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Little Secrets:Unexpectedly Pregnant

By:Joss Wood


"Why does this sculpture make me think of hot, amazing, fantastic sex?"

Sage Ballantyne looked at the woman she hoped would become her  sister-in-law, but didn't reply to her outrageous statement. Tyce  Latimore's work, whether it was an oil painting or a wood-and-steel  sculpture, always elicited a strong reaction. He was one of the best  artists of his generation. Of many generations.

Thank God he was also the only artist of his generation who refused to  attend his opening nights. If there had been even the slightest chance  he might appear, then Sage would've stayed away.

Sage flicked her eyes over the abstract six-foot-high sculpture. It was unusual and very unlike Tyce's normally fluid lines.

"There isn't a curve in sight but it screams passion and lust," Piper said.

Sage's eyebrows lifted. "I'm not seeing what you are."

Piper pulled Sage to stand next to her.

"Try this perspective," Piper suggested, her cheeks tinged with pink.

Sage laughed at Piper's embarrassment and turned back to look at the  sculpture. Actually, from this angle it did look like two people bent  over a desk, and Piper was right; when you made that connection you saw  the passion in the piece. This sculpture would be a talking point in his  reviews. The art critics would wax eloquent about Tyce's take on human  sexuality.

Sage knew how he felt about sex; he liked it. Often and any way he could get it.

"But why the frog?" Piper asked before moving on to another display.

Every muscle in Sage's body stiffened. Oh, no, he hadn't. No way, no how. Not even Tyce Latimore would have the balls to...

She looked at the sculpture again and yep, there on the "desk" was a  tiny, beautifully made steel frog, its surface treated so that it took  on a greenish hue. In an instant Sage flashed back to three years  before.

They'd arrived separately to a party, not wanting to tip off the world  about their relationship-the heiress and the hot artist, professionally  and personally, would be big news-and they'd spent the evening  pretending not to know each other. The tension had been hot and sexy  and, by the time Tyce dropped a quick suggestion in her ear that they  meet in the library, she was a vibrating, hot, sticky mess of  take-me-now. Within twenty seconds of slipping into the room, the door  was locked, Tyce had her dress up her hips and had stripped her of her  soaking thong. He'd unzipped, leaned her over the desk and he'd taken  her, hard and fast, from behind.

The jade frog on her host's desk had watched them, thoroughly unamused.

Sage hauled in a breath as her heart tried to claw its way out of her  chest. How dare he? What they'd done together was not for public  dissemination.

Just another reason she'd been right to walk away from him three years ago.

"That sculpture was difficult." Tyce's unmistakable deep and velvety  voice came from behind her. "I was constantly distracted by the memories  of that night. And others."

His words were low enough for only her to hear. She didn't turn, but she  felt the heat pouring off his body and she inhaled his soapy, sexy  all-man smell. Lust skittered over her. As usual, Sage felt like she'd  been plugged into the nearest electrical outlet. Her skin buzzed, her  heart stumbled and her mind felt off-kilter.

Three years and he still had the ability to rocket her from composed to  crazy. Three years and her first instinct was to beg him to take her to  bed. Three years and instead of being angry with him for depicting their  encounter in the library in an, admittedly, very abstract way, she  wanted to kiss him.

Or slap him...

Then, like now, he pulled her in and tempted her into edging closer.  Generally, Sage found it easy to step away from men she found too  attractive or too interesting. They weren't worth the hurt that was the  inevitable outcome of becoming entangled in someone's life.

Determined to protect herself, Sage seldom allowed relationships,  especially those with men, to deepen past a week or two. With Tyce, it  had taken her six weeks to convince herself to leave. He was supremely  dangerous.

Tempting, addictive... All that and more.

So, obviously, kissing him was out of the question.

Sage spun around on her ice pick heels and her hand connected with his  cheek. Instantly mortified and regretful, she watched that too-handsome  face harden, his obsidian eyes turn, if that was at all possible,  darker. He opened his mouth to say something but instead of speaking his  hands gripped her hips and he yanked her into his hard, muscled chest.  His temper-tinged mouth covered hers, his hot tongue slipping between  her lips, and Sage was lost, swept away to a place only Tyce could take  her. Sage dug her nails into his arms, feeling his bulging muscles  through the thin fabric of his black dress shirt and, wanting more, her  hands skated over his broad chest, danced across those washboard abs  she'd loved to tickle and taste.         



Tyce lifted his mouth off hers. "Come with me."

Sage looked around for Piper, caught her eye and Piper waved her away,  silently giving her permission to leave without her. She shouldn't; this  really wasn't a good idea. But instead of saying no, instead of  dismissing him or walking away-creating distance between herself and  people was, after all, what she did best-she placed her hand in his and  allowed him to lead her out of the gallery.

Tyce rolled out of his king-size bed in his borrowed apartment and  headed to the luxurious en suite bathroom. Three years later and sex  with Sage was still fantastic. He never had better with anyone else, he  thought as he tossed the condom away. Sex had never been an issue;  everything else was... Had been.

Tyce leaned forward and placed his fingers on his right cheekbone,  checking for but not expecting to see finger marks from the force of  Sage's hand connecting with his face ten hours before. Tyce blew out a  long breath. Only they could rocket from a slap to a kiss to having wild  sex all within the space of an hour. He and Sage Ballantyne were, had  always been, a combustible combination. There was a reason why they'd  avoided each other for three years; put them in a room together and some  sort of firestorm always occurred.

Tyce gripped the edge of the vanity. Judging by her  deer-in-the-headlights look when she turned around, she hadn't expected  to see him at his own exhibition and he couldn't blame her. His presence  last night had been an aberration. He hated discussing his work, having  people fawn over him and his art. To Tyce, it was a simple equation. If  you liked what he did, buy it. If not, he didn't care. There was no  need to endlessly discuss his influences and inspiration for every  piece. Luckily for him, art lovers seemed to connect with what he  produced. His taciturn attitude to publicity and art critics and his  reclusive nature added, so his agent, Tom, said, to his mystique.

He'd only gone to the exhibition because Tom insisted he meet the  wealthy CEO who wanted a sculpture for the lobby of her new corporate  headquarters. It was a commission that would raise the levels of his  depleted coffers and it wasn't an offer he could treat lightly.

All thoughts of the commission, his agent and staying at the exhibition  evaporated when he laid eyes on Sage for the first time in three years. A  second after noticing her, Tyce felt his head buzzing, his skin  shrinking and his world tilting. Damn; she was still as enticing and  compelling and make-him-crazy as she'd been before. The world faded and  he'd spun away from the CEO-who happened to be very female, very into  him and very willing to give him a commission-and pushed his way through  the crowds to reach her.

It was easy to call her hair black but it wasn't, not really. It was the  deepest, darkest brown he'd ever seen. Her eyes were the blue of  Moroccan tiles and her body a product of a lifetime spent in ballet  class. Sage, damn her, was effortlessly graceful and knee-knocking sexy.  She was the only woman who'd ever caused his heartbeat to spike, his  lungs to contract and his brain to chant...mine, mine, mine. He'd been  thinking of cotton sheets and a massive bed as he'd approached her and  it seemed natural to open their conversation with a sexy quip. She,  obviously, hadn't and responded with that furious slap. But, because  he'd seen the desire in her eyes and heard her low, excited gasp as his  lips met hers, he ignored his stinging cheek and...yeah, hell then broke  loose. An hour later they were both naked and panting and pretty much  stayed that way for the rest of the night. Tyce ran his hands over his  face. Last night they'd let their bodies do their talking but the sun  was up and reality was knocking on the door.

Literally. Tyce opened the door to Sage's soft rap and looked into her  vivid eyes. Ballantyne eyes. She was gorgeous, Tyce thought, feeling the  action down below. They'd just had rock-my-world sex for most of the  night and he wanted more.

Tyce tensed, waiting for her to ask him when they'd see each other  again, whether he'd call her later. He couldn't do either; there were  far too many secrets between them, a history that didn't make that  feasible.