He was staring at her again, making her blush. In the mirror, she saw how he caressed her with his eyes. She could feel the warmth of his gaze. It was doing strange things to her insides.
She gulped. She’d washed her face and brushed her hair. Now all she had left was getting out of her clothes.
“I need to undress now,” she told him. “You must…close your eyes.”
“What?” She blinked.
She wheeled around to him. “But you are causing me…great distress.”
“How can this be good?”
“’Cause you’re causin’ me great distress.”
What did he mean by that?
“Look, Cat,” he told her, “you said no touchin’. Fine. You said no sex. Fine. So I figure I paid twenty dollars to sit in this bed and watch you undress. And that’s what I’m gonna do.”
His smug smile was infuriating. His twinkling eyes made her livid. She hated him for ogling her, even more for being right. He had paid a huge sum, and for what?
But the sight of him reclining in her bed, so self-assured, waiting for her, sent a shiver of apprehension through her. She almost wished she’d brought that bottle of whiskey.
“You scared?” he asked, arching a brow.
That did it. Now she was insulted.
Catalina—who’d defied her father, the lord of Ferrara, left her homeland on her own, and set out all alone to follow her dreams—wasn’t afraid of anything.
Determined to prove it, she unbuttoned her dress with furious fingers. She yanked the shoulders down and pulled the sleeves off with such force that she almost ripped the seam. She shoved the dress down until it puddled at her feet. Then she stepped out of it, whipped it up in one hand, gave it a good shake, and draped it across her chair.
If she thought that would wipe the grin from his face, she was wrong. If anything, his eyes sparkled with more amusement than before.
With a frustrated growl, she untied her petticoat and stepped out of that too.
Then, before he could make some self-satisfied remark, she turned down the oil lamp until it guttered out.
But the joke was on her, because the storm had cleared and the full moon shone into the room. He could still see every humiliated inch of her. And she could still see the gleam in his eye.