Damn, she was ringing all my bells at this point and so effortlessly too. “What would you like to eat Gabriella?” I lifted the leather bound menu and perused the fare on offer.

I wasn’t really hungry but I figured she needed to eat and knowing Marion, all that would be on offer was sparkling water and lettuce.

The woman starved herself to keep up with the models and starlets that graced the covers of the magazine she worked for.

Besides, I wasn’t quite ready to relinquish her company just yet, but I wasn’t gonna look at the reasons for that too closely right now.

She had another dangerous affectation, dangerous to me anyway. She held her tongue in the crease of her lips as she studied the menu.

I knew she wasn’t doing it on purpose, that it was just something she obviously did naturally, but that just made it worst. “Is it okay if I have a burger?” She finally felt brave enough to look up at me.

I could cry, really. She was just so…fuck; the way she looked over at me as she waited for me to tell her yes or no to a question that the average person would’ve taken for granted had my cock doing hand springs.


“If that’s what you want sweetheart.” It was a wonder my voice remained calm and level. There goes that blush again. She ducked her head again and went back to gnawing on that lip.

I felt the restless tension that had been riding me for so long now start to dissipate. Just sitting there across from her in that dimly lit room, with the candlelight glinting off her hair and adding a certain glow to her skin, I felt something in me shift.

I’ve always been a man of action, always went after the brass ring, and taking chances was in my blood. I got that from gramps, he was the risk-taking king. But I would have to go slow here; there were too many variables at work for me to do otherwise.

The waiter came over and took our orders and when she looked to me to place hers as well, that simple gesture sealed her fate.

My mind was in a quandary as to how I was gonna play this, but at least my cock was happy again, the silly bastard. He never saw trouble he avoided.

I gave the young waiter our orders and waited until he walked away to set my plan in motion. I hadn’t missed the looks he’d been giving her under his lashes and that was another reason why I had to move fast.

With her looks and sweet disposition, I had no doubt the sharks will be swarming, especially if Marion exposed her to some of her less than exemplary friends.

I couldn’t let that happen, no one else was going to touch her but me. I studied her as I tried to put shit in perspective. If I did this I’d better be sure of my intentions.

It was one thing to go on the hunt in the midst of the women who were part of the game. The more sophisticated crowd who knew what they were about and who, like me and so many others, were just looking for a good time.

Someone like her would be crushed if I were to use and discard her so callously I had no doubt. If she had been indifferent to me maybe that would’ve saved her.

But I didn’t miss the way she kept blushing each time she stole a look at me, or the way she flushed and fidgeted in her seat whenever my attention was turned completely on her.

It could’ve been her natural reaction to being with a strange man, but somehow I didn’t think so. I’m man enough to know when a woman or girl in this case, is interested in me.

Now how do I turn that interest into something I wanted, something that could be satisfying to both of us?

Chapter 3

GABRIELLA

I’m going to make a fool of myself I just know it. My heart was racing so fast I was surprised he couldn’t hear it and my palms were sweaty. I couldn’t bring myself to look at him; he was just so much everything that I would’ve dreamed of if I’d known he existed.

And to think I use to feel sad and left out when the boys back home chose the other girls over me. Use to think that Dale Thorpe was the coolest thing on two legs.

Hah! Well it stands to reason that if I couldn’t even catch the attention of Dale that there was no way this man would ever notice me.

And what are you thinking Gabriella Harper? Since when do you let your head run away with you? Maybe it’s true what they say about big cities, they have a strange affect on people.

Whatever the case maybe, I know that I’ve never felt this way before. My tummy hurt and I felt like crying for no reason at all.

Well there was a reason; I was mooning over a man that wouldn’t even spit on me if I were on fire. He was probably just bringing me to eat out of pity, or aunt Marion had paid him to.

I’d thought that maybe my reaction to him at the train station was an anomaly; I’d convinced myself that it was just because it was my first time here, and he was a handsome stranger.

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