Phoebe’s quick temper, already taxed to its limits by Antonio's offensive familiarity, simply erupted. Reacting on instinct alone, her hand flew up and she slapped Lorenzo so hard across one cheekbone her fingers stung like mad.
“No man calls me a whore!” she yelled in furious condemnation. “Not even you, Lorenzo De Angelis!”
As the livid marks of that slap sprang up across one slashing cheekbone, Lorenzo stared back at her with truly stunned gaze. Even though Phoebe instantly knew that she had gone too far, she was far too angry to acknowledge her mistake. But she won’t apologize.
“And your snake of a cousin deserves the same!” she launched in defiant addition. “Who does that little prick think he is? Drooling over me, reaching out to grab me like I'm some piece of meat! And how dare you behave in su
The blonde Mia planted a cool kiss on his cheek and then addressed him in Italian only. She ignored Phoebe. But Phoebe was grateful to be ignored because she was embarrassed by Lorenzo's stubborn determination to keep her by his side. Still talking to Mia, whom Phoebe now assumed to be a close relative, Lorenzo walked them both into a vast reception room. Other people began to arrive. Mia took up position like a seasoned hostess. Lorenzo's grip on Phoebe's fingers had mercifully loosened, and she tried to pull away, hoping to retire to a dark corner. But not only did Lorenzo retain his hold on her. He also swept her forward and introduced her, although nobody got the chance to engage her in any actual conversation. Many curious eyes lingered on her, but Lorenzo kept both of them on the move. He exchanged a wo
She swallowed hard and felt her skin burning under his fiery gaze. Phoebe started trembling, outraged that he stood there, spying on her, and not announcing immediately his presence.“You should've told me you were here... I don’t like to be watched while dancing!”“I didn't want to interrupt you... ‘Mi hai tolto il fiato!’ (Ita for ‘You took my breath away!’)” A shimmer of gold as bright as a flame glimmered in Lorenzo's eyes. From her rosy cheeks moved on her ripe mouth. Her lips parted.“I know that this is your house, but you can’t spy on me...” she protested unevenly, her slight frame tautening in instinctive reaction to the growing tension in the atmosphere. "You should've made your presence known." Lo
A thought almost made it to the surface of Phoebe's blank mind. And then she locked into Lorenzo's blue glittering eyes. Her heart lurched; her pulses raced. Dizzy and mindless euphoria took a hold again. She raised an uncertain hand to cover one hard flushed cheekbone with a shy possessiveness entirely new to her. Her spread fingers rejoiced in the rougher texture of his skin, her dilated pupils searching out every tiny detail of him that close. The lush black spiky lashes, so ridiculously long, the dramatic set of his eyes below those dark defined brows; the sheer masculine beauty of his hard bone structure; the lean, arrogant perfection of his nose. Phoebe caressed his aggressive jawline with wondering tenderness, her whole being intensely abs
Stunned blue eyes looked down with her teary green eyes. Lorenzo stopped and his gaze caressed her face.“It can't be! You can’t be…” he exclaimed.“I was…” Pride and appreciation appeared in his tense gaze. This little woman was really made for him. “You like shocking me, don't you?” Under his scrutiny, Phoebe started blushing like crazy, and then she closed her eyes. She was very conscious of the tiny smooth shifts with which he was easing his hungry passage all the way inside her.“Please… stop talking about it now,” she mumbled. “We’ll talk later…” Phoebe added willing to enjoy this new and fascinating experience.&n
She walked slowly towards the beach house. From a distance, she saw Lorenzo apparently waiting for her on the terrace. One look at him and her mouth ran dry. The closer she got; the more Phoebe’s body craved for him. He looked absolutely stunning. Lorenzo was wearing a white jacket over a simple black t-shirt and a pair of tailored black jeans hugged his long, powerful thighs. She wished he wasn't wearing sunglasses which masked his gorgeous blue eyes.“I got a call on my phone,” Lorenzo said when she was still several feet away. While getting closer to him, Phoebe realized that something was extremely wrong. His tone was ice cold and so empty of emotion that ran a real chill down her spine. She came to a halt, green eyes betraying her anxious uncertainty.“What's wrong
After rearranged the book display in the window for the third time that day, Phoebe left out a tearful sigh.“Would you like a cup of coffee, Phoebs?” Stephen Finlay suggested. It was raining cats and dogs outside and there wasn't a customer in the entire shop. Phoebe focused on her boss’s face, the kindly concern visible in his lined features, and forced a strained smile.“That would be lovely, Stephen... thanks.” Grateful that the older man would never dream of asking her questions about what happened, Phoebe stood behind the counter sipping her coffee and watching the rain stream down the window and the door. She had been back home for two days, but what had happened in Italy haunted her more with ev
Her straight answer made dark colors score his hard cheekbones. His dense lashes swept down low over his stunning gaze and he breathed in deep, his tension as strong as her own.“Hai ragione… You're right… We have to talk this out first,” Lorenzo conceded with gritty reluctance. First? Phoebe spun away on legs that trembled, shattered that he could reduce her to such a level with just one smoldering glance.“I accused you without double-checking the facts,” he admitted without hesitation. “When my chief accountant called me with the bad news, I cut him short. I didn't want to discuss it any further. I'm afraid I just assumed that you had made that phone call from the airport. I was outraged.”“Whatever…” Phoebe conceded stiffly.“But this morning I learned t
During the following weeks, Phoebe told Stephen that she had finally made the decision to fix an appointment with the bank.“Why, Phoebe?” he asked. She smiled, thinking that her elderly employer was becoming very absent-minded.“So that I can apply for a loan to buy this bookstore back,” she reminded him gently. Stephen looked dismayed.“Maybe you shouldn’t do that just yet, Phoebe,” he urged. Confused by that reaction, she looked at him thoroughly. She didn’t understand his behavior. She told him over and over again that when he would decide to sell the business, she is going to buy it from him. Phoebe thought it was already a done deal.“I suppose I could cancel the