The Playboy of Argentina(7)

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He ignored the old cage elevator and took the stairs three at a time. If she felt about him the way he thought she did they could stay in her room. No problem. Or they could hang out for a while and then go on to another party, or back to Dante’s pad, or even to the estancia. It had been a long time since he’d taken a woman back there. But he felt even now that one night with Frankie Ryan might not be enough. An undisturbed weekend? That might just about slake this thirst for her.

He stood outside her door.

Dark polished wood. Brass number five.

He knocked. Twice. Rapid. Impatient.

Nothing.

She should be getting ready, at the very least.

He knocked again.

Still nothing.

He’d opened his mouth to growl out her name when the door swung open.

And there she was.

Bleary eyed, hair mussed and messy, one bony white shoulder exposed by the slipped sleeve of her pale blue nightdress, her face screwed up against the light from the hall.

He’d never seen anything more adorable in his life.

‘Frankie.’

He stepped forward, the urge to grab hold of her immense.

But she put a hand to her head, set her features to a scowl and opened her mouth in an incredulous O.

‘What—what are you doing here?’

He still couldn’t believe how sleepily, deliciously gorgeous she looked. His eyes roamed all over her—the eye-mask now awry, the milky pale skin and the utter lack of anything under that thin jersey nightdress. It clung to her fine bones and tiny curves. As beguiling as he remembered, though maybe her breasts were rounder, fuller …

‘What are you—? Why are you—? I told your guy I wasn’t coming.’

He dragged his eyes back to her face. Heard a noise at the end of the corridor. The concierge was peeping, making an ‘everything all right?’ face, wielding a pass key. Rocco nodded, put up his hand to keep him back.

‘Let me in, Frankie.’

She seemed almost to choke out her answer. ‘No!’

‘Okay, I’ll wait here—get dressed.’

‘I’m. Not. Coming.’

He was slightly amused. Slightly. The irony of the situation was not lost on him.

‘We’ve been here before, querida, only last time it was you on the other side of the door. Remember?’

And there it was—that wildness he had seen all those years ago. That almost wantonness she’d exuded that he’d found exhilarating, intoxicating. She leaned out into the corridor, to check who was there, then looked right up at him. He drew his eyes away from the gaping lines of her nightdress, followed her gaze.

‘I can’t believe you’re actually standing here!’

‘It would be better if I came in. As I recall, that was your preference last time.’

‘I was sixteen! I made a mistake!’ She blazed out her answer.

Then she gripped her arms round herself. All that happened was that the neckline of her nightdress splayed open even more, letting him see right to the tip of one small high breast. He reached forward, gently lifted the fabric and tugged it back into position, ignoring her futile attempts to swat his arm away.

‘Why don’t we discuss that inside?’

His hand hovered, then retracted. He badly wanted to touch her, but he was nothing if not a reader of women and he sensed she was going to need more than a pep talk to get her on-message.

‘You made yourself perfectly plain the last time we met. And I don’t have any wish to spend any more time with you. I told your guy. I couldn’t have been plainer.’

‘The last time we met was four hours ago. You were in my horse transporter. You came looking for me.’

She was so wild, standing there in next to nothing. He was getting harder and harder just looking at her. Memories came of her slipping into his bed, waking him up with her naive little kisses and her hot little body. Him literally pushing her out of his bed—like rejecting heaven.

Her eyes blazed. ‘I came looking for our bloodline, not you! You arrogant ar—’

He put his finger on her lips where they framed the word he knew she was about to launch at him. Her eyes widened even more.

‘Don’t belittle yourself, querida.’ He lowered his voice, stepped closer. ‘Go inside, get dressed, and I will take you to the party and tell you everything you want to know about your ponies.’

But lightning-quick she grabbed for his hand and tried to pull it away. The sleeve of her nightdress fell lower and the pull of the fabric strained on her breasts. Her nipples, twin buds, drew his eyes—and, damn it, the flame of heat coursed straight to his groin.

‘I call it as I see it, and I see you as an—’

He couldn’t hold back. She fired him, inflamed him. He wanted to taste her so badly. He had to contain her, have her mouth under his.

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