No Longer a Dream
Table of Contents
‘YOU have a delicious body, one of the most perfect I've ever seen, but I'm not in the mood for you right now, so could you get out of bed and get some clothes on?'
The velvet roughness of that American-accented voice, and the things it was saying, were enough to wake Cat from her heavy sleep, but it was the sharp slap on the tender flesh of her bottom that caused her lids to fly open.
For a moment she just lay there, the feel of the chocolate-brown silk sheet beneath her, sensuous against her nakedness. Nakedness! She looked down sharply, sure she blushed from head to toe as she saw she was indeed completely naked. She looked away quickly, falling on to her back, only to see herself again in the smoky brown glass of the mirrors directly above her. The whole ceiling was covered in mirrors!
Where was she? And who had that silky rough voice belonged to?
She was alone in the room now, so she could only put the questions to herself. And a couple of dozen more like them! Who's bedroom was this? What was she doing here? Who had undressed her? And why?
The last seemed the easiest to answer. Her first time in bed with a man and she didn't even remember it, didn't even remember the man! She covered her eyes with a groan, feeling sick.
‘It must have been some party.’ The velvety voice spoke with harsh amusement. ‘Would you like me to get you a hair-of-the-dog?'
She lowered her arm, didn't actually need to turn in the man's direction, could see his reflection in the mirrored ceiling. He was as naked as she was!
‘Have you gone back to sleep?’ he prompted hardly.
She wished she could sink through a hole in the floor and disappear, at the very least go back to sleep and forget this had ever happened. But she doubted she would ever sleep peacefully again, would always be frightened this nightmare was going to be repeated. For it had to be a dream; she didn't wake up in the bedrooms of men she didn't even recognise, let alone remember!
‘I can see that you haven't.’ He moved to stand over her, looking down at her. ‘I realise that you probably have a terrible hangover, but you've only yourself to blame.'
His voice definitely lacked sympathy, and Cat blinked hard as she looked up at him, unaware of just how much like her name she looked at that moment, her tumble of long blonde curls wilder than usual after a night in bed, her green eyes still sleepy.
‘Do you know where the bedclothes are?’ Her voice was a pained rasp, her throat feeling totally devoid of moisture, her tongue swollen and dry.
Dark brows rose over cold black eyes. ‘On the floor where you kicked them last night.’ He was totally indifferent to the fact that neither of them was wearing a stitch of clothing. ‘You're a restless sleeper.'
She wasn't usually—but then she had never shared a bed with anyone for the night before! She took advantage of his turned back, as he looked through the wardrobe that took up the whole of one wall, to pull the sheet from the floor over her body and up to her chin, sitting up to watch the man over its softness.
He had thick black hair, lightly sprinkled with grey, a finer, softer looking hair covering the whole of his body, and it was the rest of that body that made Cat gulp. This man was lean and powerful rather than muscular, his shoulders wide, his back taut with strength, his waist slender, his buttocks a muscular curve to his body, his legs long and fleshless. He was completely at ease, and yet the latent power was there.
Had she experienced that power? She didn't feel any different, but then that was no guarantee; maybe you weren't supposed to feel different! She had spent the last twenty-four years ‘saving herself’ and now she didn't even know what she had saved herself for!
The man turned impatiently. ‘Are you going to stay in there all day?'
The fact that she had never seen a man's body this intimately before was nothing to the shock she received when her embarrassed gaze finally reached his face. Caleb Steele! She couldn't believe it, but she would know that harshly attractive face anywhere. Even when he was standing across the room from her stark naked!
Black hair that was usually meticulously brushed back from his face fell forward in a damp swathe, eyebrows the same jet-black jutting out over cold black eyes, his nose an arrogant slash between high cheekbones, his sculptured mouth a hard, forbidding line. At almost forty he looked older, a cynical twist to his mouth, the same emotion reflected in those chilling eyes. He was also considered one of the most powerful—and dangerous—men in Hollywood!
He shrugged at her lack of reply, turning back to the wardrobe, taking a brown silk shirt from a hanger to shrug his shoulders into it. ‘Breakfast is out in the dining room. If you want any I would advise you to get up and get dressed,’ he rasped. ‘I don't sit down to eat with women who are only half-dressed!'
Caleb Steele, owner of the Steele film studios, an exclusive hotel and casino in Lake Tahoe, and with tremendous influence in some quarters of the media. He was also the man she had come to the party last night to meet. Well she had met him; God, how she had met him!
She cleared her throat painfully. ‘Mr Steele—–'
He turned around, tucking the dark brown shirt into the waist of black trousers, before sliding the zip up with a firm movement, his hands dropping down to his hips. ‘Caleb,’ he bit out in that Atlantic drawl. ‘Mr Steele is a little formal in the circumstances. That is my bed you're lying in,’ he pointed out mockingly.
She squeezed her eyes shut, but he was still there when she opened them again. She had guessed it had to be this man's room, from the sinfully mirrored ceiling, to the wide double bed, and erotic silk sheets. He gave the impression of a man who liked to be comfortable when he took his pleasure with a woman.
‘You also seem to have me at a disadvantage.’ He quirked those rugged dark brown brows enquiringly.
Oh my God, he didn't even know her name! ‘I'm Cat,’ she told him flatly. ‘Catherine Howard. And I've heard all the Henry the Eighth jokes I need, thank you.’ This occasion neither warranted nor necessitated one of the endless jokes she had been subjected to concerning her name over the years.
The firmly moulded lips didn't move by a fraction of an inch, and yet something, she thought it was the expression in his eyes, told Cat that he was amused. She agreed, this was hardly the time for outright laughter, about