#NaNoWriMo 2018 ~ #theBabyContract #RomanticSuspense

So, we’re halfway into NaNoWriMo 2018 and my story seems to be coming along. I decided to share the opening scene of the Baby Contract, just as I shared a scene from the Twin’s Contract back in NaNoWriMo 2017.

And now a piece from the Baby Contract…

Excitement bubbled in Elizabeth Sutherland Martinez as she slipped into the front door of her stepfather’s home. The mansion was not to her taste, ostentatious in the extreme with expensive marble, gaudy antiques, and flashy paintings. Nothing of her mother’s elegant touch remained after her death.

Her sandaled feet slapped against the pure white marble tile of the foyer, a grand staircase split into two sections in a sweeping arc to the second-floor balcony that overlooked the foyer and great room where Harold usually entertained on the other side. Large dangling crystals set in the chandelier took up half the room, clinking when the air conditioning kicked on, breaking the oppressive silence of the house.

This wasn’t her home, had never been her home. Harold and her mother had moved here after they’d married. Even though her mother had passed several years ago, Elizabeth still considered Harold Moore part of her family. The only family she had other than her husband, Rafael. Heading for the great room, she stopped when she heard nothing in that direction.

Turning back to the foyer, she took a right at the foot of the stairs towards Harold’s office. Giddy at finally being able to deliver her news, she skipped a few steps over the plush cream carpet passed a door that led to a cream and beige parlor on the left. Hearing Rafe’s deep sexy baritone, she stifled a giggle and took a sharp right down the only other hallway.

With Esther, the housekeeper, gone for the evening surprising Harold and Rafe would be easy. She froze as her name was ground out between clenched teeth. Loathing coated every syllable, confusing her because Rafe had never spoken like that to her.

“No! I agreed to a year, and I’ve given you a year and a month.”

Rafe’s harsh tone made Elizabeth flinch. Her best friend Megan would have stormed into the meeting yelling and screaming at the two until they provided answers. Elizabeth had never been that bold, preferring to soothe out tempers and arguments.

“Elizabeth’s not pregnant, Rafe, therefore, the contract is null and void.”

Her heart felt as if it’d stopped beating. Peeking around the crack in the door, she quickly pulled away and pressed her back against the wall. So much anger and rage were painted across both faces of the men she’d thought cared for her. Considered family.

“No! I read the contract, my lawyers read it. The agreement stated I had to do everything in my power to get her pregnant and I have. I have fucked her every night, and you can ask Megan if you don’t believe me. Elizabeth shares every damned detail with her.”

“Oh, I’m sure you’ve more than done your nightly duty in the bedroom,” Harold stated acerbically.

“If she’s not pregnant it’s not my fault.” Rafe’s voice lowered.

“But it is. That was the only thing I asked of you–“

Tears fell as her heart twisted in her chest. Megan was in on this as well? But why? Elizabeth’s mind flew through all the nights Rafe had made love to her–not love, sex. Seen in a new light what she’d mistook for a passionate claiming was just a fuck. Everything she’d thought to be true was a lie. But why?

“Fuck you, Harold that was not part of the contract. Hell, I didn’t want any part of this, all I ever wanted was my grandfather’s cabin which you bought out from underneath me like the sneaky, conniving bastard you are.”

But that was another lie. Rafe had asked her to marry him. Had she wanted him? Yes, she’d been more than obvious about that. However, she’d never pursued him, would never have done that. Her mother had raised her better than to chase down a man who’d expressed no interest in her. So she’d assumed Rafe–no, he was not, had never been, Rafe–Rafael had finally noticed her. Pursued her. Captured her. Only he’d never chosen her.

“I’m filing for divorce tomorrow and will finally be rid of you and your manipulative daughter.”

“I still can’t understand why you won’t wait another few months. The timeline won’t change–“

“Bianca’s ready to be married, she wants a family, and my entanglement needs to be severed.”

“Oh, well then, I’ll have my attorneys discuss this with your attorneys, however, do not think you’ll get off that easily. Elizabeth wanted a child out of this, and as long as there is breath in my body, she’ll have it. So you might have to leave a few deposits–“

“Whatever, as long as I get the damned cabin and my divorce.”

She realized then Rafael was at the door, his hand that had touched her so intimately held the knob. Not wanting to face him, Elizabeth fled the way she’d come, rounded the corner where the main staircase was going so fast as to lose traction for a moment and skidding into the wall.

A quiet sob passed her lips breaking through the silent rooms, alerting her to the need for stealth if she wanted to avoid her husband. Soon to be ex-husband. Pressing a hand to her mouth, she felt the tears on her face and decided to clean up before she confronted Harold. She needed her composed armor in place, she couldn’t allow him to see any weakness, or she’d never get the answers she needed.

Spinning on the ball of her right foot, she headed to the far hallway and the small bathroom under the stairs.

She quietly shut the door and turned on the light. The crinkling of the plastic bag reminded her of the reason she’d come. Looking down, she set the innocuous bag with its equally mundane contents on the side of the pedestal sink. The bright pink stripe showed like a beacon out of the pregnancy test. Positive.

Stupid. She’d been so stupid wanting to rush over as soon as she’d seen Rafael’s calendar with a meeting scheduled for Harold’s house tonight, of course, she’d decided to share the news then. They were her only family. Elizabeth wanted to tell them before she shared it with her best friend, Megan.

Boy is the surprise on me. Shoving the plastic bag deep into her purse, she lifted her face to the mirror.

She’d been called plain her entire life. The merging of her gorgeous mother and handsome father had misfired in her genes. Instead of platinum blonde hair like her mother’s, she’d gotten muddy brown like her father’s, but instead of the piercing green eyes that set him apart. She’d gotten her mother’s deep navy blue.

Her features were even, but not breathtaking. Lillian Sutherland Moore only had to walk into a room and men would stop to watch, to want what they couldn’t have. Maximillian Sutherland had the same appeal, women threw themselves at him, but with Lillian, he never strayed. Nor had she ever looked at anyone but Maxim. After several years of mourning her attention was again captured by Harold Moore.

Allowing herself one last shuddery breath, Elizabeth looked around for a rag before she remembered this was the water closet. Nothing except guest hand towels graced this bathroom since it was mostly used for the elegant dinner parties Harold threw. A handful of tissue from the box on top of the commode handled the majority of the cleanup. Mascara that had left black smudges under her eyes was mopped up with a bit of hand soap and water, she reapplied her blush and powder, slicked more lipstick on, and ran a brush through her shoulder-length hair.

When she’d felt she’d done all she could, Elizabeth stowed everything back in her purse, washed her hands and stepped out of the small bathroom. Taking a minute to gather the rest of her courage, she slipped around the corner and froze at the tableau in front of her.

I’d love to hear what you think. Now, I’m off to write some more.

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