Recalling their encounter
Especially when the primitive side of his nature was blazing with the need to brand her with his mark.
”Getting there. ” Her voice was soft, unintentionally stoking the hunger inside of him.
Desire burned through the anger, turning his voice rough. ”There is a picnic blanket in the back seat. ”
He heard her move. ”Its still in the plastic wrap. ”
”It was part of a gift. I threw it back there months ago. ” Rain pounded the windscreen as he drove out into a particularly unsheltered part of the road. ”You still live in New Lynn? ” He named a suburb about thirty minutes out ofNew Zealands biggest city, under normal circumstances.
”Uh-huh. ” Her voice was muffled.
When he chanced a quick glance, he saw that only her bright little face remained uncovered by the woolen blanket. With long black hair beginning to curl in the heat, and thickly lashed blue eyes smudged with tiredness, she looked like a bedraggled and bad-tempered kitten.
And he wanted to scoop her up into his lap and kiss and cuddle her until she melted for him.
”By the way, you
e gorgeous. ” Grace wondered what she was doing. Her words were true. What was also true was that she could never deliver on the promise implied in the flirtatious tone. And even if she could have, she was nowhere near Jacobs league. The man was linked with superstar actresses whose beauty shone from the silver screen and glittered on red carpets.
Just last week, shed read an article where a titian-haired actress had stated that the reclusive head of Wolfe Studios was her dream man. Though the megastar couldn understand why such an important man chose to live in so small a country, it made him all the more interesting to her. All the more desirable.
”I don think anyone would describe me as gorgeous. ”Jacobs response was dry. ”But thank you. ”
e not pretty, not like the actors. Theres nothing soft about you. Your face is strong, interesting … gorgeous. ” She wasn going to back down. Just like the world-famous actress, dark-eyed, dark-haired Jacob Wolfe was her dream man.
Some people might say that he was a little too muscular, but on Jacob, the bulk looked good. Very, very good. She wanted to reach over and squeeze one of those taut arm muscles to see if there was any give at all. Then she wanted to bite down on that firm, golden flesh.
And therein lay her problem.
Jacob had been the best employer shed ever had. The most demanding but also the most appreciative.
A permanent job with him wouldve been perfect … if she hadn stupidly gone and fallen in lust with her boss.
Grace sighed, knowing it was hopeless to fight against her bodys reaction, but still resisting the urge to hide beneath her wool blanket again.
It had been over a year since their last meeting but her feelings hadn changed. Even her upsetting experience at Micheals hands couldn alter that, because she trusted Jacob on a gut level. Shed never felt safe with a man until hed started bullying her with his protectiveness, walking her to her car and more than once following her home late at night to ensure that she arrived safely. And hed never made any demands in return.
The truth was, her sexy ex-boss still made her burn.
Jacob was stunned by Graces little speech. Nobody had ever called him gorgeous. The question was,what was he going to do with the knowledge that she considered him gorgeous?
Driving ahead Jacob said, ”Look, you need to dry out and with this detour and the weather, we won reach your place for at least another hour. ” Water sloshed around the tires as he came to a level section of the road. ”You can spend the night at my place – the drive will only take twenty minutes. ”
”I can do that! ” she cried.
”Why? ” It angered him that she didn trust him, when hed never given her reason not to. Okay, so maybe hed yelled at her once or twice while shed been his secretary, but shed yelled right back and theyd got along fine.
Once again, she surprised him.
”Because paparazzi stalk you. They
e probably hiding in the bushes by the door. I don want to be famous. ” She sounded determined.
He shook his head at her amazing mind. ”If there is a paparazzo there tonight,I swear Ill beat him up for you. ” The endearment slipped out without thought. ”Of course, hes probably already drowned. ”
A laugh escaped her. ”Well, if you promise. ”
”Promise, ” he repeated.
They fell silent. For some reason she kept shifting uncomfortably beside him and he was beginning to wonder if he should pull the car over and carry her. But no, he was almost positive they weren close enough to touch. Maybe she had just gotten too comfortable with him.
After nearly ten minutes, he pulled off the highway onto a dirt road. A few minutes later he parked the car and turned off the engine.
”Where are we? ” she asked.
”My house. ”
He opened the door and stepped out. ”Come on. ”
She followed him to the front door. He punched in his code and went in first. His place consisted mainly of a living room, two bedrooms, and a kitchenette complete with a fridge and stove top. There were several pieces of furniture scattered about – a couch, a couple of chairs, some tables, and his dining table – but everything seemed to fit together in the living room.
”Bathrooms upstairs on the right. ” He pointed to the stairs leading up from the living room. ”There should be fresh towels on the rails. I think the cleaning service came today. Ill find you a robe and throw it through. ”
Ignoring the blinking message light on his phone, he placed a call to the Auckland Police Station. As usual, Detective Edward Cole was on alert. After Jacob explained the matter to one of the few men he trusted implicitly, Edward swore creatively under his breath.
”Your lady doesn want to press charges? ”
Jacob thought aboutTaylors attempts to brush off the entire incident. ”Id like to take care of it without pulling her into something messy. ”
They hung up on that note. His tension easing now that hed done something about the man whod dared to hurt Grace, he quickly played back his messages.Frowning, he noted the details of the messages before erasing them. Hed take care of their requests later.
After he took care of Grace.
Heading upstairs, he passed the closed door of his admittedly huge bathroom and entered his bedroom, knowing he had an unused robe someplace. Except when he reached the closet, he picked out his favorite.
The one in shades of blue. That should be suitable. Grabbing it out of the hanger, he tossed it across the room and headed downstairs for the shower. If he could get Grace clean, he knew he wouldn feel quite so filthy anymore.
Twenty minutes later the hot water had worked miracles. Grace felt as if she were bathing in honey instead of blood. The smell that greeted her nose was heavenly, reminding her of the delicious dinner she had shared with her friends. Although the memories made her smile as she dried herself off.
Her skin was soft and smooth. The bath soap had left no trace of the grime she had experienced earlier. Now that the warmth of the water surrounded her, she decided to stay longer than planned and let the steamy spray wash away the rest of her worries.