Molly changed gear and her knuckles accidentally skimmed a length of lean muscular thigh as she did so. ‘Sorry,’ she muttered uncomfortably. ‘There isn’t much space in this car.’
The atmosphere was tense.
‘How long have you worked as a waitress?’ Leandro asked, gracefully negotiating a passage through the awkward silence that had fallen.
‘I started out as a part-timer when I was at art college. My earnings helped to keep my student loans under control,’ Molly told him. ‘I’m a potter when I can afford to be, but waitressing is what it takes to pay my bills.’
Silence fell again. She parked near the strikingly modern apartment building he pointed out. He thanked her and tried to get out but the door wouldn’t open. The faulty handle, which she had thought was fixed, was acting up again. With a muffled apology, Molly got out and hurried round the bonnet to open the passenger door from the outside.
Leandro climbed out and straightened, relieved to be escaping the cramped restrictions of the car interior. Molly, he noticed, barely reached the middle of his chest. There was something intensely feminine about her slight build and diminutive stature. He had a sudden explosively sexual image of lifting her up against him and only with the greatest difficulty did he manage to shut it out. Even so, his body reacted with instant enthusiasm. He wanted to pull her into his arms, seal her lush body to his and make love to her. He was stunned by the amount of restraint it took to keep his hands off her and furious that he couldn’t keep his libido under better control.
With a swift goodbye, Molly hurried back round the car and jumped in. She watched him stride across the road and enter the well-lit foyer of the block. She got a last glimpse of his lean, darkly handsome face as he exchanged a greeting with the porter on the desk before turning away and moving out of view. She felt horribly let down, shockingly disappointed that he was gone.
Shaking her head at her own foolishness, she was clasping her seat belt, when she noticed something lying on the floor. Undoing the belt she bent down and stretched out a hand to scoop up the item. It was a man’s wallet and it could only belong to the man who had just vacated her car. With an impatient groan, she undid her belt and climbed out again.
The porter had no problem in identifying whom she was talking about and he offered to deliver the wallet. But Molly preferred to return the item in person. The porter tried to phone Leandro’s apartment but when there was no answer he advised Molly to go on up to the top floor in the lift. While it whirred upwards, she asked herself what she was playing at. Here she was literally chasing after him. Perhaps she should have let the porter return the wallet. Had she secretly wanted an excuse to see Leandro again? Her face was burning with colour at that suspicion when the lift doors whirred back with an electronic clunk. She stepped out into a snazzy semi-circular hall. The Spaniard was standing in front of the only door going through his pockets. He wheeled round at the sound of the lift. His winged ebony brows lifted in surprise at the sight of her.
‘Is this what you’re looking for?’ Molly held out the wallet. ‘I found it lying on the floor of my car.’
‘Exactly what I’m looking for.’ He flipped open the wallet to extract a card and opened the door straightaway. ‘Thank you…no, don’t leave.’ He strode back to her to prevent her from walking back into the lift. ‘Join me for a drink.’
‘No, I can’t. That’s not why I came up here,’ Molly protested, her discomfiture unhidden.
‘But it should have been, querida.’ Intent dark golden eyes glittered down into hers. ‘Why are we both trying to walk away from this?’
And Molly didn’t need to ask him what ‘this’ encompassed because she already knew. From the minute she saw him her every thought had contained him and even then it had required effort not to just stand still and stare at him while she memorised every tiny facet of his appearance for future recall and enjoyment. The thought that she might never see him again upset her even though she didn’t know him. She was as drawn to him as an iron filing to a magnet and her brain had nothing to do with the terrifyingly powerful hold of that attraction.
‘Because it’s crazy!’ Molly exclaimed jerkily, backing away a step as if she was trying to steel herself back into departure mode again.
Leandro closed a lean hand round her narrow-boned wrist and urged her into his apartment. ‘I don’t want to stand out here talking. Our every move is being recorded by security cameras,’ he explained.
He flipped on lights to reveal a large hall with a marble floor and a fashionable glass table bearing a bronze sculpture. It looked like a picture out of a glossy interior design magazine and it unnerved her. ‘Look at the way you live!’ Molly shifted an uneasy hand in a demonstrative gesture. ‘You’re a banker. I’m a waitress. We might as well be aliens from different planets.’