Tidal Wave

Tidal Wave by Roberta Latow Read Free Book Online

Book: Tidal Wave by Roberta Latow Read Free Book Online
Authors: Roberta Latow
he said, as he bent closer to her, tilted up her chin to his face, and kissed her mouth. The warmth of her lips aroused him, and he pressed his kiss just a little harder. He drew away slowly, trying to control the passion he felt.
    He stepped back and said, “I do have your lunch, madame. May I please bring it in?”
    His question snapped Arabella momentarily out of the soft-focused haze she seemed to be in.
    “Of course, please come in, Mr. Frayne,” she said, backing into the room, allowing him to enter. He wheeled the trolley to the center of the room and then turned and walked past her out the door.
    For a split second Arabella’s knees went weak and she said to herself, “How extraordinary — he’s gone!”
    But then he was back, and in his arms he carried an enormous florist’s box, tied with a wide satin ribbon. She could see huge white lilacs, long-stemmed white roses with just a hint of peach in them, creamy tulips, and several sprays of white baby orchids.
    Arabella’s expression changed. All confusion gone, there was pure delight. She placed her hands together as if in prayer and touched their sides to her lips. She smiled and exclaimed, “They’re absolutely gorgeous!”
    “You see, I have not just come as a waiter. I’ve come courting,” he said as he walked past her into the room and placed the box on the floor next to the coffee table. Then he went out into the corridor again, returning this time with an ice bucket containing two bottles of champagne under one arm and a box of chocolates under the other. Chatting nervously, he explained, “White chocolates. Leonidas handmade white chocolates with fresh cream filling from Belgium.” He placed them on the coffee table, then turned to look back at her. He asked, in the famous, husky whisper, “May I join you for lunch?”
    The sound of that familiar voice brought Arabella toattention. It helped her get her emotions under control. She closed the door, leaned against it, smiled, and said, “Oh, yes, you must!”
    She went up to him and, putting out her hand, said, “I am Arabella Crawford.”
    He picked up her hand and touched it to his lips. “I know,” he said. “And I’m Nicholas Frayne.”
    “I know,” she said, and they both began laughing, releasing some of the incredible tension that filled the room.
    “You couldn’t have chosen more perfect flowers. They’re absolutely gorgeous. Let me put them in a vase.” Arabella opened an antique Chinese cabinet and found a perfect cut-crystal vase, which she filled with water.
    “Where shall we have our lunch?” Nicholas asked.
    “Why don’t you take everything from the trolley and put it here on the coffee table while I arrange your lovely flowers.”
    Arabella picked up one branch of white lilac and held the heavenly scented tiny blossoms forming the full, pear-shaped head cupped in the palms of her hands and buried her face in them. What madness! she thought. “What delicious, romantic madness. This can’t be real! I must be in a movie with Nicholas Frayne!”
    The glossy movie star, the brilliant actor, the intelligent film director, Nicholas Frayne, and the clever, aggressive business tycoon, Arabella Crawford. Four hours before on dry land, would they have even spoken to each other? Only here, on a romantic voyage made for lovers, in an isolated world away from the reality of life it all seemed right, quite normal.
    Nicholas stood watching her create a beautiful arrangement. When she had finished, she held out her arms, silently asking him to help her up. He took her by the hands and raised her up from the floor. They looked at the flowers in a silence that spoke volumes.
    He squeezed her hands, smiled, and said, “Oh, I almost forgot.” He reached for something in his breast pocket. Hepulled out a white envelope and handed it to Arabella, saying “I’ll open the champagne. You read your letter.”
    They pulled cushions off the white sofa onto the floor and sat on them. He

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