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Cocky Fiance(33)

By:T.L. Smith & Melissa Jane



While looking for Garcia, who had conveniently managed to disappear, an arm wrapped around my waist that didn't belong to my determined dance partner. I was pulled back against a hard chest causing my hand to break free from Jarrett's, his stern face turning on me in suppressed anger.

"You ready?" my rescuer asked with a false familiarity. Looking up, I saw it was the perfect stranger from earlier. His brooding gaze was cast upon my face, eyeing me as if we were lovers. A small delicious shiver crept over my body and the small smile forming on his lips told me he noticed.

"We were about to dance," an irate voice broke between us.

The stranger turned his gaze to meet Jarrett's challenge. "No, you weren't."

And with that, I was led to the floor by a man who both chilled me to the bone and ignited my senses. Pulling me into his arms, he held me close, our cheeks touching. I wondered if he could feel my heart beating against his chest. I wondered if he could read my indecent thoughts. He moved with grace, his hand on my back holding me possessively close, his delicious cologne consuming my senses.

"Who are you?" I managed after some time, my shaky voice betraying me. Why did he make me so nervous?

"Someone you probably don't want to know," he said with such certainty. His rough cheek grazed over mine, my eyes closing against the sensation.

"Then why are you dancing with me?"

"Because you intrigue me, Nina Cross." How did he even know my name?

"I'm just another face in the crowd."

"Even if you were in masquerade, I would know those lips anywhere."

Oh!

He speaks and I feel like a giddy teenager with a crush. The orchestra was beginning to fade and I was caught between wanting to run from this man, or to stay in his arms at all costs.

"So you know who I am, tell me who you are?"

"You should be careful who you trust, Nina," he warned even though I was certain it wasn't said to scare me. He held me tight preventing me from pulling away.

"Why?" My hackles were raised, that now familiar chill taking hold. "What makes you say that?"

"Thank you for the dance," he said, beginning to loosen his grip on my waist.

"Wait. Tell me who you are."

This time, drawing me in close, lips grazing my ear, he whispered four words I wasn't expecting. My body shook as he lingered, letting them have to their full effect.

Four words that ignited a fear deep within.

Four words that left me breathless as he turned his back and disappeared into the crowd.

Four words.

I am your ruin.


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