The Hotel Magnate's Demand(7)By: Jennifer Rae
Her eyes shot up to his. The same pretty brown eyes he remembered from all those years ago, but now a little more lined around the edges. From laughing. Or perhaps from crying. Probably both. If her life had been anything like his it would have been filled with both over the last eight years.
There were no tears in her eyes now, but there was something else. A fierce, angry determination he’d never seen before.
‘It doesn’t matter, Luke, that was a long time ago.’
She turned away, but he wasn’t letting her go. She didn’t fool him. There was no way she didn’t still think about what had happened. He did. A lot.
During the last year in particular he had thought about it constantly. Since Koko. Since he had almost been the father of a daughter himself. He’d thought about all the things that could go wrong. All the trouble a girl could get into. He’d braced himself. He’d been as prepared as he could. He’d actually been looking forward to it after the initial shock had worn off.
‘Amy.’ He took the drinks from her hands and placed them on the table before moving a little closer to her. ‘I’m sorry.’ He held her eyes. ‘I meant you’re still an impossible flirt.’
‘Is that what you think of me?’ Her eyes hardened. ‘I’m just a silly flirt who deserves everything she gets?’
She hissed the words and as he held her arm he could feel her shake just a little. Clearly it wasn’t okay. Clearly she still thought about what had happened all those years ago. And clearly he’d put his foot in it big-time.
Her eyes darted from one of his to the other. Challenging. Hard. No fear, just distrust. That made his gut clamp hard. He didn’t want her to feel that way about him. For some reason that was important. He didn’t want her to feel she couldn’t rely on him.
‘No, Amy. That’s not what I think. I like how you flirt with everyone you meet. You’re friendly and sweet...if a little naïve. But I like that about you. I always did.’
He didn’t move his hand from her arm or his eyes from hers. He couldn’t let her go. Not until she realised that he had her. He wasn’t going to hurt her. Something inside him burned to let her know that.
‘I was just teasing you.’
She stayed silent but didn’t move. The noise of the bar whooped around them but right then Luke couldn’t concentrate on anything but her and his need to make her understand what he meant.
‘What happened to your freckles, Lollipop?’
Her brow furrowed and her eyes lost that angry gaze. ‘What?’
‘Your freckles...across your nose.’ He softly grazed the top of her nose with the tip of his finger. ‘They’ve disappeared.’
A smile involuntarily moved his mouth. That summer they’d spent most of their time in the sun. Amy had worked on Reception but she had often gone out ‘delivering a message’ or ‘taking a parcel’. He’d known what she was up to. She’d skipped out as much as possible to enjoy the sun and find his sister to get into mischief.
As the resort manager he should have hauled her into his office, gave her a warning—told her off, at least. But Amy had had a way about her. Cute, cheeky, sweet with just a whiff of sexy. He’d never been able to do anything more than give her slap on the wrist. And she known it. And she’d taken advantage of it. Batting her eyelashes and flashing her magnetic smile whenever she wanted something.
His eyes moved from her nose to her eyes. They weren’t batting their lashes at him now. They were still. And hot. He saw something. Something that hadn’t been there eight years ago. A sudden curious hunger that he knew he was transmitting right back to her.
No, no, no. This wasn’t right. He stepped back a little, letting go of her arm. He couldn’t feel that. Not with Amy. Not with little, scrawny, troublemaking Amy. His sister’s best friend. His little sister’s best friend.