A D'Angelo Like No Other

By: Carole Mortimer






CHAPTER TWO


OH, GOOD GRIEF, why hadn’t Eva thought to ask this man for his full name? To find out which of the D’Angelo brothers she was actually talking to before—before—well, at least before she had launched into her accusations?

Unfortunately, Eva knew exactly why she hadn’t done any of those things...

Because this man—Michael D’Angelo—brought out a response in her, a physical awareness, she had considered as being entirely inappropriate in regard to the man she had believed to have been involved with Rachel.

Not that it was any less inappropriate now; he was still the brother of the man who had fathered the twins!

He was just so much larger than life, exuded a confidence, an aura of power, that caused Eva to be aware of everything about him: the way his hair was inclined to curl slightly at his ears and nape, the intensity of those black-on-black eyes, the harsh and yet somehow mesmerising sensual lines of his finely sculptured face, and as for the way his shoulders and chest filled out his perfectly tailored jacket, and the slim cut of his trousers emphasised the lean length of his long legs—

‘Drink some more water.’ Michael was suddenly down on his haunches beside Eva holding out the water bottle towards her.

Eva took the bottle with shaking fingers, drinking thirstily as she realised she was starting to hyperventilate just thinking about the way this man looked. At the same time she inwardly cringed as she recalled all of their conversation, the things she had said, the accusations she had made—and all to the wrong man!

His identity as Michael D’Angelo certainly explained why Eva hadn’t been able to imagine her fun-loving sister Rachel ever being attracted to such a coldly aloof man who was also so much older than her, let alone involved in the passionate affair with him that had resulted in the birth of the twins!

None of which helped the awkwardness of the situation Eva now found herself in. ‘It seems I owe you an apology,’ she murmured stiffly. ‘I— Obviously I made a mistake. I— It— I don’t know what else to say...’ She groaned self-consciously, unable to look Michael D’Angelo in the eye now.

Unable to look into that coolly arrogant face at all. A face, a man, she shouldn’t find in the least attractive.

Except Eva knew that she did...

She couldn’t stop herself from giving him a brief sideways glance, once again struck by the chiselled perfection of Michael D’Angelo’s features: those black obsidian eyes that revealed so little of the man’s thoughts or feelings, those sculptured cheekbones, his mouth—dear Lord, this man’s mouth was pure perfection, the top lip fuller than the bottom.

Possibly as an indication he had a deeply sensual nature?

If it was, then Eva was sure it was a sensuality this coldly aloof man always kept firmly under his own iron control!

This man...

Michael D’Angelo.

A man Eva knew she had to guard herself against being any more attracted to.

He straightened abruptly. ‘As I said earlier, maybe we should both take a few deep breaths, a step back, and calm this situation down?’

Eva still felt as if she was on the edge of hyperventilating again rather than calming down!

Having made the hard decision to come to Paris in the first place, she had planned out in her mind exactly how her meeting with D’Angelo was going to proceed once she arrived here.

She would find a way to confront D’Angelo.

Which she had done.

He would deny any and all involvement with Rachel.

Which he had done.

Eva would then scorn that denial, with the twins as proof of that ‘involvement’.

Which she had done.

D’Angelo’s accusation that she and Rachel were trying to pull some sort of scam on him, by claiming the babies were his, had been unexpected...

As much as Eva’s response, slapping his face, had been; she had never thought of herself as being a person capable of violence until today!

And the conversation had seemed to go downhill from there...

She drew in several deep and steadying breaths before speaking again, determined not to lose complete control of this situation.

‘That’s all well and good, Mr D’Angelo, but I think you’re still missing the point here.’

Michael D’Angelo quirked one dark and arrogant brow. ‘Which is?’

Eva straightened her shoulders determinedly as she met his gaze unblinkingly. ‘That you may be correct in claiming not to be the twins’ father—’

‘I assure you, I am not their father,’ he bit out hardly.

‘—but that doesn’t change the fact that one of your brothers most certainly is,’ Eva continued firmly, her gaze meeting his challengingly now.

At the same time, she inwardly questioned just how Michael D’Angelo could speak so certainly of never having fathered a baby by Rachel. Eva certainly didn’t believe it was from physically abstaining. Beneath this man’s aloofness she sensed that sensuality, deep and dark, an indication that, once aroused, he would be the type of lover who would demand and possess a woman completely.

He was also, Eva acknowledged with a frown, a man who would need to be in control at all times, and as such he would no doubt ensure that he would never forget to take the necessary precautions to ensure that no unwanted pregnancy ensued from any of his relationships with women.

Something Eva should probably have realised before she accused him of being the twins’ father!

Michael’s breath left him in a hiss as he took in the full ramifications of Eva Foster’s revelations. Almost wishing now—almost!—that he had been the one responsible for fathering Rachel Foster’s twin babies. Because for either of his younger brothers to be the father—his now both very much married younger brothers—would be a disaster of unthinkable proportions.

Not that Gabriel or Rafe had been married fifteen months ago, when the twins were conceived, but they were now, Gabriel for just five weeks, Rafe for only a matter of days. And it would surely be asking a lot—too much, perhaps—for either Bryn or Nina to accept that either of their respective husbands had fathered the now six-month-old twins with another woman!

His mouth thinned. ‘I think, having already made one mistake, that you need to be a little more certain of your facts before you go around making any more accusations.’

Colour warmed Eva Foster’s porcelain cheeks. ‘My mistake—for which I’ve apologised—’ she added uncomfortably, ‘doesn’t alter the fact that one of your brothers fathered Sophie and Sam.’

Michael turned away to give himself the privacy for the emotions he was sure must be apparent on his face: dismay, concern, and not a little anger, all of them directed towards whichever of his brothers had caused this current situation.

He thrust his hands in the pockets of his trousers as he walked over to stand in front of the windows, for once totally blind to the magnificent view outside. Because he could never remember feeling quite so helpless, so out of his depth with a situation. Until now.

As the eldest brother, even if only by a year and two years respectively, he had always been protective of Rafe and Gabriel—sometimes too much so for their liking. But in this present situation—surely a disaster just waiting to happen, no matter which of his brothers Eva Foster was accusing?—he couldn’t think of any way in which to avert the coming disaster.

But for which one of his brothers...?

The outwardly light-hearted but inwardly determined and assertive Rafe, who had finally found, fallen in love with and married the beautiful Nina, the perfect woman to counterbalance those apparent contradictions in his mercurial nature?

Or Gabriel, in love with Bryn for the past five years but thinking it an impossible love, a lost love, that he had no right to, only for the two of them to meet again and learn that it wasn’t, now happily married to each other?

Whichever of his brothers was responsible it was sure to cause—

‘Rafe.’

Michael’s eyes were narrowed as he turned sharply back to face Eva Foster. ‘What?’ he rasped harshly, coldly, already knowing what her answer was going to be but wishing—so much wishing—that he didn’t.

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