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Seducing His Shy Cinderella

Written by Michelle Smart

Chapter Thirteen

How can you say that?” Jodie whispered, hugging her arms around her waist.

The control she was striving to hold onto was failing fast. All she could do was hold herself tight and force herself to be calm, otherwise the turbulence raging beneath her skin would explode out of her.

Why did the elevator choose to break down now, when she was alone with the one man she was terrified of being alone with?

“You left without saying goodbye. Believe me, that spoke volumes.” Then he shook his head and took a deep breath, looking away from her to the trolley filled with some of the finest red wine in the whole of Tuscany.

Antonio helped himself to a bottle and raised it in the air with a grim smile. “One good thing is that we won’t go thirsty while we wait for rescue.” Then he slipped his free hand into his dinner jacket and pulled out a penknife. With the press of a button, a short metal curly thing shot out, undeniably a corkscrew.

Despite herself, despite the situation they were in, Jodie gave a short snuffle of laughter. “You carry a corkscrew?”

He shrugged as if it were nothing. “I don’t know about you, but I’m going to sit down.” So saying, he lowered himself with surprising grace – considering his size – onto the floor and stretched his legs out before him. He took up practically the whole floor space.

He pressed himself close to the wall and patted the space beside him. “Come, my cold English heartbreaker, take a seat.”

A flush of heat swept up her neck to fill her brain, momentarily stunning her.

His English heartbreaker?

While she dithered, knowing her aching feet, which had been protesting for a good hour, would thank her for taking the weight off them but also sure her aching body would take too much delight in sharing such closeness with him, he deftly opened the bottle.

He passed it to her. “Ladies first.”

“I’m not a lady.” Her words were a meaningless jest spoken to hide her incomprehension. Had she really got everything wrong?

The look he gave her at this was so intense it was like being penetrated by a laser. “Sit down, amore mia.”

If he’d barked this order, she would have stayed standing out of pure stubbornness, but there was a gentleness to his tone she hadn’t heard from him since she’d left his bed. It pulled at her heart, and she found herself sitting in the space he’d made for her, making sure to cross her legs at the ankles and pull her too-short skirt down to as modest a level as she could get it. Despite her best efforts, far too much of her thighs were left exposed.

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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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