Bound by the Billionaire's Baby(4)

By: Cathy Williams


Sergio glanced at the bar and then back to her flushed, earnest face. ‘I see him.’

He was beginning to enjoy himself. He could see Giorgio out of the corner of his eye, anxiously watching the table, ready to spring into action should he need to, and Sergio gave just the slightest shake of his head.

She was going round the houses to get to the point, but she had managed to pique his interest. That in itself was worth the storyline.

When she finally made a move on him he wondered whether he would take her up on the offer... She wasn’t his type, but wasn’t a change as good as a rest?

‘And you’ve pointed him out to me because...?’

‘He’s my blind date and I’m trying to avoid him.’

She groaned, looked at the man sitting opposite her, and her breathing picked up because those lazy, dark, fathomless eyes made her nervous and excited at the same time...gave her a weird, giddy feeling.

‘I met him on one of those dating websites,’ she confided glumly. ‘They cater for the under-thirties. You know the kind of thing...young people seeking serious relationships... It’s a lie. None of them are. I feel awful about standing up poor Phil, but I just can’t face another date frantically trying to make small talk while the minutes tick by at a snail’s pace...’

Sergio wondered what she would do if he called her bluff by going across to Mr Yellow Jumper and asking whether he was there to meet someone from a dating agency.

‘I guess he’s panicking because I’ve stood him up. I’d hate someone to stand me up. But, like I said, I just can’t face all that silly, pointless conversation...’

‘He doesn’t appear to be overly heartbroken. In fact he seems to be chatting up an older woman at the bar.’

‘What?’

‘Blonde hair...smartly dressed... Yes, they appear to be leaving...together...’ Maybe because she was his original date...

‘I don’t believe it! Didn’t I tell you?’ Susie said bitterly. ‘Serious relationships... Ha! One-night stand relationships, more like it.’

She might not have wanted to go through with the ordeal but she was insulted that she had been dumped without even being interviewed for the job.

‘Online dating isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Forget about all those pictures of starry-eyed couples gazing lovingly at one another over a romantic meal, or dashing along a beach grinning like star-struck maniacs and holding hands. It’s all just advertising. Just look at my date. He couldn’t even hang around and wait a few minutes for me to show up.’

‘I thought you were trying to avoid him?’

‘That’s not the point. The point is that he could have hung around a bit longer before making off with the first available woman who gave him the time of day!’

Susie wouldn’t have dreamt of finding her perfect guy via a computer—except for the fact that The Big Wedding was getting closer, and she couldn’t face showing up without any boyfriend in tow or, worse, with one of her arty, creative crowd who would be politely dismissed as yet another loser because ‘poor little Susie’ just didn’t seem to have what it took to find herself a halfway decent boyfriend.

Poor little Susie can’t even get her love-life in order...

She knew she shouldn’t care, but the big Three-Oh was only five years away and she suddenly and inexplicably felt that her time was running out. Surely it wasn’t asking too much for one part of her life to be sorted out?

‘I’ll make sure to steer clear of dating sites on the internet. Why don’t you have a glass of wine and take your coat off, by the way?’

‘There’s no need to keep chatting to me, Mr... Sorry, I’ve completely forgotten your name...’

‘You can call me Sergio. And you are...?’

‘Susie.’

She politely held out her hand and the warmth of his long fingers as he clasped it sent a jolt of electricity racing through her body, as though she had suddenly been plugged into a light socket. She almost wanted to rub her hand on her dress when it was released.

‘And I’ll leave you to get on with...er...what you were doing...’

Sergio toyed with the idea of calling her bluff and then decided against it. He hadn’t been this engaged for a while. The work that was waiting to be done could take a back seat.

He waved at his computer without taking his eyes from her face. ‘What does it look like I was doing?’

‘I know. Pretty dull. Work. I don’t know how you can concentrate in a place like this. I’d be too busy looking around and people-watching.’ She made a sympathetic face and began to stand up.

‘Sit.’

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