Welcome back! So, Logan's got a tattoo... it appears Neha's not immune to its certain charm.... But will she be able to stand her ground in front of beast-like Logan?
Catch up with previous excerpts leading to now
pages 1-5 here;
pages 6-8 here;
pages 9-11 here;
pages 12-14 here;
pages 15-17 here;
pages 18-20 here;
pages 21-23 here;
pages 24-26 here;
pages 27-29 here;
pages 30-32 here.
Read it - the whole thing! - in one go! Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Decadent Publishing ~ Barnes & Noble (Nook) ~ AllRomance Ebooks ~ Smashwords
She didn’t realize she’d started in his direction until the distance between them disappeared like ice melted under a hot, searing sun. Every step she took drew her to him like an invisible tug of a rope binding her to his presence. Within seconds, she stood in front of him.
Being up close gave her a magnified view of how the beads of water lingered on the sprinkling of dark blond hair on his chest. She trailed her riveted gaze over him, to peer into his face.
The tautness of his jaw curled a whisper of fear in her stomach, and like the first time she’d seen him, his intense eyes bored into hers, hard and fiery.
Her mouth went dry under his penetrating scrutiny.
“What are you doing here?” he asked, softly.
Too softly. “I…I had to talk to you.”
Blast it, he could be so intimidating. Everything around them melted, Neha caught in another world where only she and this man existed.
Never in her life had she experienced anything as arresting. Uncertainty and unrest battled inside her, rendering all coherent thought incoherent in her brain.
I wanted to see you again. The notion flitted in her head, and she shook out of it. What could be wrong with her? What spell had Logan woven on her?
Then she remembered how his face had haunted her conscious and subconscious mind since the fateful call from Griffin. “It’s…about the job. Why did you deny me a chance?”
He clenched his jaw. How could he appear even more severe?
“I gave you a chance. The interview.”
“But nothing. I didn’t think I could appoint you. End of the matter.” He stepped away and brushed past her on the way to his car.
Neha tried to catch up with his long strides as she followed. “But Griffin says you thought I had the capabilities for it.”
He stopped and turned to face her. “You spoke with Griff?” His voice hummed low, a chilling growl.
She gulped back, afraid to answer him.
After a few seconds, he shook his head and gave a chuckle. “You’re more resourceful than I thought.”
“What do you mean?”
He crossed the distance between them with one step, to stand right in front of her. “You really don’t know what I mean? Come on, I gave you a lot more credit than that.”
It dawned on her then what he implied with his words. “I never asked for a favour.”
“Okay. And why should I believe you?”
Neha got sucked into his gaze again. He wreaked havoc on her senses, played dangerous catch with her rationality. “You’re not giving me a fair chance,” she whispered.
He grinned, a slow, lazy tug of his lips. A shiver ran down her back.
“You come from an upper class family, don’t you?” he asked.
“What’s it got to do with it?”
“Everything. I don’t bow to privilege. It’s a matter of principle.”
Stunned, she remained frozen while he reached his BMW and climbed onto the towel-draped seat. The door closed with a slam, and he eased out of his parking space in a swift reverse, leaving the beach in a cloud of sand.
How could he presume so much about her? He’d been abrupt and rude, treating her as if she were the lowliest form of life, unworthy of even his contempt.
Tears stung her eyes, and she quelled them back. Sod it, she didn’t cry easily. Why would she shed tears for a monster like him? Men like Logan proved smart and ruthless. They didn’t become businessmen for nothing—only sharks survived in their world.
How could she have thought she’d set the record straight? Skewed meant twisted forever in men like Logan’s books. He had formed a picture about her and nothing she did or said would change it.
Why should she bother? She had nothing to lose or gain through his acceptance or contempt of her.
With a resolute step, Neha walked back to her car and got in.
To hell with Logan Warrington. That’s where he could burn to meaningless ashes in fires consuming him whole, like the heat searing her whenever she approached him.
Don’t think of him. She mentally slapped herself. Don’t even dare to imagine the warmth emanating off him like a hypnotic spell. Or his mind-blowing tattoo.
Starting the engine and pressing her foot on the accelerator after shifting into reverse gear, she encountered a solid rock behind one of the back tyres as she tried to move the vehicle out of the parking. Finally pulling over it after flooring the pedal, she swerved out onto the road and headed back toward her home and sanctuary.
The gall of her. She’d dared to come face him. With Griffin’s help. Who else but Griffin would tell her where to find him so early on a Saturday?
That’s it. Griff is a dead man today.
Logan thumped the steering wheel as he pulled into the courtyard of his residential complex, about half a mile from the Flic en Flac beach. After stopping the engine, he stepped out of the car, ripped the wet towel from the front seat, and stalked toward his terraced villa as the door slammed closed behind him. Once inside, he headed straight for the shower, to wash the grainy salt crystals from his body.
She had guts. Most people wouldn’t dream of stepping in front of him unless forced, yet she’d come to him of her own free will. Had she been brave, or stupid?
Wouldn’t be the first time a woman thought him an egg. A mass of muscle and flesh, all right, but who could be reduced to mush by a woman’s pleading and tears.
Jessica, his ex-girlfriend, had made the mistake, trying to control him and draw whatever she wanted of him. She’d played on the little softness he’d had left in him, using her fragile, ethereal beauty and faked innocence to trap him in her wiles. As young as he’d been, why wouldn’t he have fallen for her? How could a street kid not fly high when a lady from the upper class fell head over heels for him?
He cursed as he got out from under the water spray and dried himself then changed into jeans and a short-sleeved shirt. Why was he thinking of her? Jessica earned good riddance in his book. She’d been born into privilege and expected it at every turn, not stopping to think twice about hurting others or twisting everything to get what she wished for.
Jessica had shown him the bad side of the coin. And here Neha Hemant thought she could twist her way to get what she wanted.
If Logan hated one thing more than anything, it was to be taken for granted. People with money and background and a “name” always did so, irrespective of location in the world.
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From Mauritius with love,