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Seducing His Shy Cinderella

Written by Michelle Smart

Chapter Eight

Jodie breathed deeply. In a few sweet, short hours, this evening would be done and she could escape him forever.

Jodie pushed one of the trollies, which had special dividers so up to two dozen bottles could be placed in it without damaging them, into the adjoining room where the selection of red wines being served that evening were kept, and hit the lights. After the bulb flickered a number of times before deciding it would give off a little illumination, she picked the nearest bottle and wiped the thin layer of dust from it to check it was the correct vintage. Satisfied she had the right one, she put it in the trolley then carefully went along the row. She’d half filled the trolley when she heard a noise that sent her heart jumping.

Standing stock still, she strained her ears and peered over the concrete floor. She hoped it wasn’t rats. She’d been assured the castello was rodent-free, but she didn’t believe that for a second.

Then there came the sound of creaking.

It wasn’t a rodent that had chosen to join her in this cellar. Not unless it was a rodent that had learned to walk on its back legs with shoes on.

Slowly she turned so she faced the room she’d first entered from the stairs.

Her heart jumped again when she saw Antonio walking towards her.

He stopped at the open door and leaned against the arch. He didn’t say anything, just stared at her with an incomprehensible look under the flickering light, studying her with something that could be either amusement or anger. She thought the latter was the closest.

“You shouldn’t be here,” she whispered when the silence became too much, stepping closer to the trolley as if it could protect her.

But protect her from what?

From herself.

He looked so handsome tonight. On their date he’d worn a casual suit without a tie. He’d been too handsome then, too. She’d been unable to wrench her eyes from him throughout their entire meal, unable to keep her pulses under control. She’d been fighting her body and its response to this man she knew she should have been running from, not letting wine and dine her, not laughing at his jokes and witticisms, not itching to know everything about him, not sighing dreamily to imagine those long fingers touching her.

They’d talked for hours. The time had run away from them to such an extent that the exclusive restaurant’s owner had coughed none too subtly and they’d realised they were the only diners left and that most of the staff had gone home.

Now, Antonio’s voice was tight and modulated as he said, “I think this is the only place in the

castello

where you can’t run from me, and let’s be honest, you’ve been trying to avoid me all evening.”

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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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