The Forbidden Touch of Sanguardo(78)

By: Julia James

‘No, just some good advice.’

‘Well, you can stick your advice where the sun doesn’t shine!’

He laughed very softly. ‘Such spirit!

He was moving towards her and she backed away, sending a shocked glance over her shoulder when she came up against the solid bulk of the dresser.

Hardly daring to breathe, she stood stock-still, her eyes guarded and challenging as Emiliano’s hands came to rest on the dresser on either side of her, effectively trapping her there.

‘You know...that was the first thing that attracted me to you. Other than...’ One strap of her dungarees had slipped off her shoulder, dragging the bib down with it, and from the slide of his gaze over the vest it had exposed she knew he could see the outline of her naked breast. Breasts which were too full, she had always thought, in comparison with her small waist and far less curvy hips. Now, in response to his heated gaze, she felt the nipple swelling beneath the soft revealing cotton. ‘The way you tried to cut me dead in response to everything I said was a real turn-on. And it was not just me who was affected by it, was it, cara?’

He meant her, Lauren thought with shame, remembering how he had even gone as far as suggesting that she actually enjoyed arguing with him.

‘And that was even before you knew who I was.’

The softness of his voice and his nearness was making her head start to swim. She hated him! And yet it was taking all her willpower not to thrust out her breasts in invitation to those hands that had pleasured her like no other man ever had.

But she didn’t. And thankfully he didn’t attempt to touch her.

Instead, straightening up, with his face taking on grim lines, he said, ‘May I also advise that if you take me to court and you lose, then you will get nothing from me. Is that clear? Not a cent.’

‘That’s good,’ she returned, pulling up her strap, relieved at least to be able to breathe again. ‘Because I don’t deal in cents. Only common decency! Unlike you Cannavaros. But then you don’t ever think about anything else except making money!’

‘Which is marginally more commendable, I think, than being one of life’s takers,’ he remarked with an unperturbed, humourless curl to his devastating mouth. ‘Nevertheless, where agenda-armed little vamps are concerned I find that it is always best to be one step ahead.’

‘So you insult me with the promise of some disgusting pay-off!’

He sent another cursory glance around him at the obvious decay of her clean yet humble environment. ‘You look as though you could use it.’

‘Not half as much as I could use you getting off my property!’

‘Of course.’ Though he had stepped away from her now, the fresh masculine scent of him still lingered in her nostrils. ‘But I will be back. You can depend on that. And when I do return, I will see my nephew. Is that understood?’

He looked so commanding that for a moment Lauren could only nod. ‘I wouldn’t dream of trying to stop you,’ she riposted as soon as she found her voice.

‘In that case...I will see myself out,’ he said, obviously satisfied that he had achieved what he had set out to do, which was to scare her silly with his threat to take Daniele away from her.

Well, if he wanted a fight, she would give him one! she thought, calling on all the powers of survival she had had to engage as a teenager after losing both her parents. After all, since Vikki had died, Daniele was all she had, and Emiliano Cannavaro could swing before she would give up her little nephew to him or anybody else!

But the fear had taken hold and she couldn’t shake it off. And that wasn’t the only thing unsettling her as she listened to his powerful car growling away.

It was that raging sexual attraction that had flared into life the minute she had seen him again, coming across the yard. But, even worse, her body’s betraying response to it when he had had her trapped—without even touching her—against the dresser. An attraction, she thought hopelessly, which had been born in her the instant she had laid eyes on him across that crowded ballroom, and reluctantly she let her thoughts drag her back to those two days in that exclusive London hotel two years ago.

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