Home > Going Down Fast (Billionaire Bad Boys #2)(2)

Going Down Fast (Billionaire Bad Boys #2)(2)
Author: Carly Phillips

“You’re awake.”

Lucas. She forced herself to roll to her other side and face the man who’d done everything he could to help her. Without success. The blood had been a shock. The debilitating pain had begun almost as soon as she’d entered the hospital. The rest was a horrific blur of words the doctor had used, each one an agony-filled stab in her heart. Late-term miscarriage. Nothing she could have done to prevent it and nothing she had done to cause it. Probably due to chromosomal abnormality. Rare occurrence. I’m sorry.

“Maxie? I asked if you’re okay? I mean—”

“I know what you mean.”

Lucas was worried about her.

“I don’t understand. I wish…” Her voice caught on an unexpected sob.

Lucas was by her side in an instant, pushing his big body onto the small hospital bed along with her and pulling her close. He smelled delicious, a citrusy masculine scent. It comforted her. He comforted her and she burrowed in closer.

“The nursery’s all painted, the crib nearly done. I named him—” She choked back a cry.

“Let it out,” he said, holding on to her tightly.

He was so solid. So there. Unlike her husband, who, from the minute she’d seen blood, was nowhere to be found. He hadn’t even returned her call. She hadn’t checked her cell since being in here, but she had no doubt Lucas had tried to reach him.

But it wasn’t Keith she needed now, it was Lucas, and true to form, he was there. The one to make her feel better when she was hurting, the one to comfort her when she had problems. He’d been her next-door neighbor since they were ten years old, her best friend, the one she could count on, always. But when her teenage feelings had changed, deepened, she’d kept them hidden.

Good girls didn’t make a play for boys, her very religious mother had hammered into her. And Lucas, well, he’d been different back then. Less confident. He hadn’t acted on any change in dynamic between them either. The timing had never been right. They had never been.

“Lucas…”

“I’m here, baby. For anything, I’m here.”

“I know. And thank you.”

The tears began again, the thought of the fear when she’d seen blood, the sheer panic when she’d realized she was alone. Her absolute refusal to face what was so obviously happening. She’d dialed Keith, but her heart had wanted Lucas, and when her husband wasn’t reachable, she’d called the one man she knew she could count on.

“I don’t know what I would have done without you.” She’d dampened his shirt but he didn’t seem to care.

He merely shifted, wrapping his muscular arms around her tighter. “You’re strong. Stronger than you know. You’ll get through this,” he reassured her. “And I’ll be here for you. Whatever you want or need.”

The distinct sound of someone clearing his throat sounded, and she jumped, her gaze darting toward the door to her room.

“Isn’t this cozy?” Keith slurred, lounging in the doorway, glaring at Maxie and Lucas, who stiffened but didn’t make a move away from her. “Your message said it was an emergency, but looks like situation normal to me.” He made his way into the room, weaving slightly on his feet.

God, she didn’t need this right now. Her husband was obviously drunk. His clothes were wrinkled, and there was a noticeable red lipstick stain on his collar.

Under any other circumstances, she’d want to die of embarrassment, that Lucas was seeing what her marriage and life were really like, but she’d lost the only thing that mattered and that had bound her to Keith. She couldn’t bring herself to care about his feelings now.

“I’ll handle him,” Lucas whispered into her hair.

“No need to handle anything, brother,” he sneered. “I’ll handle my own wife.”

Maxie closed her eyes and let the tears fall. For the baby she’d lost and the life she could have had… if only she hadn’t married the wrong brother.

Chapter One

Nine months later

Lucas poured himself a cup of much-needed coffee after a ridiculously late night with Derek and Kade, his best friends and partners in Blink. He brought the drink to his mouth only to be interrupted by a knock.

He placed his cup on the counter and headed for the door, swinging it open, shocked to find his sister-in-law standing on the other side. As usual, he forced himself to use the term he’d had to get used to over the years—because it put up an automatic barrier between them. One that said hands off.

He often wondered whether, if he’d managed to make a move on her years before, he’d have had a chance with the girl of his dreams. If he’d only believed in himself enough to try. Didn’t matter now. Even with his brother gone, having died in a car accident six months earlier, Keith was still between them. It was too late.

He shook himself out of his brooding about the past and focused on the woman at his door. “Maxie.”

“Hi, Lucas.” A flush stained her cheeks. Dark circles framed her eyes, and she had no makeup on her pretty face.

Realizing she was the subject of his scrutiny, she self-consciously pulled at a strand of blonde hair that had fallen from the messy knot on top of her head. She looked tired and fragile. She’d been through more than her fair share of shit with Keith, and Lucas sensed there was much he didn’t know about their marriage and her life.

“Come on in,” he said in the wake of her silence.

   
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