By Natasha Tate
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Platinum cuff links, the glint of an expensive watch and the hint of bristle beneath closely shaved skin gave him an untamed, dangerous edge that threatened to unravel her composure altogether. “No,” she whispered. She’d thought she’d never see him again. Ever. She’d sent him away, hurt him terribly and he’d left without a backward glance. ” “To be honest, I hadn’t planned to attend tonight,” he said, his low voice an intimate hum against her cheek. ” Unable to bear his nearness any longer, she pulled from his grasp.
It had never mattered how busy Ethan was, he’d always made time for her. He’d gone without sleep, without meals, just to steal another minute with Cate. He remembered how, on moonlit nights, he’d gallop down the pristine white beach after her, watching as her hair twisted in the breeze. Ethan had always allowed her to win their clandestine races. And after he lost, he’d always paid whatever forfeit she demanded. Despite the warnings of his father, he’d always, always paid. “Among other things,” she admitted in a low voice.
Beneath the smooth, cultivated charm of wealth and power, no hint of his past self remained. Gone was the boy who looked as if he’d swallowed sunlight, as transparent and uncomplicated as the clear water along their beach. A stranger stood in his stead now, a hard, implacable stranger with no softness to him at all. ” she finally managed. A sardonic curve lifted one side of his mouth while his eyes dipped to caress her trembling lips. ” This Ethan Hardesty was polished, elegant and powerful in a way that intimidated any who dared to intercept his path.