“What are you doing?” she cried.
I didn’t respond, just began to walk towards the entrance.
“Let me go!” she insisted. “I can walk on my own.”
I didn’t respond but instead held her tightly in my arms. When she realized that she couldn’t get herself away from me she pounded her fists into my chest, but when she realized they had no effect on me, her attack became softer and softer. Eventually she buried her face in my neck, her body still shaking. My men had already radioed Cullinan and he was already waiting outside the steps.
Even Cullinan could not stop the astonishment from showing on his usually stoic face when he saw me carrying her down the steps. I put her into the back of the car and went around the other side. As soon as I shut the door I pulled her back into my arms. She clung to me.
“Did you sleep with her last night?” she mumbled against my neck.
“That woman, Irene? Did you sleep with her last night?” Her voice sounded pitiful.
I pulled her away from me so I could look into her eyes. “Irene is the wife of a business associate of mine.”
“But you saw her last night,” she insisted.
I couldn’t believe I was explaining my movements to a woman, but I could see how hurt she was. “Yes, I met her briefly last night when she came to pick her husband up from the business meeting we were having.”
“But she touched your chest.”
I shrugged. “Irene is naturally flirtatious. She does that to everyone.”
She licked her lips and I felt my cock twitch. “Um… so why didn’t you come back to me last night?”
“I worked very late and I had an early meeting in the city.”
“I waited for you,” she whispered.
I wanted to tell her I couldn’t sleep thinking of her, but the words were stuck in my throat. I just pulled her close to me and just listened to her even breathing. It felt like the walls I had so painstakingly erected around myself over so many years were crumbling to dust. One brick at a time. But I told myself the plan had not changed. Soon it would be time to let her go. She would go back to her life and I would go back to mine. And that would be that.
“I’m sorry,” she mumbled.
“Your event,” she said. “I ruined it for you.”
“You didn’t ruin anything,” I murmured. For a while there was silence. Then I broke it. “Did I tell you how beautiful you look tonight?”
She lifted her head. “No. Do you really think I’m beautiful?”
I smiled at her innocence. “You were the most beautiful woman in the place.” I paused. “I think you might even be the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known.”
Even in the dim light inside the limo I could see her blushing at the compliment before she buried her face in my chest. Neither of us spoke after that. My thoughts were too jumbled and difficult to decipher. It was a long, long time since a woman hid in my chest. And if I was truly honest, it felt wonderful.
We arrived at the house and we strolled in together. None of the men came with us as though it was some sort of unspoken command that the both of us simply needed to be left alone. I shut the door and turned to watch as she walked ahead of me. From the start it had been her walk that first arrested my attention. Something slinky and sensuous about the way her hips moved.
She stopped and half-turned to look at me.
“Are you coming up?” she asked and the slight tremble in her lower lip made me want to fuck her right there and then.
“Are you hungry?” I asked.
“Starving,” she confessed.
“So am I.”
Her eyes twinkled. “Shall we raid the refrigerator?”
I smiled slowly. “That might be the best suggestion I’ve heard all day.”
The refrigerator was fully stocked, but all she wanted was a ham and cheese toastie.
I went into the cellar and found an old bottle I was saving for a special occasion. It was almost a sin to drink it with a ham and cheese sandwich, but there was no one else in the world I wanted to share the bottle with. By the time I got back our sandwiches were ready.
We went down to my den and sat on the rug in front of the fire, eating and drinking. The wine was really good and she was fascinating. I could not stop staring at her. The way the firelight licked her rosy cheeks, the way her mouth moved, the way she laughed.
When she asked me about myself I clammed up. I wasn’t ready to talk about him and nothing else about me was important. So she talked about her family. Her father, whom she obviously loved dearly, her mother who had passed away when she was very young, her stepmother who she had great affection for, and almost nothing about her step sister who she didn’t get on with.