IN THE ARMS OF LOVE

IN THE ARMS OF LOVE

By:  Emma Swan  Completed
Language: English
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From mistress to wife… La vie en rose… or at least she thought so… Two years ago, all her dreams come true. Harley Winston knew and fell head over heels in love with the sexy French billionaire Armel Mathieu de Roquefort. He gave her everything money could buy, and more pleasure in the bedroom than she'd thought possible. But when Harley announced she was pregnant, Armel threw her out. When they meet again, the passion between them is as strong as ever. Armel whisks Harkey away to Monaco and back to his , where he'll get his answers! If the baby is his, he'll make Harley his wife...

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    35 chapters
    CHAPTER 1
    Armel Mathieu de Roquefort swept along the hospital corridor, paused briefly to check the name above the door before he entered a ward, and strode purposefully towards the nurse seated behind the reception desk. “Excuse me, I’m Armel de Roquefort and I'm here to see Harley Winston. I understand she was admitted yesterday,” he added, the hint of impatience in his voice making his accent seem more pronounced. The nurse gaped at him but Armel was used to being stared at... for so many reasons. Women had stared at him since he was a teenager and at thirty-five his stunning looks, combined with an aura of wealth and power, meant that he was accustomed to being the center of attention. When it suited him, Armel would respond to a flirtatious look with one of his devastating smiles, but today he had other things on his mind. There was only one reason why he was in that damn hospital, he acknowledged grimly, and the sooner he saw Harley and told her exactly what he thought of her latest s
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    CHAPTER 2
    With his halo of golden curls and enormous blue eyes, Raphaël was a perfect little angel. Armel smiled reassuringly at the little boy, making a huge effort to mask his impatience from him. It wasn’t the child’s fault, he reminded himself. No, this was all Harley Winston’s fault… The woman in front of him was a charlatan and the greatest liar he’d ever seen. And if Harley hadn’t looked so damned fragile, he’d be tempted to throttle her for manipulating him into this situation.“I really don’t understand what kind of a game you’re playing… I thought you’ve already learned the lesson, Harley. We already went through this two years ago, remember? When you sprang the news that you were pregnant…? My response is the same now as it was then,” Armel told her coldly. “You might have convinced your grandmother of my paternity but you and I both know you weren’t telling the truth… don’t we, chérie?”“The way you reacted to the news was wrong then, as it is now, Armel. I’ve neve
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    CHAPTER 3
    His deliberate cruelty skewered Harley’s heart and she blinked back the rush of tears that burned her eyelids.“How dare you?” she whispered thickly. “Don’t try and appease your guilty conscience by blaming me. You wanted to get rid of me because you’d set your sights on Chantal Auclair. She was fresh, exciting, voluptuous… Like a juicy orange, ready to be squeezed by Armel Mathieu de Roquefort. You were determined as hell to make Chantal your next mistress, but the stupid little English ex-mistress who was pregnant with your child would have seriously… cramped your style… N’est-pas, chérie? (Isn’t it, sweetheart?)” In her distress, Harley leaped off the bed and her head spun. The blood drained from her face and she swayed unsteadily before collapsing back onto the mattress.“Ça suffit! (That’s enough!)” Armel growled as he stepped forwards and caught little Raphaël who was determinedly trying to wriggle off the bed. “Lower your voice and try to calm down. You’re
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    CHAPTER 4
    Armel watched the shock and confusion on Harley’s face with clinical detachment before he glanced at Raphaël. The little boy stared up at him solemnly, his pretty little face surrounded by her mass of golden curls and his pink cheeks glowing with health. The little boy was not a de Roquefort, thank God, Armel thought with quiet certainty. This child would not suffer the way his twin brothers had suffered… He’ll never be the victim of the devastating illness that had taken his little brothers’ lives before they were one year old. He had been a teenager when his mother had given birth to Gerard and Julian. The twins had appeared normal but within a few months from birth, during a routine control, the doctor told his parents that both Gérard and Julien, suffered from Rett syndrome, a fatal genetic illness, especially in boys. After their sudden deaths, the doctors had warned his parents there was a 50% chance that he had also been affected. Somehow, Arme
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    CHAPTER 5
    After sweet baby boy Raphaël was born, Harley had briefly, just for a few minutes, considered the idea of asking Armel for a DNA test, but, in the end, decided, it wasn’t a very good idea. His reaction to her pregnancy had shown that he abhorred the idea of fatherhood and Harley had feared he would only take a reluctant role in his son’s upbringing. At eighteen months old, Raphaël was a happy, funny, sweet, loving baby boy whose confidence was built on the instinctive knowledge that he was loved unconditionally by his mother… So much so, that a father wasn’t requested in their family picture. Harley made sure of that. She would not allow Armel to destroy that confidence, Harley thought fiercely, and she would do everything in her power to ensure that her little man grew up with a sense of self-worth that she herself had been denied. But now, Armel had his own reasons for insisting on a paternity test. He was convinced that the results would abso
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    CHAPTER 6
    The bright lights of Monaco blazed against a backdrop of black velvet. As the helicopter swooped low over the coastline, Armel glanced over his shoulder. Raphaël was fast asleep, sitting next to the nanny he had hired. “We’re almost there,” he murmured reassuringly to the uniformed woman. “May I say how grateful I am that you were able to join us at such short notice, Mrs. Dean.” Liza Dean smiled. “I’m glad to help, monsieur de Roquefort. With any luck, I’ll be able to put Raphaël straight to bed without waking him. He’s worn out, poor poppet.” With a brief nod, Armel turned back and glanced at Harley who was sitting stiffly beside him, the mutinous tilt of her chin causing him to curse irritably beneath his breath. If anyone had told him when he’d set out for ‘Dynamico’s London offices that he would return to Monaco with his ex-mistress and her child in tow, he would have laughed out loud, he thought with a humorless smile. His eyes trailed over her and Armel felt his body’s
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    CHAPTER 7
    Ten minutes later, the helicopter landed on the roof of the penthouse and Armel lifted Raphaël into his arms and preceded Liza Dean down the steps.“Alain, were you able to carry out my instructions?” he greeted his butler, choosing to talk to him in English not French.“Everything is exactly as you asked, Monsieur de Roquefort,” the butler replied in his usual unflappable manner. “The nursery suppliers delivered a cot and other necessary furnishings and equipment, and the dressing room adjoining the fourth bedroom has been prepared for the child’s nanny.” If Alain was surprised by the request to prepare a room for a baby, his tone gave nothing away and his facial expression remained as bland as ever.“Bon… C’est parfait, merci! (Good… That’s perfect, thank you!)” Armel murmured as he transferred the sleeping baby back into the nanny’s arms. “Would you be so kind to escort Mrs. Dean to the nursery and ensure she has everything she requires?”“Oui, Monsieur de Roque
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    CHAPTER 8
    Harley caressed Raphaël’s curly blonde hair and took in all that calmness.“Oh, my sweet, perfect, little angel…” she whispered touching his rosy cheek, “please, don’t grow up too fast. Stay as innocent as you are right now for the longest time possible. Stay with me as much as you can. You’re the most precious person in my life and I can imagine my life without you. I would love to hold you so much right now, but I must wait until I’ll get better.” The little boy made a soft moan but kept sleeping and dreaming.“I can believe you’re mine… Oh, Raphi… I’m not a perfect person and I’m going to make so many mistakes in my life, but I’ll never stop giving everything I’ve got to be the best mother I can be for you. Sleep tight, baby,” Harley added and gave him a kiss on the cheek. She went back to her room and decided to stay there until the moment Raphaël would wake up in the morning. Harley knew Armel’s house but she didn’t want to go around the house. She didn’t wa
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    CHAPTER 9
    Armel hid his flare of surprise. During the months that Harley had lived with him, he had never really got to know her. His workload had been particularly heavy and after a long day at the office, he had simply wanted to take her to bed. He had asked about her day out of politeness rather than any real interest and had thanked his lucky stars that she wasn’t one of those women who insisted on regaling him with every detail of her life. He had found her quiet, gentle nature soothing, and, if he was honest, he had missed the calming effect she seemed to have on him after he had thrown her out. But now, Armel realized that he knew very little about her. Perhaps it was Harley’s faint air of mystery that intrigued him, he debated as he drained his glass and stretched his arms along the back of the sofa, his eyes skimming over her and lingering on the fall of her silky hair.“It’s obvious from the state of your flat that you’re struggling financially. Why don’t
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    CHAPTER 10
    Harley was running down the hall of the penthouse with Raphaël in her arms, searching for Armel. She could hear his voice ahead of her but the passageway seemed to go on forever and he remained a distant figure who taunted her desperate attempts to catch up with him.‘Armel… please, wait…’ Tears filled her eyes as she struggled on.‘We’re here… Don’t go…’ Raphaël was heavy and her wrist was hurting like hell, but it was nothing compared to the pain in her heart as she faced the knowledge that she would never reach Armel and she would always be without him…‘Don’t leave me…’ ****“Harley, wake up…” A familiar, terse voice sounded loud in her ear and when she opened her eyes, Harley discovered that she was not in the hall, but in her bedroom, and Armel was standing close to her bed watching her with undisguised impatience.“I’m here because you were screaming in your sleep… You were ha
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