henna-haired showgirl on his arm. Chloe pretended not to notice.

He showed up on her doorstep the following afternoon and took her for a drive in the country. She said she had a previous engagement and couldn't dine with him that evening.

The game of chance went on, and Chloe could think of nothing else. When Jack wasn't with her, she conjured him in her imagination-the restless movements, the careless lock of hair, the roguish mustache. She could barely think beyond the thick, wet tension that suffused her body, but still she refused his sexual overtures.

He spoke cruelly while he traced the shape of her ear with his lips. 'I don't think you're woman enough for me.'

She curled her hand over the back of his neck. 'I don't think you're rich enough for me.'

The ivory ball clattered around the contours of the roulette wheel, rouge to noir, noir to rouge…… Chloe knew that it would make its final drop soon.

'Tonight,' Jack said when she answered the telephone. 'Be ready for me at midnight.'

'Midnight? Don't be ridiculous, darling. That's impossible.'

'Midnight or never, Chloe. The game's over.'

That night she slipped a black velvet suit with rhinestone buttons over a champagne-colored crepe de chine blouse. Her eyes shone brightly back at her from the mirror as she brushed her dark hair into a soft pageboy. Black Jack Day, clad in a tuxedo, appeared at her door exactly at the stroke of midnight. At the sight of him, her insides felt as liquid as the scented lotion she had stroked over her flushed skin. Instead of the Isotta-Fraschini, he led her to a chauffeured Daimler and announced that he was taking her to Harrods.

She laughed. 'Isn't midnight a little late to go on a shopping expedition?'

He said nothing, merely smiling as he settled back into the soft leather seats and began chatting about a polo pony he thought he might buy from the Aga Khan. Before long, the Daimler pulled up to Harrods' green and gold awning. Chloe looked at the dim lighting glowing through the doors of the deserted department store. 'Harrods doesn't seem to have stayed open, Jack, not even for you.'

'We'll see about that, won't we, pet?' The chauffeur opened the rear door for them, and Jack helped her out.

To her astonishment, a liveried doorman appeared from behind Harrods' glass door and after a surreptitious look to see if anyone on the street was watching, unlocked the door and held it open for them. 'Welcome to Harrods, Mr. Day.'

She looked at the open door in astonishment. Surely even Black Jack Day couldn't simply walk into the most famous department store in the world long after closing hours with no salespeople present. When she didn't move, Jack urged her forward with a firm pressure on the small of her back. As soon as they were inside the department store, the doorman did the most astonishing thing-he tipped his hat, walked out onto the street, and locked the door behind him. She couldn't believe what she'd seen, and she looked toward Jack for some explanation.

'The roulette wheel has been especially kind to me since I met you, pet. I thought you might enjoy a private shopping spree.'

'But the store is closed. I don't see any clerks.'

'All the better.'

She pressed him for an explanation, but he would say little beyond the fact that he'd made a private-and she was certain quite illegal-arrangement with several of Harrods' newer and less scrupulous employees.

'But aren't there people who work here at night? Cleaning staff? Night security?'

'You ask too many questions, pet. What good is money if it can't buy pleasure? Let's see what catches your fancy this evening.' He picked out a silver and gold scarf from a display and draped it over the velvet collar of her jacket.

'Jack, I can't just take this!'

'Relax, pet. The store will be well compensated. Now, are you going to bore me with your worries or can we enjoy ourselves?'

Chloe could barely believe what was happening. There were no salespeople in sight, no custodians or guards. Was this great department store really hers? She glanced down at the scarf draping her neck and uttered a breathless exclamation. He gestured toward the cornucopia of elegant merchandise. 'Go ahead. Pick something.'

With a reckless giggle, she reached out and pulled a sequined handbag from a display, then looped the braided cord over her shoulder. 'Very nice,' he said.

She threw her arms around his neck. 'You are absolutely the most exciting man in the world, Jack Day! How I adore you!'

His palms crept down from her waist to curve around her buttocks and pull her hips tight against his own. 'And you're the most exciting woman. I couldn't allow our love affair to be consummated in any place ordinary, could I?'

Noir to rouge… rouge to noir … The hardness pressed against her belly kept her from mistaking his meaning, and she felt herself growing hot and cold at the same time. The game would end here… in Harrods. Only Jack Day could carry off something so outrageous. The thought of it made her head spin like a red and black wheel.

He pulled the purse from her shoulder, removed her velvet jacket, and draped them both over a display of silk umbrellas with rosewood handles. Then he took off his tuxedo coat and placed it with hers so that he stood before her in a white shirt with black jet studs securing the pleated front, his narrow waist wrapped with a dark cummerbund. 'We'll get these later,' he announced, resettling the scarf over her shoulders. 'Let's explore.'

He took her to Harrods' famous food hall with its great marble counters and frescoed ceiling. 'Are you hungry?' he inquired, lifting a silver box of chocolates from a display.

'For you,' she replied.

His mouth curved beneath his mustache. Removing the lid from the box, he pulled out a dark chocolate confection and bit into one side, opening the shell so that the center oozed a drizzle of creamy cherry liqueur. He quickly pressed it to her lips, sliding the candy back and forth so that some of the rich filling was transferred to her. Then he put the chocolate back into his own mouth and lowered his head to kiss her. As her lips opened, sweet and sticky with cherry liqueur, he pushed the chocolate shell forward with his tongue. Chloe received the candy with a moan, and her body became as liquid and formless as the fluid center.

When he finally drew away, he selected a bottle of champagne, uncorked it, and tilted it first to her lips and then to his own. 'To the most outrageous woman in London,' he said, leaning forward and licking off a last speck of chocolate that clung to the corner of her mouth.

They wandered through the first floor, picking up a pair of gloves, a nosegay of silk violets, a hand-painted jewelry box, and placing them in a pile to be reclaimed later. Finally, they arrived at the perfume hall, and the heady mixture of the finest scents in the world washed over her, their fragrances undisturbed by the herds of people who thronged along the carpeted aisles during the day.

When they reached the center, he dropped her arm and turned her to face him. He began unbuttoning her blouse, and she felt a strange mixture of excitement and embarrassment. Regardless of the fact that the store was deserted, they were standing in the center of Harrods. 'Jack, I-'

'Don't be a child, Chloe,' he said. 'Follow my lead.'

A thrill shot through her as he pushed aside the satin material of her blouse to reveal the eggshell lacework on her bra. He pulled a cellophane-covered box of Joy from an open glass case and unwrapped it.

'Lean against the counter,' he said, his voice as silky as the crepe de chine of her blouse. 'Lay your arms along the edge.'

She did as he asked, weak from the intensity in his silver eyes. Extracting the glass stopper from the neck of the bottle, he slipped it inside the lace edge of her bra. She drew in her breath as he rubbed its cold tip against her nipple.

'That feels good, doesn't it?' he murmured, his voice low and husky.

She nodded her head, incapable of speech. He inserted the stopper back inside the bottle, picked up another drop of Joy, and slid it beneath the other side of her bra to touch the opposite nipple. She could feel her flesh puckering beneath the slow, circling movement of the glass, and as the heat welled up inside her, Jack's handsome, reckless features seemed to swim before her.

Вы читаете Fancy Pants
Добавить отзыв


Вы можете отметить интересные вам фрагменты текста, которые будут доступны по уникальной ссылке в адресной строке браузера.

Отметить Добавить цитату