The Hotel Magnate's Demand(5)By: Jennifer Rae
‘Eight years. Wow. And still looking over our shoulders, ruining all our fun.’ Amy smiled, hoping he’d take her words as she’d meant them—teasingly.
‘And by the looks of it you two haven’t changed much either. Still giggling over boys and drinking too many cocktails.’
Something resembling a smile lifted the corner of his mouth and he flicked his suit jacket back to push his hands into his pockets. He got it. He got her. He always did.
‘You just wish we were giggling over you.’ Amy smiled again. She couldn’t help it.
She’d always liked to tease Luke. She’d always pushed and pushed till the grim look on his face cracked into a smile. It was a game she’d enjoyed playing when she was eighteen and had had her whole life in front of her. Now, at twenty-six, she should be more cautious. She should have learned a few lessons. But it seemed with Luke she was still clueless. Because flirting with him felt good. Still.
‘I’m sure you are.’
He leaned in and Amy caught his scent. The same fresh, oceany goodness that she remembered. His lips brushed her cheek just lightly. As if he was afraid to go near her.
Amy was grateful. It was important to keep her distance. Especially with Luke. There was no doubt she’d been looking forward to seeing him again. She’d thought about it often since rekindling her friendship with Willa. She’d asked Willa about him a few times. Subtly. Without letting on to her friend how she felt.
Not that she was sure how she felt. Luke was someone from her past. Her very long ago past. And even then he hadn’t been anything to her...just a crush. And she hadn’t been anything to him. Just his sister’s silly little friend. An idiot who’d needed rescuing.
Amy clutched at her stomach and turned back to the bar, where Dave was now racking up the drinks. She smiled, she flirted, she paid all her attention to Dave. So much so that she could see him blushing underneath his beard. Her stomach settled. Her heart returned to normal. She wouldn’t think of that night. She wasn’t sure why she kept thinking of it—she’d learned to block it out years ago.
Maybe it was because Luke was here. And he smelled the same. She still remembered breathing him in as he carried her out to the Jeep and took her to the hospital. She remembered clinging to him shamelessly as he laid her in the back seat.
‘Don’t leave me.’
‘I’m not. I’m right here. But I have to drive.’
‘No!’ The tears from her eyes had met her still wet cheeks. ‘Please. Just hold me.’
She’d been irrational. She’d known that at the time. But she hadn’t been able to help it. For those three minutes the fact that his arms were around her had been the only thing stopping her from collapsing, and she’d been convinced she’d stop breathing if he let her go.
He’d reached for her hair, stroked it back off her forehead. Then with one finger he’d traced the cut in her lip. She hadn’t winced. His touch had soothed the pain. She’d clung to his hand.
‘No one is going to hurt you again, Amy. I promise you.’
‘Amy—look at me.’
That was when she’d seen his eyes so violently green.
‘I promise you.’
She’d believed him. She’d looked into his eyes and into his soul and seen her protector. She’d let him go then and sat silently until they’d reached the resort hospital.
‘I THINK YOU may have sufficiently embarrassed the barman, Lollipop.’
Amy’s face broke out into an uncontrollable grin and she turned back to where the voice behind her was coming from.
‘Don’t call me that.’
‘What’s wrong, Lollipop?’ He smiled. The slow, lazy smile that he specialised in. ‘Lost your sense of humour?’