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Seducing His Shy Cinderella

Written by Michelle Smart

Chapter Two

Jodie squeezed her fingers into the silver tray and looked away, pretending not to notice Antonio’s approach, pretending that the beats of her heart weren’t so violent there was a danger her chest could rip open.

He stopped barely a foot away from her, his dark brown eyes flickering over her, taking everything in, the expression in them unreadable.

Buonasera, amore mia,” he said softly but with an unmistakable tinge of steel in the deep voice.

And then he took a step closer, extending a hand to take one of the champagne flutes, and she inhaled the exotic cologne that had lodged itself in her senses. For all that she tried not to react, she was helpless, her limbs weakening at the same rate as her pulse soared.

She didn’t notice the tray slip from her hands until it landed with a loud crash on the marble floor.

The champagne flutes shattered all around her, sending shards of glass flying in all directions. Antonio’s highly polished black shoes were now speckled with glittering crystal slivers.

Silence rang out.

All the eyes that had seen through her before were now fixed on her.

And through that brief yet never-ending moment of silence, Jodie’s ears rang as she found herself paralysed, horror-struck at what she’d done. Her blouse was soaked with champagne.

Her brain couldn’t unfreeze itself for her to think what to do, not even with a clearly angry Pieta Pellegrini striding forcefully in her direction, her red-faced aunt close behind him.

Before she could apologise, Antonio stepped over to the castello ’s owner with his hand outstretched.

“Pieta, my apologies, this is entirely my fault – I’m afraid I knocked the tray out of your beautiful waitress’s hand.”

Jodie was so shocked at this intervention that she only vaguely registered that his apology was delivered in impeccable English. As her Italian could only be considered rudimentary, it must have been for her benefit.

Pieta’s taut expression relaxed a touch. Antonio was heir to the Cavalli furniture empire and extremely wealthy in his own right, living in an enormous Tuscan villa designed and built by Pieta’s younger brother, Daniele.

Jodie knew exactly how big Antonio’s Tuscan villa was because she’d crawled out of his enormous carved bed before the sun had risen only a week ago. This was the first time she’d seen him since.

She’d known he was trouble from the minute he’d driven into thecastello’s courtyard two months ago in his sparkling white Porsche for a meeting with her aunt. His company had been tasked with creating beautiful bespoke furniture for the newly renovated rooms. Antonio had been so curious to see the renovations that he’d decided to take the job on himself rather than delegate it.

She remembered watching from a window as he got out of the car on his arrival, his languid movements making her hold her breath long before she got close enough to see the features of his face.

Jodie had taken one look at that face and her heart had almost jumped out of her throat.

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About the author

My love affair with books began as a baby when, according to my mum, I...

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Michelle Smart

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