“Indeed. And what sort of business might that be, if one may inquire?” Armed with his Cheshire cat-like grin, he moved in closer to sit directly next to me so that our hips brushed with the slightest of movements.
“I am an author doing research on one of my books.” I realized at that moment that he was formidable with his penetrating gaze and endearing dimples. Probably gets his way all the time.
“Hmm. So have you indulged in the delights of Madam Dubois Salon, then written your experience down?” He glanced at the organizer that leaned against my shins.
“If I did, I wouldn’t let you read it. So there’s no point in you asking.” I had a feeling that his next question would’ve gone in that direction.
“Actually, I have a better idea. My name is Travis and I’ve been to this establishment a fare few times.” With his index finger he wrapped a stray lock of my hair around the digit. “How about if I. . . Show you the ropes.”
Ever so gently, he pulled me closer. Without even thinking, I allowed him to press his lips to mine.
Ah, here’s that trouble my mind warned me of earlier. The sort of influence a gorgeous man has over me could be quite dangerous were to go down that path with him. It was then that another party entered the lounge, and thank heaven they did. He released me and focused his attention on the woman with a trolley full of water pitchers. I took the opportunity to gather my things. I stood just as the employee exited.
“I’ll be leaving now,” I murmured and strode for the door. Transferring my valise from my left hand to my right, I reached out for the knob. Instantly his hand landed upon mine. The brass was cold, unyielding and his flesh was rather the opposite.
“There’s no rush,” he intoned with more than a hint of intimacy, toying with the finger that would have been encased by a wedding ring had I’d found the right man. “At least let me buy you dinner.”
I had to refuse. I knew myself, and I also knew Travis’s future.
“And dinner would be served with numerous glasses of wine and that, sir, would lead me straight into your arms.”
His sly chuckle danced up my spine. “That’s the plan.”
As much as a night with a handsome man would do me good, I simply had to refuse his scandalous invitation. I retracted my hand from his grasp. “As tempting as your offer is, I must decline. I’m quite certain that, regardless of my absence, you won’t remain alone for long. I’ve observed jolly bachelors like you from afar and you’ll manage just fine without me.”
He made to protest but I stopped him. “There may come a time when you find that one special girl who melts your heart. I have a sneaking suspicion that your days of wine and rutting are about to precipitously come to an end.”
“You seem very sure of yourself.” He shrugged a shoulder as if he didn’t believe me.
“Count on it.” And with that, I left Madam Dubois’s and the flirty Travis to his vices.
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