Craving Her Enemy's Touch(8)

By: Rachael Thomas

 She mulled the idea over, trying to ignore his scrutiny. If—and that was a big if at the moment—she did go, she’d want much more than just being a last-minute guest. One invited only because Alessandro’s conscience had been nudged. She’d want to know all there was to know about the car.

 She regretted deeply that she hadn’t seen Seb in the months before the accident. If she had gone to Italy to see the car as it had turned from dream into reality, would she have been able to prevent the fateful night of the accident?

 The launch could be the exact catalyst she needed to regain control of her life. It was time to put the past to rest, but she could only do that if she had answers. This could be the only opportunity she’d get to find out what had really happened to her brother. He had been, after all, a professional driver, trained to the highest standard, and for Charlie his accident was shrouded in questions.

 ‘Before we discuss my terms, I need to know what happened that night.’ She folded her arms in a subconscious gesture of self-protection and leant against the kitchen cupboards, watching intently for his reaction.

 She’d expected guilt to cloud his face, to darken the handsome features, but his steady gaze met hers and a flicker of doubt entered her mind. She’d always held him responsible, blamed him, but right now that notion was as unstable as a newborn foal.

 ‘What do you want to know?’ His calm voice conflicted with her pounding heart. The questions she’d wanted answers to since the night of the accident clamoured in her mind. The answers now tantalisingly close after having eluded her for so long.

 ‘Why was he even in the car? It wasn’t fit to be driven—at least that’s what I heard.’ She straightened her shoulders and took a deep breath, desperately trying to appear in control. She was far from that, and deep down she knew it wasn’t just because she had to face the man she blamed. It was the man himself.

 Alessandro Roselli’s powerful aura of domination and control filled the kitchen, but she couldn’t allow herself to be intimidated. She met it head-on, with determination and courage. She would find out the truth, one way or another. She was convinced it hadn’t yet been revealed and she wanted to put that right.

 He sat back in his seat, studying her, and she had the distinct impression he was stalling her in an attempt to divert her attention. It was almost working. She’d never been under such a hot spotlight before. Think of Seb, she reminded herself, not wanting to waste this opportunity.

 ‘Do you always believe gossip?’ He folded his arms, looking more relaxed than he had a right to. Far too self-assured.

 She frowned, irritation at his attitude growing. ‘No, of course I don’t.’

 ‘So if I tell you there was nothing wrong with the car, would you believe me?’ He unfolded his arms and turned in his seat, stretching his long legs out, one arm leaning casually on the table. But he was far from casual. His body might be relaxed but, looking into those dark eyes, she knew he was all alertness. Like a hunting cat, lulling its quarry into a false sense of security. But not this mouse. No, she was on her guard.

 Forcefully, she shook her head. ‘The only thing that will convince me of that is to see the report of the accident.’

 He stood up slowly, his height almost intimidating, walked towards the window and looked out across her garden and the countryside beyond. ‘Would that really help? Every last detail is in it.’

 ‘Yes,’ she said and moved towards him, drawn by an inexplicable need to see his face, see the emotion in it. ‘I want every last detail.’

 ‘Why do you think your father hasn’t shown you the report?’ His broad shoulders became a barrier, as if he was hiding something, concealing something he didn’t want her to know, like his guilt. ‘What are you hoping to find?’

 ‘The truth.’ Anger surged through her again as she imagined him talking to her father, conspiring to hide all the details. She still couldn’t understand why her father wouldn’t tell her everything. She’d always suspected he was covering something up. Did he have loyalties to this man which exceeded those to his daughter—or even his son’s memory?

 He turned to face her, his expression hard, making the angles of his face more pronounced. ‘Sometimes not knowing the truth is best.’

 ‘What?’ She pressed her fingertips to her temples, hardly able to believe what he was saying. Her father and this man were keeping things from her. He might as well have told her exactly that. ‘What are you talking about?’

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