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Seducing His Shy Cinderella

Written by Michelle Smart

Chapter Nine

Jodie swallowed, recognising the truth in his words. To escape him she had to get past him first. “I’m…”

“Busy,” he finished for her. “Don’t worry. I won’t take up too much of your precious time. I just wanted you to answer something for me.”

“Oh?”

“Why you left without saying goodbye.”

She closed her eyes. There was no point in pretending not to know what he was talking about. In hind-sight she could see why he would consider her actions to be rude, but at the time she hadn’t felt she had any choice.

“I had to go to work.” That was a truth in itself. She had promised to go in that day.

“That meant leaving without a word? Did you not think it would be considerate to tell me you were going rather than let me wake to an empty bed?” The censure in his tone speared her.

Opening her eyes, she stared into the gaze that was every bit as censorious as his words.

He looked…

No, she must be imagining it. He looked…wounded.

“You were sleeping,” she whispered. “I didn’t want to wake you.”

His jaw clenched and his lips tightened. The same lips that had kissed every inch of her body. “Why are you going back to London?”

“How do you know that?” she asked, surprise overriding her discomfort.

From turning up most days and constantly seeking her out, Antonio hadn’t stepped foot in the castello since their night together.

“There’s much I know, amore mia. But there’s much I do not. I don’t know what your reasons are for leaving when only a week ago you told me you hoped to make Pisa your permanent home. What’s changed?”

Everything.

Feeling her cheeks flame, she forced herself to meet his gaze head-on and lied, “I miss my home.”

“That came on very suddenly,” he said with deliberate cynicism. “What happened to modern technology making the distance between you and your family seem no more than it would if you lived in the city next to them?”

“What do you care?” she asked, anger suddenly snaking its way through her. “We spent one night together – that does not make me answerable to you.” Snatching a bottle of wine from the rack beside her, she wiped the dust off it automatically and put it in the trolley. “And what are you even doing here, questioning me like this? You’re a guest and I’m working and your girlfriend will be wondering where you are.”

“My girlfriend?”

“Lady friend, lover, whatever she is to you. Go back to her.”

“You must mean Ramona.”

As if she cared a flying sausage what his lover’s name was.

He’d been on the guest list without a plus-one beside his name. She knew because she’d checked. If she’d known for a second he was bringing a woman with him, she would have refused to waitress and to hell with any guilt she would have felt because of it.

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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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