He could imagine her rolling her eyes when she took the deliveries.
Well, he wasn’t going to spend time looking over his shoulder, waiting to see what sort of further punishment Zayn had in mind for him.
He’d wasted enough time over Leila, waiting for her to call.
James pulled out his case and he thought of all the women he hadn’t been with since that one night. He didn’t like that he had become so pensive, didn’t like how hung up he was on Leila.
He took out a shirt; it was the one he had worn that night and her exotic scent still clung to it. James buried his head in it for a moment and inhaled her. He was hard for her still.
Time to take care of that, James decided.
But rather than returning to the bed and his memories as he had these past weeks, he tossed the shirt back to the floor of the wardrobe and packed his case and decided on a return to France and the snowy slopes.
There was still some of the screwing season left after all!
AS HANGOVERS WENT, this was a particularly bad one.
James sat on the terrace of the ski resort behind dark glasses and took a very welcome sip of strong, sweet coffee as he eyed the magnificent view.
He looked over to the black run that he would hurl himself down later.
At least it would clear his head.
Last night had been a particularly heavy one. Some idiot had hired a flash mob to take over the bar to assist in his wedding proposal. The man had clearly needed every assistance because the poor woman had, to James, looked as if she wanted to run.
Without the onlookers, James was quite sure that she would have said no to him.
Instead James had watched as the man had dropped to his knees and asked her if they could return here next year on their—wait for it, James thought— honeymoon!
‘How romantic,’ a leggy blonde woman beside him had said.
How awful, James had privately thought, though he hadn’t said that. Instead he had bought Longlegs a drink.
He was like a repeat prescription, James thought as he sat there recovering the next morning.
He resisted opening the American newspaper that had been pre-emptively placed on his table, for usually he requested one.
Just not today.
James really didn’t want to see himself leaving the club with yet another glossy blonde.
What was her name?
Certainly it wasn’t Leila, because when this morning he’d inadvertently called her that, it had earned him a slap to the cheek.
He’d tried to ski his way out of it, tried to screw his way out of it, but still every morning he woke hard for Leila.
Every night was an attempt to relive that one.
Not just the sex, although it was a lot about the sex. Still he kept remembering the moment she had walked into the bar.
His ex, who had gone to the press with his stories, had taken months just to get some salacious tidbits out of him. He’d spoken so readily with Leila.
She hadn’t with him though, James remembered.
He’d been used; James knew that much.
He could have been anyone.
Rather than think about it James opened up the paper and took another sip of coffee as he turned to the business section.
Then something caught his eye and he almost spat out his coffee.
There was Leila, dressed in finery, her head and mouth covered, but it was certainly her, for he would never forget those eyes.
And there, looking far less than regal, was a very tacky shot of himself and some blonde making out at the bar.
All this he took in as he sat there, his mind choosing to linger on the images than focus on the headline, but then not even James could ignore what was written.
Princess Leila Al-Ahmar of Surhaadi was three months pregnant and, according to extremely reliable sources, the father was none other than James Chatsfield.
He looked at the caption beneath the image of himself and a woman.
James Chatsfield celebrating the happy news!
It never even entered his head that he might not be the father.
Oh, she’d used him that night, all right.
He picked up his phone and scrolled through it and called The Harrington, his temper mounting as, thanks to their bloody discretion, they still refused to even confirm or deny if Leila was staying there.
‘Put me through now,’ James shouted to the receptionist. ‘I know that she’s staying there, and I don’t care if it’s the middle of the bloody night—you will put me through now.’