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A Secret Until Now - Page 20

In case he decided to construe her comment as a compliment she added coldly, ‘One who made me feel...cheap.’ Feeling this was an admission too far, she dodged his gaze and missed the expression that flickered across his lean face. When she raised her eyes his face was stone. ‘I may just be a model, which clearly in your eyes makes me a pill-popping bimbo—’ she took a deep breath and made a conscious effort to control her indignation ‘—but I don’t sleep with married men!’

 Her shrill accusations might not have touched him but this last quiet comment did. ‘I’m not married now.’

 Was that meant to make her feel better? Or was it a lie to get her into bed? Angel told herself she didn’t want to know; all she wanted was to get out of here and away from him.

 ‘Now, why doesn’t that surprise me?’ she drawled. ‘I really hope she took you for a lot of money...’ His bank balance was probably the only vulnerable area he had, she thought bitterly.

 ‘She’s dead.’

 The blunt pronouncement drew a gasp from Angel, who immediately felt like a total bitch. So this was what it felt like to have the rug pulled out from under your feet.

 During the ensuing silence the mortified colour flew to her cheeks and then receded. What was she meant to say that didn’t sound trite and insincere?

 ‘Oh!’

 Before she had said anything more the uniformed employee who had brought her the chair reappeared, this time carrying a tray with a cafetière and coffee cups, and at a nod from Alex he placed it on the table.

 The young man spoke in Greek and Alex Arlov responded in the same language.

 Questions flying around in her head, Angel watched as he poured the coffee and pushed one her way without asking. Had he loved his wife?

 His expression wasn’t giving any clues and in her book a man who loved his wife was not unfaithful. But that’s just me, the idealist, she thought with a wry grimace.

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 ‘Do you want sugar?’

 Angel, who hadn’t been aware she’d been stirring the coffee, put the spoon down with a clatter in the saucer and shook her head. ‘No, I don’t take it.’

 He had slept around, but she supposed that some men did and some women put up with infidelity or didn’t know. It was weird to her— Actually, no, it was utterly abhorrent, but marriage meant different things to different people.

 ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t know about your wife or I wouldn’t have said...what I did.’ Then, aware that her comment might come across as hypocritical, she added, ‘Even if it is true.’

 Had the poor woman lived her life in ignorant bliss, or turned a blind eye, or had she known and cared and suffered the humiliation...? Angel didn’t know which scenario was worse.

 She tore her eyes from his handsome patrician profile and thought how hellish it must be to be married to a man that other women lusted after. That was one hell she was never going to know about.

 Marriage to any man was not on the cards for her. These days, when it was easy to live together—and even easier to drift apart—it seemed to Angel that desire to raise a family was one of the main reasons that couples made their relationship official.

 For her there would be no more children. There had been a time when the knowledge had made her sad...angry...filled with a ‘why me?’ self-pity, but now she had reached a stage of why not me? She had accepted it, and could not imagine a man or a circumstance that would make her walk down the aisle.

 She had not discounted the possibility in the future of a man, someone nice who Jasmine liked, someone who didn’t make any demands. She could live without head-banging sex but a hug would be nice, and stability. She could remember craving boring stability when she was a child and envying her friends who had complained about the boredom of the things she had longed for.

 The expressions scudding like clouds across her face made him wonder what thoughts were responsible for putting that pensive look in her eyes. Then, catching himself wondering, he experienced a flash of irritation.

 It seemed a good moment to remind himself that he wanted to bed her, not know how her mind worked.

 ‘I seem to have put a damper on the conversation.’

 Her green eyes lifted from the contemplation of the untouched swirling liquid. ‘Sorry if I’m not amusing you.’ Presumably, she brooded, he was one of those men who expected women to tie themselves into knots being interesting and amusing. ‘And we were not having a conversation.’ Her eyes lowered towards her coffee and lifted again suddenly. It was as if her resolve not to show any interest broke at the last moment. ‘Was it... Your wife... Did she... Did it happen recently?’

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