Guardian Angel Ch. 02byAurora Black©
This was my first "real" attempt at writing a romantic caper story with a sexy leading man and plucky heroine. I was 20 at the time.
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They continued to stand in the office, neither of them saying a word. Sabrina was still in shock from seeing him again, and he was waiting patiently for her to speak. His eyes, as intense as before, enveloped Sabrina in warmth and made her nervous at the same time.
What is wrong with me, she thought to herself. This isn't the first time that I've had to conduct a business meeting. The fact that he caught me crying a while ago does not mean anything; I have to move on and take care of business.
Sabrina signaled for Linda, her secretary, to leave the room. As soon as the door closed, she cleared her throat and said, "Mr. Cabrezi, please make yourself comfortable."
With a nod of her head she directed his attention from her to a chair nearby. She walked back to her desk, trying to calm the butterflies in her stomach.
She sat down at her desk and studied him as he sat down. She wasn't sure which side of the man she was attracted to the most; the rugged yet tender side from earlier that day, or the professional that was now before her.
"Ms. Thomas. What an honor it is to finally meet you."
His voice was deep and seductive. He could make a fortune with a voice like that, Sabrina thought. It reminded her of something that she had read in a magazine about women flocking to men with husky voices, because deep voices mean...
She mentally shook herself. Now is not the time for this.
"An honor, Mr. Cabrezi? How so?"
Cabrezi leaned forward in his chair and said, "Because your reputation is widely known, and I can tell already that it was not exaggerated in the least." He smiled, and Sabrina had to concentrate on not melting on the spot.
Sabrina took a deep breath. "Thank you. What did you want to discuss with me this morning, Mr. Cabrezi?"
He cleared his throat. "I am here to personally inspect the Angel sculptures for any... flaws."
Which means, Sabrina thought, that there are some doubts among the powers that be that the sculptures are real, and they're sending in one of their people to make them sleep better at night.
This is what Sabrina feared the most concerning the Angel collection. She knew that it was a normal procedure, but she couldn't help but feel hurt that her superiors sent someone to check up on the artworks that she was able to bring to the museum; the lost "Angel" sculptures of Michelangelo, the most prized finds of the art world, and they were hers. She couldn't help but be protective of them.
She met his gaze and nodded her head. "Of course. Please follow me."
They rose from their seats at the same time, and he opened the door for her. She lead him through the various hallways of the museum until they reached the room where the sculptures were kept.
Sabrina felt strange, remembering the last time she was in this room. She could tell that he also felt awkward about their earlier meeting.
She rushed to move things along. "Well, here are the sculptures. I could call one of the maintenance people to help you remove the glass cases for a closer look."
His eyes left the sculptures to rest on her. "Thank you, but that is not necessary."
She was about to say that it was no trouble to call someone to help him, but she was startled when Cabrezi began to strip.
"Wha-what are you doing?" Sabrina was clearly shocked.
He had already shrugged off his suit jacket and he paused in taking off his tie to look at her. "I am making myself comfortable, like you asked me to do before."
He finished the statement with a grin filled with mischief, and she felt the butterflies in her stomach start up again.
Sabrina was a mixture of confusion and excitement. She took a deep breath before she said, "But what does... that have to do with inspecting the sculptures?"
Cabrezi had finished with his tie, unbuttoned his cufflinks, and was rolling up the legs of his pants when he looked up at her. "You'll see."
He finished his task and straightened, noticing the expression on her face. "I take it that you've never seen this type of inspection before?"
She tried but she couldn't stop the laugh that burst out of her at his question. "I think that it's safe to say that."
Cabrezi grinned and walked over to the first of the four sculptures. He braced his hands against the glass and began to raise it from the sculpture. Sabrina was still close by, and she was able to see the bunching and relaxing of his back muscles as he performed the task.
Sabrina was mesmerized by the sight until she remembered how she had ogled him earlier that morning. She had looked at him like a starving person at a banquet. That was before she found out who he was, but the memory served to remind her that it was not right for her to look at him in any way other than what he was; an art inspector that she hopefully would not see again after this morning.
With that in mind, she offered again to call a maintenance person to help.
With a small grunt, Cabrezi replied, "There's no need. I am almost finished."
And lo and behold, he was done with all four of the glass cases, and he was inspecting each of the four statues. She hadn't realized how long she had been watching him until the beeping of her watch told her that it was 1:00 in the afternoon. They had been in the room for almost two hours!
With a sigh, Cabrezi lifted his head from the final statue. He covered the statues in glass once more, and he returned to the floor beside Sabrina. His olive skin glistened with sweat under the room's hot lights, and his hair was loose from where it had been tied back. It was as beautiful as she remembered, and she had to stifle an urge to run her fingers through it.
"I am finished, Ms. Thomas, and I am glad to report that the sculptures are authentic."
Sabrina didn't know she was holding her breath until she had released it at his words.
"I'm very glad to hear that."
Now it's time to say goodbye, Mr. Cabrezi, she thought.
He continued to watch her with honey-brown eyes that seemed to memorize her every feature. "Ahem, is there any place where I..."
Sabrina realized that he had to rearrange his clothes. "Yes! Um, there's a men's room around the corner."
Cabrezi smiled. "Thank you. Please excuse me."
He strode out of the room, and Sabrina waited patiently until he returned a few minutes later.
"Well, Mr. Cabrezi, I believe that our business is done." She held out her hand for a handshake.
"Yes, Ms. Thomas, I suppose it is." Cabrezi took her hand, and they were both surprised at the sensation that resulted from the contact.
It was like an electrical shock, but pleasant. The touch of skin to skin was innocent, but it caught both of them off guard.
Sabrina broke off the handshake, and after a few seconds she recovered her wits enough to say, "Thank you for a rather interesting visit, Mr. Cabrezi."
A grin stretched out across his beautiful face, and with amusement in his voice he replied, "It was my pleasure."
Sabrina could do nothing but nod her head at his words; it was the same statement that he had made earlier that morning, after he had lended her his handkerchief when he saw that she had been crying.
She could do nothing but watch as he turned and walked out of the room. She continued to watch him walk down the hallway that led to the exit, thinking that she had never met a man like him in her entire life.
What Sabrina wasn't able to see was the grin that was still on Cabrezi's face as he thought about her, and that he was planning to see her again very soon.