Pregnant With The De Rossi Heir(7)

By: Maggie Cox

Unfortunately, his reference had provoked an unhappy childhood memory in Kate. Sometimes less than kind classmates in the grammar school she had attended had taunted her as a ‘scruffy little gypsy’. Just because she’d lived in a council flat and not in one of the wide leafy avenues where many of their own more affluent homes had been situated! It was fair to say a sense of not being good enough had definitely dogged Kate throughout her life because of her negative experience at school, but no way would she let this privileged, arrogant man relegate her to that insecure intimidated child again just because he held a grudge against her!

Gripping her notepad hard between her fingers, Kate sat up even straighter in her chair, anger overtaking the hurt that still lingered in her mind. ‘I really don’t appreciate such personal comments about my hair! And, for however short or long I work for you, you had better keep your thoughts on my appearance to yourself! For your information I’ve been a PA for nearly eight years, and in all that time I’ve never had one word of complaint about the way I wear my hair or how I look!’

‘I do not doubt it! But then I suspect that most of your bosses have been men, have they not?’

‘What exactly are you implying?’

‘You do not need me to spell it out for you, do you Katherine?’ Shifting in the luxurious leather chair so that it creaked with the movement, Luca leant forward and pierced her with the unsettling vivid glare of his sky-blue eyes. ‘Of course no healthy heterosexual male with hot red blood in his veins would voice a complaint about how you look! Privately they might find it somewhat of a challenge to have a girl with such—shall we say—distracting assets around. But I’m sure you realise I mean that in a complimentary way, and not as an insult.’

She didn’t want his compliments… Not when they were edged with such obvious underlying resentment towards her. Kate swallowed hard.

‘So. When are we leaving?’ Pushing to her feet, she was surprised when Luca followed suit. Again she felt at a disadvantage next to his imposing height, as well as from being the recipient of an arrogant glance that was surely meant to make her feel even smaller!

‘My car will be out front in ten minutes’ time,’ he told her, his flawless diamond gaze travelling almost insolently up and down her body.

She was wearing the smartest dress and jacket she possessed. Of course he would immediately see they were not of the same quality of his own expensive attire, Kate realised, but his glance was disturbing for another reason. Smart clothes were little protection from the inescapable idea that Luca’s knowledge of her body was already the most intimate possible, and her sense of vulnerability in his company increased uncomfortably.

Feeling heat prickle at the back of her neck and in the sensitive tips of her breasts, she self-consciously drew the edges of her jacket together, as if the neckline of her dress was too revealing. It wasn’t.

‘I’d better go and get ready, then.’

Just as she reached the door, Luca addressed her again. ‘Leave your hair. I have changed my mind about it. Do not trouble yourself tying it back. I will collect the necessary architectural plans and see you outside by the car.’

And with that he picked up the telephone receiver and snapped out an impatient order to the poor, unsuspecting receptionist at the desk on the ground floor…

Luca paused for a moment in mid-discussion of plans for a new, spectacularly modern hotel his friend Hassan was having built in his home city of Dubai. Although Luca was responsible for the initial design, there were two senior colleagues who had been with him in the original discussions who would be overseeing the build in the city itself. Right now they were both out of the country until the weekend, so naturally Hassan wanted to deal with the chief architect and his friend—Luca himself.

Luca had momentarily paused in what he was saying because the older man was none too discreetly staring at the woman who sat at the far end of the triangle of sumptuous armchairs in the floral-scented meeting room, taking notes. Observing the other man’s undoubted interest, Luca was unprepared for the scalding burn of jealousy that made the muscularly lean wall of his taut stomach harden like steel. Not that he could blame what he knew to be his friend’s notorious roving eye for alighting with such blatant speculation on Katherine. For just over three interminable months Luca had alternately been taunted and frustrated by the memory of her exquisite beauty, and had privately acknowledged that there had been something about her other than just an unforgettable face that made all men long to know her and possess her. But he had not allowed himself to speculate too deeply on the subject. All he knew right now was that no other woman could beguile so emphatically simply by wearing a shop-bought dress and jacket, the minimum of make-up and with no evidence of jewellery of any kind adorning her.

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