Page 46 of Maid for a Magnate

Shrugging, he picked up their plates and put them in the kitchen. When he brought back the wine bottle, she put a hand over hers to stop him from filling her glass back up.

“If I need more pain pills later, it’s best I don’t have any more even though I only took a half pill.”

Nodding, he set the bottle on the table and sat across from her again.

“Don’t ignore the question.”

A smile kicked up at the corners of his mouth. “I’m plotting.”

Catalina eased back in her seat, crossing her arms over her chest. “You’re always plotting. I take it I’m still in the crosshairs?”

His eyes narrowed in that sexy, toe-curling way that demanded a woman take notice. “You’ve never been anywhere else.”

Her heart beat faster. When he said those things she wanted to believe him. She wanted to be the object of his every desire and fantasy. And when he looked at her as if nothing else in the world mattered, she wanted to stay in that line of sight forever, though she knew all of that was a very naïve way of thinking.

“I only set out to seduce you,” he went on, toying with the stem on his glass. “I wanted you in my bed more than anything. And now that I’ve had you...”

Catalina wished she’d had that second glass of wine after all. “What are you saying?”

His intense stare locked onto her. “We’re different people. Maybe we’re at a stage where we can learn from the past and see...”

It took every ounce of her willpower not to lean forward in anticipation as his words trailed off yet again. “And see what?” she finally asked.

“Maybe I want to see where we could go.”

Catalina gasped. “You’re not serious.”

Those heavy-lidded eyes locked onto her. “I can’t let you go now that I know how right we are together.”

Her eyes shifted away and focused on the posh living space while she tried to process all he was saying.

Her mother’s words of warning from years ago echoed in Catalina’s mind. How could she fall for this man with his smooth words and irresistible charm? Hadn’t her mother done the same thing with Patrick?

No. Will wasn’t Patrick and Catalina was not her mother.

To her knowledge, Will, even to this day, had absolutely no idea what had transpired when he’d been a young boy right around the time of his mother’s death. That hollow pit in Catalina’s stomach deepened. Had the affair been the catalyst in Mrs. Rowling’s death?

“Why now?” she asked, turning back to face him. “Why should I let you in now after all this time? Is it because I’m convenient? Because I’m still single or because you’re settling?”

Why was fate dangling this right in front of her face when she’d finally decided to move on? It had taken her years to get up the nerve to really move forward with her dream and now that she’d decided to take a chance, Will wanted back in?

“Trust me, you’re anything but convenient,” he laughed. “I’ve busted my butt trying to think of ways to get your attention.”

Catalina swallowed. “But why?”

“Because you want this just as much as I do,” he whispered.

Catalina stared down at her hands clasped in her lap. “We’re at the age now that our wants don’t always matter.” Letting her attention drift back up, she locked her eyes on him. “We both have different goals, Will. In the end, nothing has really changed.”

“On that we can agree.” Will came to his feet, crossed to her side of the table and loomed over her. His hands came to rest on the back of her chair on either side of her shoulders. “In the end, I’ll still want you and you’ll still want me. The rest can be figured out later.”

Before she could say anything, he’d scooped her up in his arms. “Don’t say a word,” he chided. “I want to carry you, so just let me. Enjoy this moment, that’s all I’m asking. Don’t think about who we are away from here. Let me care for you the way you deserve.”

His warm breath washed over her face as she stared back at him. He didn’t move, he just waited for her reply.

What could she say? He was right. They both wanted each other, but was that all this boiled down to? There were so many other outside factors driving a wedge between them. Did she honestly believe that just because he said so things would be different?

Catalina stared into those eyes and for once she saw hope; she saw a need that had nothing to do with sex.