To Mend A Marriage. Carole Mortimer

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Название To Mend A Marriage
Автор произведения Carole Mortimer
Жанр Современная зарубежная литература
Издательство Современная зарубежная литература
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      His wife…. Yes, that was what she was. But in name only….

      Could she actually change this situation by having Nick make love to her? Gemini knew she would do anything to try to salvage their marriage. Anything at all…. He was so good-looking, Gemini groaned inwardly. The darkness of his hair was ruffled, the hard planes of his face softened by the muted lighting in the room, the warmth of his body seeming to reach out and enfold her.

      “Gemini…?” he questioned uncertainly, his gaze narrowed on her flushed face. Flushed because she wanted Nick, wanted him so much she physically ached with it. And the way things stood between them, she knew she had little to lose! Besides, she was Nick’s wife, damn it, and if any woman was entitled to share his bed, it was her! She would not give Nick up without a fight!

      CAROLE MORTIMER says, “I was born in England, the youngest of three children—I have two older brothers. I started writing in 1978, and have now written over one hundred books for Harlequin Presents®.

      “I have four sons, Matthew, Joshua, Timothy and Peter, and a bearded collie called Merlyn. I’m very happily married to Peter senior. We’re best friends as well as lovers, which is probably the best recipe for a successful relationship. We live on the Isle of Man.”

      To Mend a Marriage

      Carole Mortimer

      My husband,

















      A BABY!

      On her doorstep!

      This couldn’t be happening. There must be some sort of mistake. And it certainly hadn’t been made by her!

      Gemini continued to look blankly at the woman standing beside the carrycot, cursing the fact it was the housekeeper’s day off. She had no doubts that Mrs James would have dealt with this situation in her usual capable manner—probably without bothering Gemini with it at all!

      As it was, Gemini had been caught completely off guard when she’d opened the door herself, answering the ring of the doorbell, and found this other woman standing on her doorstep. With a baby in a carrycot she claimed she was here to deliver to Gemini!

      Gemini shook her head confidently, dark shoulder-length hair swinging silkily against her cheeks. ‘I never did believe that story about the stork,’ she said dryly. ‘And I hate to disappoint you, but I think there’s been some sort of mistake—’

      ‘No mistake,’ the other woman assured her happily. ‘Jemima gave me detailed instructions of how to get here, and exactly who I was to leave the baby with. After seeing you, I would have been in no doubt anyway.’ The young woman laughed. ‘The two of you are identical!’

      Gemini had stopped listening the moment her twin sister’s name was mentioned, although she stiffened resentfully as the last remark registered. She and Jemima might be identical in looks, but there the similarity ended!

      But if her twin were behind this woman’s presence here, Gemini knew she’d better listen to what she had to say…!

      She stepped back, holding the door open. ‘Perhaps you had better come inside,’ she sighed. ‘And bring—the baby with you,’ she added reluctantly, not sure if the baby were a boy or a girl—and not particularly interested either way!

      ‘I’m Janey Reynolds, by the way. Jessica’s nanny,’ the other woman said chattily as they walked down the thickly carpeted hallway. Janey carried the bulky carrycot in front of her, releasing its weight onto the sofa once they were in Gemini’s sitting-room, and then looked about the obviously wealthy comfort of the room with interest.

      ‘Gemini Stone,’ she introduced herself vaguely, staring at the carrycot as if it were an alien being. Which it was, to her. She had no children of her own. And she wasn’t particularly interested in any her sister might have produced, either!

      Or perhaps this was all just someone’s idea of a joke. But it was June, not April, and she didn’t think any of her friends were crazy enough to involve a baby in any prank they pulled on her. Although she only had Janey Reynolds’ word for it that there was a baby in the carrycot; maybe it was empty, and just another part of the joke…?

      ‘Beautiful, isn’t she?’ Janey Reynolds prompted as Gemini leant cautiously over the side of the carrycot.

      She looked like any other baby as far as Gemini was concerned: very pink, very wrinkled, with sparse dark hair—and, thankfully, at this moment her eyes were closed in sleep!

      Gemini moved away from the cot as if she had been stung. There was definitely a baby in there. And if this woman were to be believed her sister was involved in its existence.

      ‘Am I to take it you work for my sister, Jemima?’ She looked at the younger woman with narrowed eyes.

      Janey Reynolds looked to be in her early twenties, with an open, friendly face, lightly sprinkled with freckles, and reddish-blonde hair that was brushed back from that gamine face. Her slender figure was clothed in a tee shirt and fitted denims. Ideal wear for looking after a baby.

      Whereas Gemini’s own clothes—a silk blouse the same cobalt blue as her eyes and black silk trousers contoured to the tall slenderness of her body had been designed by Gemini herself, to be fashionable as well as comfortable. But, being silk, they were certainly not baby-proof. ‘As Jessica’s nanny,’ Janey nodded, still smiling. ‘I would’ve thought Jemima would have mentioned that to you…?’ She frowned slightly.

      As Gemini and Jemima hadn’t seen each other for well over a year now, and the baby in the carrycot looked very young indeed, there wasn’t much likelihood of that. In fact, if her sums were correct, Jemima couldn’t even have been pregnant the last time they’d met. Which begged the question—who was the baby’s father…?

      ‘Please, sit down,’ Gemini invited coolly, sitting down in the armchair opposite the other woman. ‘Have you worked for my sister for very long?’ she queried lightly, feeling totally in the dark here; she hadn’t even known there was a baby, let alone how old it was!

      Janey shook her head. ‘Since the day she came out of the nursing-home. About six weeks,’ she supplied as Gemini still looked blank.

      ‘I see,’ she said slowly—not seeing anything at all.

      Jemima had given birth six weeks ago…. It seemed incredible that her twin could have gone through pregnancy, and then childbirth, without Gemini knowing anything about it. Of course, the emotional connection they’d used to have as children had gone long ago, but even so Gemini thought she would have felt something!

      Janey looked a little less sure of herself now. ‘Jemima has been delayed in the States for the weekend at least,’ she said slowly. ‘I would have thought she’d have called you?’

      ‘Called me?’ Gemini was totally at a loss now.

      Not only had she not seen Jemima for over a year, the two of them hadn’t spoken to each