The drunks cleared off and vanished into the gathering crowd when they realised how many people were watching the scene. Krystal Forfar waved away Molly with an angry gesture. ‘I think you’ve caused enough trouble! Mr Carrera Marquez? Shall I call a doctor?’
Molly sprang upright and watched Leandro stagger slightly as he straightened while coolly denying the idea that he might require medical attention.
‘I think you should go to hospital,’ Molly volunteered unasked. ‘You blacked out for a moment and you could have concussion.’
‘Thank you, but I have sustained no injury,’ Leandro drawled with arrogant assurance, smoothing down his rumpled jacket. ‘I think I would like some fresh air, though. It’s a little stuffy in here.’
‘What the heck happened?’ Brian demanded, hustling her away for a private chat.
Molly explained while Vanessa hovered.
‘The Spanish guy is a real hero-just imagine the likes of him bothering to interfere because a drunk pinches your bum!’ Vanessa exclaimed. ‘It’s not what you expect, is it?’
His behaviour had astonished Molly as well, but it had also impressed her, because the only other man she knew who would have intervened to stop a woman being harassed in that way was Jez. Molly took a plate over to the buffet and picked out a choice selection of the food and placed it on the tray with a drink. She carried it out through the French windows onto the balcony where Leandro Carrera Marquez had gone. Lean bold profile taut, he was leaning on the parapet and looking out over the bright lights of the city.
‘I wanted to thank you for telling that guy to lay off me. It was very brave,’ Molly murmured in a rush as she set the tray down on the table behind him. ‘I’m sorry you got thumped like that.’
‘If you hadn’t got in the way I would have hit him back,’ Leandro traded, turning to look at her. He was still marvelling at the surge of rage that had gripped him when he’d seen the drunk touching her body. The sight of another man getting familiar with her had been deeply offensive to him.
‘There were three of them and only one of you.’ Molly stretched up on tiptoe to brush her fingertips very gently over the darkening bruise forming on his olive skin. ‘You could have got really badly hurt and I feel guilty enough. I’ve brought you some food. Please eat something.’
The swell of her firm pointed breasts rubbed against his chest and her proximity gave him another opportunity to smell the already recognisable citrus-fresh scent of her hair. Raw sexual desire fired inside Leandro again with the force of a blowtorch. He studied the full soft curves of her generous pink mouth and burned to taste her. ‘I’m not hungry for anything but you,’ Leandro breathed thickly.
WHILE Molly looked up at him with vivid and curious green eyes, Leandro ditched all effort to resist temptation. He reached out and closed his arms round her to pull her into place against his lean powerful body.
Molly leant into him, her encouragement instinctive but new and strange enough to startle her. Long brown fingers meshed into her tumbling curls to tip up her face. She stretched up again and let her hands slide shyly through the silky depths of his springy hair. Her need to touch him was overpowering every inhibition. His wide, sensual mouth claimed hers with explosive passion.
Molly had never been kissed like that before, had never known such heat and urgency and excitement, and it was like being plunged into the eye of a storm. She felt dizzy and out of control. His tongue plunged between her lips and withdrew and quivering, scorching hunger pierced her like the blade of a knife. Elemental need leapt through her and screamed demands she was ill equipped to deal with. She trembled in sexual shock from the rush of sensation, her soft mouth still clinging to his as the peaks of her breasts tightened into taut, tingling buds. While her senses reeled from the touch and the taste of him her fingers closed into the edges of his jacket to hold onto him and keep herself steady.
A car alarm shrilled out somewhere in the street below and Leandro tensed and jerked his dark head up, his thoughts diving into a free fall of shock as he recognised that he was acting on impulse and without his usual intelligent restraint. Yet, letting go of her slight figure which seemed to fit so very neatly to his more solid masculine frame was one of the hardest things he had ever had to make himself do for he was painfully aroused.
‘I’m sorry,’ he murmured, and it was a mental challenge for him even to come up with the right phrase in English.
Molly was in a daze as well and quite unable to muster rational thought. ‘Why? Sorry?’ she queried as his lean hands closed over her narrow shoulders and set her very deliberately back from him.