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Seducing His Shy Cinderella

Written by Michelle Smart

Chapter Five

Propelling herself forwards and through the last set of double doors, Jodie practically dived back into the stateroom, leaving Antonio in her dust.

Only three more hours of this and she would be free.

She soon found that one solitary minute stretched out unendurably.

Time slowed to a crawl.

Her dropped tray forgotten, the guests had resumed their previous policy of seeing through Jodie and all the other waiting staff.

Back in her position by the pillar, she made sure to keep her face a blank mask, smiling when appropriate, speaking when spoken to and generally behaving like the unobtrusive wallflower she was expected to be.

Trays of delectable canapés were now being served, the staff contorting their bodies through the guests so bite-size food was on constant offer for those who wanted it. Not many of the women were eating, she noticed. But then, the women at this party were society women who graced the pages of the glossy magazines with their perfect figures and perfect lives. Antonio’s date was a prime example – a tall, waspish brunette who looked like she’d never seen a slice of pizza at close quarters.

So far that evening Jodie had been trying to tune his date out. When they’d walked in together, a pain so sharp it had lanced her had warned Jodie to keep the woman on the periphery of her vision, to not look directly at her. If she didn’t see her, she could pretend she wasn’t there.

She couldn’t tune her out any longer, not when the woman greeted Antonio’s reappearance so enthusiastically, laughing at something he whispered to her and leaning in close to whisper something back, placing her hand on his chest as she did so.

Did she know that only a week ago Jodie had shared Antonio’s bed?

Something ugly and rancid let loose in Jodie’s stomach, an unspeakable urge to grab a handful of canapés, throw them at the beautiful Italian woman and follow that with a sharp kick to Antonio’s shin. Or maybe a sharp kick somewhere higher would be more satisfying.

As if he could sense her dark, violent thoughts, Antonio’s gaze suddenly fell on her. Piercing dark brown eyes stared at her with an intensity that made her feel stripped bare.

She couldn’t prevent her mouth from forming a scowl, which she forced into a smile as a passing man swiped two champagne-filled flutes from her tray without even looking at her.

When she glanced back in his direction, Antonio’s attention was back on his date, evidently taking great enjoyment in whatever she was telling him.

How could she have been such an idiot as to fall in bed with him? One kiss and she’d melted like butter when she’d known full well that any other woman would react in exactly the same way. She knew damn well that many women already had.

He’d made her feel so special. When he’d made love to her, she’d felt like the only woman in the world. It had felt as if her body had been made especially for him. It had been beautiful.

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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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