‘Let’s get this straight.’ In shock at her simple explanation, Tor regressed a step. ‘You are saying that that baby is mine?’
‘Yes,’ Pixie said simply.
‘I am finding that hard to credit when I don’t remember you. Yes, there is a certain familiarity about your eyes, possibly your face, but that’s all.’
‘So sorry I wasn’t a more memorable event,’ Pixie countered thinly. ‘But facts are facts. You were with me and you got me pregnant.’
‘I never have sex without contraception.’
Pixie flung her head back, anger in her gaze. ‘Well, you did with me and Alfie is the result. Maybe it was wrong of me not to see a solicitor while I was still pregnant and make some sort of formal approach to you but it’s bad enough having to tell you about it, never mind some total stranger! But there it is, that night happened even though we both regret it.’
Tor sprang upright, outraged by the words spilling from her lips. He didn’t sleep around indiscriminately, and he was always careful and responsible when sex was involved. ‘I still find this story almost impossible to credit and think it may be wiser for us to proceed through legal channels…’
‘Oh, for goodness’ sake,’ Pixie groaned, tipping her head forward and then pushing her hands through her tumbled curls to push the strands off her face again. ‘I’m not being fair to you, am I? If you honestly don’t remember, it’s because you were drunk and grieving…although, in my defence, I have to say that I didn’t realise how drunk you were until afterwards.’
Tor had frozen in place, a darkening expression of consternation tightening his lean dark features. ‘Drunk? Grieving? I rarely drink to excess.’
‘It was the anniversary of your wife and child’s accident,’ Pixie filled in heavily. ‘You told me that you went out every year on that date and drank while you remembered them.’
With difficulty, Tor forced himself back down stiffly into his chair. Inside he was reeling with shock, but that she knew that much about him literally confirmed his worst fears and struck him like a hammer blow. How much had he told her? All of it or only some of it? He was affronted by his own failure to keep his secrets where they belonged.
‘And it’s probably very rude to say it…but when you’re drunk, you’re a much nicer, more approachable guy,’ Pixie whispered apologetically. ‘If you’d been like you are now, I probably wouldn’t have made love with you, which of course would have been wiser for all of us…although I couldn’t ever give up Alfie, even to make you feel better.’
‘Make me feel better?’ Tor echoed in disbelief. ‘Nothing you have so far told me could make me feel better!’
‘Yes, you’re one of those glass half-empty rather than half-full types, aren’t you?’ Pixie sighed. ‘Look, now we’ve got the embarrassing stuff out of the way, can I please see my son?’
‘I’m afraid it isn’t that straightforward.’