In Pursuit of His Wife(10)

By: Kristi Gold

“Convenient union     , not a love match,” Rafe added.

Point reluctantly taken. “Nevertheless, I care greatly for your sister and I’m not willing to give up what we’ve had for a decade without a fight. But I need assistance in order to win her back. Who better to help me than her brother, who knows her better than most?”

When Rafe remained silent, Sebastian almost gave up until his brother-in-law said, “Shower her with small tokens of your affection.”

“You mean flowers and jewelry?”

Rafe looked at him as if he were a total dimwit. “Not only material gifts. And do not concentrate solely on sexual matters.”

No sex or hearts and flowers. What was left? “I’m afraid I am still at a loss.”

“I have learned women appreciate gestures that might seem insignificant to most men,” Rafe said. “They greatly enjoy breakfast in bed. Massages. Having their hair washed.”

Sebastian could handle any and all of those things, as long as he had some privacy to do them. “I now understand what you’re saying, but I do have another problem. If I am going to woo her, I bloody can’t do it in a hotel.”

“And I do not wish to witness this wooing.” Rafe came to his feet. “I have a possible solution to your lodging issues.”

Sebastian finished his second drink and stood, realizing all too well that he should have stopped with the first scotch. He’d always been able to hold his liquor but at the moment he felt as if he could fly without the benefit of his corporate jet. “What do you have in mind?”

“A private residence where you could reside during the duration of your stay. The owners are friends of a friend and they will be leaving for a trip out of the country for two months. I will call tomorrow and let you know if they are amenable to the request. It will be up to you to convince Nasira, without coercion, to join you.”

Sebastian had no intention of coercing her. Not when he had other ways to convince her. “I’ll try to persuade her.”

“If you are unsuccessful, will you agree to return to London?”

Only if and when he had exhausted every option. “That seems fair enough.”

“Good. I am going to retire now. I will inform you in the morning if I have secured the accommodations.”

“Thank you, Rafe. I certainly value your opinions and your willingness to assist me.”

The man seemed unimpressed with Sebastian’s gratitude. “I am doing this for Nasira. Her happiness is paramount. I will not tolerate anyone who does not respect her wishes. Keep that in mind as you move forward with your goal.”

Before Sebastian could respond, Rafe turned and started up the stairs without looking back. Sebastian dropped down on the settee and rubbed both hands over his face. If he didn’t get up soon, he could end up sleeping on the sardine-can sofa.

On that thought, he trudged up the stairs and made his way to his reluctant bride’s boudoir. He rapped on the door and when he didn’t get a response, entered the room to the sounds of running water.

He had one of two options—leave and let her have her privacy, or shower her with affection in the shower. Option two earned his vote. As long as he proceeded with caution.

He stripped off his shirt, inadvertently popping a button, then sat on the edge of the mattress to toe out of his shoes. He carelessly kicked them off, barely missing the French doors leading to a balcony. In an effort to compose himself, he removed his slacks and underwear with more patience, then tossed them aside on the window seat to his right. When he rose from the bed, he realized he would have to keep a tight hold on his libido. He also realized he wasn’t the only one standing.

“Down, old chap,” he muttered when he walked to the door, then paused to take a deep breath to regain some semblance of control.

If he played his cards correctly, this could be the first step in demonstrating that he could be the kind husband his wife needed.

* * *

Nasira needed a shower and a good night’s sleep. She also needed to know exactly what Sebastian was saying to her brother, but that could wait until morning.

Standing beneath the spray, she closed her eyes, bent on washing away the memories of those intimate moments under the stars in the rear—of all things—a Texas truck. Still, her mind whirled back to the interlude and the way Sebastian had so easily unearthed sensations she had greatly missed. Sensations she still experienced with a succession of tremors and tingling. Her husband had so masterfully manipulated her into oblivion with only a few strokes, and once more the heat began to make itself known....

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