DA SILVA’S BRIDE.
The following morning at breakfast, Amanda felt gritty-eyed after a restless night.Xavier, however looked as fresh as a daisy.
“I thought you might like to come around the estate with me today….get a proper feel for it,we can go on horseback”
Amanda’s tiredness subsided instantly, and her cowardly heart starting beating fast picturing them on the horse that day but today,she wanted to have a ride separately.
“Okay.That sounds nice”
A couple of hours later,astride a huge horse, with a wide hat on her head, following Xavier,she knew nice didn’t do it justice.
Amanda couldn’t help a burgeoning feeling of something scarily like joy from expanding her chest as she rode slowly on her horse.
Just then, Xavier stopped his horse and looked back.He sat with easy grace in his saddle,lean and awe-inspiring.Black jeans moulded to hard thighs muscles.Amanda gripped her reins hard.She’d been avoiding looking at him ever since she’d watched him swing all too lithely into his saddle.
He smiled.”Do you want to give these boys their heads?”
Amanda just nodded, incapable of speech and followed Xavier’s lead as he spurred his horse into a trot and then faster… into a full-on gallop.She could feel her own mouth bristle and move restlessly, taking a deep breath,she urged her horse on until he too was cutting through the wind like a bullet.
It was exhilarating.She bent low over her horse’s back feeling as though they were joined as one.She even pulled passed Xavier and felt a helpless gurgle of delighted laughter break out.But of course,he didn’t let her beat him for long, effortlessly, catching up and taking hold of her reins to slow them both down.
When she got her breath back, Amanda could see the outbuildings and Xavier explained that they were training grounds for the polo horses.
By the time the sun was setting that evening, Amanda’s head was spinning…. but not in that sickly way it had been the first day.It was buzzing with information.She found out that they hosted two world-class polo events there every year…. and she’d looked at the plans Xavier had made and wanted to give to Isobel as a suggestion to expand the grounds even further.
It was truly amazing.If her father’s estate had consisted of just the polo grounds,it would have been seriously impressive.But to know that the estate went on and included a livestock farm, and then an agricultural center…..
She shook her head trying to take it all in, looking into the distance.She felt Xavier come to stand beside her and her body made its predictable response.She avoided looking at him….in this milieu with his urbane surface stripped away,he was far too devastating.Right now,he was nothing like the person she’d built up in her head…who would have thought that she could have so much fun with this man?
He was proving to be quite a chameleon.The pure joy she’d just felt a short while before made her too raw and exposed.As if she was betraying herself in some way.Her voice was husky.”Thank you for showing me this”
He shrugged.”It’s nothing.We should better head back to the resort now, tomorrow I’ll show you the rest of the estate and tomorrow night, I’ve arranged for a barbecue at the resort so that you can meet everyone”
Amanda just nodded dumbly,her chest tight with conflicting emotions.
The following evening, back at the resort, Amanda grimaced as she got out of the bath tub in her suite bathroom.She ached all over from two days of being on horseback, but she couldn’t deny an inner sense of joy and satisfaction.Her mind shied away from thinking too much about Xavier and how Patient he’d been….. showing her everything…. explaining how it all worked.
When she looked at herself in the mirror a little later,she sighed.She’d put on blue jeans and a soft silk blouse.Not wanting to attract Xavier’s ire again, she opened up the first button having scaring visions of him opening it for her if she buttoned up too much.
Her hair was still a little damp, but it would be dry within minutes.She emerged from her room and ran into a wall of muscles.Xavier’s arms came to hers, steadying her.Amanda looked up and couldn’t move,her breath caught.
“I was just coming for you”
“I know where the barbecue is, Xavier”She choked out.
‘Please move back…let me go’She thought.
Xavier moved back but Amanda didn’t feel any safer.
“All the estate workers have come up for the barbecue.Do you think we can put on a united front for one night?”
Amanda shrugged, feeling hot.”,Of course”
He shook his head and folded his arms.”Not when you flinch every time I come near you or jump like a scalded cat every time I touch you”
“You don’t have to worry Xavier. I won’t ruin your perfectly planned reputation”She snapped.
He smiled smugly.”Good”He took her hand and Amanda fought not to jump.
He scowled,”Calm down,it really won’t be that hard”
The next day, while Amanda waited in the Range Rover for Xavier to join her and drive them back to Rome.She closed her eyes with a feeling of desperation.Things were slipping out of her control completely.Last night,she hadn’t been able to sleep a wink,her entire body tingling after an evening spent with Xavier glued to her side, holding her hand or snaking an arm around her waist, pulling her into him so tightly that she had felt her breasts pressing into his hard chest.
She felt as if she was in a permanent state of heat.Waves of it washing over her.And every time she tried to escape he’d merely teasingly pulled her back and pressed a kiss to her brow…..or worse,to her mouth…. sending her pulse rocketing into space.When he did that, it was so hard to try and remember why she had to keep her distance and protect herself and she was certain that he knew exactly what he was doing.After the barbecue,when he’d insisted on leading her back to her room,the gloating smile on his face had told her he’d enjoyed every minute of it.
Now,the insufferable man was striding towards the car and she instantly remembered that her one week grace was over.
Tonight,he would surely want to bed her.Miguel still wasn’t picking her calls,she was sure Alisha wasn’t back yet.She should never have agreed to this but now it was too late to do anything about it.
Amanda took a deep breath trying to think of another way of escaping his bed tonight.A thought crossed her mind.She had to pull this off.All she had to do was to be a good actress.