Wife for a Day(7)

By: Kate Walker


And Ronan had sighed too, a sound that was half a gasp of pleasure, half a moan of surrender as he’d swivelled round within the confines of her arms to gather her close to him.

But under these very different circumstances such memories and the cruel stab of pain they brought were a source of weakness. If she let them they would undermine her resolve. They had already left her vulnerable to Ronan’s immediate reaction, making it only too easy for him to break free from her hold with a force that sent her spinning away, crashing painfully into the side of the car.

‘I’m going, Lily,’ he declared harshly. ‘And nothing you can do will stop me.’

This was proving so much harder than he had anticipated. She had only to touch him and every nerve in his body set up a clamorous demand, tightening until there was an ache in his groin that pleaded for the release of pleasure that he had known the night before.

When he had started out on this, he had believed he could keep all emotion out of it. He hadn’t reckoned on wanting her so much. But he had to fight that base need. It would destroy him and leave his plan in ashes if he didn’t.

It took all his strength to wrench himself away instead of turning and gathering her up in his arms, kissing her with the sort of hungry sensuality that took him with it into mindless oblivion.

Despair tore at Lily’s heart as she saw him slide into the driving seat and push his key firmly into the ignition. Despair combined with the feelings that now assailed her to make it impossible to think clearly.

She had known only one night of this man’s lovemaking, had spent just a few short hours in his arms, but her body knew his so intimately it was as if she was some slave of long ago, marked with her master’s brand. She had only to touch him and every sense sprang into vivid, throbbing life. Each nerve burned sharply, awakening, yearning, demanding the pleasure his caresses could bring.

Like a finely tuned instrument responding to the skill of a master performer, she had only to feel the warmth of his body, inhale the intensely personal scent of his skin, feel his heart beating under her cheek and she was lost. Able only to perform the tune that he decided to play.

But if she didn’t act now, and quickly, he would be gone, and she would never see him again. She didn’t doubt that he meant what he said; conviction was stamped into every hard line into which his face was set. The trouble was that she had no idea why.

A sudden blaze of panic brought a desperate clarity to her thoughts. An idea so crazy it might just work sprang into her mind, pushing her into action. Not giving herself time to lose her nerve, she swung round sharply and clambered up on to the bonnet of the Mercedes, gathering her inadequate clothing around her as she did so.

‘Lily!’ It was a bellow of pure rage. ‘Get off there!’

‘Make me!’

Just for a second, as the engine revved fiercely, she feared he might actually call her bluff and drive off with her still perched up there. Horrific visions of the powerful car speeding down the drive, making a few wild zigzagging turns designed to throw her off, filled her head, making her blood run cold. She had just reached the point where she was actually fearfully contemplating the damage that would be the result of a fall from the fast-moving vehicle on to the gravel, when Ronan took his foot off the accelerator.

The sound of the motor died abruptly. Lily barely had time to sigh with relief before the driver’s door was pushed open violently. Getting out, Ronan stalked towards her, white marks of fury etched around his nose and mouth.

‘Lily…’

When he finally stood beside her, hands braced on his hips, indigo eyes blazing incandescent with anger, it took all of Lily’s mental strength not to shrink back against the windscreen. Instead she forced herself to face him with what she hoped was a look of cool defiance.

‘You’re not making this easy for me!’ he declared through tightly clenched teeth.

‘I don’t want to make it easy! I plan on making it as difficult as possible for you to leave me, because I—’

‘Are you really so desperate that you’d beg me to stay when it must be painfully clear that it’s the last thing on God’s earth I want to do? That I obviously can’t stand the sight of you.’

‘But last night…’

‘Last night was last night. It was an appalling mistake—a mental aberration—and one I most definitely do not intend to let happen again.’

‘It didn’t feel like that to me!’

But then what experience did she have to go on? She had only had one other brief, unsatisfactory love affair, which had been more a relationship of the mind than any great physical passion. Kristian’s lovemaking had been comfortable, uninspired, and totally unexciting when compared to the fires Ronan could light inside her. Fires that she had never suspected could exist, whose sheer, elemental force had rocked her world, making her feel that she had lost her grip on everything she had formerly believed herself to be.