Lone Star Seduction

By: Day Leclaire

One


It was inevitable.

Rebecca Huntington knew it was only a matter of time before her path and Alejandro Montoya’s collided. In this case, literally. Stepping from the brilliant Texas sunlight into the elegant interior of the Texas Cattleman’s Club, she walked straight into his arms.

He caught her. Of course, he caught her. He had the reflexes of a cat, no doubt thanks to his years on the soccer field. For one brief, insane second her body gave, imprinting itself against his like a bittersweet memory. How many years had it been since they’d made love as though there were no yesterday, no tomorrow, only this moment of endless joy? She’d thought she’d found the love of a lifetime. Instead, he’d taken her innocence and ended their relationship with breathtaking cruelty, something it had taken her years to get over. And here she was, back in his arms, shades of that long-ago love affair haunting her still.

“Excuse me.” His voice caressed her, the passage of years having deepened the slight Latino intonation, making it even more delicious than when they’d dated. “If you’ll let go of me, I can leave.”

Part of her wanted to cringe and pull away. But she refused to allow him the satisfaction of seeing how much he could still affect her. She released her grip on him—why in the world were her hands grasping his crisp, white shirt?—and held her ground.

The sunlight streaming in through the open doorway hit him square in the face, leaving hers in shadow. She could only be grateful for that fact when she saw the expression in his rich brown eyes—one of acute dislike, bordering on loathing. She didn’t understand it, had never understood how their affair could have gone so hideously wrong. Nor could she understand why every part of her responded to him as though they were still one.

He towered over her five-foot-six frame by a full eight inches, though she managed to gain a small advantage with three-inch heels. High, sweeping cheekbones emphasized his deep-set eyes and framed a straight nose and full, sensuous mouth. She’d lost herself in that mouth, one skilled in the art of giving a woman pleasure beyond description.

She didn’t dare let him know how deeply he’d affected her. Somehow, someway, he’d use the information. And it wouldn’t be to her advantage. “If you’ll step back, I’ll be on my way,” she said.

He held his position for an extra second. And then she saw it. A blistering hint of those communal memories drifted into his expression, a fading echo of the passion they’d once shared. Like an ember hidden deep within a banked fire, her touch uncovered the white-hot blaze of his passion. Alex felt something for her. Still. Some small trace of the hunger and desire they’d once shared lived within him. And then it was gone, the sweetness fading beneath the acrid burn of bitter discord. But it was too late. She knew. He’d managed to bury his reaction with impressive speed, but she hadn’t mistaken it. The flame had been there.

Just as a matching flame burned within her.

As though aware of how much he’d given away, he stepped backward and gestured her in with a gracious nod. Both he and his sister, Alicia, had impeccable manners. Their mother, Carmen, who had also been the Huntington’s one-time housekeeper, had insisted on it. Forcing herself to move, Rebecca swept past without giving him another look. Recovering her equilibrium was an entirely different matter. She could feel his gaze like a fine-tuned laser frying a hole between her shoulder blades as she continued on her way.

She made a beeline for the Texas Cattleman’s Club Café, relieved to see that her luncheon date and best friend, Kate Thornton—now Brody—hadn’t yet arrived. It gave Rebecca a moment to sit and pull herself together. The waiter, Richie, who often served her and who had memorized the preferences of all the regulars, brought over unsweetened iced tea and a dish of lemon.

He greeted her with a broad smile. “Lots of action today,” he said in an undertone.

She grasped the topic like a lifeline—anything that would help erase Alex Montoya from her mind…and heart. “Interesting,” she said, taking a long, refreshing sip of tea. “What sort of action?”

“Some sort of meeting among our newer mavericks. Maybe they’re planning a coup to replace the old guard,” he joked. He looked up in time to catch a reprimanding glance from the hostess and segued smoothly back into the role of waiter. “I assume someone’s joining you?”

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