‘You look sexy as sin, as always. And eating chocolate is the first phase in the healing process, so you’ve passed that stage, which is a good sign. The next stage is to sell his ring.’
‘I was going to return it.’
‘Return it? Are you mad?’ The empty glasses rattled again as Nicky’s hands tightened on the tray. ‘Sell it. And buy a pair of gorgeous shoes with the proceeds. Then you’ll spend the rest of your life walking on his memory. And, next time, settle for sex without emotion.’
Holly smiled awkwardly, too self-conscious to confess that she hadn’t actually had sex with Eddie. And that, of course, had been her major drawback as far as he was concerned. He’d accused her of being inhibited.
She bit back a hysterical laugh.
A small family-hatchback with central locking .
Would she be less inhibited if her bottom were smaller?
Possibly, but she wasn’t likely to find out. She was always promising herself that she’d diet, but going without food just made her crabby.
Which was why her clothes always felt too tight.
At this rate she was going to die a virgin.
Depressed by that thought, Holly glanced in the direction of the President’s Suite. ‘I really don’t think I can face this.’
‘It’s worth it just to get a look at the wicked prince in the flesh.’
‘He hasn’t always been wicked. He was in love once,’ Holly murmured, momentarily distracted from her own problems. ‘With that Italian supermodel. I remember reading about them. They were the golden couple. Then she died along with his brother in that avalanche eight years ago. Horribly sad. Apparently he and his brother were really close. He lost the two people he loved most in the world. A family torn apart. I’m not surprised he’s gone a bit wild. He must have been devastated. He probably just needs someone to love him.’
Nicky grinned. ‘So go up there and love him. And don’t forget my favourite saying.’
‘If you can’t stand the heat…’
‘Get out of the kitchen?’ Holly completed the proverb but Nicky gave a saucy wink.
‘Remove a layer of clothing.’
Casper strolled down the steps into the royal box, his handsome face expressionless as he stared across the impressive stadium. Eighty-two thousand people were gradually pouring into the stands in preparation for the breathlessly awaited match that was part of the prestigious Six Nations championship.
It was a bitterly cold February day, and his entourage was all muttering and complaining about freezing English weather.
Casper didn’t notice.
He was used to being cold.
He’d been cold for eight long years.
Emilio, his Head of Security, leaned forward and offered him a phone. ‘Savannah for you, Your Highness.’
Without turning, Casper gave an almost imperceptible shake of his head and Emilio hesitated before switching off the phone.
‘Another female heart broken.’ The blonde shivering next to him gave a disbelieving laugh. ‘You’re cold as ice, Cas. Rich and handsome, admittedly, but very inaccessible emotionally. Why are you ending it? She’s crazy about you.’
‘That’s why I’m ending it.’ His voice hard, Casper watched the players warming up on the pitch, ignoring the woman gazing longingly at his profile.
‘If you’re ditching the most beautiful woman in the world, what hope is there for the rest of us?’
No hope for them. No hope for him. The whole thing was a game, Casper thought blankly. A game he was sick of playing.
Sport was one of the few things that offered distraction. But, before the rugby started, he had to sit through the hospitality.
Two long hours of hopeful women and polite conversation.
Two long hours of feeling nothing.
His face appeared on the giant screens placed at either end of the pitch, and he watched himself with detached curiosity, surprised by how calm he looked. There was a loud female cheer from those already gathered in the stands, and Casper delivered the expected smile of acknowledgement, wondering idly whether any of them would like to come and distract him for a few hours.
Anyone would do. He really didn’t care.
As long as she didn’t expect anything from him.
He glanced behind him towards the glass windows of the President’s Suite where lunch would be served. An exceptionally pretty waitress was checking the table, her mouth moving as she recited her checklist to herself.
Casper studied her in silence, his eyes narrowing slightly as she paused in her work and lifted a hand to her mouth. He saw the rise and fall of her chest as she took a deep breath—watched as she tilted her head backwards and stared up at the ceiling. It was strange body language for someone about to serve lunch.