Devil in a Dark Blue Suit. Robyn Grady
on your part. But let me assure you, I won’t touch you again. I have my answer, so you can drop the snarky attitude.’
With her blood draining to her toes, she could only utter, ‘Your answer?’
His stormy eyes roamed her face before he yanked loose the knot at his throat and, after a tense moment, stepped aside.
‘You convinced me, okay? I’d always wondered. But, however it happened, whatever lay behind it, I should’ve been fine with you walking away. Case closed.’
The crimson carpet tilted beneath her feet. If he hadn’t already walked on ahead she might’ve grabbed his arm for support. First he’d been charming, then seductive, and now fierce followed by dismissive. This latest reaction suited her fine. Her performance had turned him off. He wouldn’t touch her again, even if he wanted to.
Shoring up her inner strength, she willed the light-headed tingles away and moved forward.
Devlin rang the bell, ripped free his loosened tie, then rapped his knuckles on the wood. With no answer, he swiped his card and pushed in the door. ‘Nate, you here?’
Eden followed him inside.
With the air-con cooler in the suite, she was reminded of her saturated clothing. Her teeth began to chatter as she searched around the sumptuous furnishings, a foreground to elaborate scarlet and beige window dressings.
‘Sabrina. Honey, it’s Eden. Where are you?’
Devlin scanned the room then strode to a polished timber table and swept up a note slanted against a tall vase of lilies. When his hand lowered and his face hardened, Eden hurried over.
‘What is it?’ she prodded. ‘What does it say?’
‘They needed to go out.’ He stuffed his tie in a pocket. ‘They’ll be back by five.’
Eden held onto the table edge. ‘That’s two hours away. What are we supposed to do until then?’
‘Hopefully not kill each other.’
They both must’ve had the same thought—to see if there was any possibility that their siblings might return earlier. She dug out her cell phone as Devlin dived on his. They dialled and, after a few seconds, both rang off.
‘Sabrina’s phone isn’t on,’ she said.
‘Neither is Nate’s.’
‘We could meet back here at five?’
He tossed his phone and wallet on the table then, with a casual fluid gait, moved towards some adjoining double doors. ‘You go ahead.’
She took an automatic step forward, then back. ‘Where are you going?’
‘To have a warm shower, organise my clothes to be express cleaned, then wait for my brother to arrive.’
Eden flinched. Sabrina and Nathan might arrive before five. She needed to be here to support her sister. What if Sabrina were pregnant and Nathan’s reaction to the news hadn’t been all honey and roses? What if Nathan had asked her to marry him and Sabrina wanted her big sis-ter’s blessing?
Spending more time alone with Devlin was anathema to her personal ethos—safety first. But what option did she have?
Leaning on the table, she slipped off a shoe and glanced dejectedly around. ‘This is a big place. We don’t exactly need to bump into each other.’
With his frame filling the doorway, Devlin rotated to face her, his smile a combination of blatant sex appeal and ice. ‘Rest assured, Eden, I’ll make a point of it.’
The bedroom door slapped shut.
Devlin strode into the enormous bedroom suite and slashed both sets of fingers through his hair.
Damnation! That woman could get under his skin—even when he knew darn well her threat had been an empty one.
She might be determined and dedicated—she wanted what she thought was best for her sister—but Eden wasn’t without scruples. Whether or not she bought into the beat-ups that depicted Nate as some kind of amoral hotshot playboy, she wouldn’t call the media hounds out simply because big brother had skipped the double talk and gone straight to the heart of the matter. Or was Eden forgetting that she’d kissed him back?
Cocking a brow, he released a cufflink.
Boy, had she kissed him back.
Which finally gave him closure on his long-unanswered question.
Eden was still attracted to him—at least physically, he amended, crossing the room. She hadn’t returned his calls three years ago, but not because she hadn’t wanted to. She’d seen the writing on the wall and had decided to walk before he’d done the walking.
Unbuttoning his shirt, Devlin sank onto the edge of the king-sized bed and heeled off his sodden shoes.
She’d been wrong. He hadn’t been about to cut her off—even if he could admit now that, yes, perhaps he had contemplated cooling things a degree or two. After diamond rings, a woman wanted wedding bands. He hadn’t been ready for a stroll down the aisle.
His position hadn’t changed.
His father had married too soon and had never accepted his family-man status. As a tyke, Devlin hadn’t understood why his dad stayed late at the office every night. ‘He’s a busy man,’ his mother would say gently when she tucked her little son in. ‘Go to sleep now. You’ll see Daddy tomorrow.’
Devlin had thought his mother the most beautiful woman on earth. Who could blame his father for jumping the gun and sweeping her off to the chapel? A quietly spoken angel with a warm loving smile who, as far as a young Devlin could tell, existed in a separate world he was rarely able to penetrate.
When Nate had come along, the boys had kept each other company while their mother had spent more and more time alone, usually in a darkened room. ‘I have a migraine,’ she’d tell the nanny. ‘Make sure the boys do their homework before going to bed.’
Headaches? Or had his mother simply hidden away from more companionless days while her husband’s days—and nights—were splashed across the tabloid pages?
Grunting, Devlin discarded his shirt.
His father had not only married too soon, his father shouldn’t have married at all.
But, the past was past, he reminded himself, grabbing the side table’s receiver and punching in Housekeeping’s number. He and Nate hadn’t even discussed their less-than-perfect upbringing, although his brother must’ve felt the same unhealthy undercurrent in the family dynamics. That was why, if this afternoon’s meeting was in honour of a quickie marriage, the maths didn’t add up. Or was it as Eden suspected and Nate had gone and got his girl pregnant?
Having organised for his clothes to be collected, Devlin stripped off his trousers and stood face up under a strong steamy shower for five revitalising minutes. He was lashing a towel around his hips when the doorbell sounded. Shoving his wet clothes into an in-house laundry bag, he strode out of the bedroom and headed for the door.
At Eden’s voice, he wheeled back and drank in the pulse-racing sight—diminutive Eden draped in a thick oversized courtesy robe, a white towel turbaned on her head, Leaning-Tower-of-Pisa style. What he could see of her bare legs revealed tanned silky-smooth skin. Each perfect toenail was painted a provocative red. Her heart-shaped face was scrubbed clean of make-up and as his gaze licked her lips—pink and full—he swore he tasted the raw honey he’d sampled earlier in the rain.
Wild and wickedly sweet.
Bare feet sinking into the plush white carpet, she presented her own laundry bag.
‘Here’s mine.’ She waited for his response, then slanted her head, catching the toppling turban. ‘Devlin,