“Is he really that famous?” Lisa asked, grinning at Corinne.
“He’s absolutely famous, you heathen.” Corinne’s laughter was affectionate, teasing. “His band doesn’t have a contract with any label. Some people try to tape their music when they go to concerts. The tapes are worth a fortune.”
“You have an old record and several tapes, don’t you?” Lisa asked.
Color swept up Corinne’s face. “Ssh! For heaven’s sake, Lisa, those tapes are black-market. What if someone hears you?” Guilt was in her voice. “The band travels and plays mostly in small places, like old-fashioned troubadours. That’s probably how they came up with the name.”
Lisa leaned her chin on her hand. “He’s looking this way. I swear, Rina, I really think he’s noticed us.”
“He’s gorgeous. I had no idea.” Corinne had never been one to fall for men in the spotlight, whether actor, musician or athlete. It wasn’t her style; she was too down-to-earth. But Dayan resembled a sculpture of a Greek god. He was tall and sinewy, giving the impression of great strength and power without bulky muscles. His hair was very long, but well kept, shining like a raven’s wing, pulled back at the nape of his neck and secured with a leather thong. But it was his face that caught and held Corinne’s attention. It could have been chiseled from marble. His was the face of a man capable of great sensuality, or great cruelty. She couldn’t get the impression of danger out of her mind when she looked at him.
His mouth was beautiful, as was the shape of his jaw with its faint blue-black beard shadow — she had always liked that on a man — but it was his eyes that ensnared her. She made the mistake of looking directly at him. His eyes were beautiful, shaped like a cat’s eyes, dark and mysterious, empty, yet filled with a thousand secrets. She felt almost pulled into his gaze, captured for all time. She couldn’t look away from him. Mesmerized.
The word came to her out of nowhere. She was definitely mesmerized by him. His head was bent toward his guitar, but his gaze seemed fixed on her face. Lisa, with her striking looks, garnished attention easily and was comfortable with it. Corinne could barely breathe with his gaze locked on her.
Her fingers curled into a tight fist, her long nails digging deeply into her palms. Her heart was doing a crazy somersault, and her breath seemed stolen right from her lungs. “I’ve never heard anyone play so beautifully.” Her mouth was so dry she could barely get the words out.
“He can sit in my bedroom and play me to sleep every night,” Lisa said.
Color crept up Corinne’s neck to sweep into her face at the idea of this man in her bedroom. Playing his guitar was not what she had in mind. The image that did come to her was shocking. She had never thought of anyone like that. Not even John. Not only did it seem disloyal, but it was totally out of character for her. Suddenly she was very afraid. She wanted to run like a child and find a place to hide from his mesmerizing eyes and the strange effect he seemed to have on her. He frightened her, truly frightened her. Perhaps it was his music, so intense, so
like his eyes.
“Corinne!” Lisa said her name sharply, breaking the spell. “Are you all right? Do you need your medication? You brought it, didn’t you?” She had already grabbed Corinne’s purse and was rummaging through it hastily. There was an edge of fear in her voice.
“I’m fine, Lisa,” Corinne said. “I think my hero took my breath away for a minute there. He’s potent. I wish he’d sing again.” She forced herself to laugh.
“Oh, yeah,” Lisa said dreamily, “he has a sexy voice.”
“Be still, my heart,” Corinne teased, clutching at her heart dramatically. It made Lisa laugh, wiping out the sudden fear in her eyes, just as Corinne knew it would.
With his superior hearing, Dayan could hear every word. He sorted through conversations easily, dismissing them from his mind, but not
The other woman had called her Corinne. Although happy to know he had managed to steal her breath, he was busy assessing the situation.
Medication. What medication? What was wrong with her heart?
It was important to find out as soon as possible.
Dayan directed his attention toward Cullen.
Go to the far booth and strike up a conversation with the two women.
He pushed hard, making his words a command. He didn’t like using Cullen — it wasn’t in Dayan to use someone he was fond of — and now that he could once again experience emotions, he could feel the friendship he had with the human male. But he needed an emissary, someone to act quickly before Corinne bolted. He could read her fear easily enough, and he could not allow her to flee from him.
Cullen turned his head and spotted the beautiful blonde. To his astonishment he recognized her face. Lisa Wentworth. She was a model often seen on the cover of magazines. Ordinarily, he would never have the nerve to speak to her, but for some reason, he found himself covering the distance between them. He had been in love one time in his life and had lost his fiancйe. Since then he had never really looked at another woman. He couldn’t help noticing Lisa Wentworth. It wasn’t just the fact that she was beautiful, it was something shining from deep within her.
“It would be an honor to get you two whatever you’re drinking,” he said as a greeting. “My name is Cullen Tucker.” He wished he had a pickup line that would make him stand out from all the men staring at her, but he hadn’t tried to attract a woman in years.
“Lisa Wentworth.” Lisa stuck out her hand and flashed a blazing smile while Corinne seemed to shrink back into the shadows, her face slightly averted, her hair spilling down like a silken shield. “This is Corinne. Corinne Wentworth.”
Cullen raised an eyebrow in inquiry. They looked nothing alike, although he thought them both beautiful. “What would you like to drink?”
“We’re both just drinking water,” Lisa offered, a flirty smile curving her soft mouth. “I’ll let you get it for us if you promise to sit with us.”
“I’ll be right back,” Cullen commented, rather pleased that Lisa wasn’t staring up at Dayan with that look he recognized in so many women. He had learned, in traveling with the band, that few of the groupies cared what the band members were like, only that they were famous and played in a band.
“What are you doing, Lisa?” Corinne hissed. “Are you crazy? You never pick up men. What are you thinking? Tell me you aren’t using him to meet the guitar player.”
“Of course I’m not. I don’t know — there’s just something about him. He’s cute. He isn’t looking at me as if I’m something to drape on his arm and show off. It gets tiring. Do you mind so much if he just talks to us? You can stare some more at Dayan while he plays.” There was a hopeful note in Lisa’s voice.
Corinne took a deep breath and let it out slowly. She wasn’t being fair to Lisa. Lisa needed to have fun. She had been taking care of Corinne for months now. Carefully Corinne hid her trembling hand out of sight in her lap and forced herself to shrug casually. “I suppose I can do that. But I’m not looking at him anymore. Just hearing him play is overwhelming. He’s almost
Lisa’s eyes were on the man at the bar, surveying him with interest. His shoulders were square and he stood very straight. She liked the way he looked her right in the eye. There was something else, something that touched her heart. She couldn’t define or explain it to Corinne, but he looked like a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders and no one to ease his burden. The plain truth was, she liked the look of him.
“I’ll take Cullen,” Lisa said half seriously, “and you can go for the guitar player.”
Corinne flashed a saucy smile. “He’s too good to be true. Men like that break hearts everywhere they go. They have that element of danger because they really are bad boys. Women think they can change them, but the truth is, they’re bad and there’s nothing to be done about it. If you’re a smart woman, which I am, you only stare at them and fantasize; you don’t go near them or you get your fingers burned. I’ll just listen to him play and be very happy.”