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.From the small corridor, Gabriel’s eyes quickly and efficiently scanned the room, for the office was really just one big room, amateurishly divided into cubicles by flimsy partitions.The weather had turned chilly and it was cold.So cold, in fact, that, as his eyes rested on her downbent head, he became aware that she was typing quickly, wearing fingerless gloves and with a woolly hat pulled down low so that only the ends of her short dark hair were visible.The smart get-up in which he had last seen her dressed as she had sat across from him in his office had been abandoned in favour of a pair of jeans and a grey jumper.He guessed that she would be wearing trainers.She had once told him that she had not possessed a pair of high heeled shoes until she turned seventeen and had to attend her grandfather’s funeral.Gabriel wasn’t entirely sure why he had attempted this trip halfway across London but she had lodged in his brain like an irritant and he hadn’t been able to clear his head of her image.He had finally persuaded himself that he should see her to make sure that she was all right.She had quit without notice and he had, after all, once been her lover.He felt duty-bound to satisfy himself that she hadn’t done anything crazy.She could be impetuous.And she had seemed pretty overwrought the last time he had seen her.Having successfully attained the moral high ground, he had done the unthinkable and cancelled his meetings for that afternoon, choosing to drive instead to her office, having had someone verify that she was back working there.It was some minutes before anyone noticed him and then his presence was announced via a network of urgent whispers and giggles until someone who must have been the section supervisor headed towards him.Alex, he noted with dry amusement, was lost in a world of her own, immune to the flurry of attention his appearance had aroused.It took no more than a curt nod in her direction to halt the supervisor in her tracks and he felt a moment of gleaming satisfaction as Alex looked up, met his gaze and instantly blanched.She pulled off the woolly hat and her hair responded by sticking up in little dark spikes before she made an attempt to smooth it back into obedience, standing up and pulling off her gloves at the same time, the focus now of all attention as he continued to lounge indolently in the doorway.She was red-faced when, after a whispered conversation with her supervisor, she eventually made her way nervously towards him.‘What are you doing here?’ was the first thing she said, barely containing her anger.‘Do you know, I had forgotten how tall you were.’‘You haven’t answered me!’‘I don’t like having prolonged conversations in doorways.’‘And I don’t like being hunted down!’‘Why don’t we go and discuss this somewhere a little less in the glare of your colleagues? Anyone would think they had never seen a man before.’They hadn’t, Alex thought resentfully.At least not a man like him.She was maintaining a healthy distance and trying to work herself up into an appropriate lather of anger and condemnation but, even so, she was still acutely aware of the power of his presence and the latent strength that vibrated under the veneer of his expensive tailored suit.That she had once known that body as well as she knew her own was just something else that threatened to undermine her defences.‘What do you want?’ She glanced at her watch as they walked out into the fading light.‘I want to know why you quit your job.’‘Why do you think?’ Alex raised mutinous eyes to his, remembering her old self and how much she had moved on from that place.How much she had been forced by circumstances to move on.‘I have no idea.Do I still get to you that much?’‘Don’t flatter yourself, Lucio! Or whatever you choose to call yourself!’ She turned on her heel and his hand shot out, catching her by her wrist.‘The name is Gabriel.Use it!’‘You’re hurting me!’Gabriel dropped her hand and she rubbed her wrist with her fingers, making a production out of nothing [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]