The Nanny and the Millionaire. Линда Гуднайт
he said gently, registering the tremble that shook her. ‘We’d better walk back.’
She could still feel the imprint of his warm hands on her shoulders, searing the silk. ‘I didn’t lie to you,’ she said after a moment.
‘Just tell me this.’ His voice was filled with real gravity. ‘Are you afraid of someone?’
For one crazy moment she nearly burst out: you! I’m afraid of you and your effect on me. This was a man who literally took her breath away.
To Holt her long pause appeared like a dead give-away.
She managed a low, tremulous, ‘No!’
‘You and Riley are quite safe on Wungalla.’
‘I know that. You’ve been very kind.’
‘And here I was thinking you hadn’t noticed.’ His tone was at its most mocking.
They were walking beneath the canopy of tall trees when suddenly, with a screech as loud as a klaxon, a large bird swooped from its dark green cover appearing to make a dive for them.
Immediately Holt swung up an arm, while with the other he pulled the cowering Marissa to his side where she buried her head. ‘Get! Go on, get!’ he shouted at the bird.
With another screech, the bird was gone, flapping its wings heavily as it flew across the garden.
‘My God, what was it, an eagle?’ Marissa felt safe enough to lift her face.
‘Don’t be silly!’ He laughed, adding insult to injury. ‘An eagle wouldn’t be nesting in those trees. A wedge tailed eagle has a wingspan of over seven feet. An eagle could have picked you up and carried you away to its desert eyrie.’
‘I only meant it was huge!’ she said, defending herself. She was leaning against him and he still had one arm around her.
Holt tried hard to collect his thoughts. They were flowing through him like a stream in flood. The only way he could fight back temptation was to stay perfectly still. He had never in his life met a woman he so wanted to pick up and carry off. For long moments she had been snuggling against him, hiding her silky head against his chest. He wasn’t starving for sex. He knew he could get it whether or not he proposed marriage—but he was starving for sex with the right woman. One that moved him, tore at his heart. One he had wanted on sight. The great irony was he had no option but to restrain all his wild impulses. She and the boy were under his protection.
He released her carelessly. ‘Sorry the bird spooked you, but I think it’s safe to walk you home.’
Some note in his voice created the illusion that was what he meant.
She didn’t know if she would ever find one but Wungalla was the next best thing.
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