. This does not absolutely looking.

- Why?

She casually shrugged.

- I just asked myself. Good night!

She ran upstairs before uttering another stupidity, but strange sensation ran through his veins. Once on the landing, she got rid of her

shoes and went to see Zacarias. He slept like an angel. Having turned the sheet over and kissing him on the forehead, she went to her own room. An hour later, it still does not sleep, turning and turning constantly in bed Memories, emotions swirling in his head. And there the most vivid picture of all was that of Isandro. She haunted and tortured. Furthermore, it was terribly hot and she felt oppressed. She heard another shot thunder. She had to so, she said, standing before heading to the patio door. The storm was about to burst, she noticed looking at the sky tormented. At this time, big warm drops began to fall, as if they had waited for his arrival. She reached out while it was raining more and stronger, in seconds, torrential rain poured down on it while lightning tore the sky. Rowan walked over and found himself soaked in seconds. It in laughing, the moment was magical and enchanted. After descending the steps of

stone, she stood there in her nightgown, with her face to the rain. She felt she was to be cleansed, purified, and deep joy came over her, she raised her arms skyward and welcomed the rain as a blessing.

- What are you doing, dammit?

Torn from his well-being, Rowan dropped his arm and turned quickly, the beating heart. Through the pouring rain, she could barely make out but Isandro divined his irritation. When he approached her, she saw that he was wearing only underwear.

The rain poured down on his bare chest and he was already as wet it.

- I

- Yes, I see it.

I'm in the rain, she said stupidly.

Isandro also saw that her short nightgown became transparent and clung to her body like a second skin. His eyes lowered despite himself. The cloth tempered hugged her breasts high and firm, with their points stiff erect. Frantic, he

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let his gaze down on his haunches before dwelling on his long, long legs. The dark shadow that loomed between her thighs inexorably attracted like a forbidden fruit. The desire was pounding in his veins burning and demanding.

- Sandro

- What did you call me? he asked dully.

He recognized that the expression on his face, he had already seen, during their


wedding. His eyes came to rest on his chest heaved a staccato rhythm. He could hear the rain. He could hear the thumping of his own heart.

- I Sandro said.

Damn, he absolutely had to break the spell.

- Nobody calls me that.

- I, if I did, she said simply.

Unbearable pain across his chest.

- Rowan back to bed

Instead of ascending the steps, she approached him. Then took the Isandro by shoulders.

- Damn, Rowan, what do you got?

Fascinated, Rowan felt guided by an irresistible force. It was beyond the mere

desire, even if he was present in her, devouring her so much that she had forgotten the rain. She put her hands on the waist and felt him stiffen.


- Hell, what do you want?

He knew he would have done better not to ask this question, it would simply

had to leave. But there was something about her so the impression of seeing for the first time.

- I want you, 'she replied.

These three words exploded in his head. He wanted to move but felt nailed on site. She had laid his hands on him and that was all he wanted. He wanted them

touch it, caress

different. So sincere. He had


I beg you

His wet hair was plastered on her cheeks and dripping

on his shoulders. A kind of instinct prevented yet to yield to the stronger desire he had never experienced in his life.

- Rowan

he said hoarsely.

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She came even closer to him and their bodies touched lightly. He

then felt the irresistible force that attracted towards each other.

- I beg you

Isandro shook his head, but his prayer crept in him. He looked at his eyes. The rain fell less thickly now and drops of water glistened hung on the edge of his

long eyelashes. Suddenly, he felt as unable to move away to analyze what going on. Groaning, he took Rowan's face in his hands before pulling violently against him, then leaned forward and took her mouth.

, 'she repeated.

His passionate kiss kindled Rowan. She abandoned herself against him, arms still gripping her waist, breasts crushed against his chest. The rain and the storm had added a magic element to the situation, making it completely unreal Isandro still holding his head in his hands as he devoured her mouth drunkenness. Rowan felt the warmth spread through her body. She was aware of the nightgown soaked molding her body, felt the evidence of the desire that Isandro pulsed against her wild force that passed between them. When Isandro pulled away, she opened her eyes. His were dark blue, obscured by desire. Without saying a word, he bent down and lifted her in his arms before heading to his room. Rowan had a quick impression of dark colors saw a huge bed. When he rested on the floor, she felt her legs tremble. Suddenly back to reality, she looked up at him with fear. As if Isandro had read his thoughts, he shook his head. A hard smile formed on his lips. - It's too late to turn back. Before she could react, he put his hands on the neck of his thin shirt night and tore up and down. Hypnotized, Rowan remained motionless. He slid the cloth over his shoulders and left the fall to the floor, getting rid of his shorts in a second. Now they were naked, face to face. Feeling falling raindrops its hair on her bare skin, Rowan started. Her breasts were stretched painfully. When she saw Isandro look down on them, her breath caught in her throat. Fingertips, he brushed the tip drawn to him. Rowan then began to gasp.

Lord, she wanted him to touch. When tilted her head, she felt his breath caress, but instead of taking it in her hot mouth, he licked a drop of rain fell on top of her breast.

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She was suddenly gripped by a kind of vertigo, the past and the present confused. The sensations he caused her, were the same as before. Rowan gave up and there, deep inside herself, she thanked the god that he granted a second chance. Amazed, she gently stroked her wet hair. His powerful erection vibrated between their bodies welded. Burning with desire to caress the Rowan slipped a hand between them and closed his hard member. - Stop! Isandro gasped, his eyes sparkling. He led her to the bed and made her lie down before turning to the night table take something in the drawer. Knowing he was a protection, Rowan felt something break in it. This did not seem fair to put this barrier between them, but she could not tell him - especially after what had happened two years earlier. Isandro lay down next to her and stroked her breasts, then came to dwell on his stomach before venturing below. When she instinctively parted legs, she saw a strange shadow across the face before disappearing Isandro immediately. He bent down to lick the nipple of her breast as his hand crept between her

thighs. At the moment it ends up taking the quivering tip into his mouth, he thrust two fingers into the dampness of his privacy at the same time, his thumb found the sensitive bud swollen with desire. Rowan shook violently in every limb, it never felt so excited, as receptive to pleasure. Eyes closed, she dug the kidneys in a prompt silent while taking qu'Isandro in his mouth the tip of her breast. It was not enough. She wanted her, as she had dreamed during his long nights of solitude.

- Sandro Sandro

Isandro heard just as his brain was clouded by desire. She was silky, fragrant, and he was in heaven. In addition, she answered him with an ardor which intoxicated him, as formerly, inspiring in him feelings he had never

proven that with her. Suddenly, she clung to his shoulders, offering her hips. When she opened her eyes, her eyes were so dark they looked black. - No, not like that, she said in one breath. I want you in me. For a moment suspended in time, they were content to watch. Then, breaking the spell, Rowan slipped under him. Without hesitation, grabbed Isandro farms and sweet ass at once and when felt her offer, penetrated. He saw then tilt the head back and saw the way she held her breath in attracting


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in her. With dazzling clarity, he remembered all the other times they had made love. Isandro began to come and go in it. Rowan now breathing more and quickly and intensely felt his gaze on him. Now she had spent the legs around his waist, he could not suppress a groan of pleasure. He was buried if deep in it now

For a long time, they kept the tide of pleasure. Rowan knew she could wait much longer reach and smelled delicious swell that was the overwhelm. Isandro quickened the pace of his thrusts and suddenly the universe exploded around it a million stars. It remained suspended in ecstasy for a long time and realized confusedly qu'Isandro indulged in turn. His body was shaken by violent spasms echoed in her, until finally his body collapses in his arms. After a long time Isandro found the strength to move and release Rowan its weight. Regardless of its slight complaint, he left the bed and walked to the bathroom. That he had passed the hell? if he asked, gazing at her reflection in the mirror. He found himself in front of her in the pouring rain, asking her what she

was there and a few moments later, he was buried in it as if he had been waiting for this

time since

She had bewitched him, he thought irritably. She had to wait for it to reach its

room to go out in the rain wearing this one nightgown and had expected. Sensing his vulnerability, she had the opportunity to get what she wanted. And


Because it was physical desire. Nothing else.

Isandro squared his shoulders. He was not feeling vulnerable or exposed, thought-t

he said, putting his fists on the edge of the sink. "I beg you

in a breath as if she was sincere, as if it was never part, do had never left. While they were still living together, she had changed overnight, if showing sudden cold towards him and refusing his advances. Well, it would allow

since his departure.

he had yielded to his desire

" she had whispered

over this behavior - at least until he was completely satisfied. Lying on the bed, Rowan still felt waves of pleasure through his body. When Isandro came out of the bathroom, she turned her head towards him and, without even distinguish the expression on his face, immediately understood that his mood was radically transformed. The passion they had shared seemed to have dissolved in seconds she thought with a shudder.

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When he sat down on the edge of the bed, she saw her face closed. Yet he had wanted her again she noticed, and his own body reacts spite of herself. The confusion and fear mingled in it a violent desire. Maybe he was waiting she leaves? She tried to rise, but a warm hand gently pushed in back.

- I thought

Rowan lives flinch a muscle in his jaw.

- I do not know what your intentions were, he says with a smile terribly

sensual, but we have not finished yet.

- I

He silenced her with a passionate kiss and, taking her in his arms, slipped thigh muscled between her legs.

she whispered. Do you want me to go?

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Isandro offered his body to the hot spray of the shower as if to punish. Her belly

was established in disgust with himself. Does not he had succumbed to his instincts? He only had not felt for so low, but on the contrary, invaded by a formidable force, who had only one goal: to have Rowan. Wildly, he rummaged in his wet hair. Sandro. She called Sandro. Alone, had never used this nickname, which had escaped him shortly after their marriage. Isandro still remembered the color of his cheeks when he had looked with surprise and amusement. He had told her quietly, "You can call me, I like it. "And indeed, that nickname him had really enjoyed. He thought it meant something to her.

The hearing earlier had caused a real shock. It had seemed so just the same way as it had seemed just kiss her and take her in bed. The bitch. She had been able to use this affectionate name for the draw in his nets. How the hell could he make love to her? And not just once, if he recalled with irritation, but two. This woman was the worst of creatures. She had abandoned her child, she had abandoned him after he testified coldness extreme during the last months of her pregnancy. Abruptly changing the temperature of the water, Isandro shuddered under the icy jet. He had already planned to suggest to him to move to Osuna or Seville, but


irritation he felt for her. Then only, he would ask him to leave. Once completed divorce, and after getting custody of Zacarias, it would mean to have the least possible deal to her.

Now he could keep some time to get rid of that desire

Isandro left the clear thoughts shower, but the stomach still knotted. Once in his room, he contemplated the crumpled sheets on the bed The scent of their embrace still floating in the atmosphere, he noted, and his chagrin, the effect of the shower punitive disappeared in an instant, and his body reacts again. Without thinking, he walked to the door that led to the Rowan's room. To now, this purely physical needs would be enough, he had no desire to ask issues. After all, she was only his mistress, now - Gracias, Ana Lucia.

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Rowan took Zacarias of his new nurse's arm to take him out. She pressed against her and buried her face in his neck, placing kisses on his sound skin as he laughed good heart. She felt full of pure joy. When they arrived in the yard, he began to wriggle his mother to let him run. She put the smile on the floor and let him go. While watching him run on his little chubby legs, Rowan thought that his son distracted her a little dismay. She did not know what to think of what had happened with Isandro. That night, one of the storm, she had been so willing, so eager She literally begged Isandro to make love to her, so he did not want a thing away from her. Yet now he wanted her to be his mistress. Why did not this thought she filled her with horror? Why the contrary she was born burning waves in it? Isandro transported her in bed

every night, or had to join in his. But he always left alone after their embrace. Rowan looked at her son. Zacarias had discovered the art of gardening - or rather, became expert in the art of taking large handfuls of soil to move the put elsewhere. She followed him meekly smiling, but this time the little boy could make him forget his concerns. Disturbing erotic images crossing his mind with disconcerting ease and frequency. She forced herself to watch the worm that Zacarias held out proudly. Apparently the Isandro now considered his mistress to better punish. He heard enjoy the last moments of their wedding to inflict the punishment she deserved. Forcing himself back to the present, she grimaced Zacarias. During their marriage, frequent absences of Isandro had left him enough time to doubt everything she thought of what she was feeling. Once they were back together, these doubts vanished and she had sunk ever deeper into feelings that had made her vulnerable. She came out of a genuine desert his father, it was not difficult for him. Especially qu'Isandro seemed interested sincerely to her. He even seemed to desire and their antics became more and more passionate, especially when her pregnancy had developed. But she was wrong. Oh, he still wished she could see, but as to experience more than purely physical desire for her She watched helplessly Zacarias. Then there was that fateful day when, seven months pregnant, she discovered - Dad! Rowan froze. How did she not felt close? While she was thinking

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him every moment? Turning around, she saw Zacarias flowing into his father's legs. Isandro him smiled without concern for two major brands of brown fingers on his pants immaculate. Rowan felt the beating of his heart accelerate.

- I came home early to take Zacarias make a ride, he said, he

Addressing a brief look. Extremely uncomfortable, Rowan rubbed his hands on no jeans.

- Oh very good!

The two hours she spent with Zacarias had not yet elapsed, thought-t while a sharp pain she's going through. Obviously Isandro could assume the right to change its own rules. She looked to head home with Zacarias babbling happily to his side holding her hand. Tears stung her eyes stupidly, as if his heart was torn to see them away from her. Suddenly Isandro turned the air impatient.

- Well? Are not you coming with us?

For a moment, Rowan remained prohibited.


He quickly nodded and Rowan joined them when they returned to the house. She had to learn to control his emotions, she said, the following. But for now, joy quivered in it. That night, as his body calmed after the fun had just given him Isandro Rowan prayed silently that he did not leave right away. Acute pain

hugged. Did he behave well with his mistresses? Showed it more tender with

these? As tender as it had once been her


she stammered. I thought

Yes, I am!

Before she heard her

About poisoned. No, it was not necessary that she thinks that now. Anyway, that was the past. He had strayed a bit of it and now had his back. Rowan was dying to touch, to stay in touch with him. She rested her forehead between his shoulder blades and pressed herself against him before passing his arm around her waist. Immediately, she felt him stiffen. He would get up and go, again. But after a while, he relaxed gradually. Hearing her breathing calm, Rowan felt such emotion that she put her lips on his powerful back, as to suppress the words that threatened to spring. She did not know at all what she meant, or what she was feeling. But suddenly, she realized: she wanted him

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saying she was sorry. Sorry to be a party, sorry to have left, not having

the courage to explain everything. Without even realizing it, she placed another kiss on her skin.

- I'm so sorry, 'she whispered.

Then she repeated the words over and over again while kissing her softly. Suddenly Isandro jumped out of bed before turning to her in the contemplating with an atrocious contempt. Lord, he was not asleep The heart beating painfully in his chest, Rowan brought the sheet over her and looked Isandro enter his pants before putting.

- Sorry! he repeated with a hard laugh. Sorry for what, Rowan?

She felt completely hopeless. She had to explain to him. Now. Mustering all her courage, she reached for the bedside lamp to light it.

But before she could say a word, Isandro walked away toward the door.

- Wait! if she exclaimed.

He continued on his way as if he had not heard. Refusing to be ignored at this point, Rowan stood up in turn and wrapped the sheet around her before following him to his room. With a sudden movement, he turned to her.

- I've had my fill for tonight, he said icily. Go away, please. Rowan tried to repress the pain that had invaded.

- I beg you, I need to talk to you, to explain

He then walked toward her with a look so threatening that she could not help but to

retreat. He was too big, too intimidating, too manly.

- I do not care less about your explanations, Rowan. The only thing that

me interested in is your body, and the certainty that you do not pass a second

Zacarias more than the time that I have provided.

Pausing a moment, Isandro looked at her and saw her pink cheeks and her hair

disheveled. She was so sensual with this cloth wrapped around her

his expression and made his decision in a split second.

- In fact, the divorce is in progress, 'he said in a deliberately ruthless voice and I think you remained here long enough. I have shown myself more than generous because Zacarias, but the time has come for you to go.

He hardens

She terribly pale.


- Here, there are more than Sandro, he said in a cruel tone. "Sandro, I wish you so


Sandro, I need you

- Shut up! if she cried, with such force that he obeyed him.

Rowan felt he tore his heart to shreds and she understood this

Nothing she had never stopped loving him, otherwise he would not have had the power of hurt so deeply.

I just want to explain why I left, Isandro. It is not easy for me to tell you "Especially when you're like this



she began.



- You want me to get the word out that you had left, Rowan? I kept it, it is

in my office. She suppressed a shudder - she remembered exactly the excruciating pain and

despair that had hug when she wrote it.

- No

- It was very clear: "I'm not ready to take on marriage and motherhood. I have

so many other things to do, see

the exact terms.

- Isandro, believe me, I beg you. I wrote the word only because I

thought I would never see you again neither Zacarias. When she saw his face grow pale, Rowan realized he had misinterpreted his


- No, you're wrong. It's not

I do not want to see him, she whispered.

"Is that it? Forgive me if I have forgotten

she began.

- Do not tire yourself, he interrupted sharply. Like your legacy was squandered,

you came back to get their hands on the money in the marriage contract, serving you

Zacarias to achieve what you want. Rowan opened his mouth but no sound came out. He approached her, his face now devoid of any expression.

- Since you left, you're dead to me, Rowan, and the eyes

Zacarias. And in many ways, I think I would have preferred you to be actually dead, or at least that you stay away from us. My God, he could not imagine how his words were cruel, if Rowan said for comfort as she felt her heart freeze in his chest. He

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she had to go, before he could destroy it completely. She had thought be out of hell she went through, but she was sadly mistaken.

- I agree to leave, she said quietly, without looking. I had

planned to rent something Osuna. I'll do it tomorrow. Then she turned and went back to his room before gently close the door behind her. The sheet she had wrapped around her cornered, so she could not advance further. Unable to open the door and come face to anger and Isandro contempt, she slid the cloth on the floor before going to take refuge in the bathroom. There she pulled on her robe and locked the door, then sank into the floor in the dark and put her head on his lap. Despite his best efforts, she could not prevent cruel words of Isandro turning and turning in his head.

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Isandro stared at the white cloth stuck under the door and waited with Rowan forward to return to release, but it did nothing. What was she doing, damn it? Angered at the highest point, he opened the door and saw the spread sheet

on the floor. The room was plunged into darkness and the empty bed. Where was she? He advanced gently to the bathroom and was about to strike when he heard a slight noise.

Rowan pushing a complaint that gave off such distress that he felt his blood congeal in his veins. At that moment, her moan grew louder if primary so intimate, qu'Isandro stepped back. He saw the face of the young woman when he told her he would have preferred it

never come back, or

wanted terribly. When words had passed his lips, he had wanted to keep them, but it was too Later he had seen his face in amazement become as white as the cloth that covered its body. She had said nothing and had withdrawn itself, as if his words had really hit physically. Now she had taken refuge in the bathroom in the dark, emitting complaints qu'Isandro never forget. He went on tiptoe, prey to a host of disturbing questions. Why was she crying so? All clarity had again left his mind and his thoughts were more confused than ever. The next two days, Rowan carefully avoided Isandro, she still felt

- he thought the cruel words that he spoke and in

too vulnerable after this brutal confrontation. As for him, he no longer tried to take her in bed or to join in his. Moreover, even if it had not made reference to his departure, Rowan had contacted a real estate agent in Osuna. That night, during dinner, after a polite conversation on trivial subjects, Isandro surprised by announcing that she could go and Zacarias wander Seville the next day. For the first time in two days, Rowan glimpsed a glimmer hope. She thanked him, and when Isandro asked him to follow him in his office, complied with apprehension. Standing next to a chair, she looked open a drawer of his desk before out a small bright object. Then he came to her and handed it to her.

- Here, take this mobile phone.

- But

- I want you to take it to go to Seville with my son.

I have my own, she said, staring at him in confusion.

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Rowan held his gaze.

- Zacarias is also my son.

- All my numbers are stored in this unit, he continued, ignoring her

note. In case something happens.

- What could well happen?

- After this evening in Seville, pictures of us were spread in the newspapers. People know you're there. Such changes make us vulnerable, I, Zacarias, and you. Rowan felt a shiver of fear through it. She understood. Of course, a man as rich qu'Isandro was to represent a prime target.

- We are not forced to go to Seville

she said, without taking the phone.

Damn, thought Isandro annoyance, she does not see that he was doing this for it? Since he had heard her crying that night and found it

was then closed in on itself, it was

reaction in it. He wanted to see the day now, as well as at night. His body shuddered and tried not to let his eyes wander over it with avidity. Relieved, he saw at last take the small device he handed her.

- If there is anything, just to support yourself right away the key of 1.

Anyway, Hernan accompany you. Rowan turned and turned the tiny camera in his hand. Then, after raising Isandro eyes to a second, she walked to the door. There had been such a intensity in her eyes she felt her legs weaken. At the time it was out of the room, he reminded himself.

- We'll see you in my office in Seville. The girls are eager to see

Zacarias. A moment of pure joy came over her. Suddenly she was almost the impression they were a normal couple discussing plans for the next day.

But suddenly, Rowan felt his body go cold. How could she be as stupid? Invaded by a sudden wave of anger, she turned around and came back to him.

- It's not a safety issue, is not it? she asked him

holding the phone. He had the nerve to pretend he did not understand.

- You're afraid that I ran away with Zacarias, right? You put me to the test.

Her cheeks were red and she was shaking, noticed Isandro sincerely amazed. He

scared. He wanted to cause

had not thought about that for a second and now felt foolish not to have thought. Because apparently she had this project in mind.

- It bothers you that I know where you are at every moment of the day?

Rowan almost throw the laptop in Fig. Now she no longer had any desire to go to Seville.

- So when will you believe that my intentions are sincere towards Zacarias? she asked desperately.

Without deigning to answer him, he gave him a sparkling look.

- Send an army to monitor us if you want. I do not care, she added before

to turn to leave. Isandro sat down at his desk and ran his hand angrily in her hair. What

she does, he desired - mistress or wife, he wanted her in his bed He hated this ridiculous feeling of joy that had crossed when he saw a glow reborn in his eyes. Since then, she had seemed to come alive in the presence of Zacarias. Suddenly her phone rang and he took the handset with irritation. Then he heard the voice of his assistant.

- How to

no side track. She can not have disappeared from the face of the earth, dammit! He abruptly hung up the phone. He also hated that need to know she had done all this time. Oh, she had tried to explain, but it would not listen to his lies before learning the truth for himself. The next day, Rowan stared at the small mobile phone for a long moment. It seemed to taunt her with malice. But at the last second, she threw it in the large bag containing the affairs of Zacarias. It would be childish not to take and anyway, she was sure qu'Isandro check whether it had prevailed well.

? Nothing? Yes, I want them to continue the search. They leave

When she moved Zacarias in his seat at the back of the jeep, she could not repress

a frisson of excitement. She sat next to him while Hernan was sitting at the wheel before starting the vehicle. Later, Rowan gave a cookie to Zacarias when Hernan slows stopped. She leaned forward and asked,

- All is well?

- Yes, but we just passed a broken down car and saw that it was

my cousin. I'll see if he needs help. Looking out the back window, Rowan saw that the car in question was quite far

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behind them. She turned to Zacarias to give him a drink but a moment Later, when she wanted to see where Hernan was, what she saw froze his blood. When it approached the vehicle stopped beside the road, man with a baton springs bushes and hit him on the head. It was so incredible that Rowan could not believe his eyes. She then saw another man out of the car. Hernan now lay on the ground and the man with the club was heading towards the jeep. She stood frozen in place, unable to react, but when he was only a few meters, she looked feverishly door locking system. A thought occupied his mind Zacarias. Alas, she had reacted too late. His door opened and the man grabbed before

away with violence out of the vehicle. He shouted in Spanish, but she did not understand nothing. His companion arrived in turn, grabbed her arm roughly and asked if she spoke Spanish. She shook her head to clear it and took the gesture for "no." - Stupido said the other man. Hernan said she was English. She does not speak Spanish. Take the kid. Gathering all his courage, Rowan rushed to the other side of the jeep addressing Zacarias English. If they thought she did not understand them, it would an advantage She arrived before them and began to protest in English. The two men looked at her for a moment. - Let's take the kid. What does it make? I did not want to take care of him, do you? The other mumbled something and motioned for Rowan to open the door. She obeyed, trembling hands, and Zacarias freed from his seat. After opening it in its arms, she took the bag containing the little boy business. The latter, feeling the anxiety, then began to cry. Bluntly, the two men then drove to the other car. All It was as in a movie, Rowan thought that soon found himself pushed to the back the vehicle, pressing firmly against Zacarias her. One of the two assailants passed him a blindfold around your eyes. Then they settled front and drove off in a screech. Rowan did not want to leave impress. "Think, think, think", she repeated like a mantra. The

portable. She had to call Isandro. While talking to Zacarias, she reached for the bag lying on the seat beside her. Immediately, a large hand came to rest on his, stopping his gesture.

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- Water! exclaimed she in English, the heart pounding. I have

give drink to my son.

- All right, 'said the other man. She just wants water. Let her do.

The hand released his and Rowan reached into his bag. After finding quickly water bottle, she sought the phone. She was losing hope when she felt the under his fingers. My God, she could cry with relief. It was so small that it could hide it in his hand holding the bottle. When Zacarias had taken it between his fingers, she slipped surreptitiously hand between the door and him to hide what she was doing. Now the men spoke from them with great animation. Rowan took the opportunity to look at the first touch groping, then she leaned over, trying to remember where the call button was. Not knowing if she pressed the right key, she just actionna when it felt the car slow down before embarking on what she thought was a highway. The

indeed increased speed quickly. She took the opportunity to put the phone in its bag. She had dreamed or had she heard a voice? Rowan leaned forward and asked in Spanish:

- Why do you take? Where are you taking us? And why did you

Hernan knocked out? It could be seriously injured, you should call a

ambulance There was silence for a second, then she felt the blow before it

the reaches. He made her turn her head violently.

- She speaks Spanish!

Zacarias began to cry and Rowan tried to calm him down. Apparently, both

men did not have much patience.

- Your rich husband will have time to think about your value now that you are in our hands He then described to him in detail what they would do it, Rowan

forced himself not to listen. God thank you, Zacarias had calmed down and she felt weighed against its chest. Tears came to his eyes. If something happened to his son After what seemed like an eternity, they engaged on poorly roads maintained where they rolled a long time before finally stopping. One of the men came to get her out of the car and took off his blindfold. She hardly blinked. Fortunately, Zacarias had fallen asleep.

- You can look around you now, querida, this place is too away so we will be worried.

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He pushed ahead to a small stone house. They were at the top a mountain, Rowan noted with dismay, and there was nothing else around that craggy peaks. The room where she soon found himself was no window, cold and damp. His bag was thrown unceremoniously on the floor before the door closed on the two men. Finally alone with Zacarias Rowan gently placed on an old mattress lying in the corner. Then she reached into her bag and found the phone whose screen

had broken in the fall. At the same time, Zacarias awoke in confusion. Having only biscuits, it him gave one, which kept him busy for a while. When he finished, he walked to the door and raising himself on tiptoe, he raised his hand to the handle. Rowan came to him to stop, but at the same moment the door opened, making Zacarias fall backward. He immediately began to cry and the man leaned him menacingly.

- No! Rowan cried, pulling back his son to protect him.

Out of breath, she sat up and then saw the great hand come hit in the face. She felt his lip split and staggered. The man leaned back to Zacarias but like a tigress, Rowan jumped up and took the child in his arms before tightening



Lord, the head really hurt her and she had a taste of blood in his mouth.

- Do not touch it! she screamed.

The man took a step forward, but she did not back away.

- If I hear breathing, he shot him a dirty look, I throw it in a vacuum,

understand? When he left the room, Rowan came trembling to the mattress. She sat down keeping Zacarias in his arms. Luckily, he remained silent, contemplating his mouth

wounded with wide eyes. When he pointed his finger lip, Rowan tried smile, but was unable to because of his bruising. She spoke gently to trying to reassure him and took a tissue to wipe the blood she felt running down his chin. Gradually, she then felt his eyelids close. Zacarias had fallen asleep against her, wrapped in his jacket. Suddenly she jumped up and came out of his torpor. She had

heard a strange noise outside. Restlessness, something

too and began to cry. Immediately, Rowan stood up on his trembling legs and squeezed

Zacarias awoke

her son against her. This was it. She was sure. They would come and take him and then refused to consider the human threat.

She Zacarias


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The door opened and Rowan was blinded by the light of a flashlight.



It will kill me before taking my son. My husband is on his way and

Rowan? Mi Dios, what they did to you? Lord, she had lost her mind. She was dreaming. It could not be


- Sandro


- Yes. That's me.

Was that his voice? She did not recognize her. At this time, other lights appeared behind him. Suddenly Rowan understood nothing. She knew one thing: Zacarias was in his arms. Then she saw him. Tall and dark in the halos of light, stood before Isandro

her, so beautiful, so alive


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When he opened the door of the room, Isandro had seen only two pairs of large violet eyes. He had discovered such determination and such courage in those of


trembled so much that he could not touch his wife and son.

For a moment, an emotion of incredible intensity forced him to stop. He

- Sandro, I'm so sorry, 'said Rowan. I would never have accepted

to go to Seville. Zacarias should have stayed at home. You were right. I was wrong back. It's my fault

Isandro felt his heart sink painfully. It was he who proposed the walk, it was his fault. Yet it rejected the blame on her.

- Shh, Rowan, all is well. Give me Zacarias.

Rowan paused, feeling his mouth, then her whole body trembled. She knew

she had to let him take Zacarias, but she could not let go. A sob him escaped.

- I can not. I can not

- But if you can. Look

She felt the hands of Isandro land on his and their warmth spread once in it. Zacarias let himself instinctively go to his father and eventually she managed to relax his arms while qu'Isandro gently took her son. For a long time, he kept against him in silence, then saw Rowan soft to a person who was behind him. Then he turned to her and took to again his hands in his.

- You think you can walk?

- Of course, I feel perfectly fine, she said, wanting to take a step forward. But his legs buckled and Isandro immediately took her in his arms. When they left the room and went into another brightly lit, it blinked. Horrified, Isandro looked at his damaged mouth.

- What has happened?

At that moment a hideous voice reached them from the side of the door.

- I hit her because your kid would not shut up.

When she realized that the two men were there, Rowan stiffened immediately.


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word Isandro dragged out of the house and went gently moved to the back of the jeep, next to a policewoman Zacarias was in the process of installing the seat. As in a dream, Rowan vaguely became aware of everything around him - police, flashlights, emergency lights. She heard a noise before fight see Isandro back, rubbing his hands and go sit in the front of the jeep. Rowan understood that he was knocked the man, and she was not unhappy - because if it had the strength, she would have done herself. Suddenly, she felt a terrible tiredness seize her. She no longer had the courage to fight, but she found the strength to ask:

- And Hernan? How's Hernan? Isandro turned to her.

- It is in the hospital. Needless to shoot quickly, thanks to you and the phone * * * Rowan awoke when she was transported to the interior of the house and took him a moment to remember what had happened.

- Zacarias Zacarias

- He is fine. Ana Lucia takes care of him, do not worry.

- I do not believe you. I want to see, 'she said, trying in vain to identify Isandro arm.

- Relax, Rowan. He is fine. We'll clean this sore on your lip, then

you'll have to eat. Forcing herself to relax, she stopped resisting. It was so good to meet up and hugged her against his broad chest. She felt protected, honey. Which was dangerous

Where? she asked anxiously soon.

After he had deposited gently at the door of his room, Rowan stepped. His legs were not very safe, but it would go. He took her hand and led her into the bathroom. There, he made her sit before searching in a small closet to find what the treatment. Moments later, he crouched in front of her with a cotton he imbibed antiseptic. When he dabbed the bruised flesh, she held her breath as the pain was acute. She noticed that she was in a terrible state. Not only his shirt and pants were covered in dust, but the blood had stained the fabric in several places. Isandro caught his eye.

- You had to be very cold. It was almost zero degrees up there, you were really very high.

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- I did not feel anything, but I was afraid that Zacarias had cold and I wrapped

my vest. At that moment, she began chattering teeth, as if she was really starting to let go. Without saying a word, he stood up and left the room. Rising painfully, she went

look in the mirror. His face was deathly white and two spots marked red cheeks, under eyes too bright. A nasty cut distorted his mouth.

- Sit back down, O Rowan.

She had not heard back. Obediently, she obeyed him and that he took the glass tended. The smell of cognac went up to his nostrils as he helped him to drink. The liquid him burned her throat and she coughed slightly, but she felt the alcohol heat her belly.

Soon, his uncontrollable shaking subsided.

- I'm sorry

Isandro crouched in front of her again.

this would never have happened



Stop repeat that, he said sternly. It might as well have come up with



Yes, but they knew I

He put a finger gently on the lips.

- Shut up. One of the two men is a cousin Hernan. They took advantage of the fact they were aware of his whereabouts to trap and try to make easy money. These are just fools poor. You were so brave, mi


Confused before the heat that lit up her eyes, she shook her head.

- No, I was terrified.

- But you were strong, you Zacarias protected. I did not know you were so strong

He stood up and went to file a delicate kiss on her lips, as if to cure her

injury. Rowan welcomed the move as a blessing. She wanted to drown in him, in that kiss. But she knew that this moment would not last, that it should not rely on this unexpected sweetness. The price of a superhuman effort, she pulled away from him.

- I think I need a shower, she said with a weak smile.

After having contemplated for a moment in silence, he drew back.

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- Of course. You need help?

- No, thank you, 'she said hurriedly, wincing despite it.

Once in his own room, she quickly undressed and headed the bathroom.

Lord, what a joy to be found in the burning jet

the impression that she had erased all traces of this horrible adventure, she left the shower and pulled on her robe before rubbing hair vigorously with a towel. Almost immediately, as if he had watched his movements, their common door

opened Isandro and entered his room.

- Dinner is ready. You definitely have to eat.

Rowan followed on the ground floor. There, he led her to the kitchen where a

waiting dish of meat and vegetables that gave off an appetizing aroma.

- Would you like some wine? Isandro asked as she sat at the table.

Rowan shook his head. She could still feel the effects of cognac.

- No, but I'll water, please.

A glass of water at once found in his hand. Rowan looked Isandro, disconcerted to discover this new aspect of it. And suddenly she thought of Zacarias and it all came back to her memory. She stood up so suddenly that his chair fell with a crash on the floor pad.

- I want to see Zacarias, she stammered, prey to panic. I want Isandro came toward her.

- He's fine, Rowan.

- I want to see him.

She rushed out of the kitchen, Isandro snapping his footsteps. After mounting

When she had

the stairs, she went to her son's room, her heart pounding. When she saw her, Ana Lucia, sitting beside the bed, got up immediately. Zacarias fast asleep. Rowan leaned against the door, tears of relief in his eyes.

Ana Lucia exchanged a look with Isandro, who was behind her and Rowan then felt the hands of the latter arise gently on her shoulders, forcing her to be return to him.

- You saw? He sleeps like an angel. Now you're going to sleep, too, he said, taking her by the hand to take him to his room. I think it's not worth it to insist that you eat

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Isandro realized that his voice was hoarse with emotion. When he had seen

in this sordid room, with Zacarias, after believing

did not not rethink this terror, it was unbearable. He still felt his fist crashing the face of the man before police draw him back. He was aware that could have gone much further, it could have Zacarias endangered by lack control itself. While Rowan had shown a calm and coolness

extraordinary. When his phone rang in the middle of a meeting, he almost did not answer, but guessed that it was her. When he realized what he meant still felt in his flesh the terror and panic that had seized him. They were now in front of the Rowan's room. After him let go the hand, she turned the handle and entered the room.

- It's going to go?

He had feared the worst. He


Rowan looked at him. She knew she should have said "yes" to wish him goodnight and go to bed, but his mouth refused to obey him. Just For One Night. Then it Suffice it for the rest of my days. »

- Are you

we do not She paused, unable to string two words together. Mortified, she turned

but the hand of Isandro landed on his arm.

- Will you sleep with me?

Feeling the color rising in her face, she did not dare look at him.

- Yes

Without saying a word, Isandro took her by the hand and led her to her own room. In the dim light, he untied the belt of her robe. She wanted to protest but he silenced her with a gesture before dragging the garment on his shoulders and to undress in turn. Then he took her to the bed and waited until she was under the sheets to lie in the other side. Rowan thought he would stay away from her, but he soon brought against him, wrapping it in its heat. She immediately felt his manhood against her back and react shuddered violently. He then spent a possessive arm around her belly and whispered in his ear:

- Do not worry. I can not help it when you're so close to me. Sleep,

Rowan. The warmth of his body spread in his. Closing his eyes, Rowan allowed

? She started slightly raising the chin. I know you

please. I do not want to be alone.

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finally relax and leaned against the chest of Isandro. She must have slept for a while, when she awoke later, she Isandro arm felt the weight on it. My God, it would remain so until the happy end of her life, she thought with a sigh of happiness. She gently stroked her arm. Feeling immediately stir in his Isandro sleep, she stopped. He moved again and pressed against it. His penis hardened against her buttocks and her long fingers started to wander lazily on his belly, before returning to her breasts. When he closed his hand on a thrilling point and began to tickle languidly, Rowan felt her breath catch in his chest. His whole body vibrating with joy and anticipation. Now he was very excited against it.


- Shh.

He put a myriad kisses on his neck and on his shoulders, raising the exquisite sensations in secret well of her femininity. The hand of Isandro then left his breast and began a delicious sensual journey that ended between her thighs. She

felt fetch the vibrant heart of his pleasure. When he found it, she began to pant. With his free hand, he even drew against him, then entered a vigorous jerk, as if he could not wait. When he quickened the pace and plunged ever deeper into it, she gave fully and dragged with her into ecstasy. When Rowan awoke the next morning, she saw Julia come with a tray. Himself Realizing that she was completely naked, she went up the sheet over her before redress against the pillows. Apparently, Julia did not seem surprised to find



in the bed of Isandro. When she came to remove the breakfast tray beside her, asked Rowan how was Zacarias. The housekeeper replied that Ana-Lucia had done room and he was on the ground floor with Isandro. Rowan leaned against the pillows while Julia left the room. The little Breakfast was very appetizing, but she had knotted stomach. A million thoughts rushed into his brain. She had spent the night in the bed of Isandro. He had not left. They had made love - twice, if she remembered with a shudder. It Isandro loved the idea of starting a second time, without having the choice, filled with dread. Suddenly, she heard the sound of footsteps in the corridor and soon appeared Isandro on the threshold.

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- Are not you hungry?

- Not really

His expression was unreadable. He seemed distant, so different from the man who took her to heaven, who had been so tender, just hours earlier.

He was silent for a moment before the window before returning to speak:

- Rowan, about last night

When I offered to sleep with me, I really thought this, sleep. Rowan straightened himself squeezing the cloth against her.

- Oh, no, I beg you, do not apologize. I was not expecting it, me either.

It was probably a consequence of this day

Scarlet cheeks, she looked at her robe up on a chair. Isandro followed his gaze and went to take him before the tender.

Excuse me. I did not intend to


His face was marble noticed Rowan. A knife tore her heart. Did he regret so much what happened? Well, if she could not control her best own reactions to him, it would be better to leave the house quickly possible. She quickly pulled the robe before getting up.

- I will eat this down

When she bent towards the plate, he stopped.

- Let me do it.

He had to see that his hands were shaking. After lifting the plate, he walked

to the door. Feeling even more miserable, she followed him. Once they were at the bottom of the stairs he turned.

- The police will be here in about an hour to take your deposition. Do you feel able to meet them? He looked so genuinely concerned for her that Rowan felt his heart sink.

- Yes. This will go, do not worry.

When she entered the room, she felt a huge relief - Zacarias playing happily with Ana Lucia. Apparently, he had already forgotten what had happened the day before. Once the two police officers were left Isandro disappeared into his office. He stayed with Rowan throughout the interview as she met all

Anyway, I'd like to see Zacarias.

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the questions accurately. Later, Rowan decided to go spend some time in the private patio. It tried to read but unable to concentrate on his novel, gave it up soon.

What would happen now? if she asked anxiously. One thing was certain: she had to leave as quickly as possible. He would need call the real estate agent to find out if he had found something. The divorce proceedings would not take long - Isandro wanted to be released as soon as possible, maybe even remarry. Rowan involuntarily clenched his fists thinking of this possibility. At that moment, she heard her cell phone ringing in his room and ascended the stairs quickly. His heart was beating in his chest. It knew exactly what it was. Ruthless, his past resurgissait, she thought suppressing anxiety rising in her. As she had expected, this call was intended to remind him of his appointment.

She put the phone on the mahogany chest and wrapped her arms around his chest. She would have liked to be able to turn to someone to confide his anxiety. Just then there was a knock at the door of his room. She opened it and saw Isandro is stand before her, gloomily. He had probably just talk to him about his departure.

- Can you come to my office for a moment, please?

- Of course, she said, trembling inside.

* * * Isandro Rowan told to sit on the leather sofa, but she shook her head.

- No, thank you. I prefer to stand.

After going to take a folder on his desk, he returned to stop before it in silence.

- How's your mouth? he asked finally.

- Much better, thank you, 'she said mechanically putting his hand to his lips.


He looked down on the record he held in his hand.

What did you want me to say?

- This is the result of the investigation I did carry on you.

He knew? A wave of panic ran through awful. It really was not that at what she had expected.

- You had to investigate me


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- A little later, I admit, but at the time I found myself a bit overwhelmed by

the fact of finding myself alone with a newborn. And then there was a financial


- That which thou hast appeared not to know, the other day.

Now Rowan would gladly sat on the sofa, she was not sure able to face conversation.

- I do not understand where you're coming from, she said to save time.

- Me neither, he said, patting the folder. Do you know what my investigators discovered? She shook her head slightly. No, she did not want his life spread out in a folder. Especially if

- Here, take a look.

The heart beating wildly in his chest, Rowan took the shirt and beige cardboard opened it. It was empty. Not a single sheet of paper. The relief came over, but mingled another feeling. Isandro went to lean against his desk and crossed his arms.

- I am ready to listen to your explanation, Rowan. Because at least that you have not spent two years meditating on top of a mountain in India, I really wonder where you were

passed. And believe me, my investigators sought. She wanted to believe. Well, the moment of truth had come. After putting the file on the sofa, she walked to the window. She watched

long outside, trying to gather his courage. When she turned around, Isandro watched warily, without the slightest trace of warmth in his eyes. This When she could not evade the question.

- You have found no trace of me because when I left motherhood, I

ripped all my papers. I served my middle name, Louise, and the name maiden mother, Miller. I made my inheritance transfer to an account in Switzerland and I removed the liquid when I needed it. Rowan knew she spoke and she looked Isandro, but she felt distant, as if she was contemplating itself. She gripped the back of a chair.

- That still does not tell me where you were, noticed Isandro of-factly.

- I was in France, 'said Rowan with effort. In a small town near Paris. This is I went there when I left the maternity ward. A clinic. She lives Isandro frown and felt drops of cold sweat beading on his front. After closing his eyes for a second, she opened and inspired deeply.


Page 96


It was


a clinic specializing in the treatment of cancer.


Page 97


Rowan felt her body tremble so violently that she thought she was going to faint.

She forced herself to breathe deeply and regularly, but Isandro came to take her arm and made her sit on the chair.

- Explain yourself.

- Can you sit down, please, 'she said weakly. You make me dizzy.

He took a chair and sat down in front of her, her whole being visibly vibrating


She focused on her eyes, which had taken an incredibly intense color. My God, if he did not believe, if he put himself to laugh saying she had invented everything, it could never stand

- When I was seven months pregnant, I went for a check up. I

felt unusually tired me, emptied

Suddenly Isandro remembered this period.

- You had all these nosebleeds

- Yes, she said, slightly shaking his head, surprised that he would

remember. Isandro watched carefully. During the last months of her pregnancy, she had not fit. At the time, he had thought she refused him because of it. This felt invaded by a strange sensation, as if he was protecting something.

- Dr. Campbell made me do a blood test and sent to the laboratory.

A few days later she called me and asked me to come and see. You were New York at that time and your return was delayed by one day. Isandro remembered perfectly all these details.

- When I went back to see it, there was another doctor with her

hematologist deemed Prof. Villiers Rowan looked away for a moment his eyes and clenched his lips before the look

I had several colds a row



- They told me that the analysis had shown that I was suffering from an acute form of leukemia. Even if she had said quickly, the terror of that moment was not less intense. Isandro had not moved, showing no reaction. He cashed the shock, she said to

Page 98

she stood up. She walked back to the window and crossed his arms. It was more easy with a little distance.

- They wanted to start chemotherapy sessions at once, but I

denied. She heard Isandro get up and come after her. Finally, he reacted

- Why?

- Because it could be harmful to the baby. There was a risk of birth


or malformation. There was no way that I take any


- More

Isandro began to pace. He could not even formulate his sentence. His brain refused to function fully.

- Let me finish, 'she said. I know

At this time, he came up behind her and put his hands on her shoulders to

she turns to him.

- By refusing chemotherapy, I knew I reduced my chances seriously

survival. But

security. That was all that mattered to me.

I know it's a lot.

But the most important was to Zacarias world in all

- At the expense of your own health? he asked incredulously.

- Yes. And in case you would ask you the question, there was never any risk Zacarias suffering from my illness. Neither then nor now Isandro looked gloomily, but she continued:

- They wanted to start chemo right after the birth of Zacarias -I

knew what that would entail, with no guarantee of success, and Prof. Villiers asked

to go to her clinic in France. My case was interested because this type of cancer is rare during pregnancy. Nervously Rowan ran his hands over his arms.

- My mother died of breast cancer when I was five. I remember

her treatment, his suffering, his deteriorating

Zacarias not that attaches to me, even for a short time, before seeing the me leave. I knew it would be well with you. You were so happy at the thought of having a son She looked into his eyes.

- When I said that I thought you would never see you again, and you Zacarias, I was sincere. I had no hope for the future. The doctors had warned me that the

I did

Page 99

cancer was too advanced. I went to France to Words floated in the air.

- They still started chemo, she went bravely. But

as they expected, it did not help. It was too late.

Without being able to help herself, she touched his head.

- I lost all my hair.

To die.

Isandro still did not move. But she continued. She had to.

- The only other option was a bone marrow transplant. But she had not

because they had been considered a suitable donor. My whole family is being

turned off, it was impossible and the time was running at full speed Mechanically, she pushed a strand behind her ear.

- But a few weeks after my arrival, a perfect donor was available

in the same clinic. He was a volunteer, parent of another patient the operation was at high risk.

- Why do not you warned me, as there was a chance?

Isandro voice was so harsh that Rowan winced slightly.

- Because there was not even one chance in a hundred. Despite all your power and all your fortune, you would have nothing against it. After a bone marrow transplant, it should remain isolated for a month or more, for he must avoid any risk infection.

She turned pale.

- I have had at least three infections. Second, even if the transplant is successful and you survive to infection, there are many risks that the new marrow is rejected by the body, months later. His voice Fela.

- I did not live so far

Isandro thrust his hands into the pockets of his jeans and clenched his fists. Rowan

looked so vulnerable air, standing in front of this window. The irrepressible emotion


overwhelmed and he walked toward her. But he stopped immediately. He felt felt torn, cut in half. Never had he felt such a sensation. He wanted to take

in his arms and tighten against him, never let her go. And yet no. Not yet. Because he feared what would shoot him if he did.

- And the word that you had left?

he could not


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- I want to hurt your ego, your pride

Rowan saw a light shining in the depths of his eyes before disappearing once.

- I wrote you other letters to you and Zacarias, she continued, lowering

eyes on his hands. That had to be sent after


Zacarias not want that grow cursing his mother.

- And yet you waited two months before talking to me.

- I really tried many times

where we met by chance in your hotel in London, I arrived just France. I really did not know that this property belonged to you.

Isandro remembered the rage that had struck that day. Indeed, she had him

said she wanted to explain

He began to walk up and down.

- Why did you not tell me when you heard you were sick, right

blood? I would have supported. You would not have gone through these trials alone.

- I did not tell you because I was afraid you did you rallies with the opinion of doctors and

that you do not spears you after me.

where I explained everything. I do

It was not an easy subject to discuss. The day

But how could he have suspected such a thing?

you will force me to undergo chemotherapy. I can not explain what I

felt so

everything else. And I do not want you croies

She paused a moment before continuing:

- If I thought a chance to get out, I would have never left Zacarias You have to believe me. He believed. The pain was printed on his face, even now. In his

eyes. It was the pain he had interviewed earlier. The need to take into his arms threatened to overwhelm him, but he was overwhelmed by a terrible sense of guilt. He could no longer hide the truth - she was not insensible creature, part leaving this horrible word. What does that mean? All the emotions he had carefully kept buried assailed Now mercilessly. Hating himself, he took refuge in the attack.

- How do you could think that I would not be supportive of your decision?

he asked tartly. Now she was white as a sheet and bruising on her lips formed on his face a dark mark that gripped his heart.

- Of course I knew that you would support me, Isandro. But our marriage was a

All I know is that the health of Zacarias mattered to me more

you have to take care of me.

Page 101

arrangement, do not forget. I could not bear the idea that you take care of me by obligation. A storm seemed to rise in Isandro. By marrying her, he did not

provided the passionate alchemy that had exploded between them, or that Rowan would upset her background of life and out.

- This is how you justify your departure? he asked abruptly.

Rowan felt invaded by despair. He did not understand. It would include ever. How could he? She turned coward, she was also part because it

Isandro had loved too.

- I also heard your conversation with Ana, she said in a barely audible voice. I knew exactly what to expect.

- My conversation with Ana

- The same day I learned that I was sick. On returning, I intend to

tell you everything, she continued, gathering his courage.

Suddenly Isandro remembered. He remembered how his sister had tried him to confess his feelings when he did not even know what he was feeling himself. All he wanted at that time, it had been protecting Rowan venom Ana.

- I'm not going to listen to you. I returned home and I Dr. Campbell

you have heard. She made an effort to continue quietly hoping he would not attend that she was lying.

- I have not been surprised by your words, of course, I already knew how you felt

at me. Isandro remembered the whole conversation. Apparently, Rowan had surprised the worst of times. Gradually, he understood better behavior. The way

which she had cut off their married life, intersecting him emotionally, and physically However, she had to speak in a voice that lacked conviction. In fact, it


seemed extremely fragile, as if it would break and he felt the fragility win too. He could not feel anything. It was too vast to take in, too

abstract. It had taken so long to an ignoble creature

Rowan had stopped and stared at a spot on the carpet in the meantime decided to qu'Isandro speak. When he did, she looked up reluctantly, but his blue eyes were empty any emotion.


and now


now what?

Page 102

Yes, and now

- I must return to the clinic for a few days. Prof. Villiers wants to perform

routine check to make sure all is well.

- That leaves little time, he said in a bitter tone.

Rowan had shuddered but pulled himself together.

- They think I'm in London. I'll take the train.

- The jet is at your disposal.

- I

I help a lot. Isandro of the phone rang suddenly, startling her. He looked for a long time before going to respond with a gesture of impatience. Rowan took the opportunity to slip away in silence.


'she began, extremely touched by his proposal. Thank you. It

Page 103

- You can not imagine how the state of your wife was serious,

Mr. Salazar. The fact that it survived shows its strength, and we were lucky to find the donor at the last moment. Rowan has demonstrated unprecedented

courage to the daily suffering she endured - suffering we can hardly conceive the intensity, you and me. These words reached him deep within himself.

Isandro arrived early this morning. When Rowan had gone the day before, he had not accompanied. Since she had told him everything, he had been unable to leave apathy that had taken hold of him. His brain and his heart had been a mass confused pain, anger and confusion, which betrayed another feeling more formidable and stronger again.

- Professor Villiers, I know I was not there


- This does not concern me, said the latter, interrupting with a wave of the hand. I

knew she had decided to cross all this only for his own reasons, and we did not have the right to inform you of his condition. Furthermore, the symptoms of his disease were less visible because of her pregnancy and she could hide you. The doctor took off his glasses and looked into his eyes.

- However, I will not deny that there have been times when I regretted it

be so stubborn. She did not accept that We bring about the birth a little early. She wanted to give every opportunity to his son - and of course, it reduced

considerably its own survival Isandro deep breath.

- I got to know. I need to know what she went through

when my wife suffered its


The professor looked at length Isandro then, as if he understood that could trust him, nodded briefly.

- Very well, he said, rising. Obviously, I will not reveal any details you

specific without permission, but I can describe what goes through a patient of such cancer.

- Thank you, said Isandro rising in turn before following him to the door.

- Come, we'll talk while walking. Have you ever seen your wife?

Page 104

Isandro shook his head.

- Well, I'll take you to her when we finish.

Isandro was leaning against the open doors to a large garden nice. In the alleys lined with flowers, patients and visitors were walking sun. But he looked at them without seeing them. He saw the pictures: the room where Rowan was left alone for nearly three month fight against infections after transplantation, the apparatus for which it had been connected

Hands deep in his pockets, he struggled to resist the pain invaded. At the thought that she At that moment he saw her. She looked so healthy now, if

vibrant energy

grass the middle of a group of children. She read them a book and in his dress flowers, legs and bare feet, she seemed to have sixteen.

He walked and walked toward her. His wife was sitting in the

He sat down on a bench and watched. He drank his eyes, trying to absorb everything he had learned in two days. He now had the impression begin to understand a little. When Rowan finished his reading and looked up with a smile, his eyes met those Isandro. Sitting on a bench a few feet away, he gazed. His breath stopped in her throat and she felt her cheeks colored. Maybe she was dreaming, because at that

same place, she had often thought about him

While she awkwardly handed her sandals Isandro left his bench and went to her. So it was real, she thought, trying to ignore the shiver that

went through his body.

- Isandro

When he looked down at his, she discovered an unknown glow.

- I should have come with you yesterday, do not let you go alone.

- Oh

A sharp pain through him.

- No, actually, you could not wait for you there, he said, taking her hand. He pointed to the place where it was installed with the children.

- Who are they?

She got up and kissed the children.

What are you doing here? she asked in a trembling voice.

Do not worry, I did not expect that you come with me.

Page 105

Rowan felt hot and flustered.

- They

was still very low. I had to find strength, so I took care of

These are patients. When I knew I was saved, there are three months, I

Children Having shrugged, she looked forward to pronounce the words as expected.

- The results are good, she said at last. And I am becoming stronger. The prognosis is excellent. When she looked up, she was unable to decipher the phrase which read in depths of her eyes.

- You watch me wing they're building? he asked, smiling.

- Prof. Villiers told you? she asked, stunned.

Isandro simply nodded. Without saying a word, Rowan dragged to the back of the clinic. There, he

discovered a yard surrounded by a fence on which was nailed a plaque bearing these words:

"Wing Catherine and Alistair Carmichael, dedicated to research on childhood leukemia and its treatment. »

- Why did you choose the name of your parents? Isandro asked in a trembling voice. Rowan touched the finger tip plate.

- For they continue to live together

- This is where you have invested your heritage?

- Not everything, she said, turning to him. I kept in case

ask for a divorce. I had expected. Then, unable to look as long as she released her hand and walked away quickly. Being there with him, it was really too much for her and her emotions threatened to overwhelm her again.

through this.

in case you

Rowan closed her small travel bag before going to say goodbye to the staff Clinical qu'Isandro while waiting outside. With visible emotion, she shared fully, Prof. Villiers took her in his arms and kissed her on both cheeks. In the car, Rowan sat as far away from Isandro. She felt that he was reading in his mind, in his heart. When she saw that the car did not take the fork leading to the airport, she turned to him with a questioning look.

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- I booked a suite in a Paris hotel for the night, he said in a neutral tone.

- Why? she asked in amazement. As he looked at her without answering, She continued:

- Isandro, it's not worth it. I'm not a kid who goes out of the dentist. I'd really go home. Although the house Isandro was not his.

- We need to talk, Rowan. We will both Paris and Seville.

When the car stopped at the George V, Rowan felt terribly moved in her little floral dress. Isandro came out and opened her door before him take the hand, making it even more uncomfortable, and dragged inside the luxurious. There, they were greeted with deference by the staff and man of a certain age came to greet them before taking them to the elevators for take himself in their suite. Rowan looked at the richly furnished room for qu'Isandro spoke with Director. A large French window overlooking a private patio that offered a direct view the Eiffel Tower. Its famous silhouette outlined against the clear sky that nuançait

now purple. Up and leaned on the railing, she barely noticed the table set for two covered. Paris was not she the most romantic city in the world? This was to part of the hotel's standard comfort, she thought cynically. What therefore expected Isandro? Why had he brought here? Had he acted out of duty? Pity? At that moment, she turned quickly and saw. Standing in the frame of the French window, he watched intently. Feeling her heart do a little jump in his chest, she said she had to stop it right away, regroup. After this brief stay at the clinic, she was far too vulnerable.