Her hand covered his. "I won't let you down, Yankee."
They'd crossed an indefinable line, he thought, partnering him with a woman he'd no right to involve in this.
They glanced at the jeweler. The older man smiled endearingly, oblivious to the weight of their deeds. Alex put a finger to his lips, a sign for complete discretion, and the jeweler nodded, leaving the limo. The car rolled away from the curb.
Madison sank into the cushions, feeling drained and accepting the now-full flute. She didn't think she'd experienced anything as elegant as sipping champagne in a limo riding through the streets of Savannah. If only it wasn't a lie.
Alex settled back into the seat, the motion putting him closer to her. He caught a breeze of her perfume, and the same image he'd carried for days flooded through his mind. Long, hot kisses. Wild jungle sex. He shifted uncomfortably in the cushions and tried to redirect his thoughts from her. But he couldn't, watching as she brought the crystal to her mouth, entranced as the pale bubbling liquid slid over her lips. Everything she did aroused him, in the shift of her bare shoulders in the fitted, dark-green dress, the way she crossed her legs only at the ankle. Brown ringlets framed her face, the length of her hair caught in an old-fashioned snood of gold-and-green silk webbing. It fitted her, and he could almost see her in a full gown at a cotillion a hundred and fifty years ago.
Almost. But the images bouncing through his mind had nothing to do with pounds of clothes and old Southern manners, but of bare skin and abandonment. He suspected there was a wild creature under all that delicate dignity.
She turned her head and met his gaze. "You're staring again," she said, and it wasn't at all like he had the night they'd met.
He blinked, then finished off his drink in one swallow. "So I am." He turned the flute rim down in the ice bucket as the limo pulled to the curb.
Alex stepped out, turning back for her. Her legs came first, and as she ducked and rose, it put her smack against him.
Her breath snagged. "I can't walk if you're blocking the way."
He gazed down into her beautiful brown eyes. "There is something we have to get past to make this believable, Madison."
"And that is?"
In an instant his arm slipped around her waist, pulling her flush against his length. Her eyes flew wide, her hands on his chest, her evening bag in her hand.
"Alexander" came in a rush and the sound of his name, husky, whispered as in his dreams; sent him over the edge of his control.
He kissed her, hard.
And Madison came unglued.
And Alex felt ripped apart. It was better than he'd imagined, hotter, sweeter, and that she responded stole every thought from his brain except tasting more of her. His mouth rolled over hers, wet and deep, and she opened wider, her tongue pushing between his lips and making him groan with the pleasure of her abandon. The kiss was raw and blistering, too much for public. Alex knew he shouldn't have done this. Should never have touched her. He was already hard for her and this just made it worse. The urge to push her back into the limo, say to hell with the deal and spend the evening doing just this, nearly overtook him. Then her hands shifted, sliding around his neck, her body laid against his like a layer of silk. He pressed her a bit harder to him, aching in every cell of his body, and a little sound escaped her throat, tumbling into his mouth. And that thought of her being wild … exploded into reality.
He wanted her. Badly.
But he couldn't.
She was the wrong kind of woman for his lifestyle – dangerous even, in all her genteel Southern softness. She was more menacing than Elizabeth could ever be. Because Madison Holt wasn't even aware of her power. And she didn't want a man like him.
He felt lucky she wasn't slapping his face right now.
She wouldn't, not when she couldn't think beyond his mouth moving over hers, his hands sliding down her spine, pausing to squeeze her a bit tighter. Sensations ripped over her skin, telling her this was true passion, devastating her with its strength and the heat gripping her insides. It made her want to be in the limo, in private, and to steal more than the taste and feel and the arousing hardness of him. Yet even as her body responded, her breasts swelling inside her dress, her lingerie clinging to her flushed skin, she knew this was not what either of them needed. It was a game and they were players. Yet that made the kiss all the more alluring, and she gave in to it, feeling more like a woman in his arms right now than she had her entire life.
They heard someone clear their throat. They separated slowly, and each of them, released a long breath.
"Dang." She stared up at him.
"Yeah," he managed, the incredible heat burning him still.
She reached up to wipe her lipstick off his lips. "I hope you don't think that any more than that is part of the game." She slid her arms from around his neck.