This was my "Strange" from Boomerang moment. I had a collection of pictures of men who resembled my Dane, Tais and a collection of women who looked like Delilah from the shoulders up. Nothing really bump-like. And I thought about it. Let's try something a little different. Taïs is a man who falls for the beauty of Delilah as a quite obviously pregnant woman. And there are so many contradictions that a woman has to deal with while she is carrying a baby, I wanted to celebrate it. So here we are. The Baby Gift, with possibly the sexiest woman I've seen on digital cradling the new life within her. Probably thinking about sitting down soon. Or going to pee. But still. Flipping sexy.
If you haven't read this story before, or wasn't particularly taken by it, let me change your mind...
Blurb due imminently
Any good romance starts with a funeral…
Tais Nørgaard has been too close to death to wait around for anything in his life to happen organically. Cancer cured him of any reticence in getting what he wants, and what he wants is entirely wrapped up in Delilah Bancroft. Tais is completely enamoured by Delilah’s pregnancy, with the type of fervour reserved for fathers. He doesn't care about her gay husband, or his irritating, gold-digger of a boyfriend. He’s not even bothered by the potential scandal stemming from the impending battle over Delilah’s late father in law’s estate. He just wants Delilah. And everything that comes with her.
Except expected below
Freya sat Tais down in the pew closest to the family and whispered gleefully, “This is the best spot. Trust me.”
“Why are you so happy this man is dead?” Tais asked, his tone mild as he surveyed the gathered mourners. He recognised faces not only from the Bancrofts’ company, but clients, acquaintances, the owners of various tabloids, department stores and Michelin starred restaurants the family patronised. They were indeed losing a very good customer. Samson Bancroft had been a man with expensive tastes.
“Urgh, don’t say things like that!” Freya made a face of disgust. “I’m not happy he’s dead, but I am happy we were invited to the funeral. We couldn’t get this close to the family unless we were at a board meeting. There are opportunities here you need to take advantage of.”
“And here I was thinking this was a social gathering,” he said dryly.
Freya ignored him. “Just think what you could achieve if you had a controlling share board member on your side. All those projects you want to push forward, all those plans we have for finance.”
His plans had always been logically accepted, but the heir apparent, Edward Bancroft, would not see things the same way as his father. Samson’s shrewd business sense was legendary. Many had fallen beneath his sword of thriftiness. “It’s a funeral. Where people are grieving.”
Freya gave a dismissive snort. “No, they’re not. Look, that’s wife number four and five sitting on the other side of wives three through to one.”
“You’re gossiping again,” Tais warned. “I’m not interested.”
“You need to be,” Freya retorted. She was irritating him intensely today, but she worked hard as his second in command. He was now hugely reliant on her knowledge, considering he’d been out of the game for the last year. “Those women don’t have any company shares. It’s in their pre-nuptial agreements. The company stays with the Bancroft name.”
A woman swept past, delicate netting covering her eyes like a film noir femme fatale. She had a black scarf elegantly swathed around her shoulders, which only served to emphasise the extravagant curve of her hips, draped in black silk that swirled to her ankles. Tais watched her as she sat in the pew with wives four and five.
“That’s who you need to butter up—the famous Delilah. Before Samson died, he signed all his shares to his daughter-in-law.”
“My, my, my,” he quipped. The photograph on her law firm’s website hadn’t done her any justice. He had been looking at it obsessively for some time now. She possibly had conducted the smartest Bancroft marriage to date. A family lawyer, the Bancroft company had not only pushed her services to a range of exclusive, high-paying clients, but she had drawn up her own pre-nuptial agreement, and hadn’t been seen falling out of clubs or bars. More importantly, and by the same turn disappointingly for him, she had kept the wedding out of the national media. “She doesn’t look any older than twenty-five, if that,” Tais murmured, noting that Freya was still waiting for a response.
“You’d think being married to Edward would add a few years. I think she’s almost forty.”
Tais thought it would be insanely disrespectful to start laughing at such a revelation. “I thought you said Edward was gay?”
“He is.” Freya grinned. “Well done for paying attention.”
“Then why is he married to her?” Again he stared at the back of her head, glossy, tar-coloured hair twisted into an elegant knot at the base of her neck. What a waste.
“Samson didn’t have any idea about Edward. The last thing Samson wanted to happen was for the Bancroft shares to end up in someone else’s hands because Edward’s far too generous with all his friends and er... acquaintances.”
“Isn’t that what the cast-iron pre-nups are for?”
“I can’t see that one,” she nodded to the front pews, “signing anything. I can see him refusing out of some principle that love is stronger than any contract or some such rubbish. Edward and Delilah have been friends since law school. Maybe she just wanted to get the shares. It’s worked out quite nicely for her.”
“Isn’t Edward upset that his father’s dead and his shares are with his wife who isn’t a member of his desired gender?”
“He’s relieved. Now he can bang as many cabana boys as he wants when he’s in Miami.”
“She’s too smart for this, dipping into the Bancroft murky waters,” he asserted, flipping through the order of service. “This seems... too calculated.”
“You’ve had a second long glimpse of her. Is this a spark of interest in a woman?” she asked, her voice teasing.
Tais was surprised himself. He thought his libido was long gone. “You sell a fascinating story,” he said instead. “So wives one to five have nothing from the company, and all the controlling shares are in the hands of one daughter-in-law who technically isn’t a true Bancroft.”
“If you want the board to approve your plans for international expansion for our department, then you need Delilah. No one can cough without her say-so now.”
“Fair enough.” Tais watched as Delilah wiped a hand beneath her veil and folded her hands in her lap. But then again, he wasn’t at all interested with the shares she held. “I think at least one person is grieving here.”