“Whoever you hired as your decorator must’ve known you well.” The design resonated with his personality.
“I worked closely with her,” was all he said.
Allison wondered if he’d been romantically involved with the woman. Probably. Only a lover would understand his nuances and preferences. She experienced a sting of jealousy picturing another woman spending time with him physically, creatively and intimately until she knew every facet of him, well enough to recreate him on the canvass of his home.
“How nice for you,” she muttered.
Nature-inspired abstract paintings hung on walls of taupe and sage green, which complimented the earthy dark-leather furniture. Then there were pops of color, rust and persimmon accents in the artwork and pillows on his u-shaped sofa.
She recognized his scent of ginger-spice and pine permeating the air. Soothing, comforting. Despite the spaciousness, she felt like she’d walked into a hug.
To her amazement the design appealed to masculine and feminine tastes. She liked his home more than she’d expected. First, they scaled the massive curving staircase to the second floor. Unadorned windows looked out onto the wooded landscape, where strategically placed outdoor lighting made the bare branches and winter scene inviting. He showed her the spacious bedrooms, two at one end, two at the other.
As they entered the fourth bedroom and he flipped on the light, a smile lit her face. “My things!”
She recognized the furnishings from her apartment, her desk overlooking the bank of windows, her bookcase against the far wall, pictures of her parents propped on a dresser. He’d taken the liberty of upgrading her bed to a king-sized dream, something out of a magazine, topped with a sage-and-lavender bedspread, anchored by a whimsical iron-scrolled headboard. On the walls hung framed black and white scenes of European cities, Paris, London, Rome, plus a few artistic photos of the French countryside.
“I love it,” she whispered.
“I wanted it to feel like…home.”
It felt more like home than when she’d lived in those places. He’d captured her essence in the tranquil beauty of this room. A lump formed in her throat. “I don’t know what to say.”
A soft silence surrounded them. Comfort enfolded her.
“Tour’s not over.”
He guided her down two flights to the basement. Which could’ve been a 3,000 square-foot house unto itself. A kitchen, two baths and a family room sprawled before her boasting a Cadillac-sized flat screen TV flanked by built-in shelves filled with sports paraphernalia. The other doors led to a full gym—which he obviously used daily—a movie theater with recliners and surround sound, and an industrial room that housed the security equipment and a dozen camera monitors. Not to mention the temperature-controlled wine cellar with hundreds of gleaming bottles, the mood set with pendant lighting and travertine mosaic tiles from Italy.
“In my wildest dreams, I never could’ve envisioned a home like this.” She turned circles viewing the space. “You have everything you could ever want, right here.”
The cryptic words caught her attention. Her gaze shot to him. Before she could read his expression, he turned and headed upstairs. She followed him to the main floor, which boasted a regal yet comfortable sitting room leading out to an enclosed greenhouse, a library, an office, and finally his first floor master suite.
Nervousness slowed her steps and she lingered in the doorway. A high slanted ceiling with exposed rough-hewn beams mirrored the architecture of his A-frame great room. Except the accent wall showcasing his king sleigh bed was a deeper shade of green, and the accent lighting shed an intimate amber glow.
“It’s lovely.” She hesitated then turned to go.
“Wait. You haven’t seen the best part.” His eyes twinkled. Curiosity overwhelmed her. She carefully treaded across the cream carpet until his master bath sprawled before her.
She’d walked into a spa. Floor-to-ceiling stone tiles were accented by sea-green glass. A glass partition revealed an inviting steam shower with a dozen spray heads to mimic a waterfall. A soaking tub looked out over the backyard. Two floating sinks were mounted into the wall for an ultimate modern effect. To complete the scene, in the corner a fountain gurgled, surrounded by fragrant orchids.
“Good God,” she murmured.
Logan beamed with pride. “Not bad, huh?”
She shook her head, beyond awe. “How much do you charge by the day in this resort?”
“For you?” He rubbed his chin. “I think we can work out a special arrangement.” He winked.
“It could take years to explore every square foot of this place.”
“I hope so.”
Uncomfortable with the weight of his stare, she backed toward the door. “Thanks for the tour.”
“Feel free to explore. Anytime.” He strolled out of his bedroom into the hallway. “Nothing’s off limits.”
While the gesture was magnanimous, she sensed a dual meaning his words. Particularly with regard to his bedroom. The notion sent desire spiraling through her abdomen.
He passed her in the hall.
Then suddenly he turned. She bumped into him. He cupped her face and sealed his over to hers. His thumbs brushed her cheeks, his mouth urgent, consuming. Then he slowly lifted his head.
“I’m glad you’re here,” he said. He laced his fingers through hers and led her to the kitchen.
Tiny ripples of pleasure spread through her. She wanted to tug him back and encourage him to deliver on that promising kiss.
That was until the tantalizing scents of dinner received a standing ovation from her stomach. They could’ve heard the hunger pangs in the next county.
“Still hungry?” he asked with a grin.
Bashful, she shrugged. “Apparently.”
“Good. I want you to enjoy this.”
He could’ve set a plate of liverwurst in front of her and she would’ve inhaled it. Thankfully, he had better options.
The prosciutto-wrapped stuffed chicken breasts and horseradish-encrusted filets that he pulled from the double ovens left her salivating. He added herbed new potatoes and sautéed zucchini to her plate and it looked like heaven.
“Go ahead.” He nodded toward the dining room.
She sat down and stared at her plate like it was the Last Supper. She managed to wait. He entered a minute later with a full glass of wine and a bottle of Pellegrino. He frowned. “I told you to go ahead.”
“I’m the guest. The least I can do is wait for you to sit down, after you’ve created this amazing meal.”