At the entrance to the patio, she savored the feel of the nippy fall breeze on her hot skin. Then, a familiar laugh made her breath catch in her throat.
Standing by an outdoor fireplace of orange stucco and dressed in a fitted black tuxedo was Hayden Parr. In the pale light of the dozens of cast iron lanterns that were strewn about, his gray eyes appeared magically aglow. His rugged features were accentuated by the dancing shadows of light, making his strongly carved chin and sharp cheekbones even more luscious. In his hand was an old-fashioned glass of dark yellow liquid that matched the dark yellow furniture spread about the patio. He was talking to a beautiful brunette with stunning cheekbones, catlike brown eyes, and a lean figure, not unlike his. Draped in a black and white satin gown that gathered at the waist and collected on her right shoulder, she looked every inch the woman Madison knew she could never be: sophisticated, stunning, and irresistible to men. As she chatted with Hayden, she affectionately placed her smooth white hand on the sleeve of his black tuxedo jacket.
The well of jealousy that overtook Madison was unexpected; she wanted to scratch the woman’s eyes out. Feeling the desire drain from her body, Madison was about to turn away when Hayden’s eyes found her. Suddenly, she felt naked beneath his gaze. He seemed to drink in every inch of her, and without hesitation she knew what he was thinking. Any woman worth her weight knew that look when she saw it in a man. It was primal; it was instinctual, and utterly carnal.
Putting his drink down on a nearby table, Hayden abandoned the woman at his side and came up to Madison. “You look absolutely wonderful,” he purred in a voice akin to black velvet.
The rush of heat to her cheeks only compounded the tingling in her belly. “Thank you, Mr. Parr.”
He grinned, looking sexy as hell. “None of that Mr. Parr stuff tonight. We’re out of the office and this is a party. Call me Hayden.”
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