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At The Boss's Beck And Call(7)

By:Anna Cleary

If only he hadn’t seen into her eyes.

He dropped the crushed list of candidates just as the phone rang. He wasn’t a violent man, but he raised his hand to sweep the phone off the desk. Restraining himself just in time, he lifted the receiver and dropped it gently back onto its cradle.

Sacramento. She deserved everything he gave her. Everything.


IN LARA’S office, people were venting their feelings.

‘No room for human frailty! Did you hear that? What a crock.’

‘Did you see his eyes? How can anyone be so hot and icy cold at the same time?’

‘Hot, cruel and ruthless. You only have to look at his mouth. Oh-h-h…’ Lara’s neighbour closed her eyes and breathed ‘…that mouth.’

Lara sat silent at her desk while the comments washed around her, trying to come to terms with this other Alessandro, this cold, efficient Alessandro who felt nothing for her now, not even friendship. How could a snub be so polite and feel so savage at the same time? Regardless though, she still couldn’t help feeling ridiculously sensitive to everything they said about him.

Kirsten, their senior, took a relaxed view. ‘I suppose we could have expected something like this. Scala isn’t exactly a charity. With them it’s about the bottom line. We might even enjoy a little bit of organisation around here. And I guess we can all defend our own corners, can’t we?’ She winked. ‘Anyway, that guy won’t want to be hanging about in this outpost of civilisation for long, so he won’t waste time appointing the new MD. He won’t even be here long enough to discover our charms before he’ll be gone like that.’ She clicked her fingers.#p#分页标题#e#

Lara tried to keep her face from revealing anything. What would they say if they knew he’d already discovered hers? That suite at the Seasons had been enshrined in her heart as one of the sacred spots in Sydney.

She’d never forget their last afternoon.

Before Alessandro, she’d never been in a really expensive hotel. He’d commandeered a suite for his stay, with a little sitting room opening from the bedroom. The windows were wide, with spectacular views of the harbour and the Opera House.

She’d dreaded that last day’s dawning with every fibre of her being. It had been their most beautiful, and the hardest. Every second had been precious, every moment bittersweet, with goodbye looming over them like Armageddon.

She’d done her best to conceal her heartache. Alessandro had teased her about being quiet at first, then had himself become unusually quiet and grave. After lunch he’d taken her up to his room. To mull things over, he’d said.

He’d poured the champagne. Clinked glasses with her. Toasted her.

Before she’d even had time to sip hers, he’d gently taken the glass from her hand and set it down, then, with his dark eyes so fierce and intense that she’d actually trembled with excitement, he’d swiftly and expertly stripped off her clothes and flattened her to the bed.

And it had been fantastic. So heartfelt and emotional. It must have been one of their most impassioned feats of lovemaking.

Afterwards, lying beside him, tracing the lean, hard contours of his bronzed body with her fingers, she’d winched up all her courage.

She’d begun, as casually as possible, ‘You know, Alessandro, I’ll-miss you.’ She’d given a small laugh, for fear he’d guess the frightening force of her feelings. ‘I really do wish-you weren’t going.’

There’d been a tiny tremor in her voice. Had she gone too far?

He’d been silent for such an eternity, his elbow crooked over his eyes while her heart trembled in terror. Just when she’d been ready to hit the self-destruct button, his voice had come from so deep within him it had been like a groan.

‘I have to go.’ Then he’d turned on his side towards her. It had been an electric moment. Instead of their usual cool amusement, his dark eyes were glowing, their gaze warm and compelling.

‘So, tesoro. I’ve been thinking too. Why don’t you come?’

She’d stared at him in shock. ‘What? You mean…to America?’

‘Sure, America. Why not? You’ll love it. It’s only for a few months. When the semester finishes I go back to Italia.’ Then he’d added lightly, as if dropping the words into a pool to see what ripples formed, ‘You can come home with me.’

Home. When she didn’t answer at once, too many wild pictures flashing through her head-her job, her parents, plunging into the unknown with him when she hardly knew him. Overseas, when she’d hardly even been out of New South Wales.