Wild Cat(3)

By: Christine Feehan

“Good, bella.” Paolo moved right to her.

She forced air through her lungs, knowing what was coming. He was getting bolder and bolder, and always in front of her beaming grandfather, who clearly approved. He took both hands and pulled her to her feet. Pulled her into him. He leaned down, and she turned her face slightly so his lips brushed her cheek rather than her lips.

Deep inside something that was out of control and wild leapt toward the surface. She was shocked and pulled back, although Paolo didn’t release her hands. He stared down at her face and there was speculation there. His eyes changed color, yellow flecks spreading through the dark brown until they almost looked like a cat’s. Wholly focused on her. Unblinking.

Heat moved through her body. This wasn’t good. She tugged on her hands to get him to release her.

“I have to go. Nonno asked me to run an errand for him, and I want to get to the gym tonight as well.”

Paolo frowned. He didn’t release her hands, but looked over his shoulder at her grandfather. “Perhaps someone else should run the errand, Antonio.”

There was something very subtle in his voice. A warning. An order? Whatever it was, she didn’t like it. Siena very firmly pulled her hands away, not bothering with being polite. She always thought the infamous Arnotto temper had skipped her, but right then she knew it hadn’t. Edgy and restless turned to fierce and formidable. She drew herself up – and wished she was wearing her heels – but she could look haughty without them and she gave Paolo her best princess to peasant look.

“I told Nonno I would take the gift to Signor Lospostos and I will.” She tossed her head, the long mane of very thick hair flying around her face and down to her waist. Bending down, she skimmed another kiss on her grandfather’s head and then left the room with a small wave. “Addio Nonnino. Addio, Paolo, please take care of Nonno for me.”

She ran back upstairs to her room without a backward glance. If she was delivering wine to Elijah Lospostos, arguably the hottest man in the universe, then she was going to take a little care with her appearance. She quickly stuffed her gym clothes in a bag and changed. She didn’t want to look like she went all out. He probably wouldn’t even notice her, but still, she was going to look good.

Siena knew she was pretty. She looked in the mirror, and she knew. She had great skin. Perfect skin. Italian skin. Her eyes were unusual. Very large, shaped like a cat’s, so she looked exotic to people. They were green. Not just any green; a deep, pure brilliant green, and she had lush, thick, very black eyelashes. She was blessed with those eyes.

She had the most annoying hair in the world, although even she had to admit it was beautiful. There just was too much of it. It grew and grew and never seemed to stop. She’d tried cutting it, but that seemed to make it grow faster and even thicker than ever, so she gave up and just went with the old-fashioned look. Thick, rich, luxurious, her hair fell well past her waist in waves. It was impossible to tame, so she mostly wore it up when she was home, pulled back in a ponytail or braid. At school, of course, she had to appear a little more sophisticated, so she used updos of intricate braids spun in all kinds of lovely knots.

Her nose was straight, her cheekbones high and her mouth a little too generous, but she did have straight teeth without having to go to the orthodontist. She was short. There was no getting around that. She had tried to gain a few inches by hanging upside down on the bars when she was a child, but that hadn’t helped at all. She had a small waist and a narrow rib cage, but along with that generous mouth, her hips and breasts were a little bit on the generous side too. No matter how much she worked out or watched what she ate, she had curves. Lush curves.

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