The closer Molly got with her tray of drinks, the taller the Spaniard seemed to get and her curious gaze rested on him, greedily noting every detail of his stylish sophisticated appearance. His suit had the classic tailoring and sheen of the most expensive design and the highest quality. He looked rich to her and more as if he owned a bank than worked in one.
‘Sir?’ Molly extended the tray and spoke to gain his attention. He gazed down at her and she discovered that he had wonderfully thick sooty eyelashes for a man and eyes the colour of hot golden honey. Meeting those glorious eyes, she felt as dizzy as if she were suddenly falling from a height.
‘Thank you.’ Leandro accepted a glass and drank thirstily, for his mouth was very dry. Had it not been for the fact that the Forfars were also close friends of his mother’s, he would have definitely stayed at home that evening. A throat infection and a course of antibiotics were making Leandro feel under par. His conscience would have found it a challenge, however, not to show up even for the evening party when he had already successfully avoided attending the actual wedding. In the mood to be alone, he had also given his usual entourage of chauffeur and bodyguards a night off and had driven himself out.
His attention rested on the bridal couple, who were clearly engaged in a dispute, which gave the bride a shrewish look and the groom the pitiful air of a discomfited man wishing he were anywhere but where he was. Leandro knew that feeling. He didn’t like weddings either. The artificial jollity left him cold and the divorce statistics made nonsense of the romantic frills and the heartfelt promises. He could not imagine ever wanting to marry again and cherished his freedom from that constraint.
Picking her way through the knots of chattering guests, Molly was taken aback when she caught the tall, dark handsome banker’s gaze resting on her face. She went pink, wondered why he looked so forbidding and could not resist smiling in the hope of cheering him up.
The little waitress’s sunny smile was as enchanting as her face, Leandro acknowledged, the dark mood that had overtaken him lightening at that fresh sight of her. Almond-shaped green eyes like a cat’s sparkled above an unrepentantly upturned nose, dimples and a ripe rosy mouth with a pronounced Cupid’s bow. The instant he registered that he was staring, he questioned what he was doing and directed his attention back to the drink in his hand. But, strangely, all he could still see were those bright feline eyes and that marvellously full pink mouth that contrived to combine her curious mix of girlish innocence and feline sex appeal with astonishing efficiency. He was surprised at himself and even more disturbed by the sexual heat stirring him, for he had not been with a woman since Aloise had died. Guilt had killed his libido as surely as death had claimed his wife.
‘Over here, luv!’ a bold voice called.
Molly hastened to serve drinks at a greater speed for the reception rooms were steadily filling up. A trio of young men who had evidently already enjoyed a few drinks made frank comments about her curvaceous figure as she served them. She gritted her teeth and ignored the over-familiar cracks, walking away as soon as she could. She went back to the bar to collect more orders.
‘The VIP’s got an empty glass,’ Brian warned her anxiously. ‘Look after him.’
Molly tried not to look at the banker this time, but her heart was thumping even as she walked across the room towards him. The sense of anticipation and the craving were too great a temptation for her and she surrendered and looked at him again: he really was gorgeous, his black hair gleaming below the down lighters that accentuated his superb high cheekbones and hard masculine jaw line. Her mouth ran dry, helpless longing piercing her like a cruel thorn being driven into her flesh.
The power of what she was feeling shocked her. He was a stranger and she knew nothing about him, would most assuredly have nothing whatsoever in common with him. It was a purely physical craving but almost irresistible in its pulling power. For the first time she wondered if something similar had drawn her late mother to her married father and if she herself was guilty of being meanly narrow-minded and unsympathetic in despising her parent for getting involved in an extra-marital affair.
Leandro watched her walking back to him, marvelling at how dainty she was-a pocket Venus with child-sized feet and a waist he could probably clasp his hands around. She seemed to move in time to the music. Dios mio! What was wrong with him? She was a waitress and not fair game; he was not the sort of low life who hit on serving staff. But his wayward gaze remained stubbornly nailed to her surprisingly voluptuous proportions, noticing the tight fit of her shirt over her round little breasts and the peach-like curve and sensual jut of her bottom below her skirt. Her curling lashes lifted, her green eyes looking up direct into his. He felt the jolt of connection like an electric shock travelling through his lean, powerful frame to set off a chain reaction in his groin. He set down his empty glass on the tray she extended and lifted another drink. For a moment it crossed his mind that his thirst might be more wisely quenched with water than alcohol, but what happened next turned his thoughts in a different direction.