Beyond All Reason(66)

By: Cathy Williams

‘I loved you,’ Abigail said soberly. ‘I couldn’t bear the thought of being hurt by you. Don’t forget I’d worked with you; I’d seen you close up and I knew your track record.’

‘It wasn’t good, was it?’ he said in a rueful voice and she laughed.

‘I’ve known better. But I wasn’t about to become a casualty. Love makes you vulnerable.’ She sought for the words. ‘Besides, we were so different. I was an ordinary working girl and I’d always had it drummed into me that I was destined to marry a good, ordinary man. The first time Fiona warned me off you, she told me that we were from different worlds, and part of me was willing to believe her because it was something that frightened me as well. When Ellis and I broke up he laughed in my face, you know. I don’t think he meant to be unkind, not deliberately, but he found the thought of us having some sort of serious relationship quite ludicrous, and since I’d spent a lifetime hearing that sort of thing from my mother, having it drummed into me that I was an average girl who should expect an average life, I believed him.’

‘That bastard,’ Ross said. ‘But shall I astound you? I am a good, ordinary man. Money doesn’t make you into a villain. And I love you so much, no one will ever be able to offer you more stability and security than I will.’

He kissed her neck, and his mouth continued its melting caresses along her body.

‘You never told me,’ he said under his breath.

‘Told you what?’

‘That you’d marry me.’

‘Maybe I should think about it,’ she said thoughtfully, then she laughed. ‘Or maybe there’s no need to state the obvious.’