A Secret Until Now - Page 36

She saw something flash in his eyes—anger?

‘I’m sure you do,’ he countered smoothly, ‘but on this occasion I was thinking more along the lines of lunch.’

Lunch with Alex Arlov? Now, that was a crazy idea.

Or was it? Wasn’t this an opportunity to get to know Jas’s father in the nonbiblical sense? She still needed to decide if he was a man she wanted to be involved in her daughter’s life. For that judgement she had to put her personal feelings aside.

And what were her personal feelings?

She gave her head a tiny shake and pulled her hat more firmly down on her dark hair, glad that he could not hear her thoughts or, thanks to the tinted lenses, see her confusion. Normally someone who had a head-on approach to life, she had been skirting around that question since he had reappeared in her life.

And with good reason. Feelings... It sounded so simple but how was she meant to analyse something so, so...visceral? It was easier to accept it. What was the point of delving deeper? At its most basic, she was attracted to him, but that hardly made her special. She had seen the way women looked at him...all women. He was a man who inspired lust and around him she dropped several IQ points; her brain just didn’t function at full capacity. In fact sometimes it just didn’t function full stop!

Well, they were welcome to him, she told herself. At least she had the maturity now to be able to differentiate between lust and deeper, more profound emotions.

Tell that to your nervous system!

‘Eating is not one of the things you are barred from doing, is it?’ He unscrewed the bottle of water he had been carrying. Halfway to his mouth he paused and extended it towards her. ‘Want some?’

‘No, thank you,’ she responded, primly polite.

‘Is it?’ he said, wiping his mouth with his hand.

She started guiltily—her eyes had been riveted on the muscles working in his brown throat as he swallowed. ‘What?’

‘They haven’t banned you from eating?’

‘That depends on the calorie count. They are worried about my hips.’ She was regretting the flippant remark even before she had finished speaking, but managed not to make the moment any worse by successfully resisting the impulse to tug the spangled, jewel-bright fabric of her cover-up lower over her hips. As his head tilted to one side his eyes slid over her sleek, smooth curves, lingering on the supposed problem area.

After a nerve-shredding moment his gaze lifted, his expression blank, but the glow in his eyes made her stomach flip. ‘Yes, I can see you must need to be careful,’ he delivered in a deadpan tone, thinking that he had never met a woman who so totally encapsulated all things erotic and sensual.

Wide and indignant, her eyes flew to his face. A moment later her tension fell away and she was laughing in response to the gleam in his blue eyes. Then the gleam changed, became not amused, and she looked away quickly, her heart thudding, her mouth dry.

‘How would you like it if I drew attention to your flaws?’ He didn’t have any—at least not physical ones.

‘You brought your hips into this discussion,’ he reminded her. ‘Not that I’m complaining, and if you’re going to tell me you have any self-esteem issues don’t waste your breath.’

His heavy-lidded glance moved from her lips, sweeping downwards over the length of her sinuous, sleek, leggy frame. No woman could be as unselfconscious in bed as Angel had been if she was not happy in her own skin. She had taken pleasure from her own body as much as she had from his, and he had never known a woman to display such fascination with his body before or since.

Without warning a piercing stab of pure lust sliced through him, raising the level of his arousal painfully as he allowed the door in his head to open a crack for the memories to push through, not in a controlled way but in one hot, steamy rush. His brilliant eyes darkened and glazed with licking flames as he saw...felt...her hands gliding over his skin, the moisture of her tongue.

Her lovemaking had been as generous as her cushiony soft lips... It had never crossed his mind for a split second that she had been a virgin, not even when she had been so tight when he had entered. There had been that shocked little cry, but he had taken that as a compliment.

Maybe you didn’t want to know, Alex?

The sudden audible crack of his finger joints made Angel’s questioning gaze shift from his extended fingers to his face. The golden skin was pulled taut across his magnificent bones; his angular jaw was tensed; his eyes remained hidden by the luxuriant sweep of his preposterously long eyelashes.

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