Seduced by the Heir

By: Pamela Yaye

“I want to get to know you better.”

Rafael surfaced from his thoughts. “Is that right?”

“Absolutely,” the blonde purred, brushing her lips against his cheek and a hand against his forearm once again. “Let’s sneak inside for a quickie. No one will even notice we’re gone.”

Rafael had to admit it was a tempting offer, but he wouldn’t do it. He wasn’t looking for trouble, and Stefano’s cousin could be the poster girl for Gold Diggers Anonymous. For all he knew, she was in cahoots with one of his business rivals, and he had no desire to end up on the cover of a sleazy Italian tabloid. Not when he was on the verge of finalizing a multimillion-dollar deal with one of the largest car manufacturers in the world. He had come to Venice for business, not pleasure, and it was imperative he keep his eyes on the prize, and off Julietta’s jaw-dropping cleavage.

“I’m not interested.”

“Of course you are,” she argued, licking her lips lasciviously. “I can do things with my tongue that will make you scream....”

A rich, effervescent laugh filled the air, seizing Rafael’s attention. It couldn’t be, he told himself, shaking his head. No way she was there. Not in Venice, at his friend’s wedding.

Another giggle reached his ears, louder and longer than the last. Rafael combed the tent, searching for the woman whose throaty, sultry laugh still gave him chills. His gaze landed on the bar, more than fifty feet away. And there she was. Paris St. Clair. How could he miss her? She’d been his first love, the only woman he’d ever felt an intense connection to, and even after all these years the sound of her voice still aroused him.

Her scarlet-red lips looked plump and juicy, her silky hair hung like a curtain over her shoulders, and she was dressed to kill in a black lace minidress. His eyes roved over her delectable shape. His pulse hammered in his ears, and his temperature shot through the roof. Breathe, fool, breathe!

Rafael stood at the back of the room, mesmerized, watching Paris dazzle her group of male admirers. Her radiant, butterscotch skin was glowing, her eyes shimmered under the decorative lights and her silky brown legs seemed to go on for miles. He was curious to know if she was married, how many children she had and if she’d fulfilled her dream of owning a beauty salon franchise. But most important, he wondered if she’d ever thought of him over the years.

Rafael didn’t realize he was moving until he heard the blonde’s high-pitched voice fade into the background. With a dry mouth and a pounding heart, he strode purposely toward the bar. The beauty with the dazzling smile and bountiful curves sure looked like his ex, but Rafael had to know for sure if it was Paris, and there was only one way to find out.

* * *

Paris St. Clair loved having male attention. She stood at the bar discussing lucrative investment opportunities with a group of distinguished Italian businessmen worth millions. It was her job as maid of honor not only to tend to the bride, but to socialize with the other guests. Plus Paris knew if she continued flirting, and laughing at their jokes, they’d soon be putty in her hands.

Raising her champagne flute to her lips, she discreetly scoured the tent for anyone else wearing diamond watches and designer suits. No one caught her eye, but she made a mental note to introduce herself to the groom’s family during dessert. Stefano Via came from old money, and although he never flaunted his wealth, Paris knew his father, a former mayor, was one of the richest men in the country. Definitely someone to get better acquainted with.

“So, what happened, little lady?” The media mogul with the salt-and-pepper hair grinned like the Cat in the Hat. “Did you hit the target or miss by a mile?”

Make them wait. It builds suspense! she thought, taking another sip of her champagne. Being a senior executive at her father’s company, Excel Construction, had given her keen insight into the opposite sex. And holding center court among a group of rich, influential men was an exhilarating high. Being the “boss’s kid” definitely had its downside, but Paris wouldn’t trade working for her father, or her fabulous, jet-setting lifestyle, for anything in the world. She’d never forgotten her humble beginnings—all the times she’d gone to bed hungry as a child—and she was willing to do whatever it took to remain in the lap of luxury.

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