Soaring on Love(5)

By: Joy Avery



“Really?”

She nodded.

“Well, anytime you and your husband want to get away, let me know. You’re more than welcome to use my place. It’s not much, but it’s cozy and intimate. The perfect escape for a couple in love.”

A couple in love. Boy, he was laying it on thick. Tressa returned her attention to the darkness.

“Tressa, are you sure—”

Whipping toward him, she said, “Yes, I’m sure I want to marry Cyrus. Why does everyone keep asking me that?”

“I…was actually going to ask you if you were sure standing in this cold was a good idea.”

She eyed Roth dumbly, her level of embarrassment soaring to unprecedented heights. “Oh.” Compassion danced in Roth’s eyes as he scrutinized her. No doubt he saw right through her. How was that possible?

Standing dangerously close to her, he said, “If you ever need someone to talk to, I’m a great listener.”

“Thank you, but I’m—”

“Fine,” he said, completing her sentence for the second time tonight.

“You’re getting pretty good at finishing my thoughts.”

The corner of his mouth lifted into a sexy smirk. “If I thought that had been a compliment, I would say thank you.”

He was getting pretty good at reading her, too, because it had been a cynical remark. When she attempted to remove his coat to return it, he stopped her.

“Just leave it with the hostess when you’re done. She’ll make sure I get it. Good night, Tressa. Enjoy the rest of your party.”

“Enjoy the mountains.”

When Roth disappeared through the doors, she tightened his coat around her, inhaling his delicious scent. Had Roth’s intrusion really been her sign? She laughed at herself. No. Tilting her head again, she said, “God, if you send me a sign, please make it a pronounced one. I don’t want to miss it.”

Twenty minutes later Tressa found herself on the dance floor with her soon-to-be husband. With her thoughts still stuck on her encounter with Roth, she barely processed Cyrus’s presence.

“Should it bother me that my fiancée smells like another man’s cologne?”

This snagged her attention. Reeling back, she stared into Cyrus’s probing green eyes. “Excuse me?”

“You smell like him.”

Playing coy, she said, “Him, who?”

Cyrus’s features hardened and deep lines etched into his caramel-toned forehead. “You know what him I’m referring to. Don’t try to play me for a fool.” His expression softened. “I love you, Tressa. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. But I need to know.”

She searched his sad eyes. “Need to know what, Cyrus?”

“I need to know… I need to know if you’re sleeping with him.”

Tressa froze, stunned by Cyrus’s question. Her lips parted, but nothing readily escaped. Why in the world had Cyrus asked her that?

“I see the way he looks at you. Hell, he’s been staring at you all night. Every damn move you make. I don’t want to lose you. I don’t want to lose you to him.”

Cyrus’s words broke her heart. At that moment she realized how unfair she’d been to him. Cradling his smooth face between her hands, she said, “I would never hurt you like that, Cyrus. You’re the man I’m marrying, remember?”

A smile curled his lips and he eased his forehead against hers. “I love you, baby. I love you so much.” His expression turned somber and he rested his hands on either side of her neck. “I’ve made mistakes, Tressa. But I swear I’m going to be a good husband to you.”

Mistakes. What mistakes had he been referring to? Before she got the opportunity to ask, clapping sounded behind Cyrus. Tressa glanced over his shoulder, her gaze landing on a brown-skinned woman in a very revealing black gown. She wore a black fishnet veil that made her look as if she was in mourning.

“That was so beautiful,” the woman said, nearing them. “Too bad it’s nothing but a bunch of bull—”

“Natalie!” Cyrus barked. His nostrils flared and a vein pulsed in his neck. “What in the hell are you doing here?” he said through clenched teeth.

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