Nine Months to Redeem HimBy: Jennie Lucas
My face was probably the color of a tomato. “I’m just surprised, that’s all. With your injury...”
“It’s not difficult,” he said huskily, looking down at me. “She sat on top of me. I didn’t even have to move from my chair. I could draw you a diagram, if you like.”
“N-no,” I breathed. He was so close. I could almost feel the heat from his skin, the power from his body. He was right, I didn’t have much experience but even I could see that this man was dangerous to women. Even idealistic young virgins like me.
Edward St. Cyr was the kind of man who would break your heart without much bothering about it. Casually cruel, like a cat toying with a mouse.
“So you agree to the terms?”
Hesitantly, I nodded. He took my hand. I nearly gasped as I felt the warmth of his skin, the roughness of his palm against mine. A current of electricity went through me. My lips parted.
“Good,” he said softly. We were so close, I smelled his breath, warm and sweet—like liquor. I saw his bloodshot eyes. And I realized, for the first time, that he was slightly drunk.
A half-empty bottle of expensive whiskey was on the table by his chair, beside a short glass. Dropping his hand, I snatched them up. “But if I’m going to stay and be on call for you every hour of the day, you’re going to commit as well. No more of this.”
His dark eyebrow raised. “It’s medicinal.”
I didn’t change my tone. “No drugs of any kind, except, if you’re very nice to me, coffee in the morning. And no more late nights with lingerie models.”
Edward smiled. “That’s fine.”
“Or anyone else!” I added sharply.
He scowled, folding his arms like a sulky boy. “You’re being unreasonable.”
“Yes,” I agreed. “So that makes two of us.”
“But if you take away all my toys, Diana,” he looked me over, “what else will I have to play with?”
My cheeks burned at his deliberately insulting glance. “You’ll have hard work,” I said crisply, “and lots of it.”
Edward leaned back, his handsome face cold. “You still yearn for Jason Black.”
The cruelty of his words hit me like a blow. With an intake of breath, I looked towards the window at the deepening night. I saw my plain reflection in the glass, against the red-orange glow of the fire.
“Yes,” I whispered, and was proud my voice held steady.
“You lo-ove him,” he said mockingly.
My throat choked. Madison and Jason were probably making love right now, in their elegant suite at a five-star Parisian hotel. I said in a small voice, “I don’t want to love him anymore.”
“But you do.” He snorted, looking over me with contemptuous eyes. “You’ll probably forgive that stepsister of yours, too.”
“I love them.” I sounded ashamed. And I was. What kind of idiot loves people who don’t love her back? My teeth chattered. “People...can’t choose who they l-love.”
“My God. Just look at you.” Edward stared at me for a long moment. “Even now, you won’t say a word against them. What a woman.”
Silence fell. The wind howled outside, shaking the leaded glass in the thick gray stone.
“You’re wrong, you know,” he said quietly. “You can choose who you love. Very easily.”
“By loving no one.”
At those breathtakingly cynical words, I looked at his powerful, injured body. The hard jaw, the icy blue eyes. Edward St. Cyr was the master of Penryth Hall, handsome and wealthy beyond imagining.
He was also damaged. And not just his body.
“You’ve had your heart broken too,” I whispered, searching his gaze. “Haven’t you?”