“A taxi for you,” she said to Nikolai, pulling her cell phone out of her clutch.
From the foot of the bed where he made an adorably pretty picture, Nikolai stretched his leg and rubbed his leather boot against her bare calf. “Or we could spend the night here, Tina, mi amore. Now that things are truly over between you and the Greek thug—”
Using the tip of her stiletto, Tina poked his calf until he retreated with a very unmasculine squeal.
Her head was pounding. She’d barely drunk any water. Her body and mind were engaged in a boxing match over Kairos. The last thing she needed was Nikolai hitting on her.
“Kairos and I are not divorced. Also, I’m not interested in a relationship,” she added for good measure.
“I noticed him tonight, cara mia. He spared you not a single glance.” A claw against her heart. “As if you were total strangers.” A bruise over her chest. “He seemed pretty interested in that whore Stella.” Bile in her throat.
Just like a man to use the woman and then call her crude names. Oh, why had she come tonight? “Per favore, Nik, don’t call her that.”
“You called Claudia Vanderbilt much worse for marrying a sixty-year-old man.”
Tina cringed, shame and regret washing over her like a cold wave.
She’d been privileged and pampered and had behaved so badly. She should keep Nikolai in her life. If nothing, he’d keep reminding her what a bitch she’d once been.
While Valentina held up her phone and walked around the bedroom looking for a signal—she’d spend the night here if it meant avoiding seeing Kairos leave with one of the women, not that he’d need to pay for the pleasure—Nikolai had moved closer.
Valentina froze when his hands landed on her hips. She arrested his questing hands. “Please, Nikolai. I would like to keep the single friend I have.”
“You have really changed, Tina. Transformed from a poisonous viper to a—” his alcoholic fumes invaded her nostrils while he tilted his head, seemingly in deep thought “—an innocent lamb? A lovely gazelle?”
Christo, the man was deeply drunk if he was calling her innocent.
Before Tina could shove Nikolai’s hands away—she really didn’t want to plant her knee in his groin like Luca had taught her—his hands were gone. Whether he skidded due to his drunken state or was pushed, Tina would never know. He landed with a soft thump against the bed, slid down it and let out a pathetic moan.
Tina whirled around, her breath hitching.