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returning to Steve all evening, wondering what he was doing and with
whom.
What frustrated her was that she cared. The man was not a part of her life.
Why did she continue to think of him so often?
After the play, Gregory suggested they stop and have a drink somewhere. He
was a charming companion and an absolute fountain of information for her
article. Jessica found herself interviewing him, which he seemed to find
amusing. He was more than willing to oblige.
After a drink he took her for a ride to enjoy the lights of Sydney. By the time
they reached the hotel, Jessica was surprised to discover it was after one
o'clock in the morning.
As they crossed the lobby she said, "Oh, Gregory, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean
to keep you out so late."
"What nonsense. You don't owe me an apology. I have thoroughly enjoyed
your company."
"I've enjoyed myself very much. The play was really funny. I can't
remember when I've laughed so hard."
They stopped at the elevators. From the corner of her eye she saw someone
approaching and glanced around.
"Steve! What are you doing here!"
Steve flashed his smile as he looked over the tall, blond man standing beside
Jessica. ' 'I had a message from the family, so I thought I'd drop by." Before
she had a chance to respond he stuck out his hand. "You must be Phillips.
Jessica mentioned she would be seeing you tonight."
Gregory looked at Jessica, then back to Steve. "I'm afraid you have the
advantage, then. Jessica hasn't mentioned you."
"Oh, she's still a little miffed that our folks wanted me to keep an eye on her.
She doesn't like the idea of big brother watching out for her."
"I see," Gregory said with a smile. "You're Jessica's brother."
"Steve," Jessica asked. "What sort of message do you have that couldn't
have waited until morning?"
He dropped his arm around her shoulder. "Don't panic, now. Everything's all
right." He glanced at Gregory. "You don't have to worry about seeing her to
her room. I'll go on up with her."
Gregory nodded. "Whatever you say." He turned to Jessica. "I'll give you a
call tomorrow, if that would be all right?"
The elevator doors opened and Steve nudged her into the elevator. Jessica
barely had time to say, "I'd like that," before the doors closed between them.
She jerked away from Steve. "What do you think you're doing?"
"Just looking after you, that's all."
"I am perfectly capable of looking after myself, you idiot. Gregory must
think I'm a complete fool." "Nonsense. He just knows that you have a big
brother who cares about you."
The elevator stopped on their floor and they got out. When they got to her
room he held out his hand for her key. She slapped it into his hand and he
opened the door. She had left a small lamp on.
She marched past him. When she heard the door close she turned, her eyes
flashing. "I wish you'd get off this big brother kick. I don't need you or
anyone else looking after me. I'm doing just fine, thank you very much."
"All right. So I was wrong. Go ahead and hang me." He stood there, his back
against the door, his hands on his hips.
Jessica spun away from him. "So what is this urgent message from home?"
"I just made that up. Actually, I wanted to tell you what Johanson wanted."
She sat down on the side of the bed and pulled off her shoes. Rubbing her
toes she asked, "Why would you think I'd care?"
"Because it concerns you."
She glanced up. "Me?"
He grinned and wandered over to the window. "Yeah. Johanson was
obviously impressed with you. I suppose he wants to help you out with your
assignment."
She watched him warily. "How?"
"He's invited us to fly up to Queensland to visit % one of his plantations in
his private jet."
"You're kidding me."
"Nope. Thought it might help you with your article. I told him I'd check with
you and get back to him tomorrow." He glanced at his watch. "Today."
"Did he say where?"
"His place is close enough to Port Douglas that we might have time to see
the Barrier Reef. I told him you were on a very tight schedule and that we
couldn't stay long. He seemed to accept that."
"I wonder what he's up to?" She got up and joined him at the window.
"Good question. He says he's promoting tourism, but I have a hunch he
wants to keep his eye on me."
"Why?"
"I don't know, Jessica. Maybe to make sure I don't find the man I'm looking
for. There's a lot going on right now that I don't understand." He turned to
her. "For instance, I don't know why I was jealous of Gregory Phillips
tonight."
Jessica heard what he said but couldn't believe that he'd said it. Steve
jealous? Of her?
When she met his gaze she saw an expression she'd never seen before. His
eyes had darkened and he looked almost grim.
"Steve?" she whispered.
He pulled her into his arms as though he could no longer fight the urge to
hold her. "What the hell's happening to me?" he muttered. Then his lips
found hers.
The kiss seemed to send a flaming jolt of electricity through her clear to her
toes. Her knees quivered in reaction and Jessica felt as though her bones
were starting to melt.
Still kissing her. Steve picked her up and carried her to the bed. It never [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]