Belatedly he wished that he had booked a ticket to Guyana instead. The air hostess’s lilting Trinidadian accent reminded him of his mother’s Guyanese intonation and filled him with longing and nostalgia. But, he reminded himself ruefully, he was thirty-two, not two. His mother couldn’t kiss his hurt better like she had done when he was a little boy.
At the thought of hurt, an image of Dawn, his wife of seven years, surfaced behind his eyelids: her beautiful heart-shaped face framed by long dark brown hair; her shy long-lashed eyes; her sweet smile that could erase the tiredness from his body at the end of a long hard day; her petite, compact body with its narrow waist that he could almost span with his hands; her soft skin and her small firm breasts with prominent nipples she had always taken great care to conceal under clothing.
He had never told her that he’d stole occasional glimpses of their entwined bodies in the mirror of their built-in wardrobe as they made love. She would have been mortified if she had known. Those glimpses had heightened his arousal. Their cocoa-brown skin tones were so closely matched it was impossible to tell where she ended and he began, except for his harder, muscular frame contrasting with her smoother, softer contours. The sight of her slim body pressed against his had been so unbearably erotic.…
Abruptly his image was superimposed in his mind’s eye by one of rippling dark chocolate.
Damn you, Anthony! He silently cursed his best friend for the thousandth time in days, filled once again with the all-consuming rage that was bubbling beneath the surface of his tight-lipped exterior.
“Are you okay?” The softly whispered inquiry from the female passenger across the gangway to his left brought Kevin back to the present.
Curbing his annoyance, he opened his eyes, turned his head and looked into her worried dark gaze. Forcing himself to relax, he assured her, “I’m fine, thank you.”
“It was probably just a patch of turbulence,” she comforted, reaching over to stroke his hand which was clutching the armrest in a vicelike grip.
Turbulence? He had been so caught up in his own thoughts that he had been unaware of anything else, his inner turmoil greater than whatever the plane had encountered.
Her caressing hand was slim, long-fingered, soft and soothing. Kevin took an audible breath, slackened his grip on the armrests and released the last remnants of the fury that had engulfed him.
The woman and her male companion had been among the last passengers to board the flight. The tall, debonair, light-complexioned man was clearly twice the age of the stunning, dark-skinned diva.
And 'diva' she seemed to be. Soon after takeoff an air hostess had brought her two extra blankets, although she was wearing a woollen hat, thick jumper, baggy jeans and the pair of socks she had pulled on immediately after kicking off her red, high-heeled pumps.
As the man had tucked the blankets around her, Kevin had noticed the thick gold band on his wedding finger. The only ring she wore was an intricately designed silver ring on her left thumb.
The man had pulled out official-looking documents embossed with the Barbadian coat-of-arms from a briefcase and perused them for an hour or two before putting them away. He had then ensured that the blankets were still tightly wrapped around the young woman who, as soon as the man had tucked her in, had snuggled her head onto his shoulder, as if her head was too heavy for her poor neck to carry, and fallen asleep. Assured that his little darling was comfortable, the man had leaned back against the headrest of his seat, his head touching the top of hers and fallen asleep himself.
Kevin had shaken his head in disapproval, praying that as he advanced in age that his brain wouldn’t become addled enough for him to date a woman decades his junior. For him, there was nothing more pathetic than an older man trying to retain or regain his youth by dating a woman young enough to be his daughter. It was obvious that the man had been on a business trip. He had probably been too afraid to leave his nubile mistress alone for more than a day. She looked like the type to play while he was away.
Now she had awoken and was caressing the back of Kevin’s hand, looking at him as if she wanted to induct him into the Mile-High Club while the old fool was sleeping.
“Thanks for your concern. I’m fine.” Kevin smiled frigidly, pointedly moving his hand away from her seductive stroking.
She hastily removed her hand, snuggled her head back against the older man’s broad shoulder and closed her eyes without saying another word.
Yes, Ms Gold Digger, get back to your sugar daddy!
Well, excuse me for giving a damn! Kimberley Collins felt like slapping herself as she snuggled back against her father and closed her eyes in embarrassment.
She had thought the man was having a heart attack the way he had been breathing rapidly, his broad chest moving up and down in agitation, beads of perspiration popping out on his forehead, his hands gripping the armrests like his very life depended on it! Okay, maybe it hadn’t been that bad, but the man had been visibly distraught. Alright, if she hadn’t been constantly peering at him from under her lashes she might not have noticed his distress, but surely he couldn’t blame her for feasting her eyes when he insisted on looking so damned gorgeous. She had innocently reached across to offer comfort. It wasn’t her fault that his skin was firm and smooth, and felt so damned good under her fingers that she had kept stroking it longer than necessary.
Okay, she would admit that she might have gotten a little bit carried away. But damn, the man’s skin was deliciously strokeable! Taut, stretched firmly over the underlying muscles and so hot it warmed her chilled palm.
It was only as he had pulled his hand away that she had noticed the glaring line on his finger where he must have worn a wedding band until quite recently. In fact, the line was so glaring he had probably forgotten to put it back on after his shower that very morning!
He must think she was desperate!
Kimberley’s groan of mortification was thankfully muffled by her father’s sturdy shoulder.