The Billionaire's Unwanted Virgin(8)By: Doris O Connor
The words were brave, but there was a slight wobble to her voice, and she bit that plump bottom lip again in a way that had his softening body tighten in need. Damn it, he wanted her, but on his terms and for a damn sight longer than the one night stipulated in that damn bid.
Some of his thought processes must have shown on his face, because she looked uncertain, if not downright frightened of him, the longer he just stood there and looked at her.
"Have you quite finished with your little tirade?"
"I was not—"
"Spare me. I hate to disabuse you of your little notions, but the problem is far from solved. What guarantee can you give me that you will not leave here, the minute I've indulged myself in your delightful wares, and go running to the papers to sell your story? In fact, how do I know that you're not wearing a wire now under that ridiculous outfit, and some sleaze reporter is lapping up this conversation, ready to have it spewed all over the Sunday papers in the morning? I am a wealthy man. You wouldn't be the first piece of skirt who tried that. Admittedly your technique is more inventive than others, but the fact remains. There is no way you will walk out of this house anytime soon."
She swallowed hard, and he caught her now slack hand in his and pulled her back to him until their thighs touched. He cupped her face with his free hand to make her look at him and indulged himself by dipping his head and brushing his lips across hers. Her outraged gasp mingled with his exhale, and he smiled at the evidence of her galloping heart rate visible via the wildly jumping pulse point in her slender neck.
"You can't keep me here against my will. There are laws against kidnapping, and I would never run to the papers. What sort of woman do you think I am?"
The hurt behind those whispered words settled in his gut like acid lead, and he searched her face for any malice. He cursed under his breath when he found none.
"I’ll tell you, shall I? The kind I am going to marry."
Alice stared at him disbelief. She couldn't have heard him right. He wanted to marry her? Was she caught up in some terrifying nightmare? That had to be it. Either that or his overwhelming presence had addled her brains. This close to him she was acutely aware of every ounce of hard, male flesh she was plastered against. The secret place between her thighs throbbed in need, and moisture soaked her sensible cotton knickers. The blood roared in her ears, and if her heart beat any faster it would surely go into cardiac arrest.
Aware that he was studying her, waiting for her reaction, she found her voice from somewhere.
"Are you proposing to me?" She winced at the squeaky quality of her voice, and he laughed and mercifully let her go. She felt cold and curiously at sea without his big body surrounding her.
"I am sorry. Shall I go down on one knee? It might be overkill under the circumstances, but if it makes you feel better?"
Sure enough, he perched down on one knee, one hand held to his heart in a mocking re-enactment of a marriage proposal.
"Dearest little Alice, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?" He winked at her in a completely unexpected display of mischievousness so at odds with the surreal situation they were in, that she could only stare at him in her best impression of a goldfish.
Before she could say anything at all, Percy's discreet throat clearing broke the silence, and Lakota straightened up with the grace and power of a sleek panther.
"Ah just in time, Percy. Little Alice here has just agreed to be my wife."
"I did no such thing. This is insane!" Her protests fell on deaf ears, and she was talking to Lakota's retreating back. He turned ‘round just before he disappeared into the house, and gave her such a calculating look that the blood froze in her veins.
"Oh, but you will, my sweet. You simply have no choice at all. Explain it to her, Percy, will you."
Alice pushed the perfectly prepared veal parmigiana around her plate, all too aware of Lakota's brooding presence at the other end of the long table. She fidgeted under his dark stare, and giving up on her dinner, picked up the wine glass again. The excellent Merlot stuck to her dry throat, and she passed on that, too.
"Could you get some water please?" The silent young man who'd served them their dinner sprang into action, but before he could reach for the heavy crystal goblet on the side board, Lakota's terse command stopped him.