Continuing our

Countdown to PROJECT: RUNAWAY HEIRESS

I’m going to share some very special snippets from the story with you, pulling from The Beginning, The Middle, & (near, but not to close to :like ) The End.

I hope you’ll let me know what you think!

Impossible. This was impossible.

Lily Zaccaro maximized her browser window, leaning in even more closely to study the photo on her laptop screen. With angry taps at the keyboard, she minimized that window and opened another.

Dammit.

Screen after screen, window after window, her blood pressure continued to climb.

More angry keystrokes set the printer kicking out each and every picture. Or as she was starting to think of them: The Evidence.

Pulling the full-color photos from the paper tray, she carried them to one of the long, wide, currently empty cutting tables and laid them out side by side, row by row.

Inside her chest, her heart was pounding as though she’d just run a seven minute mile. Right there, before her very eyes was proof that someone was stealing her designs.

“Surely this suite is spacious enough for the two of us to manage without getting under each others’ skin. And we can ask that a cot be brought up before nightfall, set it up out here. I’ll use it,” he added. “You can stay in the bedroom.”

Some of the temper leeched out of her features, softening the lines around her mouth and eyes.
“I can’t make you do that. This is your suite, you should be able to enjoy the bed.”

He had half a mind to inform her that he’d enjoy it best if she joined him there. He hadn’t even seen the bed in question yet, but he’d stayed in enough luxury suites to have a pretty good idea of just how expansive and inviting it would be.

Surely enough room for two to sleep comfortably. And more than enough room for them to do much more than that.

Though he knew it was a bad idea all around, he indulged himself for a moment in fantasies of having her naked and in his arms. Of rolling around on slick satin sheets with her. Of having her beneath him, above him, plastered to him by their own perspiration and mutual passion.

His errant thoughts alone caused tiny beads of sweat to break out along his brow and upper lip. He could only imagine the physiological response he might suffer from full-on body-to-body contact with her of a carnal nature.

Nigel watched Lily walking toward him from the corner of his eye. He wanted to turn to her, cross the rest of the distance between them, grab her up, and never let go. Instead, he remained turned slightly away, fighting to school his features, keep his heart from breaking out of his chest.

Blast it all, he’d missed her. As angry as he’d been at her . . . as hurt by the fact that she’d lied to him, pretended to be someone she wasn’t . . . he’d still missed seeing her, touching her, hearing her laugh, watching her lips curl into a smile. Every day since she’d left, he’d wished she were back . . . then cursed himself for being such a weak, pathetic fool, so easily swayed by womanly wiles.

And yet here he was. He’d flown all the way across the country to see her again. And to get some answers to the questions he’d been too bitter and infuriated to ask before she’d walked out of Ashdown Abbey and returned to her real life in New York.

The question was: could he ask them and wait for her response without reaching for her and saying to hell with anything else?

When she was only a few feet away, he turned to face her fully. The sight of her punched him in the gut. If he’d been breathing to begin with, the air would have puffed from his lungs in a whoosh.

Fisting his hands at his sides, he forced himself not to react. Outwardly. She didn’t need to know that inside, a team of wild horses was running rampant through his bloodstream.

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