Amber Moncrieff invaded his thoughts on a regular basis. Too regular.
Sighing, he raked his hand across his scalp.
He'd done the right thing, ending it.
He had no regrets. She'd known the score, and so had he.
Except it still felt like they had unfinished business. He'd left the city a month and a half ago and still he couldn't settle into routine. It had taken far more willpower than it should have not to answer her call.
Even as he'd known it was for the best, it hadn't felt right. He might prefer burying himself in the demands of his vineyard to socialising, but he'd never before stooped to avoiding a call.
As if he was worried he wouldn't be able to maintain his distance if he heard her voice, soft and beckoning in his ear!
Grimacing, Aurelio headed into the new building. He was torn between relief and disappointment that he wouldn't see her again.
It had been hard leaving her. Surprisingly even harder to sever all contact. But their break had to be absolute.
No ties, no emotional complications. That's how he needed it. It was the only way he could operate.
Aurelio marched into the building, feeling out of sorts, only to slam to a halt as his nostrils caught an unexpected scent. Honeysuckle and sunshine.
He frowned, his senses going into overdrive.
He was imagining things, he had to be.
One of the office workers was trying out a new perfume, that's all. Except this wasn't just honeysuckle. There was added depth to the aroma. A depth that reminded him of summer but, he'd assumed, was something to do with the reaction of the scent on warm, female flesh. Amber's warm flesh to be precise.
Shaking his head, Aurelio strode down the corridor to the meeting room. The woman had even sabotaged his sense of smell - a vital tool for a winemaker!
Husky laughter caught his attention, the sound swirling like early morning mist around his tight chest. Heat flared, bright and powerful, in his belly, radiating through him, making him overwarm in the pullover he wore while working in the cool winery.
Yet the skin at his nape prickled. That laugh -
'That will teach you to use a satnav. Give me an old-fashioned map any day. It's a wonder you found us.' Paolo's gruff voice sounded indulgent.
Aurelio stepped into the room just as a woman spoke. 'Oh, there's nothing like a little adventure. You wouldn't like life to be too boring, would you?'
He froze, mid-step, head jerking round to the woman who stood with Paolo near the window, looking at the hillside vineyard.
Something sharp plunged through Aurelio, like a dagger slicing through his internal organs, leaving a terrible, yawning ache.
What the hell had Paolo done?
Aurelio blinked but the vision before him stayed unchanged.
The woman with her back to him wore a sleeveless, white dress that should have looked plain but somehow appeared sophisticated and sexy. Maybe because of the way it hugged her slim curves, or perhaps because it ended so high on her thighs.
Aurelio swallowed jerkily. It felt like someone had sandpapered his throat.
His gaze tracked down endless, perfect legs to high heels that stirred something unwanted in his gut.
But it wasn't just the sexy shoes. It was the dress, the curves, the legs. Hell, it was Amber. Everything about her was designed to drive a man into meltdown. Even the tender curve of her neck since she'd secured her glossy dark hair high. Aurelio recalled how her hair had felt, soft and silken against his skin.
'He's late. I'm sorry. He loses track of time when he's in the winery.' Paolo sounded gruffer than ever.
'That's understandable.' Her voice was low, designed for seduction. 'It takes dedication to produce such superb wines.'
Aurelio must have moved, must have made a noise, because abruptly she swung round.
Something slammed into his chest. Something powerful enough to flatten his lungs and steal his breath.
Elegant bones. Ebony lashes and eyebrows that were arresting when teemed with silvery grey eyes. Neat, even features, and a mouth, full and ripe, that almost made him groan aloud.
Amber's was a classic beauty that would make any man keep looking. But Aurelio knew so much more about her, all intriguing, all attractive. Her fiery passion, the exquisite sensitivity of her body, the intriguing mind that lay behind those cool looks...
He was scuppered, he realised with a sinking feeling.
In an instant all his certainties, all his control, teetered on the edge of smashing to smithereens.
Because there was only one certainty when he looked at this woman.
Want. Pure, simple want.Reviews Return