From the book
KIRSTIE sat looking at the phone. She knew she had to make the call; she couldn't put it off any longer--she owed it to Becky. But it was the most difficult thing she had ever had to do. Fifteen years was a long time--almost sixteen actually. Would he even remember her?
She could remember Lucio Masterton as clearly as the day they had parted company. Black-haired, six feet four, disgustingly handsome, a powerful body--he'd played a lot of rugby in those days--and the most wicked sepia-coloured eyes she'd ever seen on a man. They could consume any member of the opposite sex with one glance, make her go weak at the knees and pray he'd take her to bed.
She had been the lucky one.
Or so she had thought!
It hadn't lasted. Lucio's sole interest in life had been becoming a millionaire. Bedding women came secondary. When she'd wanted to get serious he'd kicked her out of his life.
And now she needed to speak to him.
Now he was much more than a millionaire--he was a billionaire. A millionaire a million times over. The figures were incomprehensible.
But, to give him his due, his meteoric rise had been achieved by hard work and not good luck. She had kept her eye on what he was doing over the years and despite her resentment over the way he had treated her she admired his tenacity.
According to the tabloids he was now one of the most eligible bachelors in Europe and was often seen with a good-looking woman on his arm, though none, so far, had become the much sought after Mrs Masterton.
Kirstie couldn't help wondering whether he treated them all with the same contempt with which he had treated her. The papers never gave reasons when he split with a girlfriend and, considering the fact that he'd now reached his pinnacle, Kirstie couldn't see the point in him remaining single. But would there ever be a woman good enough for him? Whom he wouldn't see as a threat to his way of life?
She lifted the receiver. It was now or never. And she dialled the number.
"LMT.'It was a singsong female voice that instantly grated on Kirstie's nerves.
"Can I speak to Lucio Masterton, please?" 'Who's calling?" 'Kirstie Rivers." 'What company?" 'It's a personal call." 'I'm sorry, Mr Masterton doesn't take personal calls, not unless they're on his approved list, and your name doesn't seem to be there."
So he had a list of all his current girlfriends? Interesting. "Very well," she said, thinking quickly, "it's Kirstie Rivers from Venture Applications.'Where that name had come from she had no idea but it seemed to do the trick.
"And what is the nature of your business?"
Kirstie couldn't believe she was being asked all these questions. "What is this?" she asked angrily. "The third degree? Lucio knows me. If you value your job tell him I'm on the phone.'Because there was definitely no way she could do this twice. It had taken enough courage this first time.
Oh, goodness, the girl had put her through without saying who she was. "Lucio?" Horrifyingly her voice came out in a husky whisper.
"Who is this?" In contrast his voice was a rasp of impatience. A voice she remembered well. It was deep and gritty with a habit of vibrating along nerves and sinews, sending a tremor through every female who listened to it.
He'd had an air of authority, even as a young man of nineteen, but he'd honed his skills and it sat very well on his shoulders now, terrorising, she imagined, all who came into contact with him. Even his receptionist had had a healthy respect in her voice.
Kirstie cleared her throat, sat up that little bit straighter, stiffened her...