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Home > Promised (One Night #1)(10)

Promised (One Night #1)(10)
Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas

‘What’s your name?’ I ask.

‘I don’t want to tell you, Livy.’

Before I can ask him how he knows my name, Sylvie’s cry across the party room plays on repeat in my head. I want to touch him, but as I lift my hand to rest it on his chest, he backs up slightly, his eyes nailed to my floating palm between our bodies. I pause for a second to see if he withdraws further. He doesn’t. My hand falls down and comes to lie on his suit jacket, coaxing a sharp pull of his breath, but he doesn’t stop me; he just watches as I gently feel his torso over his clothing, marvelling at the solidness beneath.

Then his eyes flick up to mine, and his head slowly falls forward, his breath heating my face as he nears until I finally close my eyes and brace myself for those lips. He’s getting closer. His scent is intensifying and my face is scorching from his hot breath.

But the happy chatter of women breaks the moment, and I’m suddenly being hauled down the row of cubicles and shoved in the very last one. The door slams and I’m whirled around, pinned to the back of the door with his palm over my mouth, his face close to mine. My whole body is heaving as we stare at each other, listening to the women preen in the mirror, reapplying lipsticks and refreshing perfume. I’m mentally yelling at them to hurry the hell up so we can pick up where we left off. I could very nearly feel his lips brushing over mine, and it’s just increased my desire for him tenfold.

It seems like an age, but the chatter eventually fades. My heavy breathing doesn’t, though, not even when he allows air into my mouth by removing his hand.

His forehead meets mine and his eyes clench shut. ‘You’re too sweet. I can’t do it.’ He lifts me and removes me from the doorway before hastily exiting, leaving me a stupid bag of pent-up lust. I’m too sweet? I let out a sardonic snap of laughter. I’m angry again – pissed off and ready to track him down to tell him who gets to decide what I want. And it’s not him.

Letting myself out of the cubicle, I run a quick check over my face and body in the mirror, concluding I look harassed, before exiting the bathroom and making my way to the kitchen.

I spot Sylvie appearing from the kitchen entrance. ‘There you are! We were just going to send a search party.’ She hurries toward me, her face turning from amused concern to concerned concern. ‘You okay?’

‘Fine.’ I brush her off, concluding that I must look as shook up as I feel. I don’t hang around for Sylvie to press further, instead grabbing a bottle of champagne and ignoring her inquisitive stare. It’s empty. ‘Are there any more bottles?’ I ask, dumping it down a little too harshly. I’m shaking.

‘Yeah,’ she replies slowly, passing me a freshly opened replacement.

‘Thank you.’ I smile. It’s strained, and she knows it, but I can’t shake my grievance or my irritation.

‘Are you sure—’

‘Sylvie.’ I pause from pouring and take a deep breath, turning and fixing a sincere smile on my harassed face. ‘Honestly, I’m okay.’

She nods, unconvinced, but she helps me pour rather than digging further. ‘I guess we should get serving, then.’

‘We should,’ I agree, sliding my tray from the counter and swinging it up to my shoulder. ‘I’m out of here.’ I leave Sylvie and brave the crowds of people, but I’m not as attentive to the guests as I was before. I don’t smile half as much when offering out the champagne, and I’m constantly scanning the room for him. I’m quick to restock in the kitchen so I can return to the masses, I’m not paying a bit of attention to my surroundings, and I’m at risk of making a complete fool of myself for a second time if my lack of attention causes me to bump into something and drop my tray again.

But I don’t care.

I have an unreasonable need to see him again . . . and then something makes me turn, an invisible power pulling my body toward the source.

He’s there.

I’m frozen in place, tray hovering between my shoulder and my waist, and he’s studying me, a tumbler of dark liquid hovering at his mouth. It draws my eyes to his lips – the lips I nearly tasted.

My senses heighten when he slowly raises the glass and tips the contents down his throat before wiping his mouth with the back of his hand and placing the empty on Sylvie’s tray as she passes. Sylvie does a double-take, and then swings around, clearly looking for me. Her wide browns land on me briefly before she starts flicking eyes full of intrigue, mixed with a little worry, back and forth between me and this confounding man.

He’s staring – really staring, and his companion must get curious, because she turns, following his line of vision until she’s looking at me. She smiles slyly, lifting her empty champagne flute. Panic sets in.

Sylvie’s gone, leaving it down to me to fulfil her request. The woman wiggles the glass in mid-air, a prompt to get my arse in gear, and my curiosity, coupled with my lack of bad manners, prevents me from ignoring her. So I make my way towards them – her still smiling, him still staring – until I’m standing before them, offering the tray to them. Her attempt to make me feel inferior is obvious, but I’m too intrigued to care.

‘Take your time, sweetheart,’ she purrs, taking a glass and extending it to him. ‘Miller?’

‘Thank you,’ he says quietly, accepting the drink.

Miller? His name’s Miller? I c**k my head at him, and for the first time, his lips tip knowingly. I’m sure that if he really let go, he’d probably knock me out with his smile.

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