Laird was standing by the fireplace, scowling at her. Martina was thrilled that he was finally there in her flat. They hadn’t seen each other for weeks. How she longed to throw herself into his arms but his demeanor kept her at bay. Several minutes passed during which neither spoke. They just stood there, watching each other.
Finally, Laird broke the silence. “I should punish you for the casual injustice you committed against me,” he muttered tightly. It was true. He still wanted to punish her for tormenting him, for making him insane with jealousy. He had been so relieved when he learned that the man he thought was his rival had gotten engaged. Still, it had hurt like hell to see her with him.
“I’m sorry, Laird. It-it was a foolish thing going into the restaurant with Steven.”
“I was so upset that I took Greta out for dinner and then to the theater.”
Martina stiffened. “Who’s Greta,” she demanded jealously.
“She was among the group of people I was having lunch with–the beautiful blonde.”
“So, what did you and she do after you left the theater?” The thought of him with another woman was unbearable. She wanted to throw something at him.
“I took her home.”
“And then, what?”
“And then, nothing. I bade her goodnight and left.”
“Why did you do it, Laird? Why did you go out on a date with her?”
“To punish you, Martina. Have you any idea of the torture you’ve put me through? How do you think I felt when you walked into the restaurant with another man and having to sit there and watch you have a drink with him?”
“I–I didn’t do it to punish or to hurt you. I wished I hadn’t let him talk me into having that drink with him. I left soon after you came out of the washroom. Laird, you have no idea how badly I wanted to come over to your table and apologize but I knew that wouldn’t have been the sensible thing to do because you didn’t want anyone to know about our relationship.”
“You told her?”
“She guessed. She saw my reaction to you and your friend. I couldn’t hide my feelings from her. They were written all over my face. It took the strength of Hercules for me to control my temper.”
“Why didn’t you come and see me that evening? Have it out with me instead of the cold treatment?”
“I was too hurt and angry. I needed time to cool off.”
“Was taking another woman on a date part of that cooling off?” she retorted, her eyes flashing at him.
He grimaced. “Now, you know how I felt when I saw you with him.”
“I remember Greta now. She’s very beautiful. Looks more like a model. I hate the idea of you having dinner and going to the theater with her.”
“And your friend looks like that movie star, Idris Elba. I hated seeing you with him.”
She stared at him. “You think Steven looks like Idris Elba?”
“I don’t, but Gordon does.”
“Oh, the retired Judge. He’s such a sweet man. I didn’t know that you knew him.”
“I’ve known him and his wife, Rachel for years. It was he who told me that your friend is getting married.”
“Yes and I’m going to be one of the bridesmaids.”
“I was relieved when Gordon told me about your friend’s impending nuptials. I-I was afraid that I was going to lose you to him.”
She was at his side in a flash. Reaching up, she held his face between her hands. “You’ll never lose me, Laird,” she said. “I love you.”
His eyes darkened on her upturned face and pulling her against him, he moaned, “I love you so damned much.”
And then, they were kissing each other wildly. Their clothes were soon off and in a heap on the floor by their feet. Still kissing, they got down on the rug in front of the fireplace. He was lying on his back and she was pressing hot little kisses all over his skin, driving him out of his mind. He closed his eyes as her lips burned a trail across his chest, down his stomach and lower. Moaning, his hands reached down and he grasped her head, his fingers digging into her scalp. Then, he pulled her towards him so that he could kiss her.
Several minutes later, she broke off the kiss and straddled him. She closed her eyes when she began to move against him. He watched her, breathing harshly, his eyes filled with desire and his fingers gripped her thighs. She looked exquisite. She reminded him of Lady Godiva.
He decided then that he was going to ask Martina to marry him.