Betrayed by the Billionaire (pt 10)

Chapter Ten

The following day everybody left, the crew by boat to the mainland and Sean on his Cruiser, once more leaving the two alone.  This time however, she did not have work to keep her busy, the two spending each day wandering around the island, Sierra enjoying rediscovering the home she had left so many years ago, happy to see that not much had changed.  Max had taken her on long horse rides and spent hours teaching her how to scuba dive until she was proficient enough to keep up with him, the two never tiring of the other or running out of things to talk about.

Given his position of authority and wealth, Max was used to having everybody around him agree with him and jump when he gave commands.  However, Sierra had always been the exception to that rule in his life, from the first time he had met her when a cocky little 12-year-old to the gorgeous woman she had grown into, and he revelled in the many heated discussions they would have, each one always ending in bed.   The sex, he had to admit, was amazing.  For an innocent, she quickly learnt how to please him and her sense of adventure drove her to experimentation that blew his mind.  With a happy smile on his face he remembered the previous evening when she surprised him with body chocolate and a wicked grin.

After two weeks he asked if she would like to accompany him to a ball on the mainland, his presence expected at the charity his mother had founded.  Sierra was overjoyed at being his date for the occasion, especially as it was such a public venue, Sierra knowing that Max’s love life was closely followed by the paparazzi, as was Sean’s.

They had moved into his apartment on the mainland, luxurious with every modern convenience.  She had been surprised how personal it was, even more surprised to discover that he now spent more time in the large apartment than on the island.  Patting his hand with sympathy she saw the sadness in his eyes knowing that it must remind him of his mother, her death still so raw.  Taking her hand in his he kissed her knuckles knowing that she knew exactly how he felt, remembering the night he brought her back home with him, a knowing smile on her lips.

“Your mother was a great strength to me when I needed it” her voice soft as Max nodded back, Sierra seeing the way his eyes misted over, her arms moving around him as he kissed her.  He pulled back until their eyes locked “It means so much to me having you here Sierra”, his words full of such an honesty that she groaned, rising to once more bring their lips together.  Their lovemaking was slow, languorous, each giving the other strength with both bodies and something more, something ethereal, until he rose over her, surging deeply within her tightness, neither prepared to break the penetrating hold of the others look.

Just as she saw the fire in his turn from smoulder to blazing inferno, he felt himself drown in the soft brown depth of hers, his thrusts becoming frantic as she clung to him until together they both reached the peak of pleasure, tottering on the edge until together they plunged over, each crying out, Sierra unaware as she screamed out his name, his mouth dropping to kiss her, both of their hearts hammering at the intensity of their shared experience.

Slumped over her, Sierra wrapped her arms around him, nuzzling his damp neck, his masculine smell enveloping her senses, her lips kissing him as she licked the salty moisture, the realisation swamping her that she loved him.  She loved Max.

Max stirred, feeling the way Sierra stiffened under him, pushing himself to the side, his eyes suddenly so full of concern, “What is it?…Did I hurt you?”  Her heart swelled at his concern as she shook her head, biting her lip.  How could she be so stupid as to fall in love with Max.   It was inevitable that he would get tired of her, throw her out.  Just as he had ten years ago when he blindsided her, he would one day – probably soon – ask her to go, expect her to return to her old life.

“Tell me”, his words pushed into the fog of pain which descended on her, her stricken look filling him with panic. “Sierra…what happened?” Dragging in a deep breath her eyes rose to look above him, avoiding his eyes, something so frantic stirring within the heart of hers.  She needed in that moment to tell him, to once more open herself to the hurt he would heap on her, knowing that he would reject her feelings, but needing to bare her very soul to this man, to be completely honest with him.  The words sat on the tip of her tongue, those words of love just as her mobile phone burst into life, the sound making her jump as she groaned, lifting it.

Listening to the voice on the other side, Max watched as her back tensed.  For a moment he had known that she was about to say something important, something which made his stomach clench, holding his breath in expectation.  As her phone rang, disappointment flooded through him before he frowned instinctively knowing something was very wrong.

He watched as she dragged a shaky hand over her brow, resignation and worry warring with each other as she turned to look at him, shutters falling over her so expressive eyes, coldness eating at his stomach.  “I understand.  Tell him I will be on the first flight.  Tell him he only talks to his lawyer”

Sierra took in the scowl which filled his features, his questioning eyes wary as she turned to the side, allowing her hair to fall like a curtain, covering her face not allowing him to see the way her eyes stung with tears which she refused to allow to fall, her teeth savaging the bottom lip as she fought to pull a more professional mask on, to hide the swirling emotions within, thankful for the phone call which had stopped her from making the biggest mistake of her life: declaring love for Max Alessandro.  What had she been thinking?

“What’s wrong?…What is it?”  His words pulled her back to reality as she took a deep breath, once more in control.  “Sean has been arrested…he got into a fight.  They need me back to deal with the fallout” Making to stand, his arm shot out stalling her as his hand moved forward to capture her chin, Sierra surprised to see doubt and apprehension in his features “For how long?  Will you return?”  She swallowed as her look flitted over his handsome face.  She needed to get away from him.  Put as much distance as possible between them before he tore her apart.  Max was not someone you fell in love with.  He was a player with a short attention span and Sean’s arrest gave her the perfect opportunity to escape from him, to save herself.  She should have told him the holiday was over, that it was time to go back to work, but instead she held his look, stunned to see something deep within the blackness of his, something which clenched her heart.  Did he care?

Her answer was almost a whisper, her mouth suddenly so dry, “Do you want me to return?”  Pain filled his features as he sat up pulling her harder to him “I don’t want you to go…Of course I want you to return” Sierra could feel the lightness fill her.  Max wanted her to stay, that must mean something, perhaps even that he…cared.

Again the voice inside her sneered, mocked her.  You thought that before.  You believed he wanted you around, and look what happened.  Pulling from his hold, her head dropped as she battled with the raging emotions within.  “I…I have to get back to work…Sean needs me…I need to go now Max”, adding seeing the way his features dropped, “B…But if you want me to come back…”

His relieved smile shone from him as he nodded “You…still want to be with me Sierra?”  Raising her eyes once more to his she nodded, not aware as her doubts shone so clearly from her “If…If you want me to be”  His arms once more enveloped her, his mouth kissing her hair as his arms caressed her back.  “I don’t want to be separated from you…Not for a moment”

Once more putting her at arm’s length, he smiled, that boyish heart-stopping smile which had her stomach flip-flopping “I will come with you…We will go together.  When you have finished doing what you need to do…we can return together”

Sierra could feel the love for him shining from the smile she gave him, before groaning gently.  “You can’t…the fund raiser.  They need you here” Max paused, his brow furrowed in deep thought.  Duty and the memory of his mother demanded that he attend, that the event be presided over by the Alessandro family.  He knew how much the charity relied on the money which was generated from the night, his mind formulating alternatives as his hand caressed her shoulder “OK.  Then tomorrow I will join you” Nodding, she could feel the way her eyes swam with tears of joy.  Max wanted to be with her.  He must care.

The rest of that day passed in a blur.  She was able to catch a flight within two hours, Max insisting that he accompany her to the airport.  He had pulled her into his arms, his kiss bone-melting before looking at her “I will see you tomorrow…Miss me” With a smile she pressed a kiss to his mouth nodding her head.  “Every second”, she responded, seeing the fire which instantly sprang to his eyes.

Sean’s arrest had made the front page.  However, Sierra was surprised to discover that far from being at fault, his actions had been noble.   Having jumped in to stop a man from hitting a woman, he had been arrested for pushing the would-be attacker after the man recognised him and insisted on the police being called.  It did not take her long to organise for his release, especially when the officials of the town found out all of the facts, embarrassed that the singer had been treated so shabbily in their town.

Moving into the prison to accompany Sean and his lawyer to the hotel they had booked, she found him wearing the drab prison uniform.  Her mouth quirked, shaking her head seeing that already he had customised the boring costume, dropping the pants to his hips and turning the bottoms up to his knees, the top now turned back to front with the prison name emblazoned on his chest.

“I leave you for a couple of weeks and you get yourself arrested” Her words were spoken with humour, her lips twitching as he grinned back at her, his arms opening in an innocent posture.  “What can I say Sierra…I missed you” Sean rose and pulled her in for a hug.

Leaving the prison the press had been waiting for the singer, their car pulled up as close to the exit as possible.  Sean however, in his usual flamboyant manner, took time to pose for the cameras joking that he might use the uniform in his next video as the press lapped it all up, Sierra holding back the smile – only Sean could turn a disaster into a publicity photo-shoot.

The next day she woke early, excitedly looking forward to Max joining her.  She smiled remembering the stunned surprise on Sean’s features as she informed him that he would be arriving that day, his expression becoming thoughtful as a slow smile spread over his face, “I see” his only comment.

Sitting drinking her coffee, she chuckled reading the headlines.  The large picture of Sean grinning as he joked about his incarceration made her shake her head as she read the story.  Flicking through the rest of the paper, her fingers tightened as she froze, pain slamming into her a long moan of ripped from her lips as tears sprang to her eyes.  There Max had been photographed at the fund raiser, his arms on the shoulders of a woman as he kissed her, the other woman plastered against him.  The sob tore from her throat as she read the headlines which screamed out at her from the page “Max Alessandro and the future Mrs Alessandro?”

She scanned the story, reading of the on-off relationship between Max and the supermodel that even she had heard of, along with the story of how the two had been inseparable since her surprise return the night of the fund raiser. Betrayal tore through Sierra.  So she had only been a distraction for him, something disposable until the woman he really wanted turned up.  Dropping the paper she moved to the window, her arms wrapped defensively around herself.  She had done it again, she had opened herself up to him, and he had used her, destroyed her.  Heart-broken tears streamed down her face.

{next installment 14th Jan}

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