Pregnant On The Upper East Side?

By: Emilie Rose

One




“Are you stalking me, Alex Harper? You’re an attorney. You should know better.” Amanda Crawford frowned at the too-handsome-for-his-own-good man standing beside the rows of mailboxes in her apartment building.

Alex feigned innocence. Badly. His coffee-brown eyes glinted with mischief, shooting off tiny gold flares in his irises, which in turn set off corresponding sparks below her navel. She clamped down on the unwelcome response.

He withdrew his hand from his black overcoat pocket and dangled a brass mailbox key in front of her. “I’m here to pick up Julia’s mail. It’s not all being forwarded to Max’s place, and since I was going to be in the neighborhood I offered to stop by.”

As excuses went, Amanda could almost accept that one. Julia, her former roommate, had married Alex’s best friend just over three months ago. But Amanda had been seeing far too much of Alex to believe mail call was his only motive for turning up at 721 Park Avenue on a Saturday night at the exact moment she returned to her apartment building. No matter where she went lately he managed to make an appearance.

“The post office makes change-of-address kits for exactly that purpose. I’ll send a few to Julia. Better yet, I’ll fill them out myself.”

Melting snowflakes glistened in Alex’s dark hair, and he stood close enough that she caught a whiff of his cologne. She’d always been a sucker for Calvin Klein MAN, especially when applied to a tall, well-built body.

Stop it. You’re all business all the time now, remember?

No men to divert your focus. Especially not this man.

At five foot ten in her bare feet plus her three-inch-heeled Stuart Weitzman ankle boots, she shouldn’t have had to look up at anyone not affiliated with professional basketball. But with Alex she did.

“I’ll take care of Julia’s mail since I still live here,” she insisted. “Besides, I have more upstairs.”

“I’ll come up and get it and deliver it when I meet them for dinner later.”

Walked right into that one, didn’t you, Amanda?

Disgusted by her slip, she turned and stalked across the marble-floored lobby toward the elevator. Henry the doorman sat in the center of the lobby behind his big mahogany desk, with the phone receiver pressed to his ear. She waved as she passed and his beady eyes followed her.

Alex kept pace beside her. “Why don’t you join us tonight?”

“No thanks. I’m busy.” Not exactly true. All she had planned was an evening of combing her accounts and trying to find the money to cover her most pressing bills, but she didn’t want to encourage Alex by accepting. Not that a womanizer like him apparently needed encouragement. She’d given him none and yet here he was. Again.

“When are you going to stop playing hard to get and go out with me, Amanda?”

“Never. And I’m not playing. I am hard to get. Impossible, in fact. So have a little pride and stop asking.” She stabbed the call button and caught Alex’s inspection in the ornate gold-rimmed mirror hanging on the Tiffany-box blue wall.

“I never give up when I truly want something. Or someone.”

She attributed the shiver working its way up her spine to the record-breaking cold November weather outside the glass lobby doors. Alex’s deep voice and the interest in his eyes had nothing to do with it.

“Especially when she’s equally as interested.”

She caught her breath at his audacity. And his insight. “For someone who is supposedly brilliant, you missed the mark on that one.”

Amusement mingled with disbelief in his eyes. “Did I?”

Why bother to lie? He wouldn’t believe her anyway. She ducked her chin into the fox collar of her cashmere coat and repositioned herself so she couldn’t see him or his reflection.

She had to admit she found Alex’s pursuit incredibly flattering, but she was smart enough to recognize a relationship train wreck when she saw one. In the dictionary of dating, Alex’s name defined the words temporary and heartbreaker. Getting involved with him would be a disaster on a major scale. Not something she needed to add to her already infamous and blotchy relationship résumé.

“Why is it the party girl—”

“Party planner,” she corrected instantly. Oops, that had sounded a little snippy and defensive. But he’d hit a hot button. Her disapproving parents had railed long and hard about her unacceptable career. If she heard Get a real job or marry money one more time she wouldn’t be responsible for her actions.

“—parties with everyone but me?” he continued as if she hadn’t interrupted.

She squeezed into the elevator even before the doors finished opening. He followed her into the car, crowding her toward the back wall. She put as much room between them as possible, which meant he literally had her backed into a corner. Not her idea of fun.

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