Enticed by His Forgotten Lover(3)

By: Maya Banks

“I don’t like it, Rafe,” Ryan said. “This screams setup. It’s not impossible that your memory loss hasn’t already been leaked to the press or even a few confidential sources who haven’t yet gone wide with it. A woman could manipulate you in a thousand ways by using it against you.”

“Yes, she could,” Rafael said calmly. “There’s something about this woman that bugs me, though.”

Cam’s brow lifted in that imperious way that intimidated so many people. “Do you recognize her? Is she someone you knew?”

Rafael frowned. “I don’t know. Yet. But I’m going to find out.”

Bryony Morgan stepped from the shower, wrapped a towel around her head and then pulled on a robe. Even a warm shower hadn’t stopped the rapid thump of her pulse. Try as she might, she hadn’t been able to let go of her rage.

Have we met?

His question replayed over and over until she wanted to throw something. Preferably at him.

How could she have been so stupid? She wasn’t typically one to lose her mind over a good-looking man. She’d been immune to a good many with charm and wit.

But from the time Rafael de Luca had stepped onto her island, he’d been it for her. No fighting. No resisting. He was the entire package. Perfection in those uptight business suits he wore. Oh, she’d managed to get them off of him. By the time he left the island, his pilot hadn’t even recognized him.

He’d gone from a sober, uptight, type A personality to laid-back, relaxed and well vacationed.

And in love.

She closed her eyes against the sudden surge of pain that swamped her.

He obviously hadn’t been in love. Or anything else. He came. He saw. And he conquered. She was just too hopelessly naive and too in love herself to consider his true motives.

That may well have been the case, but it didn’t mean he was going to get away scot-free with his lies and deception. She didn’t care what she had to do, he wasn’t going to develop the land she’d sold him into some ginormous tourist mecca and turn the entire island into some playground for bored, wealthy jet-setters.

It had taken all her courage to crash his party tonight, but once she’d learned the purpose—a gathering of his potential investors for the project he planned to ruin her land with—she’d been determined to confront him. Right there in their midst. Daring him to lie to her when the entire room knew of his plans.

She hadn’t counted on him denying that he’d ever met her. But then how better to paint her as the village idiot? Or some crazy do-gooder granola bar out to halt “progress.”

The force of just how wrong she’d been threatened to flatten her. She sighed heavily and shook her head. She had to calm down or her blood pressure was going to skyrocket.

Slowly she unclenched her jaw. Her teeth were ground together with enough force to break them.

Where was room service? She was starving. She rubbed her belly apologetically and made a conscious effort to let all the anger and stress flow out of her body. It couldn’t be good for the baby to have her mother so pissed off all the time.

She gritted her teeth before she realized that she’d done so again. Forcing her jaw to relax once more, she performed the arduous task of combing out her hair and blow-drying it.

She was finishing up when a loud knock sounded at her door.

“Food. Finally,” she murmured as she turned off the hair dryer.

She hurried to the door and swung it open. But there was no food cart or hotel employee. Rafael stood there, her abandoned shoes dangling from his fingertips.

She stepped back and tried to slam the door, but he stuck his foot in, preventing her from shutting it.

As indomitable as ever, he pushed his way in and stood in front of her. She hated how small and vulnerable she felt against him. Oh, she hadn’t always hated it. She’d loved how protected and cherished he’d made her feel when she curled her much smaller body into his.

She bared her teeth into a snarl. “Get out or I’ll call hotel security.”

“You could,” he said calmly. “But as I own this hotel, you might have a hard time having me thrown out.”

Her eyes narrowed. Of course he’d own the hotel she’d chosen to stay in. What were the odds of that?

“I’ll call the police then. I don’t care who you are. You can’t force yourself into my hotel room.”

He raised an eyebrow. “I came to return your shoes. Does that make me a criminal?”

“Oh, come on, Rafael! Stop playing stupid games. It’s beneath you. Or it should be. I get it. Believe me—I get it! I got it as soon as you looked right through me at the party. Though I have to say, the ‘have we met?’ line? That was priceless. Just priceless. Not to mention overkill.”

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