The Billionaire's Blackmailed Bride(9)

By: Jacqueline Baird

‘You’re unbelievable,’ she gasped. Though she could not deny the trembling, or the attraction, she had no intention of succumbing to such blatant seduction. ‘Coming on to me when you have the beautiful Eloise with—’

He cut her off. ‘Eloise is a very old friend, nothing more I can assure you, and so could her husband,’ he said, his dark eyes holding hers, a wicked gleam in their ebony depths. ‘She is quite a famous television star in Latin America, but she has ambitions to be famous worldwide. Which is why she is over here to discuss the possibility of starring in a musical production in the West End next year. She is going back to her husband tomorrow so you have nothing to be jealous about.’

‘Jealous. Are you crazy? I don’t even know you,’ Emily spluttered.

‘That is soon remedied. I will call you tomorrow and arrange a time for our dinner date,’ he declared, and stopped dancing, his hands sliding to span her waist, and hold her still. ‘But now I think we’d better get back to the table, before people start to gossip. The music has ended.’

Emily had not noticed, and, embarrassed, she followed him like a lamb to slaughter, she realized later…much later…

‘For heaven’s sake, Emily, will you stop devouring that disgusting fry-up—it is turning my stomach—and listen to me,’ Helen declared. ‘You have to put the poor man out of his misery and have dinner with him. He has sent you roses every single day and the housekeeper is fed up with taking his phone calls. The house is overflowing with blooms and in my pregnant state I might very well get hay fever.’

Emily popped the last bit of fried egg into her mouth, chewed, then grinned at her sister-in-law. ‘You know the solution—I told you to throw the flowers away. I’m not interested.’

‘Liar—the woman is not born who would not fancy Anton Diaz. Your trouble is you’re afraid to get involved after the hateful Nigel. You haven’t dated any man for more than a couple of weeks in years.’

‘Moi?’ Emily quipped, placing a hand on her heart. ‘I am not afraid of anyone, but I know a devil when I see one, and Anton Diaz is not the kind of man any sensible woman would ever get involved with.’

‘Forget the sensible, and live a little. You’re at home for the next few months and your research at the museum does not take more than a couple of days a week. It is spring, when a young woman’s fancy turns to love.’

‘A young man’s fancy, you mean, and Anton Diaz is no young man,’ Emily responded dryly.

‘So what if he is a dozen or more years older than you? You have plenty of spare time and a wild passionate affair with an experienced man would do you the world of good.’

‘I don’t think so, and I have no time right now. I am going to view another apartment today,’ Emily said, hoping to change the subject, because the subject of Anton Diaz had taken up a great deal of her waking thoughts since the night she had met him. His phone calls she had refused after the first day as just the sound of his deep accented voice made her temperature rise and her whole body blush; the daily roses she could do nothing about.

‘Oh, for heaven’s sake, Emily, forget about buying an apartment. It’s a stupid idea. This is your family home, has been for generations since the first Fairfax made his fortune as a coal baron in the nineteenth century, and it is big enough for all of us and half a dozen more.’

Helen rolled her eyes around the spacious breakfast room of the ten-bedroomed double-fronted Georgian house in the heart of Kensington. ‘I would hate it if you left and you would hate living on your own. Admit it. And you might as well admit you fancy Anton Diaz something rotten. I have seen the way you try not to blush every time his name is mentioned. You can’t fool me.’

Emily groaned. ‘Your trouble is, Helen, you know me far too well.’ She rose to her feet and smiled wryly down at her sister-in-law. ‘I am still going to look at the apartment, though. After all, if I am going to have a wild, passionate affair I will need a place of my own. I’m sure you wouldn’t appreciate my bringing a lover back here where your gorgeous child might see and hear more than she should.’ She grinned.

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