The Secret His Mistress Carried

By: Lynne Graham

‘I don’t want to be rude but I’d like you to leave,’ Billie admitted unevenly.

‘You haven’t even heard what I have to say. What the hell is the matter with you?’ Gio demanded, shaken into outright disbelief by her aggressive attitude.

‘I don’t want to hear what you have to say. Why would I? We broke up a long time ago!’

‘We didn’t break up—you walked out, vanished,’ Gio contradicted with harsh censorious emphasis.

‘ told me I needed to wise up when you informed me you were getting married and I did exactly like you said...the way I always did,’ Billie muttered tartly. ‘I wised up and that means not listening to a word you have to say.’

‘I don’t know you like this.’

‘Why would you? It’s been two years since we were together and I’m not the same person any more,’ Billie told him with pride.

‘It might help if you could actually look me in the eye and tell me that,’ Gio quipped, scrutinising her rigid back.

Reddening, Billie finally spun round and collided dangerously with stunning deep-set dark eyes, heavily fringed with lashes. The very first time she had seen those eyes he had been ill, running a high temperature and a dangerous fever, but those eyes had been no less mesmerising. She swallowed hard. ‘I’ve changed—’

‘Not convinced, moli mou.’ Gio gazed steadily back at her, enjoying the burst of sexual static now thickening the atmosphere. That her tension mirrored his told him everything he needed to know. Nothing had changed, certainly not the most basic chemistry of all. ‘I want you back.’

In shock, Billie stopped breathing, but within seconds his admission made a crazy kind of Gio-based sense to her. By any standards, his marriage had lasted a ludicrously short time and she knew Gio didn’t like change in his private life. To his skewed way of thinking, reconciling with his former mistress might well now seem the most attractive and convenient option. ‘No way,’ she said breathlessly.

‘I still want you and you still want me—’

‘I’ve built a whole new life here. I can’t just abandon it,’ Billie muttered, wondering why on earth she was stooping to making such empty excuses. ‘You and didn’t work—’

‘It worked brilliantly,’ he contradicted.

‘And your marriage didn’t?’ Billie could not resist asking.

His hard facial bones locked in an expression she remembered from the past. It closed her out, warned she had crossed a boundary. ‘Since I’m divorced, obviously not,’ he fielded, smooth as glass.

‘But you and I,’ Gio husked, reaching out to grasp her hands before she could guess his intention, ‘did work very successfully—’

‘Depends on your definition of successful,’ Billie parried, her hands trembling in his, perspiration dampening her entire skin surface. ‘I wasn’t happy—’

‘You were always happy,’ Gio had no hesitation in asserting, because her chirpy, sunny nature was what he remembered most about her.

Billie tried and failed to draw her hands free of his without making a production out of it. ‘I wasn’t happy,’ she repeated again, shivering as the almost forgotten scent of him assailed her nostrils: clean, fresh male overlaid with tones of citrus and something that was uniquely Gio, so familiar even after all the time that had passed that for a charged and very dangerous split second she wanted to lean closer and sniff him up like an intoxicating drug. ‘Please let go, Gio. Coming here was a waste of your time.’

His hot urgent mouth swooped down on hers and he feasted on her parted lips with fiery enthusiasm, plundering and ravishing with a hunger she had never forgotten. Electrifying excitement shot through Billie like a lightning bolt to stimulate every skin cell in her body. The erotic thrust of his tongue into her mouth consumed her with burning heat and a crazy urge to get even closer to that lean, virile body of his. Wild hunger started a glow of warmth in her pelvis and made her nipples tighten and strain. She wanted, she wanted...and then sanity returned like a cold drop of water on her overheated skin when Theo wailed from the kitchen, jarring every maternal sense she possessed back to wakefulness.

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