Home > Her Unexpected Admirer (The Alfieri Saga #4)(6)

Her Unexpected Admirer (The Alfieri Saga #4)(6)
Author: Elizabeth Lennox

“Then why not follow your passions?” he asked.

She smiled nervously. “Passions don’t pay the rent.”

“They do if you are good at it.” He twisted her hand around, his thumb tracing patterns over the palm of her hand, causing her to shiver and some strange sensation pooled in her stomach, moving lower. It was almost embarrassing, that feeling.

“I’m good at something,” she replied, thinking of her art work and the check she’d just received.

Davis smiled slightly. “I bet you are.” His thumb moved higher, resting on the pulse beating at her wrist. “Tell me what your passions are.”

Her breath quickened and she blinked, trying to think of what his question was. It was hard to focus with his thumb doing that to her palm. Goodness, what was this man doing to her?

“Um….I’m very good at…” his thumb reached her wrist again and she stopped, staring down at his dark hand holding her pale one. It was so much larger than hers, so much stronger. The difference was fascinating. She was pretty sure that she wanted to paint just this, their two hands gently holding the other, but her mind wasn’t sharp enough at the moment to form that thought completely.

“Have dinner with me and tell me about the things you’re good at,” he commanded.

Kate looked up at his handsome face and nodded. She wasn’t even aware of her nod until the flare of victory in his eyes flashed and she smiled up at him. “I’d like that,” she whispered.

A moment later, he tossed several bills down on the bar and took her hand, leading her out of the bar and into the elevator. “Where are we going?” she asked, not sure this was a good idea any longer. Why weren’t they heading to the hotel dining room? Or one of the restaurants that lined the street?

They were the only two people in the elevator at the moment and it whisked them up higher. She was captured by his eyes, her neck craned backwards to see his face. She loved looking at his eyes, amazed at their color. “Your eyes are blue,” she said, sounding silly but she’d thought they were a dark brown initially.

He moved closer to her, saw her mouth fall open slightly and was entranced by that silent invitation. Normally, he would act on that but he suspected that Kate didn’t realize what she was offering.

“Yes. They’re dark blue,” he replied, chuckling at the blush that stole up her cheeks again. “And yours are a light blue. A fascinating, light blue that changes to a slightly darker blue when you are thinking about something.” He reached up and slid his finger down her cheek. “What are you thinking about right now?” he asked.

She inhaled, loving the way he smelled. “I’m thinking that you smell incredibly nice,” she admitted.

He smiled again. “So do you. Like watermelon,” he told her.

She cringed but there was humor in her eyes. “It was a silly drink, I know. But it was perfect.”

The elevator opened up and he stepped through the doors, right into the penthouse suite of the hotel. “What would you like for dinner?” he asked, lifting the phone to call the kitchen.

Kate looked around, intimidated by the wealth she was seeing. “Um…anything is fine.”

Davis called down an order for something with chicken, telling the chef to surprise them. He also had the butler service bring up a bottle of wine as well as some appetizers. He wanted Kate relaxed, but not drunk tonight.

“Why don’t you take off your jacket?” he suggested, doing the same. He whipped off his tie as well, tossing both onto the soft-looking sofa.

“What do you do?” she asked, following his lead but holding the jacket over her arms, not sure she wanted that barrier gone.

“You mean, besides seduce innocent women who show up in bars?” he asked, teasing her. He moved closer to her, taking her jacket. “I fully intend to try and make love to you tonight, Kate. But I didn’t bring you up here to do that.” His hand cupped her check, then moved to touch the strands of her hair that had come loose from the intricate swirl on the back of her head. “I can’t eat in the dining room without being disturbed. I thought this would be a bit more private.”

“Yes but…” she still wasn’t sure, although his explanation did make her feel slightly better. Was she being naïve by believing him?

“No buts,” he countered. “Just relax. Nothing will happen that you don’t want to happen.”

She smiled slightly, still hugging herself. “I think that’s actually the problem,” she whispered, then looked up at him nervously, to see if he understood what she was saying.

Of course Davis understood, and he stopped in his tracks, staring down at the lovely woman. The heat in his eyes made her shiver, but in a good way. “We’ll take it slow, okay?” he offered. He moved closer, tossing her jacket on top of his own.

He could see that his words hadn’t eased any of her tension. “Let’s go out onto the balcony. The butler should be here soon with the wine. We can enjoy the stars.”

She laughed. “Are there stars out tonight?” she asked, knowing that Boston had the same problem with many east coast cities. The humidity and lights of the city clouded the sky so the stars weren’t as bright. The cold, night air would help though. It was easier to see the stars in the fall and winter because there was less humidity.

“Won’t it be too cold out there?” she asked. The temperatures were forecasted to drop into the forties tonight as winter started to creep into the world.

“No. There’s a fire pit that will keep us warm enough.”

He took her hand and led her out onto the beautiful balcony. And he was right, the stars were out, the sky looked beautiful. They were high enough up that she could see the city laid out like twinkling earth-stars. The Charles River was obvious since it didn’t have any “stars”, just a black band separating the two sides of the city.

“It’s beautiful,” she sighed as he led her to one of the chairs. He pressed a button and, a moment later, a fire flared out of a stone fire pit. Almost instantly, warmth flooded the night, pushing the chilly air away. She smiled as she compared the light of the fire against the lights of the city. “It’s strange,” she said as she leaned back into the comfortable chairs.

“What’s strange?” he asked, handing her a glass of wine.

That startled her because she wasn’t aware of anyone bringing the wine into the suite.

She took the glass and sipped, amazed at the excellent wine. “Oh my! This is really delicious.” She looked up at him as he sat down next to her. “Almost as good as the watermelon martini downstairs,” she teased.

“Bite your tongue, woman,” he said as he laughingly glared at her from across the fire pit. “And tell me what is strange.”

She sighed and curled up even more into the chair. It was large enough that she could tuck her legs up underneath her. “I just think the difference in the fire against the lights all over the city is strange. I wonder if someone looking over here would know that it is a fire or if they would just assume it is a light. And if so, how far away would the person have to be before the light of the fire just looked like another star?” She looked up at the sky and smiled, “Or even how far away the fire can be seen from earth. Do the people on other planets look down at us and wonder why we’re so bright?”

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