Shane moved to the club chair and sat down. He wished he didn’t have to go out that evening. Staring into his glass at the golden liquid, his mind wandered briefly to his date—a sexy actress. He had been going out with Heather Banks for a few weeks now. He took another sip and then put the glass on the designer coffee table. His thick dark brows furrowed. He really wasn’t in the mood to see her and probably make out with her. He looked at his black smart phone and was about to drop it on the table when it vibrated in his hand. His lips stretched into an affectionate smile when he glanced at the screen and saw the very person he’d earlier wanted to call—a twelve-year-oldLilyLakewith a big smile on her chubby face stared back at him. It was a picture taken a dozen years ago. He reclined into the seat, stretching his long, long legs on the matching ottoman.
‘‘I thought you’d forgotten all about me.’’ His voice was husky.
‘‘As if I could!’’ was the reply in an undeniably feminine sensual tone. ‘‘I was trying to call earlier…’’
‘‘I was doing the same, too,’’ he drawled.
‘‘Oh,’’ Lily bit her lower lip to stifle the smile. ‘‘Missing me?’’
‘‘Dream on, baby,’’ Shane replied with a chuckle, his midnight-blue eyes crinkling at the corners. He transferred the phone to the other hand so he could reach for his drink. ‘‘Actually, I realised it’s been ages since I spoke to you so I thought I should give you a shout.’’
Lily laughed because she knew it was a lie; he’d called her three days ago.
‘‘I’m coming over this weekend,’’ she stated quickly, pushing back a tendril that fell across her face with a somewhat trembling hand.
‘‘That’s great! You’ve just added a glow to my tiring day,’’ he said honestly. ‘‘I’ll come and pick you at the airport,’’ he suggested, taking a long sip of his wine, and acknowledging to himself that he was already looking forward to seeing her.
‘‘No, no, that won’t be necessary,’’ she said hastily. ‘‘Just—just send a car.’’
There was a small pause, and then Shane shrugged. ‘‘As you wish.’’
‘‘I hope I’m not disturbing your—your date for the weekend?’’ Lily knew his girlfriends. Shane was a very sensual man.
‘‘Nope. Heather and I will have dinner tonight so that takes care of that,’’ he explained. ‘‘Do you have plans for the weekend?’’
Lily shook her head as though he could see her. ‘‘No. I—I just want a quiet time with you.’’
Shane’s brows creased in a frown. There was something in her voice that he detected but couldn’t quite place.
‘‘Is anything wrong?’’ he enquired softly, trying to remember what her last problem was. It was about one of her shop attendants. Lily had complained that the girl had been negligent lately; frequently coming late to work, loafing about, and showing a general lack of interest in her work. He could remember his exact advice on that—immediate termination of appointment.
‘‘No, no,’’ she said now, bringing him back to the present. ‘‘I’ve got news for you.’’
‘‘Spill it out, then,’’ he demanded, crossing his legs at the ankle.
‘‘And spoil everything?’’ she teased, smiling. ‘‘You’ll have to wait for a while. And until then, it is goodbye,’’ she added, not wanting to prolong the discussion. Knowing Shane as she did, he would have her spilling everything over the phone without her realising it.
She heard his low voice as he murmured, ‘‘Never goodbye’’ before she ended the call.
She stood staring at the mobile phone in her hand as though she could see his handsome face; the beautiful blue-black eyes that could read her like a book, the long strong nose that always reminded her of a proud Roman soldier, and the well-shaped mouth that could be hard or sensual, depending on his mood.
‘‘Shane, Shane…’’ she murmured, a worried look replacing the earlier serene look on her face. She had tried to think of how her news would affect their relationship, but, for the life of her, she just couldn’t come up with anything.