Bound by the Billionaire's Baby(8)

By: Cathy Williams


He was almost more incredulous that the woman appeared actually to be waiting for an answer!

‘Well?’ she asked, proving him right. ‘You haven’t answered.’

‘No! I am categorically not related to the Mafia!’

‘That’s good.’

‘Because...?’

‘No reason.’ Susie shrugged and realised with a little jolt of horror that she had actually begun to hope that she’d see him again. Begun to hope all sorts of things!

‘Come on...’

Sergio stood up and she instantly followed suit, glaringly conscious of what she was wearing now that she was no longer sitting down.

She slipped the black cape on and when she reached to tighten it around her he rested his hand briefly over hers.

That electric charge again—that hot, fierce current running through her that made her heart skip a beat and the breath catch painfully in her throat.

‘Come on...?’ she parroted weakly. ‘Come on...where?’

Sergio stood next to her, looking down at her upturned heart-shaped face. So many times she should have turned him off completely—starting with her crazy urge to confide and ending with her even crazier notion that he was some kind of gangster...

Yet was he turned off? No. He was a born predator, and he was a little relieved to find all those instincts alive and kicking, having been dormant for way too long for a man like him.

‘A number of choices here...’ Sergio murmured, enjoying the hectic colour in her cheeks and marvelling that she could marshal her expression into exactly the one she wanted to have on show.

‘Really?’ Susie squeaked, obediently falling in line with him as he headed out, oblivious to the covert stares following him and certainly oblivious to whoever was responsible for supplying him with free food—whoever he had his so-called ‘understanding’ with... Maybe the maître d’, who had not reappeared but who had been visible out of the corner of her eye, keeping a watchful nervous eye on their table.

Just in case, Susie thought, she outstayed her welcome and needed to be flung out urgently and without delay.

‘Option one...’ He pulled out his mobile, quickly texted, flipped it shut. On cue, a long, sleek black car appeared out of nowhere. He held open the passenger door for her and she hesitated—because he was, after all, a complete stranger.

Maybe not a member of the Mafia, but still a stranger! She wouldn’t have dreamt of getting in a car with anyone she’d met online dating, so why was she now contemplating it?

‘Option one is that we move on from here to somewhere else. I’m a member of an exclusive club in Knightsbridge. They do an excellent selection of after-dinner liqueurs.’

‘I can’t get into this car with you...’ She eyed the luxurious interior with unhealthy longing.

He had a chauffeur. There was someone at the wheel. It wouldn’t actually be just the two of them...

‘Option two is that we just head back to my place and cut through the middleman. A twenty-minute drive at this time of night. The views from my apartment would astound you.’

Susie gulped. ‘And—and option three...?’ she stammered, no closer to sliding into the back seat of the car and yet no nearer to fleeing the scene either.

‘The third option is that you scamper away and you never see me again.’

He leaned indolently against the open door, everything about his body language unhurried.

He wouldn’t try to stop her if she bolted for the nearest bus. In fact she could almost hear him chuckling under his breath if she chose option three—just as she could still hear him telling her that the things you did because they made sense weren’t always the things you ended up enjoying.

This dark, impossibly sexy, impossibly articulate, impossibly self-assured man was out of her league. She wasn’t the sort of sophisticated, self-confident academic like her sister, who could attract men like him. It just didn’t make any sense.

But neither had that fine art course she had wanted to do... The secretarial course had made sense, and a fat lot of good that had done her in the long run. She had still ended up digging her heels in and doing what she should have done in the first place—except she was now older as she started the climb up the career ladder.

She tightened her coat around her, her heart beating madly. It was cold out here—one of those freezing, sleety January evenings that put a depressing spin on everything. People swarmed around them, some turning to glance back over their shoulders.

‘We could talk...I guess...’

Sergio smiled. Had he doubted that she would take him up on his offer? Not really. He had sensed that charge between them, invisible but so tangible he could almost have reached out and clasped it in the palm of his hand.

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