The Tuscan's Revenge Wedding(7)

By: Jennifer Blake



She met his eyes then, her own silver with defeat. “I suppose I had better.”

“Excellent.” Nico kept his voice rigorously even to conceal his satisfaction. “Shall we go?”





2


Amanda could not believe she had agreed to this rushed trip. The shock of the news about Jonathan was the explanation. She had been numb with it, still was, even after the brief stop at her apartment.

Yet Nicholas de Frenza had gone to considerable trouble to find her and let her know what had happened. The arrangements he had made were certainly convenient. It would be ungrateful of her to fling all his careful planning in his face.

Amanda allowed herself a brief glance at the Italian where he sat beside her in the limo. He had taken out his mobile phone and was making a series of swift calls, switching with ease between excellent English and rapid-fire Italian. His presence seemed to fill the small space, so she was hyper-aware of him as the sleek vehicle wove in and out of traffic while rain splattered on its roof.

As if drawn by her appraisal, he turned his head to meet her gaze. Her pulse fluttered and her breathing turned ragged. He really was lethally handsome at close quarters, with a polished, foreign appeal unlike anything she had ever known. He made the executives and other men she worked with seem pale, rumpled and depressingly average in comparison.

Even as he listened to whoever was speaking in his ear, he lifted a dark, inquiring brow, his coffee black gaze intent. She shook her head in negation, looking away again.

Jonathan, she must think of Jonathan, she told herself as she stared out the window at gray streets wet and slick with rain, at the yellow and black beetles of taxicabs and artistic graffiti on the sides of overpasses. Her brother was the reason she was allowing herself to be swept away. Yes, even if her doubts were returning as the effect of what she’d been told wore off.

Her brother was something of a daredevil, attracted to danger in all its many forms. He loved deep sea diving, skydiving, hotdog skiing and dirt bike racing. That was in addition to driving at supersonic speed in any vehicle with four wheels and a working speedometer.

Yet he was beyond careful, a true lover of life. Because of it, no doubt, his luck had always been phenomenal; he had never been hurt as he went from stock cars to Formula One racers.

Their father had been Michael Davies, however, a legend on the race tracks of the world until he died in a fiery crash during the Grand Prix. It was a painful object lesson.

Amanda had lived in dread of the phone call that would tell her Jonathan’s luck had run out just as their father’s had all those years ago. Here it was, that long expected notification. She could finally stop waiting.

At least Jonathan was alive.

He had been seven when their father died, so had barely known him. Amanda had been thirteen and remembered him well. Michael Davies had been larger than life. A distracted and irresponsible parent without doubt, he’d also been warm and loving when he could find time for his children. He’d sweep down upon them with laughter in his eyes, carrying them off to amusement parks and carnivals, to water parks in the Florida heat or on fast motorboat rides that plowed figure-eight-shaped wakes across blue Mediterranean waters.

Amanda had spent years of her young life watching her father on television in various hotel rooms. She’d seen him die in a moment of horror still etched into her brain. And it never quite went away. Every spinout and burn at a race track prompted a rehash of that spectacular, fiery crash. She’d seen the photos and videos so many times they’d lost the power to make her cringe, but they always took her back to that day.

Before then, she looked after Jonathan during the days and nights when Michael Davies and their mother were at the track with racing friends or enjoying the victory parties that followed. The life they led was unsettled, a constant round of one hotel after another, of revolving continents, race tracks, social sets or party venues. Being left to themselves so often, Amanda and Jonathan were closer than most siblings.

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