Ophelia Price is keeping big secrets from her Navy SEAL husband.
If Vinny knew she was pregnant, he might hinder her efforts to expose the corrupt lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, a man intent on keeping his criminal actions hidden and buried in the past. Sniffing out corruption is what Ophelia does best. Becoming a mother?—That’s a job she feels unfit to fill. But when her target catches wind of her intent and Ophelia becomes his prey, she realizes too late what she values most.
Vinny has been betrayed.
It’s not until his wife goes missing that Vinny discovers she’s kept him intentionally in the dark. He never would have imagined she’d betray his trust so deeply, jeopardizing everything he holds dear. Can he forgive her, or will Ophelia pay the ultimate price for deceiving her soul mate?
CODE OF SILENCE
Paperback: 148 pages
Publisher: James York Press (February 15, 2014)
“How long did you know?” Vinny demanded, diving right in. A muscle jumped in his jaw as he awaited her answer.
The reminder that the precious little life she’d been guarding was gone drove a shaft of pain straight through her heart. She lowered the cup to her lap and stared down at it, devastated. She had tried turning over a new leaf. She had wanted to put the baby first, and now it was too late.
“Almost two months,” she admitted, too ashamed to even look at him.
Stunned silence followed her reply. “Two months,” he finally repeated, in a voice that resonated with betrayal.
“I was going to tell you,” she rushed to assure him, “but I was afraid you’d force me to quit my job and I wasn’t ready…” She cut herself off, dismayed by how petty she sounded.
“You weren’t ready.” Out of the corner of her eye, she could see his hands gripping the edge of the chair he sat in, as he fought to rein in his incredulity. “Is that all you ever think of—yourself? What about the baby?” he demanded with controlled rage. “What about me? I haven’t slept or eaten or breathed in thirty-six hours because you didn’t tell me what you were up to. If I had known you were interviewing Rawlings, I would have recognized his name and realized what you were up against, and I would have protected you. None of this would have happened!”
“I’m sorry,” she whispered. Remorse twisted through her, wringing tears from her heart. “I was going to tell you.”
“Really?” he scoffed, his volume climbing. “After all the secrets you’ve kept from me, how do I know you had any intention of telling me at all?”
She gasped at the hurtful words, wrenching her gaze up in a desperate bid to convince him. “I was,” she insisted. “On Christmas day, I was going to put the pregnancy strip in your… stocking.” Her voice broke at the realization that that would never happen now. The poor little life inside of her had never stood a chance. She’d endangered it by continuing with her risky plan, knowing all the while how villainous a man Rawlings truly was. “Is he—did he get arrested yet for what he did to me?” she asked in a desperate bid to shift some of the blame off her own narrow shoulders.
“Not yet.” Vinny sprang to his feet and stalked to the window, his agitation a clear sign that Rawlings’ continued freedom chafed at him. “The cops and the district attorney want to make sure he won’t find some kind of loophole to get around the charges.”
An aching silence fell between them. Vinny kept his back to her. She watched his shoulders rise and fall as he fought to bring his emotions under control.
“I swear, Vinny,” Ophelia said, in a last-ditch effort to elicit his understanding, “if I’d known what Rawlings would do to me, I would never have taken chances with our baby.”
He turned his head at her assertion. But the look in his eyes wasn’t even one that she recognized. He looked at her as if he’d never seen before—or like he was seeing for the first time who she really was. The look encased her heart in ice.
He had finally realized what she’d known all along—that she did not deserve him. That she wasn’t the woman he thought she was.