One Night with Morelli(7)

By: Kim Lawrence

She had enough to deal with today without analysing the skin-tingling effect of a sexy stranger who represented pretty much everything she despised in a man. She was jet-lagged, facing the prospect of biting her tongue while her mother threw away her life and freedom and—she rubbed her shoulder and grimaced—she’d just had minor surgery. She was definitely permitted a little weird.

* * *

‘I’m curious, why do you keep running away from me?’

Eve started violently, nearly losing her grip on her keys as she spun around. How on earth could someone that big make so little sound? He was standing a few feet away just beyond a sleek gleaming monster that was the motoring equivalent of him. If she cared about cars she would probably know what it was, but she didn’t so in her head she simply grouped it under the heading of look at me I have loads of money.

She lifted her chin. ‘There are laws against stalking.’ She knew perfectly well that none of the adrenaline pumping through her body was the result of fear…which was too worrying to think about just now.

‘And quite right too; speaking from experience it can be—’

Her hoot of derision cut him off. ‘God, it must be so tough being irresistible to the opposite sex.’ She only just stopped herself hastily adding she was not one of that number, but then actions always spoke louder than words and she hoped she was channelling contempt and not lust. There was no way in the world that he could know about the shameful heat at the juncture of her thighs.

‘I’m flattered—’

‘Not my intention.’ She sounded breathless, and she definitely felt breathless as she fought to hold onto her defiance in the face of the suggestion of a smile her retort had produced.

She didn’t know him.

She disliked him.

She had never felt such a strong reaction to a man. Ever.

‘Relax, cara, this is my car.’ He pressed his key fob and the monster’s lights flashed.

Calling herself every kind of a fool—sure, you’re so irresistible every drop-dead gorgeous man has to follow you, she thought scathingly—she wrenched her own car door open.

‘Would you like dinner sometime?’

Draco was almost as surprised to hear himself make the offer as she looked to hear it. It had been an uncharacteristic impulse kicked into life by the sight of her getting in that car and the knowledge he would never see her again.

‘Well, it seems like such a waste…all this…’ his long fingers moved in an expressive gesture that encompassed the space between them ‘…chemistry.’

Draco felt satisfied with this explanation for his uncharacteristically impulsive behaviour. She looked—he studied the small heart-shaped face lifted to him—less so.

The soft flush that covered her skin and the angry sparkle in her luminous green eyes made him tip his head in a nod of approval. There was passion there. He knew he’d been right about the chemistry.

‘I’m assuming it’s an ego thing with you…you have to have every woman your willing slave.’

He adopted a thoughtful expression as though considering the charge, then slowly shook his head. ‘Slave suggests passive,’ he purred, staring at her mouth with an expression that made her stomach quiver with a mixture of anger and lust she refused to acknowledge. ‘I find passive boring.’

‘Well, I find men who have massive egos boring!’ she jeered, and slid onto the driver’s seat. ‘And there is no chemistry,’ she yelled, before slamming the car door.

She could hear the sound of his low throaty laughter above the metallic scream as she crunched the gears before finding reverse.


THE TWO YOUNG women who stood waiting in the bedroom were both in their mid-twenties but there the similarity ended.

The girl who sat on the edge of the four-poster, one slim ankle crossed over the other, was an elegant, tall, blue-eyed blonde. The other one, who had spent the last five minutes prowling restlessly up and down the room, her heels making angry tapping sounds on the age-darkened polished boards, was neither tall nor blonde, and, even though the two women were dressed identically, she was somehow not elegant.

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