Ethan eyed her impatiently. ‘You really think I can do that?’
‘It’s exactly what I intend doing where you’re concerned.’
His mouth thinned. ‘And what happens if William should have another heart attack? Do I still “forget” that I know exactly where you are? That I ever saw you again?’
Mia gave a pained frown. ‘There’s no reason to think my father will have another heart attack. Is there …?’ she added uncertainly.
‘There’s no reason to think he won’t, either,’ Ethan rasped impatiently.
She gave an exasperated shake of her head. ‘I’m leaving now, Ethan, and I don’t ever want to see you again.’
‘Want all you like, Mia; it isn’t going to happen,’ he came back mildly.
She gave him one last frustrated glare before turning on her heel and leaving, knowing Ethan well enough to realise he meant exactly what he said.
‘I THOUGHT I had made my feelings more than clear earlier today about seeing you again, Ethan?’ Mia eyed him impatiently as he stood by the counter, arms crossed in front of his powerful chest, having arrived at Coffee and Cookies a few minutes before closing time, but making no effort to leave when the other customers did so.
‘You did, yes,’ he confirmed.
‘But you, being you, decided to ignore me?’
‘As I told you I would, yes.’ He nodded unapologetically.
Mia wished that Ethan didn’t look so heart-stoppingly handsome this evening, having taken off his jacket and draped it over one of the chairs to reveal a tight-fitting black polo shirt beneath that defined his muscled chest and arms, and a pair of well-worn denims that fitted snugly in all the right—wrong?—places. He was looking much more like the devastatingly handsome Ethan she had once known so intimately—and loved so completely!
Mia delayed answering by turning away to pull down the blind on the front window, at the same time willing her pulse to stop racing and her cheeks to cease burning.
She might have been completely thrown when Ethan turned up at Coffee and Cookies but the impressionable Dee had been delighted; obviously Ethan was just as devastating to the female population as he had always been!
But not to her, Mia told herself firmly. She was well and truly over Ethan Black. Had been over him for years.
And wasn’t she protesting just a little too much …?
Not when it came to Ethan, no! He had always been a force to be reckoned with, but the last five years had added a hard edge only a fool would deliberately choose to ignore. And Mia was no longer a fool.
‘I thought the two of us could go out to dinner.’
Mia turned sharply. ‘What?’
‘Dinner. You and me. Together.’
Her cheeks felt warm. ‘I’m just not getting through to you at all, am I? Let me repeat—I didn’t want to see you again, let alone go out to dinner or anything else with you.’
‘Perhaps you should wait until you’re asked for anything else before turning it down?’ he came back tauntingly.
Her eyed narrowed. ‘You’re really starting to irritate me now, Ethan.’
‘Only starting?’ He raised dark brows as he stood, effectively blocking her way, as she tried to move around him to the counter.
Mia breathed her impatience as Ethan stood tall and impenetrable in front of her. ‘Isn’t there someone else you could go and annoy this evening?’
‘No doubt many, many people.’ He nodded slowly, grey eyes looking down at her.
Mia wasn’t sure she could cope with Ethan in this lighter mood. It reminded her far too forcibly and uncomfortably of how it had once been between them. In another lifetime. Between two other people …
‘But I’m having far too much fun irritating you at the moment to want to be anywhere else,’ he assured her dryly.
She looked up at him. ‘Were you always this annoying, or is it something new?’
He gave an unconcerned shrug. ‘Considering we virtually lived together for three months, you would no doubt be a better judge of that than me.’
No doubt …
Just thinking of that three months when she and Ethan had been together constantly, night as well as day, was enough to cause an ache in Mia’s chest.
God, how she had loved him! She hadn’t been able to get enough of his company. Or their lovemaking …
Long, pleasurable hours of just touching, caressing, kissing each other, before coming together in slow and pleasurable strokes until they both reached a climax that left them trembling in each other’s arms. Or those other times, when they had been so hungry for each other they had barely been able to rid themselves of their clothes before falling on each other ravenously, their coupling wild, their orgasms earth-shattering.
Yes, she had loved Ethan—been in love with him, Mia acknowledged inwardly, but Ethan’s emotions had been nowhere near as engaged. He had been twenty-six years old, very ambitious, and Mia had been a sweet and tasty morsel for him to seduce and devour on his single-minded way to the top. He certainly hadn’t been in love with Mia as she had with him.
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