Home > Hold Me (Twist Me #3)(3)

Hold Me (Twist Me #3)(3)
Anna Zaires

Goldberg looks surprised. “Oh, sure.”

“What is it, my pet?” I stand up, ignoring my nakedness. Goldberg politely averts his eyes as I catch Nora’s arm, preventing her from walking out. “What do you need?”

She looks uncomfortable, her gaze shifting to the side.

“What is it, Nora?” I demand, my curiosity piqued. My grip on her arm tightens as I pull her closer.

She looks up at me. Her cheeks are tinged with color, and there is a defiant set to her jaw. “I need the morning-after pill, okay? I want to make sure I get it before we leave.”

“Oh.” My mind goes blank for a second. Somehow I hadn’t thought about the fact that with her implant gone, Nora can get pregnant. I’ve had her in my bed for almost two years, and during that entire time, she’s been protected by the implant. I’m so used to that, it hadn’t even occurred to me that we need to take precautions now.

But it had clearly occurred to Nora.

“You want the morning-after pill?” I repeat slowly, still trying to process the idea that Nora—my Nora—could be pregnant.

Pregnant with my child.

A child that she clearly doesn’t want.

“Yes.” Her dark eyes are huge in her face as she stares up at me. “It’s unlikely from just one time, of course, but I don’t want to risk it.”

She doesn’t want to risk being pregnant with my child. My chest feels oddly tight as I look at her, seeing the fear she’s trying so hard to conceal. She’s worried about my reaction to this, afraid I’ll prevent her from taking this pill.

Afraid I’ll force an unwanted child on her.

“I’ll be right outside,” Goldberg says, apparently sensing the rising tension in the room, and before I can say a word, he slips out the door, leaving us alone.

Nora lifts her chin, meeting my gaze head on. I can see the determination on her face as she says, “Julian, I know we never talked about this, but—”

“But you’re not ready,” I interrupt, the tightness in my chest intensifying. “You don’t want a baby right now.”

She nods, her eyes wide. “Right,” she says warily. “I’m not even done with school yet, and you’ve been injured—”

“And you’re not sure if you want to have a child with a man like me.”

She swallows nervously, but doesn’t deny it or look away. Her silence is damning, and the tightness in my chest morphs into a strange aching pain.

Releasing her arm, I step back. “You can tell Goldberg to get you the pill and whatever birth control he thinks is best.” My voice sounds unusually cold and distant. “I’ll wash up and get dressed.”

And before she can say anything else, I go into the bathroom and close the door.

I don’t want to see the look of relief on her face.

I don’t want to think about how that would feel.

Chapter 2

Nora

Stunned, I watch Julian’s naked form disappear into the bathroom. He’s hampered by his injuries, his movements stiffer than usual. Still, there is a certain grace to the way he walks. Even after his hellish ordeal, his muscular body is strong and athletic, the white bandage around his ribs emphasizing the width of his shoulders and the bronzed hue of his skin.

He didn’t object to the morning-after pill.

As that fact sinks in, my knees go weak with relief, the adrenaline-induced tension draining out in a sudden whoosh. I had been almost certain he would deny me this; the expression on his face as we spoke had been shuttered, unreadable . . . dangerous in its opaqueness. He had seen right through my flimsy excuses about my school and his injuries, his undamaged eye gleaming with a cold blue light that made my stomach knot in dread.

But he didn’t deny me the pill. On the contrary, he suggested I get a new method of birth control from Dr. Goldberg.

I feel almost light-headed with joy. Julian must be on board with the no-kids bit, his strange reaction notwithstanding.

Not wanting to question my good fortune, I hurry out of the room to grab Dr. Goldberg. I want to make sure I get what I need before we leave the clinic.

Birth control implants aren’t easy to come by in our jungle compound.

* * *

“I took the pill,” I tell Julian when we’re comfortably ensconced on his private jet—the same plane that took us from Chicago to Colombia after Julian returned for me in December. “And I got this.” I raise my right arm to show him a tiny bandage where the new implant went in. My arm aches dully, but I’m so happy to have the implant that I don’t mind the discomfort.

Julian looks up from his laptop, his expression still closed off. “Good,” he says curtly, and resumes working on the email to one of his engineers. He’s outlining the exact specifications of a new drone he wants designed. I know this because I asked him about it a few minutes ago, and he explained what he’s doing. He’s been much more open with me in the past couple of months—which is why I find it odd that he seems to want to avoid the topic of birth control.

I wonder if he doesn’t want to discuss it because of Dr. Goldberg’s presence. The short man is sitting at the front of the jet, more than a dozen feet from us, but we don’t have total privacy. Either way, I decide to let it go for now and bring it up again at a more opportune moment.

As the plane ascends, I entertain myself by watching the Swiss Alps until we get above the clouds. Then I lean back and wait for the beautiful flight attendant—Isabella—to come around with our breakfast. We left the hospital so quickly this morning that I only managed to grab a cup of coffee.

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