Inherited by Ferranti

By: Kate Hewitt


‘Is something wrong?’

Sierra jerked her gaze up to Marco’s narrowed one. ‘No...’

‘It’s just that you’re frowning.’

‘Sorry.’ She shook her head, managed a rather sick smile. ‘I’m just tired, I suppose.’

Marco regarded her quietly, clearly unconvinced by her lie. ‘My business should only take a few days,’ he said. ‘I’ll be done by the day after tomorrow. Maybe then we could go somewhere. Palm Desert...’

For a second Sierra imagined it: staying in a luxurious resort, days of being pampered and nights spent in Marco’s arms. And then, after a few days, what would happen? Maybe he would ask her to go with him to Palermo. Maybe there would be more shopping trips and fancy restaurants and gala events. But eventually he would tire of her tagging along with him, leaving her own life far behind, just as her mother had. And even if he didn’t tire of her, what would she be but a plaything, a pawn?

And yet still she was tempted. This was what love did to you. It wrecked you completely, emotionally, physically—everything. It took and took and took and gave nothing back.

Marco frowned as he noted her lack of response. ‘Sierra?’

‘How long would we go to Palm Desert for?’

Marco shrugged. ‘I don’t know—a few days? I told you, I have to be back in Palermo next week.’

‘Right.’ And never mind what she had to do. Of course. Sierra took a deep breath. This felt like the hardest thing she’d ever said, and yet she knew it had to be done. ‘I don’t think so, Marco.’

His mouth tightened and his eyes flashed. She knew he’d taken her meaning completely. Before he could respond the waiter came with their wine, a bottle of champagne that now seemed like a mockery, the loud sound of the cork popping a taunt.

The waiter poured two flutes with a flourish, the fizz going right to the top. Marco took one of the flutes and raised it sardonically.

‘So what shall we toast?’

Sierra could only shake her head. She felt swamped with misery, overwhelmed by it. She didn’t want things with Marco to end like this, and yet she didn’t know how else they could end. Any ending was bound to be brutal.

‘To nothing, then,’ Marco said, his voice hard and bitter, and drank.





CHAPTER SIXTEEN

HE WAS LOSING HER, and he couldn’t even say he was surprised. This was what happened when you loved someone. They left.

And he loved Sierra. Had loved her for a long time. And even though he’d been telling himself he would walk away, Marco knew he didn’t want to. Ever. He wanted to love Sierra, to go to sleep with her at night and wake up with her in the morning. To hold her in his arms, hold their child in his arms. To experience everything life had to offer, good and bad, with her.

Marco put down his empty champagne flute, his insides churning with the realisation. He loved Sierra and she was slipping away from him every second.

‘I think perhaps I’m not hungry after all,’ she said quietly. Her face was pale, her fingers trembling as she placed the napkin on the table and rose from her seat.

She was leaving him, in a public restaurant? The papers would have a field day. Quickly, Marco rose, taking her elbow as he steered her out of the restaurant.

She jerked away from him the moment they were out on the street. ‘Don’t manhandle me.’

‘Manhandle?’ he repeated incredulously. ‘There were bound to be reporters in there, Sierra. Paparazzi. I was just trying to get us out of there without a scene.’

She shook her head, rubbing her elbow as if he’d hurt her. He suddenly felt sick.

‘You think I’d hurt you? After everything?’

‘No,’ she said, but she didn’t sound convinced. She’d never trust him, Marco realised. Never mind love him. Not after everything that had happened with Arturo, and not with how close he’d been to the man. The memories ran too deep. No matter what either of them felt, they had no chance.

‘Let’s go back to the hotel,’ he said tersely and hailed a cab.

Back at the penthouse suite, Sierra turned to face him. ‘I think I should leave,’ she said, voice wobbling and chin held high.

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