The Change in Di Navarra's Plan

By: Lynn Raye Harris


Drago had a sudden urge to laugh. It was as if a kitten had suddenly hissed and swatted him. And it had the effect of making some of his tension drain away.

“Then I apologize for being rude,” he said, amused.

She folded her arms over her breasts and tried to look stern. “Well, then. Thank you.”

He set the papers down on the seat beside him. “Is this your first time to New York?”

Her tongue darted out to moisten her lower lip. A slice of sensation knifed into his groin. “Yes,” she said.

“And where are you from?”

“Louisiana.”

He leaned forward then, suddenly quite certain he needed to make her feel comfortable if he was going to get what he wanted out of this shoot. “You’ll do a fine job,” he said. “Just be yourself in front of the camera. Don’t try to act glamorous.”

She dropped her gaze away and slid her fingers along the hem of her jacket. “Mr. Di Navarra—”

“Drago,” he said.

She looked up again. Her blue eyes were worried. He had a sudden urge to kiss her, to wipe away that worried look and put a different kind of look there. He gave himself a mental shake. Highly uncharacteristic of him. Not that he didn’t date the models—he did sometimes—but this one wasn’t his usual type. He liked the tall, elegant ones. The ones who looked as if ice cubes wouldn’t melt in their mouths.

The ones who didn’t make him think of wide-eyed idealists who chased after dreams—and kept chasing them even when they led down self-destructive paths. Women like this one were so easily corruptible in the wrong hands. His protective instincts came to the fore, made him want to send her back to Louisiana before she even stepped in front of the camera.

He wanted her to go home, to stop chasing after New York dreams of fame and fortune. This world would only disappoint her. In a few months, she’d be shooting drugs, drinking alcohol and throwing up her food in order to lose that extra pound some idiotic industry type had told her made her look fat.

Before he could say anything of what he was thinking, the car came to a halt. The door swung open immediately. “Sir, thank goodness,” the location manager said. “The girl isn’t here and—”

“I have her,” Drago said. The other man’s head swung around until his gaze landed on the girl—Holly, was it? Now he wished he’d paid more attention when he’d first seen her outside his office.

“Excellent.” The man wiggled his fingers at her. “Come along, then. Let’s get you into makeup.”

She looked terrified. Drago smiled encouragingly. “Go, Holly,” he said, trying the name he was fairly certain was correct. He didn’t miss the slight widening of her eyes, and knew he’d got it right. Clearly, she hadn’t expected him to remember. “I will see you again when this is over.”

She looked almost relieved as her eyes darted between him and the location manager. “Y-you will?”

She seemed very alone in that moment. Something inside him rose to the fore, made him ask a question he knew he shouldn’t. “Are you busy for dinner?”

She shook her head.

Drago smiled. He shouldn’t do this, he knew it, and yet he was going to anyway. “Then consider yourself busy now.”

* * *

Holly had never been to a fancy restaurant in her life, but she was in one now—in a private room, no less—sitting across from a man who might just be the most handsome man she’d ever seen in her life. The longer she spent in Drago di Navarra’s company, the more fascinated she was.

Oh, he hadn’t started out well, that was for sure—but he’d improved tremendously upon further acquaintance. He’d actually turned out to be...nice.

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