Another finger joined in, his thumb pressing on her clitoris and he sucked her nipple deep inside his hot mouth. “Yes.”


Daisy woke to Sebastian gently shaking her shoulder. “We’re starting our descent.”

She blinked up at him, then yawned and rubbed her eyes. “What time is it?” Instead of him taking very good care of her, she’d ended up taking a sleeping pill and crashed on his couch about thirty minutes into the flight. The last thing she remembered talking about was the Church of St. Clemmons.

“Four-thirty AM your time. Nine-thirty mine,” he said with a rueful grin. “Sorry.”

“That’s okay.” The plane bounced, and then slowed as it taxied on the runway. Pressing her nose against the closest window, she took in the sight of Heathrow Airport. “It seems like I just got on the plane.”

“While for me, it was endless torture of you humming in your sleep,” he said and she turned to face him, giving him a come-on look

“Humming in my sleep?” she asked. “You’re so full of it.”

“Don’t believe me, eh?” He unbuckled his seatbelt and joined her on the sofa. “I videoed you with my mobile.” His thumb glided over the screen of his cell.

Her mouth fell open. There she lay, alternately mumbling and humming in her sleep. “That’s so wrong.”

“Agreed,” he said and she lightly punched him in the shoulder as he pocketed his cell. “Watch it. Very fragile equipment could be damaged.”

“Oops.” Splaying her fingers, she admired her pretty ring. “Sorry, I’ll be more careful with your jewelry.”

Taking her hand, he kissed the tip of each finger. “I meant these.”

“Oh,” she breathed, so charmed by him that she couldn’t think of anything else to say.

“Come here, beautiful,” he said with a smile. She scrambled to him, throwing her arms around his neck.

“You’re not worried about me messing up your suit?”

“There’s enough starch in this to withstand even your pawing,” he said dryly, and then pressed a kiss onto the top of her head.

She narrowed her eyes. “Better watch it. Or else.”

A familiar, smug look came over him, one she called his I’m-the-earl-and-you-must-quiver-before-me look. Only she quivered for entirely different reasons. “Else what?”

“No. More. Cupcakes. For. You.”

“Cruel, Miss Barnes. Doing away with my daily cupcake ration is in violation of the Geneva Conventions.”

She arched a brow. “Seriously?”

“I am always serious, darling,” he said with a frown, but his eyes twinkled as he lifted her from his lap and stood. “Ah, the limo is here. Customs first though.”

“Oh. I have something to tell you,” she said. “Someone claiming to be your mother has been emailing me and wanting to know—”

He grabbed her wrist, squeezing. “What did you say?”

“Nothing.” Daisy stepped into him, tracing the pattern of his tie with the fingers of her free hand. His grip lessened, but the look on his face chilled her. “I blocked her as spam, but I thought you’d want to know.”

“I’ll have your email account monitored.” He pulled his cell from his pocket.


Thumb frozen over the screen, he blinked at her. “Sorry?”

“Emails are private, unless you’d let me monitor yours,” she said, letting her arm fall and pulling her wrist out of his grasp. She grabbed her purse as the plane came to a stop.

“Out of the question,” he snapped before nodding at the flight attendant to open the door to the plane.

They descended the stairs, and with every step, Sebastian’s stance became more rigid. When he paused at the bottom to offer her his hand, she almost stumbled at what she saw. Face tight, eyes like glaciers and a little sneer in his upper lip.

“Are you okay?” she asked softly, then slipped her hand in his, or tried to. He directed her fingers to his elbow, like they were at a fancy party.

He paused. “Look, in Holland Springs, I was more…relaxed than usual.”

Her mouth dropped open slightly. He’d been relaxed? “Is that why you won’t hold my hand?”

“We’re not in nursery school, darling,” he said as custom officers came to them, with their equipment and questions.

Hurt rose inside of her, swift and deep. What did nursery school have to do with hand holding? And where had the man whose lap she’d sat in on the plane gone? The man who had said that Jules Westmoreland—wait a minute…How did he know Jules’ last name?

Her diamond flashed along with the unmistakable click of cameras, pulling her out of her thoughts.

Oh, yeah, the man she’d slept with was her fake fiancé. Emphasis on the word fake.

He’d placed her hand directly in the line of sight for the paparazzi watching them. She couldn’t forget that. No matter how amazing the sex, how charming or sweet he could be to her, (and apparently only in private or back home), this relationship of theirs wouldn’t last.

They didn’t speak again, until they were in the limo, and that was only to inform her where they would be going first—his house in Mayfair on Berkley Square. Then his phone rang and for the next three minutes, she listened with half an ear to his conversation, then directed her attention to what was outside her window.

The limo practically flew past pastures, then streets, houses, and shops. A traffic snarl and his sudden silence had her fiddling with her engagement ring.

“Daisy,” he began. “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings, but—”

She held up a hand, then lowered it and took a deep breath. “You can’t apologize then qualify it with a ‘but’. It makes it meaningless.”

“I rarely apologize.”

Tilting her head to one side, she frowned. “Is that supposed to make me feel special?”

His lips thinned before he went straight back to work on his phone. She sighed and lurched forward, then back against the leather seat when the limo took a left. She heard a sharp crack and part of her bun went all loose.

“Dang it,” she said as she tried to fix her hair. Unfortunately, she came back with half a chopstick. The light green ones were her lucky pair. She pulled out the other one and tucked them in her purse. Guess they weren’t so lucky anymore.

Sebastian cleared his throat and she glanced up at him. He held his hand over his phone. “Sorry, but could you keep it down? I’m on a very important conference call.”