‘So what do we have to talk about?’ Roxy strove to keep her tone casual as they walked back to the car, oh so aware of his fingers clasped around hers. This was dangerous; the act was over and yet she made no effort to remove her hand from his.
‘Do you mind if we head back to Foxglove Hall? I’ll drop you back home afterwards.’
Roxy got why Leo didn’t want to go back to her place—there were way too many memories. ‘That’s fine. I’d like to talk to you too.’ Her conversation with Leo’s father had sparked an idea in her brain.
The journey was completed in silence, though not an uncomfortable one, and forty minutes later Leo pulled up outside the now moonlit hall. Roxy had to fight against a strange sensation of coming home, an eerie illusion of what might have been. But could never be. It was imperative that she remember that.
Once inside, he led the way into the spacious yet comfortable lounge, furnished with comfortable sofas and overstuffed armchairs. ‘I’ll light a fire.’
‘I’ll make cocoa. I know where everything is from seeing the caterers this morning.’
Soon they were sat on the sheepskin rug in front of the crackling flames and she turned to face him; anticipation bubbled inside her along with an awareness she knew she had to keep doused. But it was so hard when the firelight dappled his hair with copper, when his shirtsleeves were rolled up to reveal his muscular forearms. ‘I’m ready to talk. Is it OK if I go first?’
‘Of course.’ Though he didn’t want to talk. He wanted to draw her down in front of the fire, lay heron the sheepskin rug and kiss her, lose himself in the warmth of her body. Not happening. ‘Go ahead.’
She smiled at him, a smile so sweet it blew his mind. ‘I think you should invent a shoe. A cycling shoe. Then your company and your dad’s company could…work together. I mean, I don’t know enough about shoes to know if you can just invent one or—’
Leo stared at her, blown away by the idea. ‘Roxy Pemberton, you’re a genius. I could work with James—he always had a flair for fashion and he falls in love with some of Starkes’s shoes. I’ll talk to Saskia about funding.’ He turned to face her. ‘Thank you. For being so thoughtful and caring. You didn’t have to speak to my father today or come up with such a brilliant idea.’
‘I wanted to. I hate the fact that for all these years you believed that I didn’t believe in you. Especially now I know how your parents were. I want them to see how talented you are. Exactly the way I always did.’
Impossible to doubt her sincerity. But… ‘I thought you wouldn’t marry me because you didn’t believe I would be successful or be able to provide you with the lifestyle I was promising you.’
‘Of course not.’
‘Then why did you refuse me?’ The million-dollar question.
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