Mediterranean Millionaires - Линн Грэхем - CHAPTER SEVEN Читать онлайн любовный роман

В женской библиотеке Мир Женщины кроме возможности читать онлайн также можно скачать любовный роман - Mediterranean Millionaires - Линн Грэхем бесплатно.

Правообладателям | Топ-100 любовных романов

Mediterranean Millionaires - Линн Грэхем - Читать любовный роман онлайн в женской библиотеке LadyLib.Net
Mediterranean Millionaires - Линн Грэхем - Скачать любовный роман в женской библиотеке LadyLib.Net

Грэхем Линн

Mediterranean Millionaires

Читать онлайн
Предыдущая страница Следующая страница


ANGELO surveyed the huge crowded room with concealed dissatisfaction. He wondered why it was that when fate gave him what he believed he had always wanted he should find it so irritating. Clingy women who remained welded to him like superglue in company had always exasperated him.

In the course of a month, he had learned that Gwenna did not cling, shadow him round the room or continually seek ways to attract his attention. In fact, he sometimes felt like handcuffing her to his wrist or tagging her with a satellite-navigation system he could use to locate her when he wanted her back by his side. When she got talking to his guests, she lost track of time. She was wildly popular with the garden enthusiasts and had to be regularly rescued from those who took advantage of her horticultural knowledge to request free advice and even personal visits.

‘Where is she?’ Angelo was finally forced to ask Franco.

A few minutes later, his chief of security at his heels, he strode out to the rear terrace of his impressive London abode and looked down into the garden below. Her iridescent blue evening gown trailing across the damp grass in her wake, Gwenna was showing off a flowering wall plant to a man and a woman. The man was a notoriously lecherous Swiss banker. That he should even be close to Gwenna set Angelo’s teeth on edge.

Franco cleared his throat. ‘You know, boss…Miss Hamilton doesn’t know she might be rattling your cage.’

‘Is that a fact?’ Angelo murmured without expression.

‘She’s a very friendly lady, who loves helping people,’ the older man remarked into the awkward silence.

So, that dangerous virus of niceness was subverting the loyalties of all the staff who came into regular contact with her, Angelo acknowledged sardonically. She took what Angelo considered to be an inordinate interest in other people and made no distinction between his employees and his acquaintances. Even Franco, a tough nut with a jaundiced view of the female sex, was eager to speak up on her behalf. His chauffeur, cured of a persistent cough with the gift of some magical mixture derived from honey, regarded her with positive reverence. His hard-hitting senior PA had mentioned how very pleasant and courteous Gwenna was. His chef conjured up special dishes adorned with horticultural motifs because she had planted herbs in containers for him.

Unfortunately, Angelo felt pretty much excluded from that general niceness and that awareness nagged at him like a fine stiletto knife in his side. She did not take an inordinate interest in him or question his absences. There was a barrier beyond which she did not go. But she did set him on fire in bed and wasn’t that what was most important? he asked himself impatiently. Sometimes he joined her at dawn after an all-night meeting. No woman had ever given him so much pleasure and he went to great lengths to make time to be with her. He also gave her a lot of attention. Naturally he wanted her to be content with her role in his life and he was a very generous lover. But she was not responding to his efforts to gratify her.

She wore the clothes and the jewellery he gave her with indifference, shedding them for jeans and T-shirts the first opportunity she got. Film premières and fashionable parties did not impress her. Celebrities, the very few that she actually recognised, roused an equal lack of enthusiasm. His houses were a roof over her head, but no more, and only the outside spaces were capable of engaging any real interest. Hadn’t he reunited her with her precious pet? Did he complain when that tiny psychologically disturbed mutt lay in wait to attack him? Piglet was the canine version of a piranha fish.

But what bothered Angelo most of all was the sneaking suspicion that Gwenna was not happy. She didn’t brandish that unhappiness, never mentioned it and didn’t droop in public. Yet he was continually conscious of it. Was she pining for Toby James? The very suspicion filled Angelo with a murderous tide of hostility. Infuriated by that lack of mental discipline, he used his fierce strength of will to thrust both the name and thought from his mind.

And if she was unhappy, Angelo was aware that he would soon be breaking news that would make her even unhappier. Three weeks ago, he had had a call from the lawyers he had instructed to check over every aspect of the properties that Donald Hamilton had signed over. Question marks had speedily been raised by certain anomalies in the paperwork and further extended investigation had revealed that Hamilton was guilty of yet another crime. Angelo now had the proof of an unscrupulous fraud that would destroy Gwenna’s faith in her father for ever.

Her face pink from the attention Johannes Saudan was paying her and the dagger looks of resentment emanating from his girlfriend, Gwenna answered the middle-aged banker’s query as briefly as she could. When she saw Angelo on the terrace above, it was a relief to be able to say, ‘I think Angelo wants me…’

‘What man would not? You are stunning.’ The older man’s appraisal made her feel horribly like a piece of meat on a slab.

‘Excuse me.’ Suppressing a shudder of revulsion, she headed back indoors.

Angelo strode in from the terrace to greet her.

His brilliant gaze rested on hers and an erotic twist of instant heat shimmied through her pelvis. She stiffened, hating the weakness in her legs, the heavy feel of her breasts and the dulled hollow ache of response in a place she didn’t care to think about. He owned her body, she thought wretchedly. He looked at her, he touched her and she would be seduced by her own weakness and craving. Physically he reigned supreme over her for she had yet to find a way of resisting him.

‘I always have to look for you…even in my own house, bellezza mia,’ Angelo murmured silkily.

It was a reproof but she bent her head, lowered her long curling pale brown lashes and said nothing. After all, what could she have said? She operated a deliberate policy of being elusive and could hardly complain if it exasperated him. In the bedroom she was always where he expected to find her because to her mind that, according to their agreement, was where their relationship began and ended.

He had sex with her. He had sex an awful lot with her. She was honest enough to admit that she was equally keen to have sex with him. She supposed that, in the circumstances, this was fortunate, but her anguished pride and her shame at what he had made of her would not allow her to award him much notice outside the bedroom door. She had resolved not to make a fuss about the physical stuff and not to act like the virtuous virgin he had once called her. Regrettably that did not make it any easier to deal with an inner turmoil that was growing stronger by the day. In every way that mattered, that agreement offended her beliefs and destroyed her self-respect.

‘I would like to see a little more of you when we entertain,’ Angelo spelt out in the same even tone as he lifted her slender hand.

‘Okay.’ Gwenna reminded herself that he had said nothing when Piglet chewed up one of his shoes. Either time it had happened. For a man who didn’t like indoor animals he was being remarkably tolerant.

His thumb smoothed over the soft skin of her inner wrist and lingered. The faint aroma of her perfume flared his nostrils. Her pulse was going crazy. A slight tremor ran through her and the increased rapidity of her breathing stirred her breasts.

Madly conscious of the warmth of his skin against hers and of the electric sparks of awareness in the atmosphere, Gwenna glanced up at him. The dark pupils of her blue eyes were dilated. Sensual tension sizzled through her, holding her still. She was on a high and although she tried she could not pull back from that intoxicating sense of energy and power while his smouldering tawny eyes burned over her with masculine appreciation.

Angelo bent his arrogant dark head to murmur thickly, ‘How do you do this to me?’

Taunting heat pulsed at the heart of her. She felt so wicked she closed her eyes tight, fighting his electrifyingly sexual magnetism. ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about—’

‘Di niente. Let me show you.’ Snapping both hands over her wrists, Angelo backed into the room behind him and drew her with him.

The instant she registered his intention, Gwenna went rigid. She knew that hot, intent look on his lean, darkly handsome face. It filled her with an excitement she loathed. All too often Angelo had proved to her how weak she was by choosing unconventional times and places to slake his passion and always she surrendered, too caught up in excitement to resist. But, for a split second, she had an image of how she would look emerging from the room with tousled hair and smudged make-up and she recoiled in shame from that prospect.

‘No…not now. Your guests will notice we’re missing.’

‘So what?’ Angelo curved lean, determined hands to her hips to jerk her into more intimate contact with his hard thighs.

‘They’ll guess what we’ve been doing—’

Angelo vented a low-pitched laugh of amusement. ‘Why should they?’

But Gwenna had often seen herself in the mirror after their encounters, the feverish pink of her cheeks and the languorous daze in her eyes that told an all-too-intimate story. ‘They will.’

‘But why should we care about such things, bellezza mia?’ Undaunted, Angelo reached up to undo the halter ties at the nape of her slender neck.

‘No!’ Angry distress gripping her, Gwenna thrust his hands away from the ties. ‘You don’t care and why should you? All the men will think you’re a real ace, but I’ll just look like a slapper!’

Angelo dealt her an incredulous appraisal. ‘What has come over you? Where is all this nonsense coming from?’

‘It’s not nonsense. We really don’t need to advertise what this relationship is about,’ Gwenna slung back at him bitterly.

‘And I won’t be humiliated in front of smarmy creeps like Johannes Saudan!’

‘What did Saudan say to you?’ Angelo demanded angrily. ‘How have I humiliated you?’

‘Relax, Saudan didn’t say anything, but I could see what he was thinking and he’s not the only one—’

Angelo spread his hands in a slashing movement. ‘Will you calm down and talk sense?’

‘You put me on parade for them all like a prize poodle. The diamonds round my neck are the equivalent of a collar—’

‘Isn’t it amazing how many women look with envy on that collar?’

‘It’s like being branded by your ownership and I don’t care how much moneys it’s worth!’ Gwenna practically spat at him. ‘You just don’t get it, do you? You think that being your playmate is some kind of honour—’

‘Santo Cielo! Move away from that door,’ Angelo instructed with chilling ferocity. ‘I need to talk to Saudan about what he said to you.’

‘I told you that he didn’t say anything—he didn’t need to! He believes I can be bought and, when he looked at me, I could see that he was wondering how soon you’d put me back on the market again. Because to him I’m just a commodity and he was thinking that he could have me too—’

Angelo lifted her bodily out of his path. ‘I’ll bloody kill him!’

‘What for?’ she demanded wildly.

‘Dannazione! He upset you,’ Angelo grated.

Afraid of a scene, she stepped in front of the door to prevent his exit. ‘Why should you care about that?’ Without the slightest warning her voice had developed a wobble and tears were drenching her eyes.

Angelo loathed female tears like poison and never, ever let himself be swayed by tantrums. But when he saw those sparkling drops on Gwenna’s lashes he felt as hugely relieved, as if she had provided him with a list of instructions on how he should respond. She was upset, crying. He could not possibly take offence at anything she had said. The raging frustration inside him immediately subsided. Suddenly everything seemed simple and his own function wonderfully clear-cut. He rested his hands on her shoulders and in a clever series of stealthy moves slowly and gently eased her shivering slender length into his arms.

A sob convulsed Gwenna’s throat and she gulped it back hurriedly. ‘I don’t cry…I don’t—’

‘I don’t hear you crying,’ Angelo breathed, wondering if he was a pervert for just wanting to kick out all his guests and drag her up to bed and keep her there for at least twenty-four hours.

She rested her brow against a broad shoulder. She felt totally bewildered by her own behaviour. How had she ended up so close to him? The angry pain that had taken her over had gone and she recognised a disconcerting change in her attitude to him. Arguing with Angelo had once made her feel stronger and more in control but this time around it had made her feel as if she were being torn in two.

‘I’m all right,’ she muttered awkwardly just as her mobile phone rang. ‘Excuse me…’

It was her stepsister, Penelope.

‘We need to talk to you urgently,’ Penelope declared in a sharp voice that made Gwenna’s heart sink like a stone and her anxiety level rise even faster. ‘It’s a family matter and I can’t discuss it on the phone. How quickly can you get down here?’

‘I’ll get on the first available train tomorrow.’

‘I have to go home for a couple of days,’ Gwenna told Angelo, anxiously wondering if the problem that her stepsister had refused to discuss related to the total breakdown of their respective parents’ marriage. ‘It’s a family crisis.’

His lean, strong face austere, Angelo frowned. ‘I’ll come with you.’

Gwenna was painfully conscious of Angelo’s attitude to her father, and could only think that Angelo’s presence would increase the strain and embarrassment for all concerned. ‘Thanks, but I don’t think that’s a good idea. This is private family stuff.’

Angelo thought that was doubtful. Most probably Donald Hamilton was in serious trouble again. When Angelo had exposed the older man’s thefts from Furnridge Leather, he had known that it would only be a matter of time until further crimes were laid at Hamilton’s door. Other people’s suspicions and worries would almost inevitably lead to an investigation of Donald Hamilton’s other financial dealings. He studied Gwenna’s pale, troubled profile and marvelled that she could still be so vulnerable and naïve. He thought it was past time that she appreciated that her parent was a greedy, lying con man without a conscience.

‘Do you think you could look after Piglet?’ Gwenna asked uncomfortably. ‘It’s just my stepmother doesn’t like dogs and I think he would be traumatised if he was put back into the pet hotel.’

Angelo felt oddly humbled by her trust in him as regards her pet, for there was no doubt that Piglet was her most precious possession. ‘Non c’è problema…no problem.’

He closed a strong, tanned hand over hers. A wave of unidentifiable emotion was washing about inside Gwenna. She wanted to lean on him but she wouldn’t let herself and could not explain why such a strange prompting should assail her.

‘When I take you home later we’ll make it a night to remember, bellezza mia,’ Angelo husked, turning her insides to a delicious jelly of shameless anticipation.

Early the following morning, she wakened and listened to Angelo moving about in the room next door. He never spent the whole night with her. He always slept alone. Yet he gave her the most unimaginable pleasure…

Angelo strode in. Fully dressed in a very snazzy designer business suit and looking devastatingly handsome, he came to a halt at the foot of the bed. Her torrent of warm honey-coloured hair was an exotic tangle that framed her heart-shaped face and accentuated her glorious blue eyes and luscious pink mouth.

‘Dio mio…I’m not sure I can let you go, cara mia,’ Angelo breathed and he was only half joking. ‘You were amazing last night.’

Although she reddened, Gwenna shifted between the sheets like a sinuous cat being stroked by silk. His purring intonation and the hot glow of his hungry gaze made her feel empowered, but she was shocked when she heard herself say, ‘You should’ve stayed…’

‘I have a meeting in an hour,’he intoned huskily. ‘It’s very important.’

The sexual buzz in the air tingled through Gwenna like a shot of adrenalin. She studied his stunning dark features from below her lashes, crystalline blue eyes limpid.

It was the first time Gwenna had given him a come-on and Angelo felt dizzy with sheer lust and triumph. He called Franco and murmured in slightly ragged Italian, ‘Inform the office that I’ve been unavoidably detained.’

He loosened the knot of his tie with an air of purpose and shed it along with his jacket. Not once did he remove his striking gaze from her perplexed face. He released the buttons on his shirt with taunting slowness.

Gwenna was paralysed by surprise and the dulled heavy sensation of warmth low in her belly. ‘What are you doing? Your meeting…’

Angelo came down on the bed beside her and reached for her with confident hands. ‘Make missing it worth my while,’he invited in erotic challenge, letting his tongue delve deep between her parted lips and ravish the sweetness from her soft mouth.

Around noon, he shook her awake. She blinked up at him like a rabbit caught in headlights, still so exhausted that her body literally felt weighted to the mattress. Angelo on the other hand looked re-energised. His black hair was still wet and spiky from the shower, his beautiful eyes brilliant as diamonds above his superb bronzed cheekbones. ‘You’ve missed your train. A driver is standing by to take you to the heliport. You can fly down to see your family. Don’t stay away too long.’

Gwenna never woke up quickly and she was as flustered by the wild passion that had exploded between them as by the prospect of being flown by helicopter to Somerset. ‘Okay…’

Angelo carried her fingers to his handsome mouth and kissed them in a mocking gesture that made her tense up even more. Straightening, he surveyed her with wolfish satisfaction. ‘Congratulations, bellezza mia.’

Gwenna gave him a bemused look. ‘For what?’

‘You finally feel like you belong to me.’

Gwenna went white.

‘That’s how I wanted it and how it has to be. There was never any way that I was going to settle for less,’ Angelo imparted silkily. ‘What price true love now? You’re more mine than you could ever be his.’

Angelo strolled out the door whistling quietly. Gwenna stared into space, a sick sense of humiliation coruscating through her. In the grip of a frantic surge of tempestuous emotion, she leapt out of bed, snatched up her dressing gown and hurtled to the door to bawl. ‘Angelo?’

Angelo came to a lazily graceful halt on the landing and swung round to regard her from below dense black lashes in mocking enquiry. ‘Yes…?’

‘Who do you think I’m thinking about whenever I’m with you?’ she hurled and even as she said it she cringed for herself. Such spite and such lying were unfamiliar to her, but every time Angelo hurt her she found herself reacting in unpredictable ways.

Angelo stared steadily back at her, eyes black as pitch, lean, strong face expressionless. She saw his loss of colour and knew her nasty retaliation had hit home. Yet she was more ashamed and troubled than pleased by her success. She felt the sudden dangerous drop in temperature and she shivered, afraid and full of regret.

Reeling back into the bedroom, she leant back against the door to close it and covered her clammy face with trembling hands. What was happening to her? What had he done to her? Since when had she been a vindictive witch who told horrible lies?

When had thoughts of Toby even entered her head in Angelo’s presence? Not once, not once had she thought of Toby. That belated realisation shocked and frightened her…


Получить полную версию книги можно по ссылке - Здесь

Предыдущая страница Следующая страница

Ваши комментарии
к роману Mediterranean Millionaires - Линн Грэхем

Комментарии к роману "Mediterranean Millionaires - Линн Грэхем" отсутствуют

Ваше имя


Введите сумму чисел с картинки