Seducing His Wife by
Haunted by nightmares, Sheridan Sinclair just wants to get through one night without reliving the terrible accident that led to her miscarriage. And she longs for the arms of the man who betrayed her. Matthew Sinclair has always loved his wife, but when she refuses to speak to him after her accident, he’s left to wonder what went wrong. When a stolen kiss ignites their forgotten passion, he’ll use their love as a means to get her home and in his bed again. Will a husband’s plan of seduction be enough to heal a wife’s broken heart?
When she found the last few sketches, she shuffled them neatly and exited her office. Whatever designs Mrs. Davis didn’t use for the Governor’s Ball, she would file away.
“I found them!” Sheridan announced breathlessly, entering the room. “Although for this particular dress, the manufacturing…” Her gaze fell on the tall, dark, handsome man standing in the middle of her boutique.
Images of him and that…that woman clouded her mind. How she led him inside, salad dressing filling her nostrils, and waiting for him to leave her darkened house. A searing pain ripped her heart. The sketches slipped from her fingers and whispered to the floor. “Matthew,” she murmured, his name sticking in her throat.
His gaze pierced hers. “Hello, Sheridan. Nice to see you again.”
Sheridan couldn’t stop staring. He looked just as good as she remembered, well…maybe a little better. She snuck another glance. He appeared bigger, as if he’d been working out, and he still made her heart race and hands tremble. She inhaled, and her senses collided with the crisp, woodsy scent she gave him for his last birthday. Tears burned her eyes.
“Darling, are you all right?” Mrs. Davis asked, concern coloring her voice.
Sheridan blinked. They weren’t alone. “Yes, yes, I’m fine.” She unclenched her wool skirt and realized her hands were empty. She glanced at the floor and stooped to retrieve the fallen sketches.
Matthew bent to pick up one of the pages resting near him. “I need to talk to you.” He offered her the page, holding her gaze a moment before straightening to his feet.
Sheridan stood, shuffling the papers back into order, hating how her hands shook, how he still sent electricity pulsing through her veins with just a look. “Um, Mrs. Davis. These are the sketches.” She handed the drawings to the older woman. “If you’ll excuse me?”
Mrs. Davis offered a sympathetic smile. “Of course, dear. Nessa and I will discuss these over a cup of peppermint tea, and if I leave before you return, I’ll see you Friday.”
Sheridan glanced at Matthew. “I’ll get my coat. We can walk to the café on the corner.” She forced her steps to remain slow as she entered the back. Once out of sight, she took a deep breath.
He was here. He had finally come to ask for a divorce so he could marry the woman he should have married. She wouldn’t wait. Sheridan wouldn’t prolong the process. She blinked back a set of tears, tugging on her coat and hat. She had to do this now or she would never be able to walk away again.
She returned to the front of the store and quietly approached where Matthew stood. “Okay.”
“This won’t take long.” He held the door open.
Sheridan hesitated on the threshold. When his hand grazed her sleeve, she gazed up at him.
He implored her, eyes dark with longing. “Please, Sher.”
Nodding, she stepped into the biting cold. Fat snowflakes fluttered to the salted pavement, dissolving on impact. “So what do you think of the weather?” She tried for neutrality.
“I’d rather be in front of a fire with the woman I love,” he replied.
He put a hand on her elbow, stopping them in the middle of the sidewalk. “Why did you leave?” Pain creased his features. “You never called. You barred me from your hospital room. Why, Sheridan? What was so bad you couldn’t tell me?”
She shrugged off his hand, intending to return to her shop. He reached out again and reclaimed her elbow.
She was wrong. She couldn’t do this. Being near him was just too painful, especially when all she wanted to do was rest in his arms. Sheridan shook her head. “No.”
When she stepped away a second time, he jerked her to a halt. “What was it?”
Tears puddled in her eyes, dangerously close to spilling over. She drew a ragged breath. “No, Matthew, not now.” She blinked hastily. “It’s too late for us. Just give me the papers, and I’ll give you your divorce.” The words tumbled from her mouth in a rush. She hitched in a breath, her heart thudding in her chest, her stomach flip-flopping.
He glared at her, and Sheridan realized she stunned him with her statement. He yanked her to him, the heat of his body chasing away the chill, the soft curves of her breasts pressing his hard chest. She didn’t dare breathe. He tightened his grip on her arms.
“Is that what you want?” He searched her face.
She couldn’t tear her gaze away. His eyes were wet, betraying the pain her words caused. Could she have been wrong? She couldn’t think with him so close. She curled her bare hands into the lapels of his coat. It would be so easy to lift to her toes and press her lips to his. He smelled so good, and she had missed him so much…and he hurt her.
She jerked from his grasp. “That is why you sought me out, isn’t it?”
He sighed wearily, dropping his hands to his sides. “No, Sheridan.”
She glanced at him. No divorce? Then what did he want? Wordlessly, she resumed walking toward the café, and he followed. He caught up with her in time to swing the door open. She hid a smile. Always a gentleman; it was nice to see Matthew hadn’t changed. A few moments later, they were seated in a corner booth away from prying eyes. Sheridan ordered a hot chocolate, and Matthew ordered black coffee. He picked up a menu.
She remained silent. Matthew wouldn’t wait to tell her why he’d come. He never minced words or had trouble communicating what was on his mind, whether telling her she was beautiful or when he asked her out on their first date. Always confident, the only time she’d ever seen him flustered was when he proposed to her four years earlier.