Seven Secrets of Seduction

Seven Secrets of Seduction by Anne Mallory Read Free Book Online

Book: Seven Secrets of Seduction by Anne Mallory Read Free Book Online
Authors: Anne Mallory
Everything about this man was so beyond her familiarity. She had assumed that without something epically scintillating on her lips, he would withdraw…become bored or irritated.
    That he had returned today—and so early—made the wheels on her runaway hobbyhorse spin more out of control, but also imbued her with a strange sense of feminine confidence that she usually lacked. The power of it was foreign and heady and clashed against the lingering freeze of embarrassment.
    She arranged her skirts and returned to the chair across from Georgette, pulling a sheet of the paper to her blindly. “You are just here to pick up your parcel,” she said calmly, pulling forth a breeze to her voice. “I assure you that what you require is behind the desk.”
    â€œIs that correct?”
    â€œYes. And I am busy, as you can see.” She pointed to Georgette, who stared blankly back, uncharacteristically speechless.
    â€œBusy discussing the latest rag on dits?”
    She colored over being caught with her hand on the gossip sheet, as it was. How long had he been standing there? “I am taking a break at the moment. As I’ve said several times, Peter will be happy to assist you. I assure you that your parcel is behind the desk.”
    â€œBut that is what you thought last eve as well. I left quite unassisted. And unsatisfied.” He moved along the shelf, drawing his hand along the spines, fully emerging from the shadows, putting himself back in her direct view.
    She looked at the black-and-white print, tryingvainly to pretend the page was right side up and that she was highly engrossed in an article. “I placed it behind the counter myself this morning—along with your copy of Candide. It seems that the original package was misplaced on a high shelf last night.” She peered over the edge of the paper and down her nose. “Mysteriously.”
    He raised a brow, the flash of light amidst his dark eyes undimmed. “Mysteriously indeed. You should watch where things are moved.”
    â€œI will pay careful attention next time. Now, Peter—”
    â€œNo. I want you.”
    She felt the color in her cheeks bloom to life. “I assure you—”
    â€œYou have a vested interest in making sure I leave with what I want.”
    â€œI assure—”
    He tapped a binding and withdrew his hand. “And hopefully what I need as well.”
    â€œUh…” With her emergence into womanhood, she had thought she had overcome the inability to complete a sentence. “But I’m busy with—”
    â€œGo.” Georgette’s voice was strangled. “It will allow me to catch up with you and read the sections about the Secrets sequel.”
    â€œDear me, Miss Chase. Speaking of that book again?” He cocked that infernal dark brow. “It sounds like this is an obsession. Tsk, tsk. I’ll think you truly have a secret desire to be seduced.”
    Miranda pushed back her chair in a distinctly unladylike manner that would have appalled her mother, and it toppled over behind her with a clatter. She thwacked the paper on the table, crumpling the edges in mortifiedirritation. “Fine. Let’s retrieve your parcel.” She started around the stacks, forced to brush by him. “You can view it at the desk.”
    â€œAnd such a fine view it is,” he said, as his leg brushed hers, the words low and deep. “Softly bound, the corners curved.”
    She stopped abruptly, her skirts shifting and coming to rest around her legs in a way that would have been completely normal if all of her raw spots weren’t on fire. The feel of the calico might as well have been silk and iron mixed together. She faintly heard Georgette coughing behind them.
    â€œI beg your pardon?”
    He looked her over, his eyes still containing the lazy flash. “When one chooses to wrap a prize in such formless paper, it can be hard to tell, but I’m sure

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