One Night to Wedding Vows (Wedlocked!)(9)

By: Kim Lawrence


‘We-e-ell...’

Unbelievable! He was actually considering it! She edged her voice with ice as she ground out, ‘I wouldn’t sleep with you if you came with a seat on the board.’

If they were handing out awards for sheer blind stupidity, I, Lara reflected grimly, would have had a clean sweep.

‘Oh, and I doubt that rich, doesn’t-have-to-work Carol would have been impressed by the room.’ A cheater and a cheapskate, Lara, you know how to pick them!

* * *

As she went over the scene yet again, wincing at her exit line, her tears dried and she realised that, not only did she have no idea where she was, but when she had made her dramatic exit she had taken nothing with her, not her purse, her phone...nothing.

She paused and looked around her, debating her options. She could continue to wander aimlessly feeling sorry for herself, try to retrace her steps or find someone and ask for directions back to the hotel. Option three made the most sense, but the street was deserted.

A moment later, she wished the street had stayed deserted as out of a side alley a group of young men appeared, five or six of them making enough noise for twenty. There was some good-natured banter and a bit of pushing and shoving. It was hard to tell the mood and quite honestly she didn’t fancy staying around to find out.

Alcohol, testosterone, peer pressure—not a good combination.

Hampered by her high spiky heels, she only got a few steps before one of the group spotted her.

Lara didn’t react to him or to the cacophony of calls and whistles, and instead just carried on walking. Do not show fear! Do not show fear!

Any minute now someone would walk round that corner, a figure of authority, someone who would say... ‘Ouch!’

By some miracle she managed not to fall when one of her heels came clear off, but her recovery was not elegant and the pain that shot through her ankle was agonising. She registered the laughter behind and this time it was her temper, not her heel, that snapped.

In the grip of a red-mist moment, she slipped off the broken shoe and, with it in her hand, turned to face the group. Her chest lifted in tune with her angry inhalations, her green eyes flashing contempt and fury, her mind clear of the fear she had felt just moments ago. The group of young men became the focus of all her accumulated anger and the humiliation seething inside her.

She was so focused on them that the fact that someone had come around the corner didn’t register on Lara’s radar.

Her red hair swirled around her like a silken curtain as she allowed her eyes to travel disdainfully over their collective heads.

Wrath swelled inside her, mingled with self-disgust. She had been running from them, and they were just kids... Well, teenagers really. Although this did not entirely remove the potential threat they represented, Lara was too mad to care. This was the real Lara, the one who stood her ground, not the one who’d run off crying because her dream lover had turned out to be a totally useless louse.

She took several limping steps towards them. Nobody was laughing now, the victim having taken them all by surprise, or perhaps they were just stunned by her beauty.

The scene’s new onlooker could identify with that!

Dio, but she was utterly stunning! She managed by some miracle to be graceful, even minus one heel. The red dress she wore clung lovingly to every inch of her sinuous curves and clashed with the glorious cloud of hair she tossed back. She brandished the shoe in one hand while delivering a killer glare at her persecutors like some glorious Valkyrie descended from the heavens. And then Raoul got his first full look at her face.

The purity of her features had been visible in profile—she had a little chin, high forehead, smooth sculpted cheeks, and straight little nose. But what he hadn’t been able to appreciate fully was the liquid flash of incredible long-lashed eyes set beneath curved, feathery, dark brows or the miracle of her mouth, the firm bottom lip softened by the lush fullness of the upper.

If the first stroke of heat had nailed him to the spot, this subsequent one shut down his brain, though the absence of his higher functions did not prevent other parts of his body continuing to act and react with painful independence.

‘Your idea of a good night out, is it?’

English, her voice pitched low even in anger; it had a sexy huskiness as she rounded on the gang who probably didn’t understand a word she was saying.

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