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Reflected Pleasures

September 2005
Silhouette Desire
ISBN # 978-0373766796

A gypsy legacy seems strange to billionaire Tyson Steele; an antique mirror with no reflection. But the gypsy knows it's just what he needs, a way to see past appearances - to find the truth. Merri Davis is not what she seems, but Ty must find out that looks can be deceiving. Merri must help him shed his own gruff appearance, and then she helps him find his heart.

More about The Gypsy Inheritance

Reflected Pleasures

 

“Back before dinner, when you were playing with the kids on the lounge floor...” he began. “Were those tears in your eyes?”

Ah. He’d managed to hit on one of her sore spots. Well, she would tell him the truth of this one. She wished she could always tell him the truth. It wasn’t possible. But there was no sense lying about something that she considered to be nonsense.

“Yes. Silly, huh?” She fidgeted under her seat belt but kept her eyes trained out the windshield. “Those little girls were so sweet to me...so needy. They actually wanted me to stay with them.”

She turned her head away from Ty in order to stare out of her side window and lowered her voice to a whisper. “No one’s ever really wanted me that much before.”

“No one?”

She shook her head, but didn’t imagine that he would be able to see her in the darkness.

“I want you, Merri,” he said in his own whispered voice.

Whipping her head around, she caught the hungry look in his eyes before he turned to face front again. “Oh, sure you do,” she said on a strangled gurgle. “You want me to do a good job of fund-raising.”

“Yes. That too. But...”

She could hear the desire - - slow, silky and sensuous in his voice. It threw her, set her soul aflame. In self-defense she slipped into her mother’s spoiled-diva persona.

“Don’t tell me we’re going to have the talk about you taking me to bed? If that’s the wanting you mean, it can’t happen.”

Through the darkness of the truck cab she saw him set his jaw and narrow his eyes. “Not at all,” he began in a low and dangerous tone she’d not heard from him before. “I know you’ve felt the electricity between us...just like I have. But I have no intention of jumping your bones. I may be an ogre to work with, but I don’t force myself on employees - - Miss Davis.”

Merri was flustered. Her stomach was doing little back flips. She could imagine the two of them together, taking pleasure in each other’s bodies and finding that special high peak that had always in the past alluded her.

But the reality of the situation, the fact that she couldn’t tell him the truth of who she was, drove her mind and eyes back around to face the chilly night. And to stare at the raindrops that had begun to fall on the windshield. She thought about running away from her feelings - - and from him.

However, this place had been her last resort. She’d already run away once - - from the press and her old life. This time she had to stay and fight for what she wanted. Even if it meant fighting her own desires.

Ty didn’t wait for her to deny or agree with his statement. “What I meant by needing you...was...I need a friend,” he said in a quieter tone. “I’ve told you before that helping underprivileged kids means everything to me. It’s the one thing I can really do to give back.

“I have...had...a great aunt who just passed away,” he continued sadly. “Lucille gave me a hand up when I was down on my luck. She paid for my college and gave me the money to buy my first fixer-upper properties...because she believed in me. But there was never anything I could give her - - or any way to adequately thank her. And now there never will be.”

Merri could hear his voice crack under the strain of grief. Damn, but this guy could get under her skin - - in so many different ways. She’d never met anyone like him.

Ty took a deep breath. “I thought raising money for a charity would be easy. But it isn’t. At least, not for me. And my foundation can’t do it all.

“Frank suggested to me that you might be willing...” he began. “Well, to give me a few pointers. How to say the right things. And dress more like - - I don’t know - - a banker maybe. Learn to ask for what I need...and not simply demand.”

“Ty...” Merri began again as she gently touched his arm. “You’re a decent man, with all the right instincts. Believe me, there are tons of slick fund-raisers out there who couldn’t care less about their charity or the suffering behind it. You do care, that’s easy for anyone to tell.

“All you need is a little polish,” she added. “I’m not sure I should be the one to help you...but...”

Before she realized his intention, he took one hand off the wheel and tenderly captured her hand within his own. “I can handle it if you can. I fully intend to keep my promise about seeing to your welfare. You’re in a new strange place. If you can stand me reminding you to take care of yourself, then I can take whatever stuff you’ve got to throw at me.”

The heat from his touch was frying her brain. Merri was half afraid that she would give anything - - take anything he ever wanted to dish out, if only he would touch her more often. But even wanting his touch so badly, there was nothing she wanted more than to be his friend, to listen to all his secrets and to share all of hers in return.

Unfortunately, her secrets had to remain buried. Ty had said, many times, that he didn’t care for liars. And that’s exactly what she’d been doing - - was doing.

Merri sighed. She wanted her new life badly enough to keep on lying to him, too. So, she intended to force these new erotic urges deep into her subconscious, and keep them forever buried.

 

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