Выбрать главу

Cullen made his way through the crowded club back to the booth where the two women were seated. He had no idea what he was going to say to them. The blonde was striking terror in his heart. He couldn’t possibly become interested in a woman, not with a pack of murderers hounding his footsteps. Very carefully he set a bottle of water before each of them.

Lisa smiled up at him and scooted over, allowing Cullen to sit beside her. The room was crowded and it was very loud. She wanted to hear every word this man spoke. Corinne shifted slightly to give Lisa a little more privacy to work her magic. Lisa deserved to find a nice man. Someone. She would need someone very soon.

The music continued, but Corinne noticed the moment Dayan stopped playing. The beauty and clarity were gone from the music, leaving an okay group making up for their lack of genius with enthusiasm. She couldn’t help it; she stole a quick look at him from under her long lashes. He was standing up, a casual, almost lazy move that reminded her of a large jungle cat stretching. He was careful with his guitar, setting it against the far wall out of reach of any light-fingered fans or rowdies. For a brief moment he surveyed the crowd, most of whom were staring up at him in rapt adoration. A flicker of what could have been impatience crossed his face.

He turned his head and looked directly at her. Instantly she felt the weight of his stare. Intent. Hungry. Corinne’s heart seemed to stop beating. He was looking at her — not at his friend and not at Lisa, but straight at her. Their eyes met across the room, and immediately she could feel that mesmerizing pull. A spell of enchantment. Dayan leaned down and said something to the lead guitarist and then stepped off the stage. Over the crowd his black gaze held hers captive. Corinne couldn’t look away.

Her heart was going crazy and her breath refused to enter her lungs. She could only stare helplessly at him, watching as he crossed the room to reach her side. Strangely, no one spoke to him, not a single woman in the crowd. Everyone moved quickly out of his way so that he approached her without interference. He stood at their booth, his black gaze seeing only her. Up close, he was even more intimidating than he’d been across the room. Power clung to him like a second skin. And he was more than sexy, he was darkly sensual. Terrifyingly so.

The band swung into a slow, dreamy song, and Dayan reached down and captured her small hand. “I need to dance with you.” He said it like that, starkly, without embellishment, without worrying about his vulnerability. He


to touch her, to hold her close in his arms. He


to know she was real and not a figment of his imagination.

Corinne couldn’t have resisted him for any reason. She let him take her over, pulling her with exquisite gentleness to her feet, drawing her into his arms, close to his body. She held the palm of her hand over his strong heart. At once she could feel his heat, feel his solid, muscular frame. Her heart was beating overtime, and she felt strange. In another world. A dream world. Floating. He was taller than she was by quite a bit, yet she fit into him perfectly, as if she were made for him.

He bent his dark head to hers. “Breathe.” He whispered the word against her skin, and her entire body came alive. Just like that. Every nerve ending. Every cell. His breath was warm and his arms were incredibly strong. He held her almost tenderly. It was a kind of magic, and she knew instinctively he was feeling it too.

For just one moment she closed her eyes and let herself be carried away. Their bodies moved together in perfect rhythm as if they had been dancing together for all their lives. As if they were making love. Corinne bit her lip. It was the most intimate thing she had ever done in her life, yet she had been married. He seemed to be everywhere, surrounding her, his body hard and his hands gentle. A curious thing was happening. Her heart, usually so erratic, was struggling to match the more even beat of his. She noticed it because every detail was so important. She wanted to carry this moment with her for the rest of her life.

The music moved through Dayan so that he became the music. The woman in his arms was already a part of him. He knew it with his deepest soul. She was the one, the only one. He could feel the struggle of her heart just as he felt her small, very feminine body imprinted against his masculine frame. But the situation was even more complex than he’d first realized. She was the only woman for him, yet there was a third heartbeat. He could clearly hear it racing as he held her to him. He could feel the life in her, the small mound beneath the loose clothing she wore.

He brought her palm under his chin and held her even closer as he examined that discovery. She was carrying a child. Another man’s child. A human child. For a moment his mind was in chaos, a wild mix of jealousy, rage and fear, things he had never experienced. Breathing helped, and he focused on what was most important. If he gave her his blood, he could possibly fix her heart problem, but what would such an exchange do to an unborn infant? He could read her fear and her sadness. He moved with her, his body a hard, urgent ache, his mind a jumble of thoughts, his heart and soul truly at peace for the first time in his existence even while his brain worked on a solution to such a unique problem.

The song ended, and he reluctantly allowed her to slip out of his arms, retaining possession of her hand so she couldn’t run. “My name is Dayan.”

Corinne nodded her head, almost afraid to speak. He was leading her back to the safety of the booth. He moved easily through the crowd, keeping her safe beneath his broad shoulder. Dayan gave her the illusion of safety, taking great care that no one bumped her carelessly.

“Are you going to tell me your name?” He asked it softly, his voice a velvet seduction in itself.

Just the sound of his voice created a yearning to hear him sing again. “Corinne, Corinne Wentworth.” She didn’t look at him; it hurt, he was so good-looking. And sexy. That dark, dangerous sensuality she wanted no part of. They were close to the booth, to safety. She allowed herself to breathe again.

“When is your baby due, Corinne?” he asked, his voice a gentle thread of sound. She had never heard a voice quite like his. Hypnotic; mesmerizing. A bedroom voice. It whispered over her skin until she burned.

His words stopped her short, and she looked quickly, guiltily at Lisa, afraid she might have somehow overheard. For a moment she felt desperate. Lisa had her head close to Cullen Tucker’s and was laughing at something he was telling her. Dayan leaned down, his larger body shielding hers protectively, effectively blocking her from the rowdy crowd. It occurred to her that he was a celebrity of sorts and the crowd should have been clamoring to meet him, pushing forward at least for his autograph, yet somehow no one went near him. Not even the women.

“Corinne.” He did something to her name, made it sound exotic with his strange accent. “You are very pale. Would you like me to get your friend for you and take you outside into the night air? There are far too many people in this building.”

“She doesn’t know.” She blurted out the truth and then was horrified that she had done so. What was it about him? She had danced with a perfect stranger, merged with him so that they seemed as intimate as lovers. Normally a private person, Corinne had a compelling urge to tell him the most personal details of her life.

Dayan changed direction immediately, gliding through the crowd once again toward the door, taking her along with effortless ease.

She wanted to go with him.