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Lips light as the touch of a butterfly's wings, but far more sensual, brushed the back of her neck, a male hand on her shoulder enclosing the small intimacy in protective secrecy, before he whispered in her ear.
'Back in a few minutes. Don't go away.'
She hadn't moved, not even to turn her head to look at him, and she didn't move now. Mainly because she couldn't, Jules realised shakily.
There were times when she would rather be anything other than one of the partners in an event planning organisation. And this was definitely one of them.
Everyone who was anyone in the celebrity world was here in Majorca, thronging the grounds of the exclusive holiday villa currently on loan to the most excitingly 'in' Hollywood superstar couple.
A-List Life, the magazine responsible for paying for this particular 'bash,' which was ostensibly being given to celebrate the couple's first wedding anniversary, had already described them as Hollywood Royalty.
Now their carefully selected celebrity 'friends' were 'celebrating,' whilst the magazine's flamboyant owner and editor, Dorland Chesterfield, interviewed the happy couple and its photographers mingled with the guests.
She was getting too cynical, Julia decided. Lucy, her friend and the owner of Pret a Party, had been thrilled about this commission, and of course Julia could understand why.
Dorland was a millionaire and was the most influential person on the upmarket social event scene. Being hired to organise any event the magazine was sponsoringnever mind being selected, as they had been, to organise Dorland's fabulous and high-profile end-of-summer celeb bashwas virtually a licence to print money, via future commissions, as Nick, Lucy's husband, had said.
A small frown pleated Julia's forehead as she remembered Nick's unkind comments about Dorland.
'The man's a fat, brainless star-suckerif he is a man,' he had announced derisively when Dorland had first approached them.
'That's neither true nor fair, Nick.' Julia had immediately defended Dorland.
Yes, Dorland was slightly overweight, and it was true that there were rumours that prior to bursting onto the social scene and setting up his magazine he had undergone a sex-change operation, as well as equally unproven gossip and speculation about his sexual orientation. However, Julia privately suspected he might well be one of those people who genuinely were asexual. Although he was surrounded by eager wannabes of both sexes, thanks to the success of A-List Life, no one had ever been able to say categorically that he had had any sexual involvements or partnerships. It was Julia's belief that Dorland reserved all his passion for the great love in his life, which was fame and those who achieved it. Whatever his sexuality, Dorland could tap into the female psyche, and he also had the knack of massaging a vulnerable and famous ego to the point where even the most out-of-reach 'star' was prepared to let down their guard with him.
The truth was that Dorland genuinely liked and admired the famous, and they, sensing that, turned to him and his magazine with the kind of exclusive articles that had other editors gnashing their teeth with envy.
Nick affected to loathe and despise him, but Julia couldn't help wondering if secretly Nick was jealous of both his success and his wealth.
She, not Nick, was the one who had had the headache of organising and coordinating the two lavish events Dorland had hired them for. Including dealing with more mammoth egos than any sane person would ever want to know. Nick had cleverly managed to be away chasing up new business or interviewing potential new clients when all the really hard work had had to be done. Nick was here today, though.
A pang of pain mingled with guilt squeezed her heart.
There had been a time when in her heart, if not in public, she had begun to dream that she and Nick would become a pair. When he had dropped her for Lucy, shortly after she had introduced them, she had naturally done her best to conceal how she felt, assuring herself that hearts did not break, and that if hers was so very badly cracked that she felt it would never mend, then that was her own affair.
Her mental choice of the word affair made her grimace. Nick might have pursued and flattered her, but things had not got to the point where they had exchanged anything more than a few passionate kisses, and thankfully she had not had time to confide in her friends about how she'd felt about him.
But just recently Nick had started to complain to her that his marriage was in difficulties and he felt he had made a mistake. Lucy, too, whilst fiercely loyal to her husband and her marriage, had begun to look strained and unhappy.
After a thorough visual scan, to ensure that nothing needed her attention, Julia was just about to go inside and check on the progress of the interview when Nick came up behind her and put his hand on her bare shoulder again, deliberately caressing the smooth, lightly tanned skin.
'Don't, Nick.' She warned him off.
He ignored her, murmuring tauntingly, 'Don't? Don't what? Don't stop? You know you want it every bit as much as I do.'
'That's not true,' she denied fiercely. 'Apart from anything else, you're married to Lucy.' 'Don't remind me.'