His dark eyes heated her with memories as he strode toward her. His long legs ate the ground in giant slices, his khakis and sports jacket declaring him in the middle of a work day. He stopped in front of her, his broad shoulders blocking the sun and casting his handsome face in shadows. But she didn’t have to see to know his jaw would be peppered with the stubble that seemed to grow in seconds after he shaved. Her fingers – her body – remembered the texture of that rasp well.
Her breath caught somewhere in her chest.
He folded his arms over his chest, just under the Hurricanes logo stitched on the front of his jacket. “Welcome to the States, Erika. No one mentioned your intention to visit. I thought you don’t like sports.”
“And yet, here I am.” And in need of privacy out of the bright Louisiana sun and the even brighter curious eyes of his team and staff. She needed space and courage to tell him why she’d made this unexpected journey across the Atlantic to this muggy bayou state. “This is not an official royal visit.”
“And you’re not in uniform.” His eyes glided over her wrap around dress.
“I’m out of the service now.” About to return to school to be a nurse, the career field she’d hoped to pursue in the military but they would not allow her such an in-the-field position, instead preferring to dress her up and trot her around as a figure-head translator. “I am here for a conference on homeopathic herbs and scents.” A part of her passion in the nursing field, and a totally made up excuse for being here today.
“Are you here to share specially scented deodorant to my players? Because they could certainly use it.” His mouth tipped with a smile.
“Are you interested in such a line?” Still jet-lagged from the transatlantic flight, she was ill-prepared to exchange pleasantries.
“Is that why you are here? For business?”
She could not just banter with him. She simply could not. “Please, can we go somewhere private to talk?”
He searched her eyes with for a long moment before gesturing over his shoulder. “I’m in the middle of a meeting with sponsors. How about supper?”
“I am not here for seduction,” she stated bluntly.
“Okay.” His eye brows shot upward. “I thought I asked you to join me for gumbo, not sex. But now that we’re talking about sex–”
“We are not.” She cut him short. “Finish your meeting if you must, but I need to speak with you as soon as possible. Privately. Unless you want your personal business and mine overheard by all of your team straining to listen.”
She definitely was not ready for them to hear she was pregnant with the heir to the Reynaud family dynasty.
USA Today bestseller and RITA Award winning author Catherine Mann writes contemporary romance for Berkley, Harlequin, Sourcebooks and Tule. With over sixty books released in more than twenty countries, she has also celebrated six RITA finals, an RT Reviewer’s Award finalist, three Maggie Award of Excellence finals and a Bookseller’s Best win. Catherine and her flyboy husband live on the Florida coast where they brought up their 4 children – and still have 5 four-legged, furry “children” (aka pets). Catherine is an active volunteer with an animal rescue, serving on their Board of Directors and fostering over 200 puppies, ill dogs, and dogs with service/working potential.