'How dare you!’
He had already walked off but her words halted him as he reached the attic door, and he turned around to the sight of Maya furiously climbing from the daybed.
She wrapped the sheet around her and her stunning hair fell over naked shoulders. Yesterday she had been red with rage, whereas today she was pale with fury.
‘How dare you,’ Maya said again, ‘think that of me. If you’re accusing me hanging out for some rich man to trap…’
‘Maya,’ he interrupted in that steely voice. ‘Just call me if you need to.’
‘All you had to do,’ Maya said as he stood there, ‘was kiss me goodbye and it would have been the best memory of my life.’
She had wanted no more from him than that, and that he now thought otherwise made her feel ill. ‘Why couldn’t you just have left it at that?’ Maya asked, and then pointed out a truth. ‘How can I be trying to trap you when you were the one who came to me?’ When Luka didn’t respond, Maya did so for him. ‘You think I’m an opportunist?’ she suggested, and he gave a tight shrug, for yes, he considered her that. ‘Or,’ she offered an alternative, ‘could it simply have been two people accepting the attraction they felt and acting on it?’
He clearly chose the former because he answered with a question, one that went way below the belt and one that told her he believed she had lied.
‘Maya, why are you on the Pill?’
‘Objection!’ she loudly retorted.
Luka almost smiled. Somehow in the midst of a row, he almost smiled when he usually was deadpan.
But then she responded to his cruel question and any hint of a smile was erased.
‘I’m on the Pill because this stable girl also happens to be a respected track rider. Sometimes I get to escort horses on fifteen-hour flights and it’s not terribly convenient if I…’
‘I get it.’ Again he had to hold on to stop his expression from faltering, yet it did. He was starting to believe her and starting to recall the magic of last night, and he softened his stance a touch.
‘I’m just letting you know that if there are any repercussions, I’ll do the right thing.’
‘What’s the right thing, Luka?’
This time it was Maya who interrupted. ‘Do you know what?’ She was back to how he had first met her—angry and raging, yet there was history between them now, truths told. This time it was she who made a rather pertinent point. ‘Even if I’d said that I wasn’t on the Pill, I doubt it would have stopped us.’
It was the truth and she knew it. ‘That’s what you’re so pissed about, isn’t it Luka? You lost your head last night. That’s what you can’t stand.’
He just stood there.
‘Go,’ Maya said. ‘And please don’t sit for nine months chewing your nails. I wouldn’t call you even if I was.’
And he was about to say, ‘Liar,’ yet Luka felt an unexpected response to what she had said.
And he wasn’t even thinking about contraceptive malfunctions or anything of the sort, just Maya.
Never knowing if she had left Dubai and returned to live here, never knowing a night out with her or the joy of a morning spent in.
She was right, he had lost his head, for he had started to glimpse those things.
It really was safer to leave.
‘Try to have a nice life.’ Maya fired her parting shot. ‘I know that I will.’
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