She turned her head away and mumbled, ‘Enough.’
‘You are welcome.’ He watched as she dabbed the back of her hand to the excess moisture on her lips and his focus slipped as the memory surfaced of them softening and parting beneath his. The muscles in his angular jaw tensed and the sinews in his neck stood out as he forcibly ejected the memory, but not before he heard the throaty sound of her plea—please...!
That husky plea had been all it had taken to silence the voice in his head, the one that had been telling him he ought not to be doing this.
He had done it and he wanted to, needed to, again. The struggle then like now had been to keep his passion on a leash. Something about this woman seemed to tap directly into his primal instincts.
‘What happened in there?’
My past came back to bite me. ‘Other than you overreacting,’ she accused him, not willing to admit how close she had come to passing out in public. ‘I’ve told you it w—’
His cold eyes narrowed with irritation as he cut across her impatiently. ‘It wasn’t the heat.’
She narrowed her eyes and fixed him with a glare. Anyone with an ounce of sensitivity would have tactfully gone along with the heat excuse and not pried and prodded. ‘Do we have to have a post-mortem? I got a bit light-headed. It happens. Now I feel much better. I’ll have an early night.’
Perhaps the problem was that she had had too many early nights... The thought did not improve his frame of mind. While he was not looking for a long-running thing—there seemed little point waiting for boredom to set in, as it always did—he did like exclusivity.
He was not a possessive man but sharing was a deal breaker.
‘It does not happen for no reason.’
Angel started to feel guilty as he continued to scrutinise her face as though he would find the answer there.
‘Will you stop looking at me like that?’ she husked. ‘You’re making me feel like a criminal. I haven’t broken any law.’
‘Are you sure?’
‘I think I’d have remembered.’
‘Have you taken anything?’
Still taking breaths of fresh air to clear the muzziness in her head, she flashed him a confused look, then, as his meaning suddenly dawned on her, lost all colour. The heat returned in a searing wave of outrage until her smooth cheeks glowed.
And the insults just kept coming!
‘You’re accusing me of being a...a...a...junkie!’ And then he had the cheek to look astonished when she got upset. This man really was outrageous, she fumed.
He felt relief. Her outrage might be a case of the lady protested too much but his instincts told him otherwise. ‘No need to overreact.’
She clenched her teeth. The pat-you-on-the-head, patronising quality of his drawled response made her want to scream.
‘I’m simply excluding possibilities before I call a doctor.’
Her eyes widened this time in horror. ‘I do not need a doctor and I’m not overreacting. I’m reacting to you insulting me, interrogating me...’
‘Insult...?’ he drawled, his ebony brows lifting at the suggestion. ‘It is not exactly unknown in the world you work in for people to...dabble.’
Her mouth twisted into a scornful smile. ‘Now, that’s what I admire—a man who isn’t afraid to generalise or judge from his secure position of moral superiority.’
Alex blinked. She had claws and a mouth on her, this woman—a million miles from the two-dimensional sexy purring kitten of his memory. A slow, contemplative smile spread across his lean, hard face. These changes didn’t make her any less attractive, just more of a challenge.
And he had always liked a challenge, or he had once. Recently he had gone for the easy option way too often, as it came with the lack of emotional commitment that was essential to him. To commit yourself to someone and risk losing them, risk losing part of yourself... A man who invited such a thing more than once was to his mind insane.
‘You are clearly feeling better. Actually I was thinking prescription drugs. They can react badly when combined with alcohol.’ He tilted his head in the direction of the room they had just exited. ‘And you were knocking it back a bit in there.’
So not only was she some sort of junkie, he was also calling her a lush!
‘Thanks for the advice.’ Her green eyes glowed with contempt, aimed partly at herself. This hypocritical self-righteous creep was the man she’d waited for? She gave a short bitter laugh. Had she really been that young and stupid?