Pregnancy of Revenge(13)

By: Jacqueline Baird

He looked so attractive, and so unlike any tourist she had ever seen, Charlie burst out laughing. 'I might have known you would have an ulterior motive. It's not me but the wine that motivates you.'

'You wouldn't believe my motives if I told you,' Jake responded dryly and spun her into his arms to kiss her with an urgency that left her dazed and breathless—so dazed she did not see the cynicism in his dark eyes. And for Charlie the kiss set the pattern for the rest of the day.

Jake kept his word and they shared a bottle of wine over lunch at the restaurant in the central courtyard of the British Museum. After lingering over coffee and cognac they eventually got around to touring the various exhibits.

It was seven in the evening when they walked back to his hotel.

The warmth of his arm felt so right around her waist, and when he stopped and asked, 'What's it to be, Charlotte? Dinner with me here or do you want to walk on to your apartment?' they both knew what he was really asking. The whole day had been leading to this point.

Charlie raised her face to him and saw her own need reflected in the gleaming depths of his dark eyes. The force of emotion flooding through her kept her speechless for a moment.

'We can call it a day,' Jake heard himself say in a sudden surprising attack of conscience. Amazingly, he had enjoyed Charlotte's company. In different circumstances he knew he would have dated her anyway—and he would still have been determined to get her into his bed.

He reached out and ran a long finger over her smooth cheek, and down her throat, his finger resting on the rapidly pounding pulse in her neck. She wanted him, he knew it, but she was still hesitating. Real or acting he did not know, but he knew enough about women to realise they all craved permanency in a relationship. Obviously Charlotte was no different. She was here on holiday and seemed determined to follow the tourist trail—and his quick brain had the answer.

He smiled, an intimate curl of his firm lips. 'Whatever you decide. I am staying in London for a couple of weeks on business.' He slowly raked her body with his gaze, registering the burgeoning peaks of her breasts beneath her sweater before he let his eyes meet hers. 'And after the great time we have had today...' He paused, his hand softly caressing her throat. 'Work permitting, I would love to explore the tourist trail with you, Charlotte.'

The only trail he was really interested in exploring was every curve of her delectable body, every hill and hidden valley, until he sated himself in her. But he wasn't crazy enough to tell her so. Though if he did not have her soon, he very well might, and that really worried him.

In the early hours of the morning Charlie had decided to pursue her relationship with Jake and see where it led, and all day she had fallen deeper and deeper under his spell. Now, with the impact of Jake's deep eyes burning down into hers, and his huskily voiced desire to see her again echoing in her head, she knew it was the moment of truth. He had told her last night he would never marry, so either she had to accept what he was offering, an affair for a couple of weeks, or walk away. With blinding clarity she realised she did not have a choice. She could no longer deny her basic sexual instinct, an instinct she had only just discovered she possessed, an instinct she knew deep down inside she would only ever feel with Jake.

Charlie drew in a slow steadying breath. 'I've done enough walking for one day.'

'Me too.' Reaching for her hand once more, he linked his long fingers through hers and led her into the hotel.

On one level Charlie couldn't believe what she was doing as Jake ushered her into the lift and the metal doors closed on them. But on another purely sensual level the feelings were so immense she could not deny them, however much she tried. She stole a surreptitious glance at him through the thick veil of her lashes. He was so ruggedly attractive, so overtly masculine, simply looking at him made her heart beat faster. It wasn't just his looks, though; she had seen men with more classically beautiful features. It was some unfathomable intense connection she could hardly believe was real. But every atom in her body was telling her it was.

'This is it,' Jake said, dropping her hand and splaying his palm across the small of her back, his powerful body tense as he urged her out of the lift to a door directly opposite. A quick flash of the card key and she was in his suite. He fought the instinct to simply sweep her off her feet and into the bedroom. Instead he shrugged off his jacket as he headed for the bar.