The Amalfi Bride - Page 67

Last night he’d followed her into this same bar. Only, when he’d started to flirt, she’d run out and hidden behind some chestnut trees. He’d rushed outside and looked for her while she’d held her breath, frantic he’d find her. Finally, he’d given up and kayaked out to Simonetta, the mega yacht moored some distance from shore, where he must have spent the night.

With a woman? A client? The older lady in veils? Her thoughts made Regina feel slightly nauseated.

One moment, the object of her affections was leaning back against the bar, sipping his beer while studying the magnificent white yacht with a rather keen interest. The next, his gaze swept the room and fastened on her again.

She met his eyes. With a fingertip, she teased her skirt higher. Her lips parted. Spellbound, dry-throated, she did not look away.

His gold necklace flashed with the last of the sun’s rays. A gift from a client? From the woman in the Ferrari? Or the one on the yacht? How many women were there? She had a prejudice against guys who wore gold necklaces.

Did one tip a gigolo? Would he tell her the rules? As an attorney, she had a natural interest in all contracts.

When he kept staring at her, the two girls giggled at the little table near his and then glanced at her, too knowingly. Doubtless, they were locals and knew his profession and read her intentions.

Was she that obvious?

When the girls frowned, Regina felt her cheeks heat and her pulse race.

Maybe she should rethink this. When she tried to stand up to leave, her legs felt too weak to hold her. She sagged against her table. Then her waiter scurried over with an icy flute of sparkling champagne. He said something in rapid, nasal Italian, which was beyond her minimal knowledge of the language and pointed to her admirer at the bar. When she looked over, Adonis shifted his weight onto his right leg and beamed.

Her heart sped up even faster, and her lacy pink panties trimmed in black lace began to feel damp. She should run out to the taxi stand and hire somebody to take her up to the palazzo where she was staying. She would take a cold shower or a long swim in the pool and then a sleeping pill. She needed to think this through, form a plan.

Instead, she touched the stem of the flute he’d sent over with a manicured fingertip. When she threw back her head, her long brown hair flowing down her back, and began to sip, his mouth curved again. She smiled back just as boldly.

Instantly, he uncoiled his long body and strode across the bar, causing a ripple of conversation, as well as bursts of giggles from the girls near the bar. When he pulled out a plastic chair at Regina’s table, Regina gulped the last of her champagne.

“Do you mind if I sit down?” His voice was deep and dark, faintly accented, surprisingly cultured. It was as perfect as the rest of him.

A well-educated gigolo?

“I—I should say yes. I should go…really….”

“Probably you are right.” He smiled. “But you’re following a dangerous impulse.” He paused. “Just as I am.”

Her heart thundered.

Up close, his dense lashes seemed even longer and darker.

Why did God give guys eyelashes like those? It wasn’t fair. But then, life wasn’t fair, was it? Or she would be married and have children, and her father would still love her best.

Adonis’s gorgeous, broad-shouldered body towered over Regina, making her feel even more vulnerable.

If you were to have a daughter by him, the lucky child would surely be movie-star beautiful, whispered her sex-starved hormones.

“I will go, if you want me to,” he said.

When he turned, a savage pain tore her heart. “No.”

Her throat went even drier. Her acute need threw her off balance. She licked her lips but could say no more.

He sank down beside her and signaled the waiter. Without asking, he ordered more champagne.

Did he expect her to pay? Was that part of the contract?

When the champagne came, she gulped it again, which seemed to amuse him. “Do I scare you?”

“I scare me. I’ve never done anything like this before.”

“Good. That’s reassuring.” He laughed. “You’re perfectly safe,” he said. “I promise, we won’t do anything you don’t want to do.”

Far too many needs and emotions were on fire inside her for such a comment to reassure her.

He held up his hand to order another drink, but she put her fingers over his. And instantly, at that light touch of fingertip to fingertip, a surge of syrupy heat flooded her. When the waiter looked over, she shook her head wildly.

Her admirer turned her fingers over and brushed the back of her hand with a callused fingertip. His touch was gentle; lighting hot sparks along every nerve in her body.

She felt weak, sexual, sizzling. All he’d done was caress her hand. When he fingered the cross at her throat, she pulled back, afraid he’d sense the rapid pulse that pounded beneath it.

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