Craving Her Enemy's Touch(10)

By: Rachael Thomas

 ‘If I’m going to be at the launch I want to be able to talk about the car, to bring it to life for everyone else. I need to know all there is to know.’

 It was more than that, she admitted to herself. It was much more than just promoting the car. It was seeing what Seb had seen, feeling the excitement he’d felt as he’d driven it for the first time. Her thoughts halted as if they’d slammed into a brick wall.

 Was she ready to know all the facts? She looked at the man she’d blamed for her brother’s death. As far as she was concerned, he’d allowed Seb to drive a faulty car, despite the fact that her father had told her all the reports stated driver error. She’d blamed Alessandro and now he was here, offering her the opportunity to find out the truth for herself. Would he really do that if he had something to hide?

 ‘I want to see all the files and every drawing Seb made.’ She kept her voice firm, trying to hide the waver of confidence growing within her.

 Alessandro got up and made his way around the table, coming closer to her, his face stern with contemplation. ‘I can’t allow it. There isn’t enough time.’

 Not allow it. Who did he think he was?

 ‘If you knew anything about me, Mr Roselli, you’d know that I need to be involved—if I’m to do my job right, that is. You do want me to promote this car, put my seal of approval on it, do you not?’

 She held his gaze, looked directly into his eyes. She would not be intimidated by him. He might be used to getting his way in business, but so was she. He pressed his lips together in thought, the movement drawing her attention briefly, but quickly she regained her focus, refusing to allow the pull of attraction to him to cloud her mind. Confirming her suspicions of his blame for the accident would surely curb any misguided attraction she was experiencing.

 ‘It’s more than that, isn’t it, Charlotte?’ The firmness of his tone dissipated as he said each word until he caressed her name, sending a hot fizzing sensation racing over her. It was worse than when he’d called her Charlie.

 It was soft yet insanely hot, but she couldn’t pay heed to that now. ‘I need to know something about the car if I am to promote and endorse it. You understand that, surely.’

 He took a deep breath in and she watched his broad chest expand, waiting expectantly, holding her own breath.

 ‘I do but, given the circumstances, is it really wise?’ He looked up at her and she tasted defeat as his dark eyes hardened in determination. But defeat wasn’t on her agenda. She’d do this her way or not at all. How could he expect anything less when he’d been the one who’d let Seb get in the car, allowed him to drive it that night?

 This was the only option. Her only chance to find out what had truly happened. At least then she might be able to move on from it. ‘Don’t worry—I won’t dissolve into a heap of female hysteria again.’

 ‘Maybe you should,’ he said and stepped closer to her—too close—but she wouldn’t move away. He must never know of the heat he fired within her, just from one look. Thankfully, he’d stopped his flirting of moments ago and had become more professional and she had to ensure it would stay that way.

 ‘No, it is past time for that. I intend to do what my father advised last week.’

 ‘And that is?’

 ‘To get back in the driving seat.’ She wouldn’t tell him just yet that was quite literally what she intended to do.

 He raised his hand to his chin, his thumb and finger rasping over the hint of dark stubble, the sound tying her stomach in knots. She couldn’t listen to her body now, to the way it reacted just to being close to him, not that she really understood what it was asking of her. Heightened desire and intense awareness of a man was something she’d never experienced before.

 Her previous relationships had been short-lived and unsuccessful. Back then, the breakdown of her parents’ marriage had still been too fresh in her mind. Those relationships had also been a long time ago. The mess her parents had made of their marriage had ensured that lifelong commitment wasn’t something she considered possible. There was no way she was going to expose herself to more hurt and humiliation.

 ‘I’m not convinced it is for the best, but if you are sure then so be it.’ He spoke slowly, his accent heavy, as he continued to watch her closely.

 ‘I am,’ she said quickly before he had a chance to change his mind. Before she too changed her mind.

 ‘Then we have a deal.’ He reached out his hand, the same one that had been thoughtfully touching his face, and she took it quickly, anxious to seal the deal.

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