Chapter 27 : No Negotiations

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Raul's POV

"What are you doing?"

Yandra looks up only long enough to flash me a sly look, before turning her attention back to the coquitos she's dipping in melted chocolate. "Making dessert," she says airily. "I remember you love coconut."

I set my jaw tightly as I walk across the kitchen to where she's putting the final touches on the coquitos. "You know what I mean." My voice is low, so as not to be heard by anyone passing the hall outside the kitchen doors.

"What's wrong, baby?" She dips a coquito in honey, rolling the toothpick holding the confectionery around to coat every inch of it. "Did you come here for something sweet? Because I think I can satisfy your craving." Slowly, she licks the honey off the candy.

The move is sensual, suggestive, but it only makes me even more annoyed than I already was. I grip the edge of the kitchen counter with both hands. "You know Nico is an idiot." I keep my voice low, not wanting to be heard by anyone who might be passing by the hallway outside the doors. "Why did you agree to this engagement?"

Her eyes grow wide. "I did what you told me to do, Raul. I sealed the deal."

I take a deep breath. "I meant fuck him, not marry him. Do you realize how complicated you just made everything?"

"I don't see how." She furrowed her brows. "Don't you think that being engaged to Nico is an even better cover for our... relationship? He's planning on making you a godfather at the wedding."

"No, Yandra, it does not. And you might as well call off the engagement because I'm not touching you. Not anymore."

I turn and walk away. My mind is racing, trying to work out a plan to disentangle Nico from this mess. While my plan succeeded in giving me the evidence I need to confirm Yandra was plotting something behind my back, the last thing I wanted was for her to be engaged to my cousin. Nico will be devastated when he discovers the person she really is. Even worse, he might not find out and actually marries her. God knows what kind of havoc she'll wreak once she's a part of this family.

"All right, Raul, I'll call off the engagement."

Yandra's words stop me just as I'm about to storm out of the kitchen. I turn to her. "You will?"

She nods, then smiles. "On one condition."

"This is not a negotiation, Yandra."

"I just..." She sighs, then walks around the kitchen counter. I don't miss the deliberate, sensual sway of her hips as she makes her way toward me.

"What?" My tone is curt. I immediately regret it when I see her flinch slightly. Softening my tone, I add, "Nico doesn't deserve this, Yandra. I know you care about him, even if it's just as a friend."

"I do." She moves closer until she was near enough that I could smell the scent of jasmine in her hair. "But I feel like I'm the only one of us taking risks, Raul," she purrs. Her hands slide up my chest. "What if I break it off with Nico and you change your mind about us?"

I grab her wrists and push her away from me. "I already changed my mind about us."

"Well, if I can't have you, then I have no reason to break up with Nico, do I?"

I frown. "Are you... blackmailing me?"

She shrugs. "I'm saying you could persuade me to break off the engagement if you ask nicely. In private." A mischievous smile plays on her lips. "Come by my place tonight."

I clench my jaw. "Not your place. I have a place in Park Square. I'll send a car to pick you up at seven."

Her smile was radiant. "See you tonight."

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