Stand-In Bride's Seduction(6)

By: Yvonne Lindsay

The last thing he needed right now was an absentee fiancée. Tomorrow would be soon enough to tell him the truth, once they knew that Benedict would be all right.

Reynard fell silent for the balance of the journey in the elevator. Rina could feel the tension and worry radiating off him in tangible waves and her heart twisted. She knew how she’d be feeling right now if it was Sara in the same position as Benedict. She’d barely be able to function.

Finally, the elevator doors sprang open to reveal a basement parking garage. Reynard reached into a trouser pocket and she saw the lights flash on a vehicle across the way. Even in the basement lighting, the low sleek car shone as if its surface was mirror finished. The rearing horse symbol on the front grill spoke to its expensive origins.

Confusion swirled around her. So far Reynard del Castillo hit every one of her sister’s hot buttons. He was deliciously tall, exquisitely handsome and clearly money was no object. Rina had been unable to detect a single thing about him that wouldn’t appeal to her sister on any level. So why was Sara wondering if she’d made a mistake? And why did she feel she had to leave to figure things out? It wasn’t like Sara to run away from anything, either. She was usually more up-front about things than this. So why had she done so?

Despite his obvious anxiety about his brother, and his eagerness to get to the hospital, Reynard took the time to open the passenger door for her and waited until she was settled before closing her door and coming around to the driver’s side. It took her by surprise. She was staunchly independent, and more than used to taking care of herself. She expected and administered equality in all the spheres of her life. However, the old-fashioned courtesy was strangely appealing.

And that wasn’t all that was appealing about the man. In the close confines of the car, her senses became finely tuned to everything about him. The warmth that emanated from his body despite the car’s air-conditioning, the capable movement of his hands on the steering wheel and the gear stick as he maneuvered out of the car park and into the blinding sunlight outdoors—not to mention the subtle blend of his fragrance.

She closed her eyes and slowly inhaled, mentally picking apart the different layers of the scent. It reminded her of the decadence of consuming a succulent mango, slice by luscious slice, and underlying that sensual fruitiness was another scent. Something spicy. Patchouli, maybe? Whatever it was, it was doing crazy things to her insides. Things that her insides shouldn’t be doing given that she’d just been cast off by her own fiancé and was thinking these thoughts about her sister’s!

Rina forced her eyes open. This was ridiculous. She’d never been the type to be so easily swayed by a man’s appearance and presence. Passionate attraction went against every reasonable, logical instinct she had—and it scared her a little. Even at the height of her relationship with Jacob, when she’d agreed to spend the rest of her life with him, she’d never felt as drawn to him as she now did to the stranger sitting beside her.

She tried to shake it off. She was just overtired…and maybe a little emotionally vulnerable, after everything that had happened. Yes, that was definitely what was wrong with her. She’d get some sleep tonight and tell Reynard the truth tomorrow, and everything would go back to normal. She allowed her lips to part and forced herself to breathe lightly through her mouth in a vain attempt to rid herself of the disquieting sensation burgeoning to life deep inside her. Suddenly, telling him the truth tomorrow seemed a long, long time away.

When they pulled up outside the hospital, Rina alighted from the car before Reynard could come around to her side and open the door for her. He did, however, ensure her hand was tucked in the corner of his arm as they walked toward the hospital doors.

It was all too easy to see why her sister had fallen so quickly for this man. He was what they’d always referred to between them as the whole package. She was no shortie, standing at five feet ten inches in bare feet, but he topped that by almost half a foot and had an air of command intriguingly entwined with an aura of sophisticated sexuality. It was enough to make a grown woman’s mouth water.

Focus, Rina growled to herself, as they entered the pristine hospital reception area and Reynard made straight for the elevators. All the signs here were in three languages—Spanish, French and English—so she knew they were headed for the surgical floor.

Sudden nerves assailed her. What if another member of the family recognized her for a fraud? What would she do then? She forced herself to breathe calmly. Why should anyone suspect anything? she rationalized. If Reynard himself, supposedly Sara’s fiancé, didn’t immediately see the difference, then it made sense that no one else would, either.

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