One Night with Morelli(2)

By: Kim Lawrence

‘Nice,’ he murmured, running his thumb over the fine butter-soft silk.

‘That’s mine.’ Eve’s determined gaze was fixed on the pink tartan bra that she hoped was going to be next season’s best-seller.

‘You’re Eve?’

‘Yes.’ The response was automatic. She could, if she’d wanted, have claimed ownership of, not just the name, but the bra and the brand of which she was justifiably proud, though there was a strong possibility that, as on numerous previous occasions, the information would be received with scepticism.

She understood why: it was all about appearances and she simply didn’t look the part of a successful businesswoman, let alone one who was the founder of a successful underwear company that had based its brand on glamour with a quirky edge that not only looked good but was comfortable to wear.

‘It was very brave of you to stop that thief running away with my bag. I hope he didn’t hurt you.’ Her smile faded dramatically as she looked up into the face of the man who was holding her sample. ‘I’m very…’ She cleared her throat and swallowed, her tongue uncomfortably glued to the roof of her mouth.

There were several other equally disturbing accompanying symptoms, and it was so totally unexpected that it took her a few heart-racing moments to put a name to the frantic heart-pounding, uncontrolled heat rush and visceral clutch that dug into her stomach and tightened like a fist. Even the fine invisible hair on her forearms was tingling in response to what this man exuded, which was—give it a name, Evie, and move on, she told herself sternly—raw sex!

Either that or this was a much less publicised symptom of jet lag!

‘Grateful.’ For small mercies—I didn’t drool, she added silently, refusing to contemplate the mortifying possibility that she had been standing there with her mouth open for more than a few seconds.

Now that she was able to study his face with the objectivity she prided herself on, Eve could see that, though her first impressions were right—he was quite remarkably good–looking; maybe the most good-looking man she’d ever seen up close—it wasn’t his face or athletic body that had caused her nervous system to go into meltdown, it was the aura of raw sexuality that he exuded like a force field.

That made sense, because obvious good looks didn’t do it for her—they never had—and his were very, very obvious! It wasn’t that she had anything against cheekbones you could cut yourself on, classic square firm jawlines, overtly sensual lips or eyelashes that long—actually the crazily long and spiky eyelashes framing deep-set liquid dark eyes were kind of nice—it was just that Eve had always liked a face with character belonging to men who spent less time looking in the mirror than she did. And of course being a man he didn’t have to worry about the thin white scar beside his mouth. It didn’t matter that the likelihood was he’d done it doing something as mundane as falling off his bike as a kid; it added to the air of brooding danger and mystery he exuded.

The thought of being considered a hero for just standing still and letting the thief bump into him drew an ironic smile. ‘I’ll survive.’

Well, his ego would at least—it could obviously withstand a force-ten gale. The uncharacteristically uncharitable thought brought a furrow to her brow but for some reason just looking at him made her skin prickle with antagonism.

Draco gave up the D cup and studied the claimant, a breathless pink-faced female who snatched it from his fingers. The bra couldn’t be hers as she was definitely not a D cup. Actually, he was pretty sure she was not wearing a bra at all, and there was a definite chill in the air—well, this was London; when wasn’t there? His interested glance drifted and lingered on her small but pert breasts heaving dramatically beneath the loose white shirt she wore.

Eve, catching the direction of his stare, felt her colour deepen even though she knew she was being a bit paranoid. Nothing could be less revealing than her shirt; anything tighter rubbed the small scar below her shoulder blade that was still a little tender.

‘Thank you.’ She struggled to inject some warmth into her response and, just to be on the safe side, fastened her jacket, taking care not to put too much pressure on her shoulder. By next week it ought to be healed enough for her to be able to wear a bra again.

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