Devil in a Dark Blue Suit. Robyn Grady
muttered something about losing his grip, then joined her again. He handed over her wine, careful not to let their fingers touch this time. Putting an effort into appreciating the vibrant harbour view, he brought his glass to his lips. ‘The rain’s stopped.’
Her finger drew a curve in the air. ‘There’s a rainbow.’
A far-reaching arc of red, violet and every colour in between bowed over the giant Opera House shells, touching the glistening harbour waters either side.
‘Did you know that the colours of a rainbow are a result of light refracted off of raindrops?’ he said.
‘That’s such a clinical way of looking at—’ She cut her jibe short and rephrased. ‘What I mean is, I’d always looked at rainbows in a magical rather than scientific light. It’s good to get the other side.’
He grinned, then softly chuckled. She was trying so hard. Trying to do the best by her sister.
His gaze veered away from the sky—spent grey streaking westward to leave newly washed blue—and settled on the equally mesmerising sight beside him.
His heart fisted in his throat.
No contest. She was even more beautiful than he’d remembered.
His next words were unintentionally husky. ‘So you believe in magic?’
Concentrating on the rainbow, she hesitated before her chin picked up. ‘Sure. Why not?’
His gaze drank her in. ‘Then you’d believe there’s a pot of gold at every rainbow’s end.’
Her brow pinched and her throat bobbed before she murmured so faintly he barely heard.
‘I believed it once.’
HER cheeks caught light as a withering feeling fell through her middle.
Good one, Eden. Try to sound a little more wistful and pathetic next time.
But, rather than comment on her whimsy, thankfully Devlin only turned his attention back towards the colourful view.
Still, no one could deny the heady awareness throbbing between them. Hot, alive. But different this time. Different from when they touched. This was more a swift warm current swirling around them, washing up memories of what they’d once shared…what they’d let slip away…
Loosening the grip on her glass, Eden laughed at herself.
Good grief. Next thing she’d convince herself that Devlin had actually loved her once.
As if responding to her thought, Devlin downed the rest of his glass and walked away. ‘It’s warm in here.’
The room had felt icy when they’d first entered. Now…yes, it was warm and getting warmer, despite both their efforts to keep the temperature down. But great sex—even bone-melting, unforgettable sex—wasn’t the answer.
So why did her gaze insist on trailing the broad expanse of his back as he walked off…? Why did she imagine her mouth tracing the salty heat of his skin?
Dragging her gaze away—needing to douse the tingles chasing over her flesh—she gulped down half of her drink.
They’d tried arguing, being nice. Maybe it was time to put up a wall. Quit communication altogether. Get as far away from Devlin and his maleficent magnetism as this enormous penthouse suite would allow. That wouldn’t be rude, merely smart.
After a harried search, her gaze landed on a glossy magazine. She passed a monstrous gilt mirror, a postmodernist sculpture of lovers embracing, and, at the far side of the room, swiped the heavy magazine off the coffee table. In the nick of time, she stopped from lowering into the damask couch. Too much opportunity there. Devlin might sit down beside her. Way too close for comfort.
She glanced towards the balcony.
Not in a robe.
One of the two bedrooms?
Oh, Lord, no.
Her gaze dropped.
The carpet certainly felt soft enough. She eased down onto the pile and, back against the sofa, crossed her ankles of her outstretched robe-covered legs then buried her nose in the magazine.
At the bar, Devlin topped up, but then set the glass aside.
‘I’m starved,’ he announced, as if he too had found the answer to their problem. ‘Want something to eat?’
Although she’d lost her appetite, her stomach felt empty. She really ought to eat something.
She shrugged. ‘I’ll have a salad.’
After ordering, Devlin settled down for a few minutes to do some work on his BlackBerry. When he was finished, he slid the phone back onto the polished table. In her peripheral vision, she saw him thatch his fingers behind his head. He stretched his washboard waist one way then the other before letting those impressive arms drop to his sides.
‘You look engrossed,’ he said.
She didn’t look up. ‘I always find fashion interesting.’
He wandered closer. ‘When did you open your boutique?’
‘The month after—’ She caught herself. She didn’t need to mention their break-up again. ‘A couple of years ago now.’ Three to be precise.
‘So that dress-design course paid off?’
She gave a wry smile. Actually she’d earned an advanced diploma in fashion design and technology at East Sydney College.
‘The business degree I’m doing part-time helps too,’ she told him, ‘as well as trips to Paris, Milan, New York.’
He let out a low whistle. ‘You’ve been around.’
‘If I want to compete with the top outlets, I need to.’ Although boarding a plane was always a battle, especially long international flights. Bad turbulence could make her whimper. And seeing Red Eye hadn’t helped her phobia one bit.
He piped up, ‘I thought you were afraid of flying.’
Unlike ultra-light skylarking, ‘Boarding airbuses is a necessary vocational risk.’
‘Risks can pay off.’
She finally met his gaze. ‘Risks can kill.’
She dug her nose back into the Venetian spring fashion exclusive at the same time the doorbell rang.
Devlin set off. ‘Food’s here.’
She would have followed and, perhaps, pulled up a chair at the formal setting. But if they sat at the table, they might look into each other’s eyes, maybe accidentally touch. She shivered and brought the magazine closer to her face.
Far wiser to stay put.
Still, over the top of the pages, she cased out those remarkable muscled limbs as he sauntered towards the door, each languid movement perfectly in tune with his casually commanding style. The instant he turned back, silver-domed plates balanced in each hand, she buried her gaze again.
When he lowered her meal to where she sat on the floor, she set her magazine down. Dome removed, her appetite bit at the colourful fig, apple and pecan-nut salad. The yoghurt aioli smelled delicious. She was hungrier than she’d thought.
Devlin positioned himself on the couch, but with his back against the far cushioned arm, long legs stretched out along the seat, a club sandwich and fries on his lap.
Eden held her breath.
Maybe she should have sat at the table. In this intimate corner of the room, with the natural light barely reaching them, this seating