She spun at the words, spoken huskily from the man who stood behind her on the balcony. Her heart lurched and she gripped the railing, her body buzzing with shock and excitement.
“Andrés,” she whispered, stunned. He couldn’t possibly be the suite’s occupant, could he? She’d figured he had to have some money to be staying at the resort, but not this kind of money.
Her gaze slid over him and the air locked in her throat. As before, he was sinfully striking. His black hair still held drops of water that reflected in the sunlight, while the dark shirt he wore clung to his broad shoulders and the muscles of his chest.
But it was his expression that drew her. His dark eyes smoldered with desire and determination, and there was arrogance in his smile when he crossed the balcony to her and slid an arm around her waist. Her pulse jumped with a mix of unease and excitement.
“A pleasure to see you again, cariño,” he murmured.
Andrés stared down into her wide eyes, fascinated by the flecks of amber in their brown depths. The hint of exhaustion in her stare made it clear she’d worked a long day, and yet still she was stunning. The white button-up blouse she wore hugged the curve of her breasts, while the black skirt encased her round bottom and clung to trim thighs before ending just above her knees. Her hair was pinned up in a blonde coif, severe and sexy, with not one tendril granted permission to escape.
He could well imagine her downstairs, serving the guests at his resort, perhaps flirting her way into their favor and larger tips the way he’d noticed some of the waitresses doing. Jealousy stabbed through him. “When do you finish your shift?”
“Six,” she replied breathlessly. “I shouldn’t be here. I didn’t realize… Just who are you, Andrés?”
Did she truly not know? He narrowed his eyes and searched her face for any signs that she might be lying. But there was nothing there other than the refreshing mix of wariness and reluctant interest.
“I am a guest here,” he finally answered with a half-truth, and moved his palm down to the small of her back, pressing their bodies more intimately together.
Chloe’s eyelashes fluttered downward and she said desolately, “Oh, Andrés…that’s exactly why I can’t become involved with you.”
Andrés stilled but was careful not to let the surprise show on his face.
“I won’t let myself become caught up with guests of the hotel,” she continued. “It can only lead to trouble, and I need this job to stay in Spain.”
“Your job will not be at risk, cariño.”
She gave a skeptical laugh and shook her head. “You may be staying in the penthouse, but I hardly think that gives you the power to save my job if it came into question.”
Now it was his turn to laugh, but he did so silently. So it was true. Chloe genuinely had no idea who he was. The discovery was such a novelty that it sent a thrill of wonder through him. Somehow he’d stumbled upon one of the few women in Spain—who worked for him, nonetheless—who had no clue of his true identity.
This was a woman who, for once, didn’t want him for his immense fortune or social status, but instead because of a random, passionate encounter on the beach. She wasn’t looking to get close to him, dig up dirt and sell a story to the tabloids for a few bucks.
His decision not to use a contract for Chloe to become his lover seemed even more justified. And she would become his lover tonight. Perhaps one night would be all it took to divest this feverish need for her in his blood.
“Spend the evening with me,” he commanded, and gave a gentle, coaxing smile. “I will find somewhere else to stay, if you’d like, so there is no…conflict of interest, shall we say?”
Her eyes rounded with shock. “You’d leave the resort? Just so—”
“Chloe, I want you.” He lifted her hand to his mouth and turned it over, palm side up. Then he brushed his lips over the frantically beating pulse on her inner wrist. “And I will do whatever it takes to have you. If my being a guest here is a problem, then I will leave.”
Disbelief flickered in her eyes, then finally pleasure. He saw her pupils dilate, heard the catch in her breath; they were the signs of a woman growing aroused. She wanted him. She was so close to capitulating. His blood surged and desire stirred in his loins.
He nipped at the soft flesh of her wrist. “I will do anything.”
He just barely stopped himself from uttering the words name your price, knowing it would annihilate any chance he had of swaying her. For Chloe, he suspected, it would never be about the money. And he would do well to remember she could not be approached with the same calculations of a business negotiation.
But he’d meant it—there weren’t many lengths he wouldn’t go to in order to have her in his bed.
She ran her tongue over her bottom lip and groaned. “I don’t know. I keep thinking—”
“That is the problem. You are thinking with your head instead of your heart,” he murmured huskily, scarcely believing the words had come from him. He was by no means a romantic, and was hardly one to follow his own advice. Every decision he made was carefully weighed and considered using logic.
But his words proved to be the tipping point for Chloe. Her body softened against him and the hesitancy slipped from her eyes.
Something flickered in her stare. Something that said Chloe was a romantic, and his words about using her heart had surreptitiously manipulated her into agreeing. His gut twisted, but any guilt he had was vanquished when she gave a slow nod.
“You don’t need to move to another hotel, Andrés. I’ll say yes regardless,” she said quietly. “I can’t leave you again tonight. I already regret leaving you last night.”
A thrill of triumph rocketed through his blood at her acknowledgement and he tugged her hard against him.
Her soft cry of surprise faded into a sigh when he nuzzled her neck, inhaling the scent of her jasmine perfume and the essence of her. Of Chloe.
Dios, she tempted him like no woman ever had. And soon she would be his.
“Let me make love to you, cariño.” He kissed the furiously beating pulse in her neck.
When he lifted his head to stare down at her, her gaze was full of passion and trust.
“Yes,” she agreed, and lifted her arms around his neck. “Please, Andrés. I want you so much.”
It was the only acquiescence he needed before he drove her lips apart with his own to satisfy the savage hunger inside him.
Please don’t let this be a mistake, Chloe thought, leaning into Andrés and surrendering to the pleasure of the moment. Kissing him back with a fervor that left her breathless.
She was swept off her feet, literally and emotionally, when he lifted her into his arms and carried her toward the bedroom.
Perhaps she was a fool, but something deep inside her was begging to take this risk. To gamble with her heart and delve into this explosive passion between them. It all just seemed so right. She was in Spain, being seduced by a man who could make her tremble with want from just a look. For the first time in her life she desired a man with a force that almost terrified her.
The idea of walking away now, of telling him no again, left her chilled and had her stomach knotting.
No regrets. It was her motto in life and it had also been the theme in the diary.
Her body hummed with excitement as he laid her atop the plush bedding in his room. He reached for the first buttons on her blouse with a dark, sensual promise in his eyes.
Chloe shivered with anticipation, wanting his mouth on hers. She craved his mouth and hands on her body—the weight of him on top of her. She wanted him and everything about him.
She was alive with the moment, had thrown herself into it entirely.
“I want you,” she said, and then blurted honestly, “more than I’ve ever wanted anyone. You go to my head in the most dangerous way.”
He paused, his finger stilling on a button on her blouse, to lift his head and look down at her. She knew her words had pleased him. His mouth curved almost into a smile, while his gaze held a seductive mixture of triumph, possessiveness, and raw desire.
“Show me,” he said softly, taking her hand and placing it upon his chest.
Emboldened by his challenge, Chloe sat up on the bed on her knees so that they faced each other. Running her tongue over her lips, she gripped the soft cotton of his shirt and worked it up and over his body. The revelation had her inhaling swiftly.
Darkly golden skin covered the firm ridges and muscles of his chest. His nipples were brown disks of temptation. Remembering the pleasure that his mouth had given to her, she wanted to return the treatment.
She leaned forward and pressed a light kiss to one nipple; watched it tighten. His following hiss of pleasure told her she’d done something right. Letting her hand explore the contours of his chest, she moved her lips to the other nipple and repeated the treatment.