Carrying the Rancher's Heir

Carrying the Rancher's Heir by Charlene Sands Page B

Book: Carrying the Rancher's Heir by Charlene Sands Read Free Book Online
Authors: Charlene Sands
subsided—he’d just masked it better now. A tic worked in his jaw. His eyes on her were cold and hard. A bad sign.
    He led her to where long grass cushioned the lake bank. “Let’s sit.”
    Tagg waited for her to drop onto the grass, then he lowered himself down beside her. He stared out across the lake. “The baby’s mine?”
    Callie might have expected this. She swallowed past the lump in her throat, hurt that he’d even asked. “Yes. You’re the only man I’ve been with since Boston.”
    â€œWhat about that carpenter? The one you’d been seeing?”
    Callie winced. It seemed her father had told him everything. She shook her head. “The relationship never got that far. I…Troy was…it never got physical,” she said quietly.
    Tagg inhaled sharply. “You were ticked at your father and you what? Seduced me in order to defy him?” He turned to her then, his eyes black with fury. “He never let you near a Worth. You weren’t allowed to talk to any of us. So, you saw me that night, looking…lonely and vulnerable, and you thought to yourself, if I hook up with Tagg, I’ll finally get payback. Even if your father never found out, you’d know. You’d have that satisfaction. You settled the score by screwing my brains out. It was a hell of a ride, Callie.”
    â€œNo! It wasn’t like that.”
    â€œDefying your father must have been so damn sweet.”
    â€œTagg, listen. You’re wrong. I can explain.”
    â€œI don’t think so. It all makes sense now.” He spoke firmly, with conviction, as if nothing in the world could change his mind.
    â€œI mean that was only part of the reason.” What couldshe say now, explain that she’d come face-to-face with her fantasy man? That she’d seen an opportunity to finally take something she wanted, to go for broke, to do something wild and so out of character for her? How could she tell him that? How could she tell him she loved him?
    It wouldn’t matter. He wouldn’t believe her.
    The darkness in his eyes went deeper. “You got pregnant on purpose, Callie. The ultimate revenge. To have a Worth bastard. When were you going to tell me?”
    â€œNo! Tagg, I didn’t. You can’t believe that.”
    â€œHell, I don’t know what to believe.” He turned away from her, his face contorted with disgust.
    â€œPlease. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner. I was waiting for the right moment. I never thought I’d get pregnant. Never. You have to believe me. I’m not…ruthless.”
    Tagg shot her a look. “You’re a Sullivan.”
    And that said it all. Callie’s eyes filled with tears. “I’m not my father, Tagg.”
    â€œThen why didn’t you tell me? Vegas would have been a good time. We were alone together, going at it all night long. You might have slipped in, ‘oh, by the way, Tagg, I’m carrying your baby.’”
    â€œI…couldn’t.” She felt drained and exhausted. As if she’d been in a fistfight and had gotten worked over pretty good. Her body sagged in defeat. She had no energy for this battle. Not tonight. “I should have. I’m sorry.”
    â€œYou deceived me. I’ve got to admit you sure had me fooled. I’ve never been this blindsided by anyone. Not even by your unprincipled father. But you,” he said, jabbing his finger toward her, “you didn’t feel any compunction about lying to me. You played me, Callie.”
    â€œTagg, please—”
    â€œDoesn’t matter. None of it. Because I don’t want my childanywhere near Hawkins Sullivan. That man will have no influence over our baby. None.”
    â€œWhy are you so angry at my father?”
    â€œHe’s truly a bastard, Callie. I never knew how much until today.”
    Tagg picked up a large pebble and hurled it into the lake. The stone slid

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