Pregnancy of Revenge(12)

By: Jacqueline Baird

Last night, tossing and turning in bed, unable to sleep for thinking about Jake, replaying in her mind his every kiss and touch, her body aching for him, she had reached a momentous decision. Given the chance, she was going to pursue her relationship with Jake. He had said they could at least be friends, but innate honesty forced her to admit that she wanted much more from him. She had only known him for a few hours but he had tilted her world. She had no experience of love, but this intense physical desire for Jake, this flood of feeling that consumed all her senses, had to be love or something very like it.

In her work with International Rapid Rescue she had witnessed death and destruction on a huge scale. If the job had taught her anything, it was that life was precious but could be snuffed out in an instant by an act of nature. She was a twenty-six-year-old virgin, probably because all her life she had been a tomboy and the few men she knew considered her more of a buddy than a woman. She was not totally inexperienced—she had kissed men, but had thought the experience vastly overrated. But all that had changed last night when she had met Jake.

This holiday, the first she had taken in years, was supposed to be a complete change, a chance to rethink her hectic lifestyle. She was her own woman; she could do whatever she wanted, and what she wanted was Jake. She knew deep down on some elemental level that Jake could be her soul mate.

The voice of the doorman boomed over the intercom telling her a Mr d'Amato had arrived and should he send him up? She dashed to answer it. 'No need, I'll be right down.'

Her legs were shaking as she rode the lift to the ground floor and when the doors opened Charlie drew in a deep, calming breath, stepped out, and froze to the spot, her blue eyes fixed on the spectacular male animal leaning against the reception desk.

In a business suit Jake had looked stunning, but today he took her breath away. He was wearing black jeans that lovingly clung to long legs and taut, masculine thighs. A black button-down shirt, left open at the neck, revealed the strong column of his throat, and a black leather jacket fitting casually across broad shoulders completed the picture.

Telling her foolish heart to stop bounding, she wondered what it was about Italian men that enabled them to wear clothes with such casual elegance. She could not tear her fascinated gaze away. She saw his proud head lift as though scenting the air like some great jungle beast suddenly aware of his prey, and, straightening up, he turned towards her.

' last.' He lingered over her name like a caress, his hooded dark eyes sweeping over her in blatant masculine appraisal as in a few lithe strides he covered the space between them. 'You look exquisite.' Before she could draw breath, a large male hand curved around her hips, another up her back to tangle in the loose fall of her hair.

The swift, exquisitely gentle brush of Jake's lips against her own turned her legs to jelly, and when he teased her lips apart, the arousing sweep of his tongue in the moist interior of her mouth suddenly filled her body with a molten heat.

Charlie had thought the kisses they had shared in the car last night mind-blowing. But now, held in intimate contact with every hard inch of his big powerful frame, she was shocked by the force of his obvious arousal and secretly thrilled she could do that to him. Weak at the knees with wanting, she pressed unconsciously closer into his taut strength, and felt his great chest heave.

'I promised you lunch,' Jake rasped against her mouth and lifted his head.

Charlie stared up. 'What?' she murmured, flicking the tip of her tongue along her bottom lip, an invitation in her sapphire gaze she didn't realise was there.

'Lunch.' Jake stepped back, his hands resting on her shoulders to keep her steady. 'Before we really give the doorman something to talk about.'

Realising where she was and that she was staring at him far too hungrily, she dipped her head, a tide of red scorching her cheeks. 'Yes, of course,' she mumbled.

'A lady who can still blush. I like it,' Jake drawled, keeping an arm around her shoulder as he walked her out of the building.

'No car?' Charlie queried as his arm fell from her shoulders and he took her hand in his and began strolling along the pavement.

Jake looked at her, amused indulgence in his gaze. 'Your wish is my command,' he said smoothly. 'You wanted to do the tourist bit, and visit the museum. Most tourists pound the pavement. No?' He shrugged his elegant shoulders. 'Plus I want to share everything with you, starting with a bottle of wine with lunch.'