Propositioned Into A Foreign Affair(5)

By: Catherine Mann

Whoa, hold on there, buster. She backed a step from the gleam in his eyes, her heel sinking deep into the lush carpet. “Getting me some clothes to wear would certainly help. I don’t even want to risk going out into the hall.”

“I have an elevator right through there in my office that will take us straight up to my suite.” He stepped closer. “My staff can deliver your clothes there, and dinner, too.”

“Dinner?” she squeaked.

He didn’t push nearer this time. He simply smiled, his steely, gray eyes glinting with appreciation. “Our chef is internationally known. I will instruct him to make anything you request.”

What about a hamburger to go? Because she should run, run, run. Run back to her penthouse for more spinsterish plans—watching a chick flick with Muffin, her third in as many days. Where again she would probably cry her eyes out. Where—yet again—she would see the beautiful French sunrise all by her lonesome.

How flipping pathetic. She needed something to jar her out of that sad routine. She needed to prove she wasn’t falling apart.

She eased her grip on the dog carrier and reassessed Sam Garrison. Perhaps he could provide just the distraction she really needed tonight. And it wasn’t like there was a chance in hell she would fall for any smooth talker’s charms again. Anything that happened between the two of them would be her choice with her eyes wide open.

Bella secured her sheet and straightened her shoulders. “Does your cook make doggie treats?”

He’d lured her to his suite.

With a gourmet meal, a little persuasion and a bit of luck, he would lure her into his bed as well.

Sam sampled the remains of his chardonnay while Bella sat across from him at the intimately small table in the alcove overlooking the moonlit water. Candlelight flickered, casting an ivory glow over her face.

She’d swapped her sheet for a voluminous white robe bearing the hotel’s crest on the pocket. Clothes would show up soon—but not too soon. He hadn’t seen the need to rush and risk her leaving before he had a chance to persuade her to stay.

The leftovers of their meal remained on the table and antique serving cart. He’d sent away their server after the hotel employee had unveiled the duck in a black currant sauce.

Bella hadn’t even blinked. She’d been too busy eating. He liked a woman who enjoyed her food. He’d wondered if the world-class cuisine would be wasted on an anorexic Hollywood type who dined only on watercress and wine.

He had the wine part right.

She alternated sips of his cellar’s best with tastes from the wooden board filled with samples of cheeses and fruit. Her face bore the smile of a content woman.

Even her dog was happily snoozing on a pile of gold tasseled pillows on the sofa after snacking on the baked puppy treats his chef had whipped up.

Bella dabbed the corner of her mouth with a linen napkin. “This was all amazing. Far more relaxing than even a massage.” She reached for her wineglass beside the single rose in a vase. The neck of her robe parted slightly to reveal the creamy curves of her breasts. “It’s just what I needed after a real bitch of a month.”

She had mentioned that in the hall earlier as well. He knew the look of a woman burning to vent and the more she talked, the longer she would stay. Conveniently, that would give him more time to win her over.

He set aside his drink, focusing his total attention on her so she could tell her celebrity tale of woe. An unflattering photo? A former friend spilling lies for a payoff? “Why has your month been so terrible?”

She hesitated for a moment before shrugging. “You must be the only person on the planet who hasn’t read a newspaper.”

“Gossip magazines you mean?” He spit out the words. “I stay away from them.”

“Smart man. I wish my job allowed me that luxury.” She downed half the remaining fine wine as if it were nothing more than water. A bracing breath later, she continued, “My grandmother has breast cancer, my boyfriend dumped me and my uncle’s really my dad.”

He whistled low and long. Not what he’d expected at all. “That is one helluva month.”

She glanced up from her drink. “Thank you.”