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“There,” she said, “I have finished preparing the beef Now…” Her eyes widened in horror “Oh, señorita, what has happened to you? You are crying!”

Kyra swiped her hair back from her forehead and tried to smile


“You are! Ay, cara you so unhappy!”

“Really,” Kyra sobbed, “I’ It’s the onions”

“It is the chili peppers! I should have realized that your skin is not accustomed to their heat” Dolores yanked open the freezer door, took out a bucket of ice cubes, and due your hands into the ice”

“But I haven’t even touched the chilies yet Dolores, really-”

“By the bones ofon here?”

Antonio’s angry roar filled the kitchen Dolores turned to hier

“The Señorita has hurt herself, and you are to blame”

“Me? I am to blame because she is incompetent?”

Antonio’s angry words ground to a halt He felt as if a fist had reached into his chest and were crushing his heart

Kyra’s beautiful face et and swollen with tears; she was leaning over the sink, her hands buried in ice, sobbing as if she were in agony

God in heaven, what had happened? What had his anger and his damnable pride done to her?

He crossed the room in a couple of swift strides, pushed Dolores out of the way, and clasped Kyra’s shoulders

“What is it, querida?” Gently, he took her hands and lifted theusher of cnht of raw, burned flesh He didn’t realize he’d been holding his breath until it rushed fros in relief Kyra’s hands were as they’d always been feraceful, the nails a pale, delicate pink

Antonio clasped those hands in his and drew her to him

“Kyra,” he said urgently ”Querida, where are you injured?”

Tears flowed down her face “I’m not,” she sobbed

His face darkened “How can you go on being so damnably stubborn at a moment like this? Dolores! Tell me what happened!”

Doloresme prepare dinnei”

“Did she cut herself? I see no blood”

“The chilies burned her And the onions—”

Antonio’s jaw knotted “She scalded herself! Where? Madre de Dios, Dolores, where is the injury?”

“Daain! I’ part of this conversation, Antonio, and I’ else”

“Then why are you weeping?”

“I’! It’s these miserable onions They’ve made my eyes tear Is that so hard to understand?”

Antonio went very still “Letyour heart out over a cutting board filled with vegetables?”

Her chin ca for a while, Your Lordship!”

He could feel the adrenaline still puh his veins Damn this woman! Did it never occur to her to speak up and say she was in trouble? How dare she be so haughty and i to help?

His mouth twitched And how could she have the brass to be so outrageous when her sht nose was pink and da with tears?

His ave him a look as cold as the cubes in the sink

“What’s so funny?”

“Nothing,” Antonio said quickly “Nothing is funny”

“Good Because I want to get back to work before you decide to add time to my sentence to make up for this little interruption!”

Antonio sighed “ForgiveSeñorita Landon on you, Dolores I should have known better”