Despite the emotions he aroused in her, Hannah couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary about him. But there was no opportunity to analyze why she should have such a strong reaction to a complete stranger. He held the door open for a stunningly beautiful young man, a boy, really, who followed him in, moved around the older man, and came a few steps into the room. Hannah stared, caught by the brilliant green eyes and a mop of unruly blonde hair. Along with the controlled lines of a slim body that reminded her of a jungle cat, and long legs encased in very tight black jeans, he gave off an aura of sensuality — and danger. There was also something disturbingly familiar about him. Not for the first time, Hannah wished she had a talent for art. He had a face and body that demanded to be drawn.
But she sensed something that contradicted her first impressions and made her wonder where the danger really was. He seemed to want to get as far away from the older man as he could. His expression, his eyes lowered, shook Hannah. It contained fear, but also defiance. The moment passed and he walked to the center of the room with an assurance that, in another place and time, might have served as a grand entrance. He would certainly catch everyone’s eye.
Hannah scolded herself for letting her imagination work overtime. He was an extraordinarily attractive young man and if there was a problem between the two of them, it was none of her business. Even so, she couldn’t shake the feeling, deep in her gut, that the older one was someone to beware of, even to fear.
The green-eyed vision stood quite still, looking briefly at her, Patrick, and Elena, in turn. Hannah felt as if he’d barely registered her presence, but she was used to that. His attention swung back to Patrick and fixed on his face. Patrick had risen from his seat when he saw the two at the door, and was still standing, his hands closed into tight fists.
“What the hell are you doing here, Harris? Sarita told me what you wanted, but I didn’t think you’d actually have the nerve to chase me down. Or invite yourself where you’re not wanted. And who have you dragged along with you?”
Harris’s expression was one of lofty amusement. “And hello to you too, Patrick. It’s so nice to see you. I apologize for appearing without advance warning. I did stop at your house first, thinking we could have a private chat without disturbing Elena. You found yourself a nice old relic, by the way. Sarita was very impressed. When is it scheduled to be torn down?”
He turned to Elena. “It’s good to see you again, Elena. It’s been such a long time. You’re looking very well.”
Elena seemed to be almost as angry as Patrick was, but she remained seated and didn’t answer, looking at Patrick as if she expected him to handle everything.
Hannah looked back and forth from Harris to Patrick, wondering if the man was going to introduce his companion, when she heard Elena draw in her breath in a sharp gasp. She wondered what had provoked it and followed Elena’s gaze. Then she saw it — what Elena must be seeing, and she understood why the boy had looked familiar.
He had moved a few steps toward Patrick, distracting him from Harris. They were face to face now, and Hannah saw them in profile. They were almost mirror images of each other. Except for the color of their hair and eyes, and Patrick’s fuller and more mature face, they could have been twins. The boy seemed hypnotized, his eyes locked on Patrick’s face. As they stared at each other, Patrick’s expression of puzzled uncertainly suddenly became one of mixed horror and recognition, and he took a step back.
Before anyone could say a word, Harris moved forward, smiling broadly. He reminded Hannah of the cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland, a character she’d always hated. When he took the boy’s arm in a way that Hannah thought was too possessive, he flinched slightly at the contact, then stood perfectly still until Harris withdrew his hand.
“I didn’t mention to Sarita that I was bringing someone with me, in case she decided to let you know I was coming. Most people enjoy surprises, Patrick,” he said, his smile expanding until it seemed that it would crack his face. “Why do I have the feeling you already suspect who this beautiful young creature is?