Stand-In Bride's Seduction(9)

By: Yvonne Lindsay


“So what then? Keep him waiting with us until the surgeons are finished?”

“Surgeons?”

Rey felt ill. So there was more than one surgeon working on his brother. Working to save his life. The deep hollow ache that had manifested in his chest during Alex’s first call sharpened and ached that little bit harder. He sent a silent prayer that his brother’s strength and health would be enough to see him through this and that the skill of Isla Sagrado’s best doctors would ensure his return to his family fold, where he belonged.

He gathered his fears in a tight knot and thrust them to the back of his mind.

“Did they say how long?”

Alex shook his head. “Could be hours yet.”

Rey looked back toward Sara. “Maybe if Sara takes him, Abuelo will agree to go back to the home. Javier can drive them both and then take her back to the cottage.”

“It’s a good idea, but,” Alex suggested as he curled his arm just that little bit tighter around his wife’s slender waist, “are you sure you don’t need her here?”

Need her here? Rey’s mind was fogged for a moment but then he realized what his brother was getting at. Of course, under normal circumstances, if his had been a normal engagement, he’d want his fiancée here with him. But would Sara agree to play along? The one time she’d needed medical attention during the event trials where he’d met her, she’d all but run screaming from the first aid tent. All because they’d wanted to examine her when she’d bumped her head after fainting in the heat. He’d have guessed that, under any circumstances, a hospital was the last place on earth she’d choose to be. Besides, their relationship was hardly one where he would expect her emotional support at a time like this.

He quickly recovered his scattered thoughts. “Perhaps later. She’s tired, just returned from Perpignan.” And God only knows where else judging by the exhaustion dragging at her lithe body. “I didn’t even give her time to say hello before we were on our way here. I’ll suggest it to them after Javier has brought coffee.”

It must have taken a minor miracle but Javier eventually returned with a series of steaming hot paper cups in varying sizes and handed each to its recipient, the shortest and darkest brew going to Abuelo.

“Ah, thank goodness. Finally, a decent cup of coffee.” The old man sighed his pleasure as he savored the aromatic beverage.

“I thought it would be okay, just this once,” Javier said by way of explanation to the brothers. “What they serve him in the convalescent home is…” Javier’s expression left nothing to the imagination.

“That’s fine,” Rey replied and watched as Sara lifted the top off her cup and blew on the milky contents before taking a sip. Abuelo had distracted him when she’d given Javier her coffee order earlier, but now Rey looked at her in surprise. He knew for a fact that she took her coffee black, when she drank it. In the past couple of weeks, though, she hadn’t touched any, saying she was on a health kick or something like that. Looked like the health kick was over, if the way she obviously enjoyed the coffee now was any indicator.

Rey watched as her throat slowly swallowed, the muscles moving sinuously beneath her pale skin, and suddenly he was jolted with a burst of sexual awareness that completely blindsided him.

Their relationship to date had been more platonic than passionate. Sure, they’d exchanged a few kisses in the moonlight, but overall he hadn’t been fixated on getting her into his bed. They had fun together—kept things light and carefree—and that was the way he’d planned on keeping it before eventually carefully deconstructing the engagement and withdrawing with no hurt feelings. Right now, though, he wanted nothing more than to lose himself, and what was happening to his family, in the soft scents of her skin and the sensations of being entwined with her body.

She looked up at him over the rim of her cup, her gray eyes widening at what he could only assume was the burning hunger reflected in his own. Her hand shook slightly as she tipped her cup straight again and lowered it onto the table next to her. Her pink tongue swept away the trace of moisture left behind by the coffee on her lips.

Inside, whatever had taken hold of him tightened and sharpened into something totally inappropriate for a hospital waiting room. Remembering that somewhere on this floor his younger brother fought for his life beneath a surgeon’s blade brought Rey painfully back into the here and now. “Querida, you look weary. Perhaps you should go back to the cottage. I can call you there—let you know when we hear any news.” Before she could answer he turned to his grandfather. “Would you escort her back for me, Abuelo? I promise, we will let you know every ten minutes, if necessary, if there are any updates, but for now, I would prefer it if Sara was taken home. Clearly she’s worn out and needs rest.”

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