“You remember Amelie?” Fiifi asked.
Atu gritted his teeth . How could he forget? She’d virtually grown up in his home.
Long before their families had disintegrated into bitter enemies, they’d shared twin homes that stood next to each other. They’d gone to the same schools, shared the same friends. Their mothers had been very close friends.
“Sure.” He infused as much boredom into his tone as possible, ignoring the blazing glare Esi levelled his way as her sister flinched at his tone.
But fast on the heels of that flinch came a censorious look from Amelie that triggered a bite of regret.
He didn’t like to be rude, usually.
The last time he’d seen Amelie had been around her seventeenth birthday, before she’d left for the UK to attend university. She was shy to the point of being introverted, and Atu had dismissed her almost as soon as he’d clocked just who it was he was being introduced at a friend’s party.
He hadn’t thought of her again until a few weeks ago when he’d happened to be at the same event as her.
Only that time he’d been interested, had wondered who the voluptuous beauty chatting to one of his friends at a garden party was.
The roughly three years she’d been away had transformed Amelie Hayford. She wore a notable confidence, carried herself in a way that drew second, third and fourth glances. At least it had that evening.
Until he’d reminded himself of who she was and what she meant to his family.
He knew without a shadow of a doubt that entertaining anything to do with Amelie Hayford was as good as taunting a hungry lion where his father was concerned. Atu wasn’t the favoured son and wasn’t allowed to do even a fraction of what his brother got away with, no matter what tactic he took with their father.
And he’d been taking a few these last couple of years. Tactics that had set him on a warpath with his father.
What was his brother playing at?
“Hello, Atu,” Amelie greeted him.
Had her voice always been this deliciously husky, her eyes such large pools of effortless feminine allure?
He kept his gaze from travelling down her body. Because he was a gentleman, or didn’t want to be risk being tempted?
Who cared? He tried to shrug it off, the same way he’d attempted to dismiss the far-too-lustful thoughts that continued to plague him. Was that why he was especially testy over his brother’s relationship with the older Quayson sister?
He frowned. Was he really that twisted?
“I didn’t realise you’d be here too,” he said, far too edgily.
Or I wouldn’t have come.
The unspoken statement lingered in the air between them, and his brother frowned. “I had a table booked for us. Let’s move away from the bar.”
He stopped himself from snapping that he hadn’t come to socialise.
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