‘So which is your very favourite wine, Adam?’ she asked, leaning forward and adopting an expression of what she hoped would appear to be deep and undivided interest. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the head waiter escorting someone to a nearby table. However, it wasn’t until the waiter moved away to fetch a menu that Molly realised who it was. All of a sudden her blood began to boil, growing hotter and hotter until it felt as though she would explode. What on earth was Sean doing here?
WHAT IN HEAVEN’S name was he doing here?
Sean could hear the question drumming inside his head as it had been doing for the best part of an hour, yet he still hadn’t come up with an answer to it. Or not a truthful one, anyhow. Oh, he had listed at least half a dozen reasons to explain why he’d felt a sudden need to dine in the lap of luxury but he knew in his heart that not one of them was valid. He didn’t really feel that he deserved a treat after working so hard. Neither did he honestly believe it was essential he tried out the restaurant in case he decided to invite someone here for dinner. He had come here today for one reason and one reason only—because Molly would be lunching here with Humphreys. Hell!
The waiter returned to take his order and Sean pointed to the first thing on the extensive menu. He had no idea what he’d ordered after the man left and didn’t care. He wasn’t here for the food. He was here because he couldn’t bear the thought of Molly schmoozing with the other man. OK, so he was behaving like the proverbial dog-in-the-manger but so what? Humphreys wasn’t right for Molly. Maybe he didn’t know much about the other man, granted, but he could tell that just by looking at him. Humphreys was too staid, too solid, too damned reliable—everything he wasn’t.
Molly needed someone with more pizzazz, someone who would treasure her, appreciate her beauty and her kindness as well as her generosity of spirit. He had appreciated all of those things, even though he had had to let her go. But Humphreys? No way was he right for her and she was making a big mistake if she thought he was!
His lunch arrived and Sean picked up his knife and fork even though the thought of actually eating the food that had been set before him was making his stomach churn. Molly was leaning across the table now, laughing at some comment her companion had made. Sean glowered, hating to hear the sound of her laughter and not be the cause of it. He had enjoyed making her laugh; it had made him feel incredibly happy—happier than he had felt for such a long time. He couldn’t bear the thought that some other guy was basking in the same happy glow.
He applied himself to his lunch, wanting to get it over and done with as quickly as possible so he could leave. Coming here had been a huge mistake. Although Molly hadn’t acknowledged him in any way, he knew that she had seen him. The thought of having to dredge up one of those pitifully lame excuses if she demanded an explanation for his presence was more than he could handle. To heck with the food; he was leaving this very minute!
Sean pushed back his chair then stopped when he became aware that someone was standing beside his table. He looked up, carefully smoothing his features into a non-committal expression. ‘Molly! What a surprise. Are you having lunch here as well?’
‘Yes, I am.’ She smiled back at him, her green eyes filled with a disturbing mixture of emotions. There was definitely anger there, Sean decided, plus indignation, but as for the rest—well, he couldn’t quite work them all out. And before he attempted to do so she rounded on him.
‘How dare you, Sean? I’ve no idea what you think you’re doing—’
‘Having lunch. Why—what else would I be doing in a place like this?’
‘So it’s just coincidence that brought you here today?’ She gave an unladylike snort of disbelief. ‘It hadn’t anything to do with the fact that you knew Adam was bringing me here?’
‘Of course not. Why should it?’
Sean fixed a smile to his own mouth, desperately trying to play the part of the injured innocent. Admitting that she had hit the nail squarely on its head was out of the question. If he did that then he would have to explain why he had followed her here and that was something he couldn’t do. How could he explain this strange compulsion he felt to keep her for himself when he didn’t fully understand it himself?
‘Someone mentioned that this was the place to eat so I thought I would check it out for future reference.’