Russian Royal's BabyBy: Bella Rose
Maddie stared at the little white stick and tried to make sense of what she was seeing. First of all, peeing on a tiny, absorbent piece of cotton attached to a plastic wand was disgusting. She had never imagined herself having to do such a thing. She was Madison Castillo, fabulous music agent and talent scout. She knew all of the movers and shakers in New York City, for goodness sake! How could a silly plastic applicator wand with a plus sign slow down someone like her?
A plus sign! Oh. My. God!
She had to say the word out loud just to make herself believe it was true. Of course, she wanted to follow that word with a whole string of expletives she’d learned back on her aunt’s ranch in Texas, but that wasn’t going to change anything.
Giving into her redheaded temper, she threw the stupid applicator wand at the mirror and began pacing energetic circles in her bathroom. Her Greenwich Village apartment was a good size. It actually afforded her the opportunity to pace! That was huge! She was a big deal. How could she have been so careless? How had this happened?
Maddie abruptly stopped walking and put both hands flat on the sink top. She stared into the mirror and tried not to freak out. It was so obvious! Six weeks ago she had met the most amazing guy at a local club. He’d told her that his name was Alex. She’d gone back to his hotel room, and the two of them had had the most amazing sex. In fact, the sex had been so good that Maddie hadn’t been with anyone since. She just hadn’t met anyone who interested her. But the thing that made Alex memorable for all the wrong reasons was that the man was so vigorous in bed that the condom had broken.
“Oh God,” she moaned. The two of them had even laughed about it! How stupid could she be?
Sure, she was on the pill, but Maddie’s schedule was nuts! She couldn’t count the number of times in a month that she had forgotten to take her birth control. And apparently Alex was virile enough that her half-assed birth control efforts had failed completely, which left her in quite a precarious situation.
Maddie gazed at her reflection and tried to imagine what she might look like all fat and swollen in the last trimester of pregnancy. She’d seen her cousins when they were pregnant. Maddie hadn’t had any interest in following in their footsteps. They were back in Texas, living the lives of suburban soccer moms in Dallas. That was not the way Maddie wanted her life to be! She loved New York! She loved her clients, and she loved knowing that she could walk into any club in the city and people would immediately know her. She was not just another redhead in Dallas. Here in New York she mattered.
There was no way in hell she was giving that up.
ALEXANDER MAXIMOVICH STEPANOV—distant heir to the Imperial Throne of Russia—waited patiently for the limo to come to a complete stop in front of the Trump Tower Hotel. He was particularly fond of this hotel. In fact, he was excessively fond of New York in general. He loved the nightlife and the vibrancy of the city. Americans were so different from the people of his native Moscow. They were unapologetic and demanding of their due in life. It was exciting!
The limo stopped, and one of the hotel’s concierge staff opened his door. Alex stepped out onto the sidewalk and straightened his suit jacket. A cool wind brushed his cheeks. He especially loved this city in the fall. Moscow would already be buried in snow. There, icy winds whipped through a body and left no hint of warmth behind. Here in New York there was a promise of the brutal northeastern winter to come, but there was still a hint of summer. It left him feeling almost melancholy.
“Mr. Stepanov, sir.” A hotel manager bowed from the waist. “We have your usual suite ready. Your baggage has already been transferred to your room. Is there anything else you require?”
“Ah, New York is delightful this time of year, is it not?”
Alex grimaced as his cousin Yuri approached from the other side of the limo. He and Yuri were in New York with a small army of personal assistants to tie up an international business matter for one of Alex’s import/export companies. Yuri had not been Alex’s first choice of travelling companion, but his mother had been most insistent.
“I need to go over some notes before the meeting,” Alex murmured. Turning on his heel, he left Yuri standing beneath the hotel’s stylish portico and entered the building alone.
“Alexander!” someone shouted. “Look over here!”
Alex sighed. The one downfall of being in New York was the paparazzi’s fascination with what they often referred to as “Russian royalty.” Yuri was already smiling broadly and waving. His cousin reached out and snagged Alex’s shoulder.