“Ah,” he said, smiling tenderly down at his son. “For us, it is still a work in progress. But by the time we are on the plane to Madrid, after breakfast, I think our little man will sleep. He’s worn himself out, haven’t you?”
I stared at the two of them together, the strong-shouldered Spaniard holding his tiny son so lovingly, with such infinite care and patience, though he’d clearly kept Alejandro up most of the night.
Miguel looked up with big eyes at his father. They had the same face, though one was smaller and chubby, the other larger and chiseled at the cheekbones and jaw. But I could not deny the look of love that glowed from Alejandro’s eyes as he looked into the face of his son.
I’d been wrong, I realized. Alejandro did know how to love.
He just didn’t know how to love me.
Turning back, Alejandro gave me a big grin, filled with joy and pride. Our eyes locked.
The smile slowly slid from his face. I felt his gaze from my head to my toes and everywhere in between. His soulful dark eyes seemed to last forever, like those starlit summer nights.
I looked at Alejandro in this moment, and I was suddenly afraid. Seeing him as a father, as a true partner in caring for the tiny person I loved so much, I trembled.
I could handle his gifts. I might even be able to handle the sensual awareness that electrified the air between us. I could keep my heart on ice. I could resist.
There are many different kinds of seduction. Some are of the body. Some are of the mind.
But others, the most powerful, are of the heart.
I’M NOT GOING to lie. A private jet makes travel easier. Especially with a baby. We had a quick flight from London to Madrid. No standing in lines, no fighting for overhead space. And I felt much better than I had on the last flight. I was well slept, showered. My hair was brushed until it tumbled over my shoulders. I’d even put on a little mascara. Arriving in Madrid in my new soft pink blouse and form-fitting jeans, I felt almost pretty.
“Where’s your diamond handbag?” Alejandro teased as we left the jet, going down the steps to the tarmac of the private airport, followed by his men carrying our luggage. “Don’t you like it?”
I bit my lip. “Well...”
He put his hand on his heart, as if it had been stabbed with grief. “You don’t!”
“Don’t worry,” I assured him. “I’ll still use it. I was needing a new diaper bag.”
He gave a low laugh, then sobered, his dark eyes resting on mine as he said softly, “I’ll have to see if I can find some other gift to please you more.”
I shivered at his glance, then looked out the window of the SUV. He’s not trying to seduce me, I repeated silently to myself. He’s not. He’s just trying to lure me into a loveless marriage of convenience—don’t fall for it, don’t...
Madrid was beautiful, an elegant, formal city with its nineteenth-century architecture, spreading regally across the banks of the Manzanares River. All the gray clouds of San Miguel and London seemed a million miles away. Here, the August sky was bright blue, and the Spanish sun burning hot.
Alejandro’s driver took us to his penthouse apartment near the Prado, the bodyguards and luggage following in the car behind. We arrived at the flat, which took the entire top floor, and were answered at the door by a middle-aged woman who seemed far too young to be his grandmother. He quickly introduced her as his longtime housekeeper, the only paid staff at the penthouse, Mrs. Gutierrez, who lived on a floor below.
Alejandro walked us around the enormous apartment, with its stark contemporary furnishings and enormous windows overlooking the city. “What do you think?”
“It’s beautiful,” I said slowly, “but so cold. You can hardly tell anyone lives here.” Shivering, I cuddled my warm baby close. “You must not stay here much.”
He blinked. “More blunt honesty.”
“Was I rude?”
“I can take it.” He shifted his weight, then clawed back his thick, dark hair. I wondered what it would feel like to... No! I stopped the thought cold. Oblivious of my inner struggle, he continued with a sigh, “My company is headquartered here. I am in Madrid all the time.”