strand of auburn hair around and around on her finger. She felt as if
Raul were so close behind her that she'd soon feel his breath against
her neck. Lowering her voice slightly, she answered Holly. "Look, I
can't really talk right now. Why don't you call me tomorrow morning?"
Holly was a perceptive girl. "Oh, dear, he's right there
with you now, isn't he? That's why you can't talk? Well, all right,
I'll call you tomorrow. Just keep your chin up and remember that Benny
and I love you."
"I'm glad somebody does," Juliet answered softly and after
saying good-bye, she replaced the receiver. She took a deep shuddering
breath that became a soft startled cry as, suddenly, hard hands
descended on her shoulders and she was spun around to face Raul. Her
breath caught in her throat as she gazed up bewilderedly into his angry
"Your singer, I presume?" he ground out harshly, his
fingers biting into her shoulders. "It must have been. That's why you
couldn't talk with me around. Well, you'll be able to whisper sweet
nothings to each other in the morning, but while you're here that's
you'll do. You won't be seeing your no-talent
until your uncle is well. Will asked me to see that you didn't and I
intend to abide by his wishes."
"You—damn you!" Juliet spluttered, then managed
to untangle her tongue. "Just who do you think you are? You can't tell
me what to do! I don't care what Uncle Will said.
won't tell me who I can or can't see!"
"Oh, but I just did," Raul whispered, his jaw tight as his
dark gaze raked over her flushed face. "But don't worry. I'll be here
to keep you from getting too lonely. In fact, I'd be happy to start
tonight. I always was attracted to you, even before Pablo met you, but
I thought you were too young and inexperienced for me. You seemed like
such an innocent and I didn't want to frighten you with my ardor. That
was my mistake. You weren't the sheltered little girl I thought you
were and now that you've been living with a man for almost a year, I
certainly don't have to worry anymore about frightening you. Do I?"
Recognizing the ruthless intent in his eyes, Juliet
twisted and squirmed futilely in an attempt to escape his painful grip
but was quickly subdued. Raul's arms encircled her waist, one hand
moving up to tangle in the thickness of her hair, tilting her head back
as he lowered his own.
"No!" she gasped softly. "Raul, don't!"
"A warning, Juliet," he whispered huskily as his mouth
Expecting brutality, she was not prepared for a gently
brushing kiss that unnerved her completely. Instinct made her struggle
again but Raul slid his long fingers through her hair, clasping the
back of her head, holding her fast. Her heart jumped and her legs went
weak beneath her as his teeth closed tenderly on the full soft curve of
her lower lip, tugging, nibbling until her mouth opened slightly with
her quickly drawn breath. Suddenly, she was gathered close against him,
her lips captured with hard marauding swiftness. And the aching thrill
that quickened inside her startled her so much that she propelled
herself away from him, her cheeks crimson, her eyes wide with alarm.
"Remember, that was just a warning. And I think you
realize that it could have become the danger itself," he muttered
roughly, his eyes dark with indefinable emotions as he raked his
fingers through his thick hair. "I don't think you're a very faithful
girl, Juliet. First you betrayed Pablo. And just now, I think you might
have wanted to betray your rock singer. Maybe you will next time. And
let me assure you there will be a next time if you give me any trouble
while you're here. What just happened is nothing compared to what will
happen if you try to see your boyfriend, knowing Will doesn't want you
to. So, if you know what's good for you, you'll start thinking of your
uncle for a change, instead of acting like a selfish, unfeeling little
brat. You'll just have to survive without your lover for a while. But
Christopher David Petersen