Mistress:Pregnant by The Spanish Billionaire(8)

By: Kim Lawrence

‘I do not require you to understand. As I said, I simply require you to go along with anything I say—no matter what it is.’

‘But why?’

‘Do you want to find the lovers?’

Nell’s expression reflected her dilemma. ‘Oh, all right, then.’ What choice did she have? ‘And afterwards you’ll tell me where they are.’

‘Querida,’ he promised with a grin, ‘I’ll take you to them. Shake on it.’

Nell dragged her eyes away from the magnetic pull of his deep-set dark eyes and regarded the hand he held towards her for a long moment before finally extending her own.

As his cool fingers closed around hers Nell tried to ignore the warning voice in her head that told her she was making a big mistake.

It was a lot more difficult to ignore the prickle under her skin that had nothing to do with sunburn and a lot to do with their brief physical contact.


THE castle was a maze. Nell followed Luiz for what felt like miles along stone-floored corridors before he finally halted.

‘This is my grandmother’s room.’ Luiz reached for the door and stopped. ‘Wait here. I will be back presently.’

Left with little choice but to obey his terse instruction, Nell began to study the large tapestry of brilliant colours on the wall opposite.

The battle scene it portrayed was nothing compared to the one being waged in her head. Just what are you doing, Nell? This is crazy, totally crazy. You don’t know this man—you don’t even know what you’ve agreed to and who’s to say he will keep his word?

Before she could totally lose her nerve Luiz Santoro returned. Without a word he took her left hand and slid a ring onto her finger.

‘What are you doing? What…w-what is that?’ she stammered, staring at her finger. The gold band felt heavy, a rose-coloured diamond surrounded by what she assumed were rubies in an antique setting.

She was no expert but it didn’t look like the sort of thing you found in a Christmas cracker.

He lifted his brows. ‘A ring.’

‘I can see that,’ she retorted crankily. ‘What is it doing on my finger?’

‘Window dressing.’

‘For what?’

‘That is not relevant.’

Nell shook her head and dug in her heels literally. ‘I’m not taking another step until you explain this thing.’ She waved the offending jewellery him.

Luiz studied her mutinous face for a moment, then gave a philosophical shake of his head. ‘My grandmother—’

‘The one who owns this house?’

His dark brows twitched into a straight line of disapproval at the interruption. ‘The one who own this house and the estancia it stands upon. She is ill…maybe…’

He paused, unwilling to voice the possibility, as if saying the thing made it more likely to happen. He was impatient with the lack of logic in his thought processes, but then when you cared for a person it was hard to always be logical.

He glanced down at the young woman who was staring up at him, suspicion and wariness reflected in her clear eyes, and thought, Logic does not feature in that glossy head at any level…just neat emotion.

It made her a frustrating person to negotiate with.

‘Maybe?’ Nell prompted.

‘Maybe even dying.’

Nell’s face dropped. ‘I’m sorry.’ It was hard to tell from his stony expression if her sympathy was either required or desired.

Not that the lack of emotion in his features meant he didn’t have any, she reminded herself. Give the man the benefit of the doubt—she had not cried at her father’s funeral or, for that matter, since. Pushing aside the thought, Nell focused on his dark face—too much focus because she immediately started to feel dizzy.

‘We all die, and my grandmother is eighty-five.’

Nell found the clinical pronouncement chilling, but not as chilling as the total lack of feeling in his voice or manner. She suspected he didn’t deserve the benefit of any doubt—the man was just plain cold.

‘I’m sorry your grandmother is ill, but that still doesn’t explain the ring—’ she waved her hand in an expansive gesture ‘—or any of this.’

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