The Heiress's Secret BabyBy: Jessica Gilmore
If only he were wearing a shirt. Or anything. Touching that bronzed skin felt intrusive, intimate.
‘For goodness’ sake, are you woman or wombat?’ she muttered, balling her fingers into a fist.
‘Hello.’ She reached over and took a tentative hold of one firm shoulder, his skin warm and smooth against her hand. ‘Wake up.’ She gave a little shake but it was like shaking a statue.
All she wanted was to sit at her desk and start working. Alone. Was that too much to ask? Anger and adrenaline flooded through her system; it had been a long journey, she was jet-lagged and irritated and in need of a sit-down and a coffee. She’d had enough. Officially.
Polly turned and walked crisply towards her small en-suite cloakroom and bathroom, this time uncaring of the loud tap of her heels. The door swung open to reveal a wide, airy space with room for coats and shoes plus a walk-in wardrobe where Polly stored a selection of outfits for the frequent occasions where she went straight from work to a social function. She gave the room a quick glance, relieved to see no trace of Raff’s presence. It was as if he had been wiped out of the store’s memory.
That was fine by her. He had made it quite clear he wanted nothing to do with Rafferty’s—and although they were twins they had never been good at sharing.
Another door led into the well-equipped bathroom. Polly allowed herself one longing glance at the walk-in shower before grabbing a glass from the shelf and filling it with water, making sure the cold tap ran for a few seconds first for maximum chill. Then, quickly so that she didn’t lose her nerve, she swivelled on her heel and marched back over to the chaise longue, standing over the interloper.
He had moved again, lying supine, half on his back, half on his side revealing more of his features. Long, thick lashes lay peacefully on cheekbones so finely sculpted it looked as if a master stonemason had been at work, eyebrows arching arrogantly above.
His wide mouth was slightly parted. Sensual, a little voice whispered to Polly. A mouth made for sin.
She ignored the voice. And she ignored the slight jibe of her conscience; she needed him awake and leaving; if he wouldn’t respond to gentler methods then what choice did she have?
Resolutely Polly held the glass up over the man’s face and tipped it. For one long moment she held it still so that the water was perfectly balanced right at the rim, clear drops so very close to spilling over the thin edge.
And then she allowed her hand to move the glass over the tipping point, a perfect stream of cold water falling like rain onto the peacefully slumbering face below.
Polly didn’t quite know what to expect; anger, shock, contrition or even no reaction at all. He was so very deeply asleep after all. But what she didn’t expect was for one red-rimmed eye to lazily open, for a smile to play around the disturbingly well-cut mouth or for a hand to shoot out and grab her wrist.
Caught by surprise, she stumbled forward, falling against the chaise as the hand snuck around her waist, pulling her down, pulling her close.
‘Bonjour, chérie.’ His voice was low, gravelly with sleep and deeply, unmistakeably French. ‘If you wanted me to wake up you only had to ask.’
It was the shock, that was all. Otherwise she would have moved, called for help, disentangled herself from the strong arm anchoring her firmly against the bare chest. And she would never, ever have allowed his other hand to slip around her neck in an oddly sweet caress while he angled his mouth towards hers—would have moved away long before the hard mouth claimed hers in a distinctly unsleepy way.
It was definitely the shock keeping her paralysed under his touch—and she was definitely not leaning into the kiss, opening herself up to the pressure of his mouth on hers, the touch of his hand moving up her back, slipping round her ribcage, brushing against the swell of her breast.
Hang on, his hand was where?
Polly pulled away, jumping up off the chaise, resisting the urge to scrub the kiss off her tingling mouth.
Or to lean back down and let him claim her again.
‘What do you think you’re doing?’
‘Saying au revoir of course.’ He had shifted position and was leaning against the back of the chaise, his eyes skimming every inch of her until she wanted to wrap her arms around her torso, shielding herself from his insolent gaze.
‘Au revoir?’ Was she going mad? Where were the panicked apologies and the scuttling out of her office?
‘Of course.’ He raised an eyebrow. ‘As you are dressed to leave I thought you were saying goodbye. But if it was more of a good morning...’ the smile widened ‘...even better.’
‘I am not saying au revoir or good morning or anything but what on earth are you doing in my office and where are your clothes?’