He didn’t seem remotely bothered by her scrutiny, and calmly stood as Tabitha surveyed him. Only when she realised the pause had gone on far too long and that she was obviously staring did Tabitha flush, instantly snapping back to the conversation in hand. She was cross at herself for being caught unguarded, and the scorn in her voice came easily. Gorgeous he might be, but beauty was only skin-deep, and it would serve her well to remember that fact.
‘Well, I think you treated her appallingly.’
He raised an eyebrow. ‘My, you do get worked up easily, don’t you? I assume that hair colour didn’t come out of a bottle, then?’ Picking up a mass of curls, he pretended to examine them as Tabitha stood burning with indignation. Suddenly he was close, far too close for comfort, the dark pools of his eyes so near she could see the tiny sapphire flecks in them.
‘Of course it didn’t.’ Flicking his hand away, she felt her hair tumble down over her shoulders. The brush of his hand on hers was electric, and she felt a blush stealing across her chest, working its way up her long, slender neck to meet with the scorching heat of her cheeks. ‘I don’t know why any woman would put up with you.’
‘I can answer that for you.’
Tabitha shook her head angrily. ‘It wasn’t a question; it was a statement. Just because you’re rich and good-looking you think you can treat women…’ Her voice tailed off as she realised he was laughing—laughing at her.
‘So I’m good-looking, am I?’
Tabitha snorted and instantly regretted it; the undignified noise hardly did her gorgeous frock justice. ‘You know you are, and you think that gives you a licence to hurt people.’
‘Considering we only met…’ he glanced at the heavy gold watch on his wrist, his eyes narrowing slightly as he did so ‘…an hour ago, you seem to have formed a rather hasty opinion, and from the venom in your voice I’m assuming it’s not a good one. Can I ask why?’
She stood there, searching for an answer. Why had her reaction to him been so violent? Why was she angry at him for so carelessly discarding Amy when if the truth were known Tabitha knew nothing about the circumstances that had led to the conclusion of their relationship? ‘I just don’t like seeing people hurt,’ she said finally, while knowing her response was woefully inadequate.
‘Amy’s not hurt,’ he answered irritably. ‘She got exactly what she wanted from me: her picture in all the social pages and a fast ticket to fame. As for rich and good-looking—I don’t think she has any trouble qualifying for that title either.’
‘She was hurt,’ Tabitha insisted, but Zavier just shrugged nonchalantly.
‘Maybe,’ Zavier conceded, but any surge of triumph for Tabitha was quickly quashed when he carried on talking, a wry smile tugging at the corner of his full sensual mouth. ‘After all, she’s just lost the best lover she’s ever had.’
‘You’re disgusting,’ Tabitha spluttered, her cheeks flaming as her mind danced with the dangerous images that had suddenly flooded her mind.
‘Just truthful. Look, we had a good time while it lasted. Amy wanted more, and I wasn’t prepared to give it to her.’ He gave a dry laugh. ‘The grass is a bit damp here to go down on bended knee.’
‘She wanted to get married?’
‘But that’s even worse.’ Tabitha was genuinely appalled. ‘She loves you and you ended it like that?’
But Zavier just shook his head. ‘Who said anything about love?’ He saw the confusion in her eyes and it seemed to amuse him. ‘You think Amy loved me?’