Stand-In Bride's Seduction(53)

By: Yvonne Lindsay


“Buenos dias.” He smiled and slid his hand around to cup the back of her head and pull her down for a kiss.

At the tenderness of his touch upon her lips, the burning sting of tears pricked at the back of Rina’s eyes. She squeezed her eyelids shut. She couldn’t cry in front of him. Not now. Somehow she found the strength to pull away and stand at the edge of the bed.

“Already tired of me?” Rey teased from within the untidy evidence of last night’s passion.

“No, it’s not that.” She grabbed his mug off the nightstand and passed it to him. “Here, have this.”

Rey pulled himself upright against the headboard and took the mug from her, his fingers grazing hers.

“I’d rather have you, querida.”

He wouldn’t want her again after what she had to say. Rina took a sip of her coffee and instantly wished she hadn’t. The dark brew caught in her throat and she fought to swallow it past the restriction there.

“Sar—” Rey started. “Is everything all right?”

Rina couldn’t meet his eyes. Instead she put her coffee cup down and perched on the very edge of the bed.

“I…I’m not who you think I am,” she began.

Rey felt the familiar boil of anger start deep in his belly. So, this was it? She had gotten what she was after? That was the only reason he could think of for why now she wanted to tell the truth. It had been foolish of him to give her and her sister the very ammunition they needed by sleeping with her last night. Hell, sleeping? They’d achieved very little of that. The sex had been great.

A prick of conscience jabbed at the back of his mind. Great? It had been better than great. And it had been so much more than just sex. He’d made love with her, worshipped her, taken and received pleasure such as he had never experienced with another before. Resolutely, he squashed those thoughts. The Woodville sisters had an agenda. When he hadn’t been sexually attracted to the one, they’d delivered on the other—and he’d let them. Did that make him a bastard for taking advantage of the situation?

Not at all. He’d be damned if he’d let them screw one Euro from his family.

“I know who you are,” he replied, his voice deadpan.

Shock flew across Sarina’s face. “You know?”

“You are Sarina Woodville. Younger twin and sister to Sara Woodville—my fiancée.”

“How did you…? When?” Her eyes flew to the bed. “Why?”

“How? Well, you are indeed a perfect replica of your sister but there are some things you cannot fake and your sister’s nature is one of them.”

“But you never said—”

“Never called you on it? Why would I? I didn’t have time to deal with your silly games. At the time my first priority was my brother, my second, Abuelo. And then you started helping me at the office at a time when help was badly needed. I suppose I’ve received recompense for at least some of what you and your sister have cost me.”

“How long have you known?”

“I realized that you weren’t Sara when I kissed you. I knew instantly you were not the woman I’d asked to be my fiancée.”

“How?” The word came out in a strangled gasp.

How? He was not likely to tell her the truth—how kissing her sister had been a pleasant diversion whereas kissing her had been an experience that had blown his mind off the Richter scale.

He did not want to think of that now. Nor of the delight he’d experienced when they’d danced together at the tapas bar, or of the intellectual satisfaction he’d gained while they’d worked together. He especially did not want to think of how she’d made him feel last night.

“How matters not. What’s important is that I caught onto your deception early enough to stop you when you tried to capitalize on it.”

“Capitalize on it? I don’t understand. Sara just asked me to—”

“Just asked you to lie to me? Deceive me? Set me and my family up for scandal and humiliation?” He smiled, although he had never felt any less humor in his life. “You see, the del Castillo family are well versed in the tricks of others. You two are not the first to think you can deceive us into what appears to be a relationship and then subsequently sell our family to the media, or worse, threaten to do so to extort money from us. We are not so dull witted that we will allow this to happen, no matter how much stress we are under.”

“But it’s not true,” she insisted. Her face had paled, her pupils massively dilated, her hands trembled. “We aren’t trying to extort money from you. Far from it. Sara didn’t want to upset you—”

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