She gave an awkward laugh. ‘Yes.’
‘Do you care what other people think?’
‘I’m a waitress,’ Holly said dryly. ‘I have to care. If I don’t care, I don’t get tips—and then I don’t eat.’
The prince lifted one broad shoulder in a careless shrug. ‘Fine. So let’s get rid of them. What they don’t see, they can’t judge.’ Supremely confident, he cast a single glance towards one of the well-built guys standing by the door and that silent command was apparently sufficient to ensure that he was given instant privacy.
His security team sprang into action, and within minutes the rest of his party was leaving the room, knowing looks from the men and sulky glances from the women.
Ridiculously impressed by this discreet display of authority, Holly wondered how it would feel to be so powerful that you could clear a room with nothing more than a look. And how must it feel to be so secure about yourself that you didn’t care what other people thought about your actions?
Only when the door of the President’s Suite closed behind them did she suddenly realise that she was now alone with the prince.
She gave a choked laugh of disbelief.
He’d just dismissed the most glamorous, gorgeous women she’d ever seen in favour of—her?
The Prince turned back to her, his eyes glittering dark and dangerous. ‘So.’ His voice was soft. ‘Now we’re alone. How do you suggest we pass the time?’
HOLLY’S stomach curled with wicked excitement and desperate nerves. ‘Thank you for rescuing me from an embarrassing moment,’ she mumbled breathlessly, desperately racking her brains for something witty to say and failing. She had no idea how to entertain a prince. ‘I can’t imagine what you must think of me.’
‘I don’t understand your obsession with everyone else’s opinion,’ he drawled. ‘And at the moment I’m not capable of thinking. I’m a normal healthy guy, and every one of my brain cells is currently focused on your gorgeous body.’
Holly made a sound somewhere between a gasp and a laugh. Disbelieving, self-conscious, but hopelessly flattered, she stroked her hands over her skirt, looked at him and then looked towards the door. ‘Those women are beautiful.’
‘Those women spend eight hours a day perfecting their appearance. That’s not beauty—it’s obsession.’ Supremely sure of himself, he took possession of her hand, locking her fingers into his.
Holly’s stomach curled with excitement. ‘We’re not supposed to be doing this. They gave me this job because they thought I wasn’t your type.’
‘Major error on their part.’
‘They told me you preferred blondes.’
‘I think I’ve just had a major shift towards redheads.’ With a wicked smile, he lifted his other hand and carelessly fingered a strand of her hair. ‘Your hair is the colour of a Middle Eastern bazaar—cinnamon and gold. Tell me why you were crying.’
Caught in a spin of electrifying, exhilarating excitement, Holly’s brain was in a whirl. For a moment she’d actually forgotten about Eddie. If she told him that her boyfriend had dumped her, would it make her seem less attractive?
‘On second thoughts, don’t tell me.’ Interrupting her, he lifted her hand, checking for a ring. ‘Single?’
Detecting something in his tone but too dazed to identify what, Holly nodded. ‘Oh yes, completely single,’ she murmured hastily, and then immediately wanted to snatch the words back, because she should have played it cool.
But she didn’t feel cool. She felt—relieved that she’d left the engagement ring at home.
And he was smiling, clearly aware of the effect he was having on her.
Before she could stop him, he pulled the clip out of her hair and slid his fingers through her tumbling, wayward curls. ‘That’s better.’ Very much the one in control, he closed his fingers around her wrists and hooked her arms round his neck. Then he slid his hands down her back and cupped her bottom.
‘Oh.’ Appalled that he seemed to be focusing on all her worst features, Holly gave a whimper of embarrassment and fought the impulse to wriggle away from him. But it was too late to take avoiding action. The confident exploration of his hands had ensured he was already well acquainted with the contours of her bottom.
‘Dio, you have the most fantastic body,’ he groaned, moulding her against the hard muscle of his thighs as if she were made of cling film.
He thought she was fantastic?
Brought into close contact with the physical evidence of his arousal, Holly barely had time to register the exhilarating fact that he really did find her attractive before his mouth came down on hers in a hungry, demanding kiss.