She shook her head slowly, though a ghost of a memory surfaced. A large dim room, a jukebox playing, the crack of pool balls and spirited laughter.
orner of Franklin and Walnut Street,” he told her.
“We’ve met there before?” She heard the uncertainty in her voice, the neediness, the hunger for information. Finally a prayer had been answered. Someone who knew who she was rather than who she had been.
“Several times,” he assured her. “Tell me, Belle, how severe is the amnesia?”
She couldn’t decipher the underlying emotion in his voice. Part concern, part something else that had her wondering not just who this man was, but what he was to her.
“The past six years are gone,” she answered truthfully, though she wasn’t certain why she had. This man had her guard up, yet a part of her was reaching out to him, desperate to trust him. “Did you know me well?”
His hands tightened at her hips. “I’ll let you decide that. Meet me tonight at the tavern, alone. No mother, no driver. You could ride that racy little motorcycle you looked so good on. The one you keep in storage here in Hagerstown.”
She rode a motorcycle? Since when did she ride a motorcycle?
She shook her head almost instinctively, rejecting the idea that she would, that she could ride, even as she remembered the wind in her hair and the power pulsing between her thighs.
“I’ll be there at eleven.” His fingers caressed her hips. “Will you be there, Lilly?”
“I’ll be there.” The decision was made so quickly, so instinctively, that she almost called the words back.
“Good girl.” Were those his lips brushing against the shell of her ear?
Lilly shivered at the exquisite sensation of warmth, almost a kiss, as she took in a hard, shocked breath.
“I’ve missed you, Lilly.” Was that a note of regret in his voice?
Lilly fought the overwhelming urge to turn and confront him, to demand the answers she was certain he had. There was no doubt he had known her during those lost years. There was no doubt he may have possibly known her intimately.
“Who am I?” The words slipped past her lips, the emotion in her voice undisguised, the fear that she fought to keep hidden revealing itself in the husky, plaintive tone of her voice.
Behind her, the warm male body bracketing hers was still for a long moment before she felt the silent sigh ripple across his chest.
“We’ll discuss that tonight.” There was a promise in his voice and, a part of her feared, a warning.
A warning about what? The truth perhaps?
The truth could be a double-edged sword, her uncle had warned her several times when she questioned if he had had the past six years of her life investigated once he learned she was alive. Surely he had, yet he refused to give her a straight answer.
The evasiveness had been driving her insane. Perhaps, this time, someone would give her a straight answer.
“And if I don’t show up?”
His hands eased away from her slowly as the sound of her mother’s voice discussing the merits of a particular porcelain plate filtered through the dim room.
“Then I guess you don’t show up,” he murmured. “Perhaps, Lilly, there’re things about yourself that you don’t really want to know.”
As she tried to understand that comment he slipped away from her, the warmth of his body no more than a dream as she turned quickly to try and catch a glimpse of the man who had held her so intimately.
Was he the one following her? Was he the one that filled her fantasies as well as her nightmares?
However, all she saw was his back as he slipped out the door and moved quickly past the long, narrow window of the shop.
Lilly began to race after him. Waiting until tonight for answers suddenly seemed less than feasible. She wanted those answers now.
“Lilly, Mrs. Longstrom has the most gorgeous lace tablecloth in the back room.” Her mother’s voice stopped her as she took the first step. “You simply have to come back here and see it. I believe it would be perfect for the breakfast room at the manor.”