She needed this one night for herself. She added another layer of charms around her car for good meas-ure. As she neared the door, she closed her eyes and breathed in, taking one last fresh intake of air before entering, she made mental notes of the scents and smells around her to compare when she left.
She asked for a seat near the window off to the side that set back into a small one-table alcove. Perfect. Private. Intimate.
Crossing the floor, she kept her eyes averted until she reached her table, immediately ordered a glass of her favorite wine and scanned the menu. Her stomach rumbled softly and she laughed, raising the interest of several couples a few tables away. She hadn’t meant to attract attention but the laughter slipped out before she could stop it.
Making up her selection, she handed the menu back to the water and sipped wine he’d brought. Languidly, almost automatically, her eyes wandered the room, taking a detailed note of its occupants. Now, she placed a protective shield around the room.
As the door opened, her mouth went dry. She felt the air back up in her throat as his essence poured over her. Oh, goodness, he was strong. Strong of body. Strong of mind. Strong of will. His aura spread through the room as if poured from a cup made of gold. Everything faded away as their eyes met and she felt a pull of need deep in her belly so strong she felt the contraction throughout her body. When she managed to force her eyes from his, she couldn’t blink away his image. He needed a haircut, she had noted, hair the color of midnight hanging in unruly disarray on his brow and curling over his collar. It was the eyes that held her enthralled. Eyes as black as coal burned into her soul from a tall muscular frame that heated her blood. She had the urge to run for her life knowing whatever spell she’d throw up, he would get through. She’d never been affected by a man like this and didn’t know what to make of it. She was eternally grateful when the waiter brought her food and she could avoid any further contact with the man. Was it a coincidence that he was here at the same time she was? Or, was he part of the tempest that was raging on the edges of her awareness?
She forced herself to concentrate on the waiter standing at her elbow waiting on instructions rather than on the stranger taking a seat on the other side of the restaurant. Forcing her eyes upward, she asked for the check and a to-go box. She’d take her meal with her and snack on it later. For some reason, she wanted to be on her way. Quickly. It had nothing to do with fear of being recognized and all to do the man watching her with curious eyes.
He handed her the check, waited discreetly while she searched her purse for a credit card and forced her-self to remain seated, carefully keeping her eyes averted until the waiter returned for her signature. She had to pass by the stranger on her way out of the restaurant and could feel his eyes on her every inch of the way. By the time she reached where he was sitting, she wanted to scream. Something new for a witch who was known for staying in control.
She could feel the aura that surrounded him, his strength, a potent mix of heady sensuality. Her body stirred to life. She stabilized her body, prepared to move passed him and out the door to freedom.
“Hey pretty lady, mind if I walk you to your car?” he asked.
She looked down her nose at him in a haughty manner, hoping that would deflate his interest. “I don’t make it a habit of allowing strangers to escort me anywhere.” She felt a slow burn in the pit of her stomach.
“Name’s Declan Fontaine.” He stood, offering his hand. “We’re not strangers anymore.”