Savage Seduction(8)

By: Sharon Kendrick


The mouth moved again in its curious smile. ’Why, for dinner, of course.’

‘I’m having dinner with you?’

‘Of course. Don’t you want to?’

Which he asked with all the casual arrogance of a man who knew damned well that of course she wanted to have dinner with him! Who wouldn’t? Jade had never experienced this overwhelming at- traction before; it made you weak and it made you powerless. And she wasn’t really sure whether she liked the feeling or not. Besides which—wouldn’t it be totally foolhardy to go tripping off with him? Why should he presume that she’d just drop every- thing and have dinner with him? And what hap- pened after dinner? What did he expect? Did he assume that because she was English she was going to fall into bed with him?

‘What makes you think I’ll say yes?’

He gave a slow smile, then raised that olive- skinned hand to her face. ‘These,’ he said softly, as he indicated her eyes. ‘They give me one answer and one answer only. Then this—’ And a finger brushed negligently over the bow of her mouth. ‘It trembles with anticipation. And—’ and here the eyes changed, the spark in their ebony depths be- coming a feverish flame ‘—there are other outward signs of how much you want to see me again, but we will not go into those. Not now.’

She was innocent, but she knew exactly what he meant. She had been unsuccessfully trying to ignore the hot tingling as her tiny breasts thrust against the still damp material of her bikini top. The tips were as painfully hard as metal and yet the pain was bearable, pleasurable even, and her eyelids dropped to hide her confusion. She knew what she wanted, what she clamoured for. She clamoured for his touch. And, oh, heavens—wasn’t it desperately shameful to want a complete stranger to touch her intimately? To run those strong brown fingers all over her pale breasts and to linger on the soft swell of her belly? Her cheeks burned.

He moved his hand beneath her chin, so that their eyes were locked on a collision course. In his eyes she could see reflected the febrile glitter in hers. ’I’ll pick you up at seven,’ he said huskily.

It wasn’t fair, thought Jade. For a man to wield so much power over women—all women, she rec- ognised with a violently jealous flare. I’ll bet he never has to ask twice, she thought, with a sudden inexplicable anger, and was determined that in this, at least—she would be different. ‘No, I can’t,’ she said stubbornly and immediately saw a momentary flare of irritation before it was replaced by a ques- tioning look.

‘You’re busy?’

‘That’s right.’

‘No, you’re not,’ he said quietly.

‘Why, of all the—’

But he cut her off with an arrogant shake of his black head. ‘Listen to me, Jade,’ he said quietly. ’You return to England shortly, yes?’

‘In three days,’ something compelled her to tell him.

‘So.’ The hand was still holding her face with gentle strength. ‘We can either play foolish little games with each other. Or…’

‘Or?’

His eyes narrowed; his expression was rueful— as though he was reluctant to complete the sentence.

‘Or we can follow our hearts,’ he said simply.

If anyone else had said it, she would have told them that they were being ridiculously corny, that no one said things like that and meant them, and yet it was the most romantic thing she’d ever en- countered, and Jade felt a warm glow suffuse every pore of her body.

She stared up at him, a lost cause for assertive womanhood. ‘OK,’ she said, giving him a faltering smile as she looked into his eyes. ‘I’ll see you at seven.’

‘Until seven,’ he said, his hand falling from her face as he strode swiftly from the courtyard.





CHAPTER TWO


IN THE five hours until Constantine collected her, Jade experienced just about every mood-swing in the book. What the hell was she playing at? He could be anyone—anyone at all!

What did she know about him?

Absolutely nothing.

Well, that wasn’t quite true. She knew his name and his nationality. Knew instinctively that he had a million times more experience than she had. And she also knew that he was the most devastating man she’d ever set eyes on.

But what was he thinking about her? Was he down in the village even now, boasting to his friends that the English girl had agreed with insulting speed to go out with a man she scarcely knew? Did men respect women who capitulated quite so easily?

Jade sighed. Suddenly, it became very important that he did respect her. I don’t want him thinking I’m like this with everyone, she thought gloomily. But if she tried to tell him that—then wouldn’t it bolster his already appallingly healthy ego?

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