Her hands, small and quick, came up to his chest, almost to push him away. But he changed his technique quickly and softened his mouth against hers, flicking his tongue in light, teasing movements instead.
A moment later she made a soft but revealing moan that signified her pleasure and surrender. She ceased in her efforts to push him away and instead gripped the white cotton of his pressed shirt.
Pure male triumph shot through him. He gathered her closer and angled his head to get deeper access to her mouth. Her breasts crushed against his chest, the now firm tips just further proof of her arousal.
Heat built between them, and an urgency that made him nearly forget where he was. Fueling him with the temptation to pull her down onto the sand on his beach and take her, no matter how many other guests might be wandering the night.
That’s what finally grounded him again. The realization at just how far gone he nearly was. Dios. From a simple kiss. A kiss that left him as dazed as a knock on the head.
Andrés pulled his mouth from hers, so discombobulated by his own reaction that he could barely appreciate the murmur of protest she made. But it soon registered, along with the passion-drugged look in her eyes when her lashes fluttered upward.
Ah, yes. She wanted him. Would likely accompany him to his room if he requested. But that would be something he never did. Bring a woman back to his room without knowing everything about her. Without having Pablo discuss the confidentiality contract.
He smoothed a thumb down the softness of her cheek, then shocked himself by making the request anyway. “Join me for a drink later tonight in my room.”
“In your room?” she repeated. The haze of arousal slowly faded from her stare, like a wave retreating back to the sea. Instead her expression turned wary, and she gave a slow shake of her head. “I-I can’t. I’m sorry.”
Her cheeks filled with color and she glanced beyond his shoulder to look at some point down the beach.
A moment ago she’d been melting in his arms, and now she appeared eager to be far away from him.
“Why is that, Chloe?”
Her breathing hitched; she lifted her chin and swung a defiant look back to him. “I don’t owe you an explanation of why I’m choosing not to go to your room. Now if you would please release me.”
She’d dismissed him. Quite curtly. Andrés’s gave a tight smile, and he found himself torn between amusement and dismay. “After that kiss, cariño, I think you at least owe me a reason.”
The color in her cheeks heightened. “Excuse me? I don’t recall actually asking you to kiss me.”
He offered a small smile. “Though you may not have used words, you most certainly asked.” He let his fingers trace the skin of her lower back, just above her sarong. So delicate. So alluring. “I know when a woman desires me.”
Her mouth fell open and her eyes flashed with anger now. “Well, guess what? I know when a man is far too arrogant for his own good.”
Her body trembled with indignation beneath his fingers. He was surprised to find himself enjoying her frustration as she struggled to deny the attraction between them.
“Come to my room tonight,” he cajoled. “I promise you will not regret it.”
She made a noise of exasperation. “Do you ever get told no?”
He gave a slight shrug and replied matter-of-factly, “I do, but generally in the context of no, don’t stop.”
Her lips twitched, and he thought for a moment perhaps she might be fighting amusement.
“Chloe,” a male voice called out from down the beach. “Are you coming with us or not?”
Andrés stilled when she winced. Had she declined because she was with someone else? His nostrils flared when he realized the kick in his gut was something akin to jealousy.
No. That couldn’t be right. He set the thoughts of jealousy—of her being already spoken for—quickly aside. Chloe would not have succumbed so easily to his kiss if she had belonged to another man.
“I…I really must go,” she stammered and lowered her gaze. “I’m sorry.”
Chloe pulled away from his embrace with more force this time, determined to be free from whatever sensual spell he had cast over her. She turned and fled down the path to join her friends, her heart still pounding frantically in her chest.
Pressing a hand to her warm cheek, she shook her head, completely overwhelmed and befuddled with what had just transpired.
How had she completely lost herself in that man’s embrace? That man? Good heavens, she didn’t even know his name.
Of course she’d been kissed by men in the past, but never had she experienced such a hot urgency from a kiss. Or the staggering vortex of pleasure that threatened to drag all thoughts of reason from her mind.
Come to my room. Those four little words still rang in her ears, keeping her pulse racing and spreading heat low in her belly.
Casual sex. That’s all he’d been offering. And despite her irritation at his shameless suggestion, she’d been tempted to do something completely out of character and take him up on it.
How many nights prior to flying out from Seattle had she envisioned the perfect summer with her dream lover? Finding something similar to what she’d read about in the diary? Of course she’d known it was silly, and so very unlikely that she’d ever find the equivalent to what they’d had.
But it hadn’t stopped her from secretly dreaming. And in her fantasies she would bury her head on her lover’s shoulder while riding through the streets of Spain on his motorcycle. Sip sangrias while watching the sunset together. Be serenaded by him while he played the Spanish guitar.
She’d never expected him. This arrogant stranger on a moonlit beach, wooing her with a kiss and then expecting her to hop into his bed.
It wasn’t as if other Spanish men hadn’t tried to seduce her. If there was one thing she’d learned about the men here, it was that they loved to flirt. At first it’d been rather charming, but over the weeks, the novelty had faded. And none of the men had ever made her pulse race or her knees weaken with a look.
At the return of the butterflies in her stomach, she pushed aside any silly romantic ideals. Yes, tonight, you fool. Under a palm tree with a guest who’d likely drunk too much and decided to kiss the first woman who came across his path.
She stumbled in the sand. Really, what kind of overly confident, self-entitled man just hauled off and kissed a woman? Then assumed she’d jump at the opportunity to go up to his room?
One who rarely gets told no. And he’d admitted it so matter-of-factly. Dangerous. Oh, yes, the man on the path was wickedly dangerous. And wickedly handsome.
A hot shiver raced through her blood. She remembered the feel of his hands on her arms. His breath mingling with hers just before he’d kissed her—
She needed to stop thinking about it. There was no time for a romance anyway. Most of her time this summer had been spent working like a dog.
She spotted her group of friends up ahead and waved in greeting, shoving aside the thought of random moonlit kisses by sexy Spanish men.
From the twentieth floor of his hotel, Andrés stared out the window of his lush office down at the sprawling beach below. He told himself he wasn’t searching for her, but still he watched the shadows for the silhouette of the curvy blonde who’d amazingly turned him down.
He leaned back in the leather office chair, twirling a pen between his fingers while he stared outside. What was it about Chloe that made him want her so swiftly? So intensely? Could it be so simple as her rejection? But no, he’d wanted her prior to that unfortunate occurrence.
Chloe had fled as if he were the big bad wolf, about to devour her. Though perhaps the girl was smart, because his intentions were indeed something along those lines.
His mouth twitched. He turned his chair and focused his attention on the file in front of him once more. The figures showed the net profits for Diablo’s Paraíso had increased by nearly twenty-five percent in the last six months, and his Valencia resort was quickly becoming one of the most popular of his European locations.
Apparently his decision to hire Estella Martinez had been a wise one. The divorcee was as astute as she was beautiful. Though it was for her qualifications, not her looks, that he’d hired her…even if he sensed the woman might want more than just a business relationship between them. Fortunately, there was no attraction on his part, and even if there were, he would not be so unintelligent as to act on it.
Andrés closed the file and stared out the window once more, restlessness prickling under his skin. It was getting late in the evening, and the beach was less crowded than it had been a couple of hours ago.
Once again his mind slipped to Chloe. The softness of her mouth beneath his and the seductively feminine response she’d had while in his arms.
“Basta.” He shook his head and stood up from his chair. No woman deserved to occupy this many of his thoughts.