The possessive hand he placed on the small of her back sent shivers through her while he guided her from the suite. When they stepped out of the elevator downstairs, Chloe was all too uncomfortable. Men and women alike stared at Andrés, and employees of the resort would nod in acknowledgment.
The hairs on the back of her neck lifted. Just how important of a guest was he? And had the employees recognized her? Would they be gossiping already that Chloe had left with the man in the penthouse?
As they stepped outside, a sleek black Rolls-Royce pulled up front of the resort and her mouth fell open. A uniformed driver exited and came around to open the door for them.
“After you,” Andrés murmured, and held out his hand to help her into the vehicle.
Chloe blinked away her awe and accepted his hand. The electricity that seemed to pass between them had her biting her lip. One would think she’d be used to it by now.
As she sat down on the soft leather seats, she looked out the window. It was almost like a wonderful dream, but if that were true, hopefully she’d never wake up.
Morning came too early. Andrés woke to the sun filtering in through blinds they had not closed. He lay still, unwilling to move and possibly disturb Chloe, who laid half on top of him. And he resisted the temptation to stroke a hand through the silky strands of hair.
He closed his eyes again, thinking back on the previous evening.
He’d enjoyed their time together more than he could ever remember. Chloe was a charming woman, absorbing the culture of his country and trying all foods with uninhibited delight. Then they’d danced the night away in some small cantina until their feet throbbed.
Choosing the discreet, quiet section of town had ensured they weren’t bothered by any media. Which was likely a good thing with how unreserved he’d been last night. He was still a bit dismayed to realize just how carefree he was in Chloe’s presence, how easily she could make him laugh. Dismayed, and a bit troubled.
It was obvious Chloe had enjoyed their evening out as much as he had. She had seemed overwhelmed and easily delighted by the simplest of things. The drive in the Rolls-Royce, the food he’d chosen for them, the kisses he’d brushed across her knuckles during dinner.
And the red Gazanias he’d purchased for her from a vendor on the street. She’d clutched them all night, burying her nose in them and inhaling with a look of pure enchantment.
When they’d driven home she’d been all too tempting while curled up against him, her cheek pressed to his chest. She’d chatted, asking him seemingly innocent questions about his life. Ones he’d managed to brush off with vague answers.
He never let a woman get too close or know too much about him. He was a fascinating enigma to the media, and he’d learned over the years that even the most rubbish information—like what kind of wine he drank—could be prodded out of a waitress looking for a bit of extra change in her pocket.
But he sensed he didn’t have to worry about any of that with her, and if she’d found his responses odd, she didn’t remark on it. Which drew him to her even more.
When they’d arrived back at the resort, he’d had to restrain himself in the elevator up to the penthouse. They’d just barely made it in the door before he’d taken her again on the glass table just inside the entryway.
What was it about Chloe that was simply irresistible?
As if she could hear every thought that raced through his head, Chloe stirred. She cuddled closer and nuzzled his chest.
Andrés body began to respond and he made a low rumble of approval in his throat.
“What time is it?” she asked, her voice still husky from sleep.
“A little after nine,” he murmured.
She gasped and jerked away from him, climbing out of bed. “Oh jeez. I’m going to be late. Again.” She moved to the dresser and fumbled through her backpack they’d retrieved from her work locker last night, along with a change of clothes.
Letting his gaze wander over her, his groin tightened with need once more. “Come back to bed,” he commanded softly.
Chloe paused and cast an incredulous glance over her shoulder. “Andrés, I just told you that I have to work.”
One phone call and he could have Chloe cleared from the schedule without repercussions. His mind wandered, already planning a trip they could take around the countryside. She’d confessed to not nearly seeing as much of Spain as she’d wanted to.
But before he could make the offer, she’d already grabbed her clothes and disappeared into the bathroom.
A thump sounded, and Andrés glanced back to the dresser to find her backpack had fallen down and half the contents spilled out.
With a sigh, he climbed out of bed and went to clean it up. He closed his hand around what looked like a leather diary with several papers falling out. He was about to place them back in the backpack when he spotted his name written on one of the papers.
The nape of his neck prickled with suspicion, foreboding built in his gut.
He pulled the paper free from the book and glanced over it. The sound of the shower turned on as he moved blindly across the room to grab his mobile off the bedside table.
Cristos, it was impossible. He could not have been so blind.
A slow throb began in his temple and his jaw flexed as he speed-dialed Pablo’s number. Anger began to brew hot in his belly as he paced the room. “Pablo. I need you to call Modern Coquette magazine and find out if Chloe works for them.”
And heaven help her if she did…
Chloe stepped out of the shower and hurried to get ready. She was going to be in such trouble. Estella Martinez was not going to be forgiving two days in a row.
She shouldn’t have been careless enough to oversleep. And after spending the night in the room of a guest, no less. And yet she couldn’t bring herself to regret it.
Last night had been incredible. Andrés had literally and figuratively swept her off her feet on multiple occasions. The dancing, the dining, the discussion. The lovemaking… Just the memory of it had her cheeks flushing and heat sliding throughout her body.
After one last quick glance in the mirror, Chloe opened the bathroom door and stepped into the massive bedroom. But it was empty. In fact, it was entirely too quiet in the penthouse.
She grabbed her backpack off the dresser and then left the bedroom. She glanced over the lush interior of the penthouse and discovered the balcony door half open. Andrés stood outside, looking out over the water. Her heart fluttered with just a glance at him.
Tucking a damp hair behind her ear, she walked out to join him. “I need to leave for work,” she said, surprised to feel her cheeks were reddening. That she could even be shy after the night they’d shared seemed silly.
Andrés didn’t respond at first, and there was a stillness in him that sent a frisson of unease through her. He turned slowly to face her, his eyes shockingly void of emotion. “Yes. I supposed you’d better.”
There was no warmth in his tone. Something had happened. Chloe swallowed hard and a massive knot formed in her stomach. For a moment she was certain his icy disposition was due to something she’d done, and had the crazy urge to retreat and run. But she stood her ground, silently chiding herself for being a fool to take whatever was bothering him personally. Perhaps he’d just received upsetting news?
It couldn’t be directed at her. Not with the passionate night they’d shared. Never had she felt more cherished and desirable. Never had she connected with someone on such a deep level like she had with Andrés.
Chloe took his hand and gave it a gentle squeeze, only wanting to see the hardness from his eyes vanish for a moment. “I’ll miss you,” she said softly. “Will I see you later tonight?”
Andrés’ mouth curled slightly, but it was hardly a smile. If anything, his eyes grew even colder. Instinctively she went to pull away, but his fingers tightened around hers.
“Actually, no. I don’t think you will see me.”
Her confidence faltered, her stomach took a nosedive. She said faintly, “Oh. You have other plans?”
Again no reply. Until he suddenly jerked her hard against him, his arms wrapping around her like steel bands.
Chloe’s heart slammed into her chest and she ran her tongue over suddenly dry lips. His move wasn’t about passion. This gleam in Andrés’ eyes might’ve held a flicker of desire, but there was so much more anger. And this time she didn’t fool herself into thinking it wasn’t directed at her.
“Andrés.” She whispered his name, almost a plea, needing to know what she’d done. Whatever it was, she needed to set it right.
“Did you think I wouldn’t find out, cariño?”
“Find out what? I don’t understand. Please, Andrés, whatever I’ve done—”