Three hours later, standing in a corner of her uncle’s crowded living room, choking on smoke and perfume, she was having second thoughts. She had remembered hating these things, but over the years, her mind had glossed over exactly how out of place she felt among her family’s friends and relatives. Despite her upbringing, she considered herself a simple girl, with simple tastes. She’d never been into the party rounds, the plastic surgery, the smoking. After the initial introductions, she’d found herself without anything to say to these people, hiding out in a secluded corner, as she had when she was young.
And it didn’t help that she kept sensing that she was being watched. Several times, she’d had such an intense feeling of being observed that she’d almost felt … stalked. But when she scanned the room, there were no sudden turns of the head, no whispered conversations. It was probably just nerves. Maybe a little fresh air would help -- the room was stifling.
Jenny edged her way through the crowd to the French doors that let out onto the garden. They were partially opened, to help alleviate the heat created by the crush of people, so she slipped out onto the flagstone patio.
It was a clear, cold night. Moonlight bathed the garden with opal radiance, and Jenny found herself drawn to the fountain. She picked her way carefully down the steps, then walked over and stared at her reflection in the shimmering waters.
“Beautiful, isn’t she?”
Jenny whirled as the voice spoke behind her. “What?”
“I said you’re beautiful.”
She stared into the piercing blue eyes of a man who appeared to be close to her own age. His hair was a little long -- sandy brown, tousled curls framing a deeply tanned face and a killer smile. He looked vaguely familiar. Jenny frowned. “Do I know you?”
His grin widened. “Yes.” His eyes flickered toward something behind her. “You once promised to marry me.”
Jenny laughed. “Oh, that’s a good one. But I know that’s not true, because I’ve never been proposed to.”
“Oh, but you have.” Another voice spoke from behind her, and she whirled again, losing her balance in the process. A strong, brown hand reached out to steady her, and then she was looking into an identical pair of bright blue eyes.
“But … you’re …” Jenny turned, staring from one man to the other, virtual mirror images of each other. A forgotten memory began to stir, but a distracting heat invaded her arm where their flesh met, making it hard for her to concentrate. Where had she seen twins like this before?
The man holding her arm leaned toward her. “Run,” he whispered.
Jenny pulled her arm from his grasp and backed away. What on earth were they doing? Somehow, they were between her and the house now. “W-What did you say?”
They both looked at her with eyes that were no longer bright and laughing, but dark and full of desire. “He said run
Some primal instinct made her move just as they reached for her. Her heart raced as she stumbled past the fountain. She looked back, and they were coming. Slowly, but moving with a sleek power and animal grace that sent her heart leaping into her throat. Jenny kicked off her heels and raced down the path.
Why was this happening? She racked her brain, trying to bring back the faint memory that had stirred a moment ago. Where had she seen those beautiful eyes before?
Then it came back to her, and she was so startled that she stopped dead. Surely, they couldn’t be the guys from the truck. As she stood there, that hot August afternoon replayed itself in her mind. Those compelling blue eyes, the smiles, the hair.
Shit. Jenny couldn’t imagine that they would still remember her, yet alone recognize her. This had to be some kind of joke. Her heart began to race again, but this time it wasn’t fear that pulsed in her veins, but desire. Jenny chided herself. She knew nothing about these two, except that they were obviously obsessive, to remember her this long. So why was she standing here, waiting for them?
Jenny made herself step off the path, behind the trunk of one of the large oaks that graced her uncle’s property. Shivering, she closed her eyes, waiting for the sound of their footsteps. After they passed, she’d high-tail it back to the house and call the police.
Jenny almost screamed when hands closed around each of her arms.
“And now, we’ve finally caught you.” The voice had a teasing quality to it, and Jenny opened her eyes. Her captors pressed close, the heat from their bodies chasing away her chill. “You aren’t frightened, are you?”
Jenny swallowed. “Yes.”
One of them reached up and traced the edge of her low neckline with a calloused finger. “But?”
Had there been a “but” in her tone? Jenny took a deep breath, intending to scream, but let it out as a sigh. Hell, yes. “But …” She searched for words that wouldn’t make her sound like an idiot.
“But you do remember us.” The finger outlining her dress slipped just beneath the edge of the fabric. The other man reached up and ran his hand through her loose hair, and the shiver that ran through her body had nothing to do with the cold.
“Yes.” Jenny sighed.
“And?” The man caressing her hair was pressed up against her, his erection prodding her hip.
“I --” His mouth claimed hers, and Jenny moaned, meeting his thrusting tongue with her own.
The hand at her chest slid beneath the fabric, covering one breast. “Mmmm,” a voice whispered in her ear. “I’ve been wanting to do this for seven years.”