Monday, May 6, 2013

One Night With Pasqual

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Pasqual Chevalier had never found himself wanting for something that was unattainable. As one of the many offspring from one of the most powerful and prestigious names in the south, he was—in a word—entitled. To money, to women, to whatever his heart wanted. So why was it so hard to obtain the one thing he'd wanted for the longest but never had the ability to admit out loud--the heart of a women he's desired for years? Too stubborn to open his mouth and say the words, he finds himself in a precarious position after a wild night with an unnamed woman leaves his cousin Rayce hot and cold with him and asking Pasqual to look after a pregnant friend...who happens to be one Rhonda MacDaniels; the same woman Pasqual has been carrying a torch for. Now he has to question himself as to why her taste, touch and scent seem so familiar...and why he has such a strong yearning to take the role of her unborn child's father.


Driving up to the house, Pasqual cringed at the condition of the place. The small, blue-and-white shotgun house had no real front yard to speak of. There was a little patch of what appeared to be lovingly tended dirt out front. The paint was peeling a bit, but it looked clean. There was a small, clean, but old Toyota in the driveway. At least he knew she was home.
Walking up to the door caused the neighbors’ dogs to bark in a frenzy behind a chain link fence. Rottweilers. Drug-house early warning system. This was bad. Rayce should’ve thrown the woman over his shoulders and forcibly removed her from the area. Pasqual didn’t give a damn what the circumstances of the birth was, no Chevalier was going to live like this while there was family to assist. Squaring his jaw, he pounded on the front door, prepared to do whatever the hell he had to in order to get Rhonda to see she couldn’t possibly live here any longer.
When the door swung open abruptly, Pasqual momentarily forgot to breathe. As a young adult, Rhonda had been cute, pretty even. As a full grown woman, she was beautiful. Not stunning in a model kind of way. Just, well, just beautiful. With her almond-shaped brown eyes all round with anxiety, she looked like a scared little doe, ready to run. Shit, he had scared her with his he-man act. She probably thought it was the cops at her door, given the way he’d damn near knocked it down.
“Pasqual? What are you doing here?”
Her voice had changed slightly too. It was still sweet, laced with that unique New Orleans accent, but it was slightly huskier, having shed the too-young pitch so common in young girls. That voice seemed vaguely familiar, as if he had heard it recently. But that wasn’t possible. He hadn’t seen Rhonda in years. She’d all but dropped out of sight after the death of her parents. They had never been more than passing acquaintances, so there was no reason he would’ve sought her out. Still, an internal alert went off deep in the recesses of his brain.
Perhaps he could’ve reasoned it out if his attention hadn’t been snagged by her unexpected beauty. He could clearly see the attraction Rayce must’ve felt. In fact, a twinge of jealousy rose as the slight breeze molded the thin cotton of a oversized dress to her frame. For a minute, he forgot why he was standing on her doorstep. Until he saw the small baby bump where her hand was now massaging gently.
Oh, right. She was pregnant.

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