Inherited by Ferranti

By: Kate Hewitt


‘So.’ Marco’s voice was hard, without a shred of warmth. ‘What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing here?’





CHAPTER THREE

SIERRA DREW A deep breath and pushed the sodden mass of her hair away from her face. ‘I was paying my respects.’ She tried to move past him to her car but he blocked her way. ‘What are you doing here?’ she challenged, even though inside she felt weak and shaky with fear. Here was the real man Marco had hidden from her before, the angry, menacing man who loomed above her like a dark shadow, fierce and threatening. But, just as with her father, she wouldn’t show her fear to this man.

‘It’s my home,’ Marco informed her. ‘As of today.’

She recoiled at that, at the triumph she heard in his tone. He was glad he’d got it all, and that she’d got almost nothing. Of course he was. ‘I hope you enjoy it then,’ she bit out, and his mouth curved in an unpleasant smile.

‘I’m sure I will. But you were trespassing on private property, you do realise?’

She shook her head, stunned by the depth of his anger and cruelty. So this was the true face of the man she’d once thought of marrying. ‘I’m leaving anyway.’

‘Not so fast.’ He grabbed her arm, his powerful fingers encircling her wrist, making her go utterly still. The commanding touch was so familiar and instinctively she braced herself for a blow. But it didn’t come; Marco simply stared at her, and it took Sierra a moment to realise the fingers around her wrist were actually exerting only a gentle pressure.

‘I want to know why you were here.’

‘I told you,’ she bit out. ‘To pay my respects.’

‘Did you go inside the villa?’

She stared at him, nonplussed. ‘No.’

‘How do I know that? You might have stolen something.’

She let out an incredulous laugh. If she’d had any doubts about whether jilting Marco Ferranti had been the right thing to do, he was dispelling them with dizzying speed.

‘What on earth do you think I stole?’ She shook his hand off her wrist and spread her arms wide. ‘Where would I hide it?’ She saw Marco’s gaze flick down to her breasts and too late she realised the white lace bra she wore was visible through the soaked, near-transparent silk. Sierra kept her head held high with effort.

‘I can’t be sure of anything when it comes to you, except that you can’t be trusted.’

‘Did you follow me all the way from Palermo?’

His jaw tightened. ‘I wanted to know where you were going.’

‘Well, now you know. And now I’m going back to Palermo.’ She started to move away but Marco stilled her with one outflung hand. He nodded towards the steep, curving road that led down the mountain.

‘The road will be impassable now with flash flooding. You might as well come into the villa until it is over.’

‘And you’ll frisk me for any possible stolen goods?’ Sierra finished. ‘I’ll take my chances with the flooding.’

‘Don’t be stupid.’ Marco’s voice was harsh, dismissive, reminding her so much of her father. Clearly, he’d decided to emulate his mentor.

‘I’m not being stupid,’ she snapped. ‘I mean every word I say.’

‘You’d rather risk serious injury or even death than come into a dry house with me?’ Marco’s mouth twisted. ‘What did I ever do to deserve such disgust?’

‘You just accused me of stealing.’

‘I simply wanted to know why you were here.’

Above them an ear-splitting crack of thunder sounded, making Sierra jump. She was completely soaked and unfortunately she knew Marco spoke the truth. The roads would be truly impassable, most likely for some time.

‘Fine,’ she said ungraciously and got into her car.

Marco unlocked the gates with the remote control in his car, and they swung silently back, revealing the villa’s long, curving drive.

Taking a deep breath, Sierra drove up with Marco following like her jailer. As soon as his car had passed, the gates swung closed again, locking her inside.

She parked in front of the villa and turned off the engine, reluctant to get out and face Marco again. And to face all the unwelcome memories that crowded her brain and heart. Coming back to Sicily had been a very bad idea.

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