Beauty in the Billionaire's Bed - Page 15

And the trouble was, he was right.

Hot tears stung her eyes and the room blurred. ‘I’m so sorry.’ She gave a sob. ‘I’m really, really sorry—’

* * *

Arlo watched in horror as Frankie stumbled across the room. He hadn’t meant to upset her that much. It wasn’t something he did: make women cry. Make anyone cry. Even with Harriet he’d been polite—courteous, even. It was only after they’ve broken up that he’d felt angry.

But that anger had been nothing in comparison to the head-pounding fury that had swept over him as he and Frankie had stumbled into the Hall.

How could she have done something so stupid, so reckless?

Worse than her recklessness, though, was the knowledge that he had driven her to it.

He’d wanted to scare her as she had scared him, so that she would think twice before she did something so foolhardy again.

His heart contracted as he thought back to the moment when he’d looked out of the kitchen window and seen her red suitcase bobbing jauntily along the causeway.

Those few minutes driving over the cobbles had been some of the longest in his life. Even now, the thought of her slipping beneath the swirling grey waves made his stomach lurch queasily.


She had reached the door and her fingers were tugging helplessly at the heavy brass handle. Before he knew what he was doing he had moved swiftly across the room. He thought she would tense as he pulled her against him, but she seemed barely to register him, and he realised that shock at what had so nearly happened out in the storm was finally kicking in. Or perhaps she had been in shock the whole time, he thought, as for the second time that day he scooped her into his arms.

‘Shh... It’s’s okay.’

He carried her over to the sofa and sat down, curving his arm around her, holding her close as she sobbed into him.

Finally, he felt her body go slack and she let out a shuddering breath.

‘Here.’ He handed her a handkerchief. ‘It’s clean. And, more importantly, dry.’

She wiped her swollen eyes. ‘Thank you.’

The wobble in her voice matched the shake in her hands as she held it out. He shook his head. ‘No, you keep it.’

He watched as she pleated the fabric between her fingers, and then smoothed it flat, so that his initials were visible.

‘I’m sorry,’ she said shakily. ‘For putting you in danger—’

‘No, I’m sorry.’ He frowned, wondering why it was so easy to say that now, when earlier herds of wild horses couldn’t have dragged those words from his lips. ‘If I hadn’t kicked off at you last night you wouldn’t have felt like you had to take that risk.’

Gazing down at her blotchy face, he felt a prickle of guilt. And he certainly shouldn’t have kicked off at her just now—not when she was in such a state.

‘I was tired, and annoyed with Johnny, and I took it out on you.’

‘He did try and get in touch with you to tell you I was coming,’ she said quickly.

Possibly... Johnny always had good intentions, and usually he found it easy to overlook his little brother’s faults, but for some reason Frankie’s defence of him got under his skin.

She looked up at him and the blue of her irises was so bewitchingly intense against her dark, tear-clotted lashes that he almost lost his train of thought.

He shrugged. ‘I’m sure he did. Look, when the storm dies down a bit, I can take you to the station.’

She nodded. ‘I’m sorry for making such a fuss. I’m just a bit tired. I’ve been working stupid hours...’

He understood tiredness. Sometimes out on the ice fatigue was like lead in his bones. But there was something more than tiredness in her voice...a note of despair, almost.

His jaw clenched. He understood that too, but Frankie was too young to feel that way.

Tags: Louise Fuller Billionaire Romance
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