Juliette let out a small hiss. “Too late! He caught you looking at him. From his expression, I’d guess he’s misunderstood your—admiration.”
Too late, Caroline realized she shouldn’t have looked back toward the matador. He’d stopped his rant to look directly at her, his dark eyes intense and mesmerizing.
Billy Squire crooned from the Walkman about paying dearly for your glory, but she barely heard. Her heart leaped into her throat, first with unexpected excitement, then with dread, wondering if he was going to pitch a tantrum because she’d distracted him in the middle of his argument about his lines in the script. She stood utterly frozen while Juliette discreetly pulled the tiny speaker from her ear as Squire sang about how you could never get away, because everybody wants you.
It seemed to take an eternity for the bullfighter to reach her with a measured stride, chest out and chin up, ignoring Cameron’s protests. The filmmaker signaled for the cameras to keep rolling, muttering that he wanted evidence if this jerk tried to get him fired.
The matador finally stood directly in front of Caroline, bowing elegantly without ever letting his eyes leave hers. She felt hypnotized and his gaze left her breathless. She heard him say something that sounded like “coo” and “foul.”
She didn’t know how to respond, or if she could even speak. Anything might set off this guy’s fireworks. He continued to stare unabashedly, waiting, a man who gets anything he wants. Juliette cleared her throat, glancing at Cameron and back at Caroline. “He spoke in French, ‘un coup de foudre,’ which means either a strike of thunder or love at first sight.”
Caroline’s mind reeled. Cameron impatiently reminded Alejandro that time was money. Alejandro kept his eyes on Caroline, but put his arm out to point back at Cameron, turning slightly in his direction to speak in English. “You do not tell me what to do.” He swung his arm and pointed to Caroline. “This beautiful young lady does. She has only to speak to me, and I will return to do whatever you ask.” He lowered his arm. “I must know your name.”
Caroline swallowed hard to gain her voice before she managed to answer. “My name is Caroline. Cameron Fisher is my uncle.”
Alejandro raised an eyebrow, slightly turning his chin in Cameron’s direction again without taking his eyes from Caroline’s. It was an astoundingly elegant, handsome pose that dripped with arrogance.
“Caroline...” Alejandro seemed to taste her name as he repeated it. “I am charmed. May I kiss your left hand?”
As if in a dream, she slowly put out her hand. The matador grasped it firmly, breaking the staring contest by studying her engagement and wedding rings. He closed his eyes and pressed his lips to her hand, keeping it in his right as he looked at her again.
“A wealthy man’s ring stakes his claim. You are married—the best kind of woman. Single women are too—complicated. They badger men for commitment.”
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