Without really knowing what she intended to do, she’d entered and turned on his computer. After idly surfing the Internet for several minutes, she’d opened one of Griffin’s desk drawers.
Immediately, she’d spotted the DVD that she’d stumbled across earlier in the week, when she’d gone looking for a pad of paper to use during a phone call with a potential client. The DVD had been marked with Carter’s name, and had been impossible to miss.
This second time, she hadn’t hesitated. In the middle of the night, she’d popped the DVD into Griffin’s computer and watched.
And she’d felt…absolutely nothing.
Now, she stared at the examining room’s white wall.
Griffin was her present.
Her lover. Her husband. The man she loved.
It was hard to think of being married to him while she loved him desperately and he saw her as a convenience. It was worse, however, to think of doing so while she tried vainly for years to get pregnant.
With a growing sense of dread, she realized she’d have to tell Griffin about the doctor’s diagnosis and give him an out.
Even at the cost of her heart.
* * *
When she arrived home an hour later, Griffin was there to meet her as she came in the door.
"You’re here on the early side," she remarked.
She’d hoped to have more time to prepare for what she had to say, but she conceded it probably would have just prolonged the agony.
Griffin gave her a quick kiss on the lips. "I’m glad you’re back." His eyes twinkled. "I had an epiphany at work."
He paused, as if expecting her to guess.
When she just looked at him mutely, his lips quirked.
"Belly dancing," he said.
She looked at him inquiringly, and his smile widened.
"I had this idea that you could take your dancing skills in a whole new direction. Knowing what ballet does for our sex life, just think of what belly dancing will do."
She looked at him archly, and he affected an expression of mock solemnity.
"Purely in the interest of getting you pregnant, of course," he said.
"Of course," she echoed.
She knew he was joking, but the reminder of the purpose behind their marriage made her heart lurch.
Griffin winked. "Come on back to the kitchen, and I’ll pour you a drink. Something nonalcoholic in case we already got started on the baby making."
Her heart lurched again.
He took a step toward the back of the house. "Tell me about your day. How was your visit to the doctor?"
She steeled herself. "Some unexpected news, actually. There’s another stumbling block to my getting pregnant."
Griffin turned back toward her, and she watched him go still.
She took a deep breath. "I mean, I’ve been diagnosed with uterine fibroids. Many women get them, but in my case, it looks like surgery is a possibility, especially if I want to hang on to my fertility."
She watched Griffin frown and bit her lip. "It’s impossible to say how easily I’ll be able to get pregnant after any procedure," she said. "And, as we both know, my chances of getting pregnant weren’t good to begin with."
Griffin blew a breath. "Aw, kitten, I’m sorry."
She attempted a laugh. "I should be thankful there are options apart from a hysterectomy these days."
Griffin stepped toward her, but she raised a hand to stop him. If he touched her, she knew she would cry. Or worse, beg him to stay with her.
"I haven’t finished," she said.
He looked, Eva thought, as if he was wondering what else needed to be said after the nail in the coffin of her fertility.
"We married for a specific reason," she said. "Of course, now that that reason is gone, I won’t expect to hold you to our arrangement."
Griffin’s concerned expression melted away. "What do you mean? You said yourself, you don’t know for sure whether you’ll be able to get pregnant or not."
She forced herself to keep her expression neutral and her voice steady. "Exactly. I don’t know for sure, but I know the odds are bad. There’s no reason to stay together in the futile hope that one day I’ll get pregnant."
Griffin’s face became shuttered. "That’s it? You’re going to throw in the towel?"
"We married for a specific reason," she repeated.
"Yes, and now you’re reneging on our bargain."
She felt her temper ignite. She was dealing with the end of her dreams of family and marriage, and he was talking to her about defaulting on a deal?
"Do you want to pass down Tremont REH so badly?" she said, giving him tit for tat. "If so, why don’t you talk to my father? I’m sure it can be arranged, even without me."
Griffin’s mouth thinned into an angry line. "You want out, you can have out."
"I’ll stay at my condo while we iron out the details," she retorted.
He gave a terse nod, and then turned and strode down the hall.
A moment later, Eva heard a door slam.
Luckily, she thought miserably, she hadn’t yet rented out or sold her town house. Now it would prove a welcome refuge while she got over Griffin.
If she could ever get over Griffin.
* * *
Damn it. Griffin nursed his brandy and wished he had Marcus’s good stuff right now.
He’d heard Eva leave the house an hour ago, but he’d been holed up in his study.
He wasn’t going to beg her to stay.
Even if the past few weeks had been some of the best of his life. Even if he’d formed a deeper connection to her than he’d had to any other woman.
She wanted out, she could have out.
He and his two hundred million or so sperm could take it like men, he thought with morbid humor.
He downed some more of the brandy and took empty solace in the warm path it traced to his gut.
He should have known his relationship with Eva would come to this kind of end. He’d gotten a hint last week, when he’d caught her watching Carter’s sex tape. Ever since, he’d been ignoring the flicker of unease at the edge of his mind.
Things weren’t over between them.
He’d seduce her, if he had to. Sex wasn’t all there was between them, but it was a good start to getting her to understand how much more there was.
As much as he’d like children with Eva, what he really wanted—no, needed—was her.
* * *
"Get a divorce?"
Her father echoed her words, but the look on Marcus Tremont’s face was nothing if not incredulous.
After arriving at her parents’ mansion minutes ago, Eva had located her parents having breakfast in the solarium.
Her father had been reading the newspaper, his eggs and toast set out before him. Her mother had been sipping tea and glancing through the mail set at the side of her breakfast plate.