‘Damn!’ he muttered, his chest heaving as he sucked in breath, a glint of anguish in the eyes that bored into hers. ‘I will control myself. Let me start again, Christina.’

He didn’t wait for a reply. His lips brushed lightly over hers, back and forth, back and forth, making them tingle to the point where she welcomed the running of his tongue-tip over them. Yes, she thought dizzily, the stiffness melting from her body, panic washed away by a soothing flood of warmth. She lifted her arms and wound them around his neck as she gave herself up to a kiss that was more familiar to her, a loving kind of kiss.

She didn’t mind opening her mouth to the gentle probe of his tongue, liking the intimate sensation of tangling her own with it, the slow gathering of excitement. It was easy to close her eyes and forget the years of nothing, remembering only the girl she had been in this man’s arms, experiencing sexual pleasure for the first time.

His hand slid down over her bottom, pressing her closer to him, and the hardness of his erection filled her mind with giddy elation. He couldn’t fake that. He really did want her. She was still desirable to him so it was okay to desire him, too. And she did, quite fiercely, given the confidence that this wasn’t just a cynical seduction to weaken her stance against him.

A wild ripple of exultation shot through her when his kissing took on a more passionate intensity, his tongue driving deep, challenging her to meet its thrust, revel in the explosion of need behind it. Her hands slid into his hair, fingers digging in hard to hold his head to hers, the desire to take possession of him and keep him forever running rampant through her mind.

He couldn’t walk away from this.

Not ever again.

She wouldn’t let him.

He wrenched his head from her tight grasp, lifting it back from her mouth enough to gasp, ‘Must move from here. Come.’

He scooped her off the balcony and into the bedroom, striding for the bed with her firmly tucked to his side. Tina’s heart was pounding with both fear and excitement. This was the moment to undress. She would see him again fully naked. But he would see her, too. How did she measure up against the other women who’d been in his life … the blonde in Dubai whose breasts had been more voluptuous?

But he was aroused, so maybe the idea of her made physical factors irrelevant. And although she was carrying more flesh than when he had been with her before, her body was still okay—no looseness from having the baby. It was silly to fret over it. He wanted sex with her. He was up and ready for it and it was going to happen.

He stopped close to the bed and swung her to face him, his hands curling around her shoulders, his eyes sweeping hers for any hint of last-minute rejection. She stared back steadily, determined not to baulk at this point.

‘You move me as no other woman ever has, Christina,’ he murmured, and planted a soft warm kiss on her forehead.

Her heart contracted at those words. Whether they were true or not, the wish to believe them was too strong to fight. She closed her eyes wanting to privately hug the strong impression of sincerity in his, and he gently kissed her eyelids, sealing the positive flow of feeling he had evoked.

She felt his thumbs hook under the straps of the green sundress she’d worn and slowly slide them down her upper arms. He kissed her bared shoulders as he unzipped the back of her bodice. Tina kept her eyes shut, fiercely focussing on her other senses, loving the soft brush of his lips against her skin and the gentle caress of his fingers along her spine as it, too, was bared. She breathed in the slightly spicy scent of his cologne. It was the same as when they were together before. He hadn’t changed it. And the thrill of his touch was the same, too.

Her dress slithered down to the floor. The style of it hadn’t required a bra so now her breasts were naked. Her only remaining garment was her green bikini pants, but he didn’t set about removing this last piece of clothing. His hands cupped her breasts, stroking them with a kind of reverence that she found emotionally confusing until he asked, ‘Did you breast-feed Theo, Christina?’

He was thinking of his son. He was not looking at her as a woman but as the mother of his child.

‘Yes,’ she answered huskily, telling herself it was okay for him to see her in this light. It made her different to the other women who’d been in his life. More special. Her body had carried his child, had nurtured his child.

‘He must have been a very happy baby,’ he murmured, and his mouth enclosed one of her nipples, his tongue swirling around it before he sucked on it.

Tina gasped at the arc of piercing pleasure that hit her stomach and shot past it to the apex of her thighs. Her hands flew up and grasped his shoulders, fingers digging into his muscles, needing something strong to hold onto as quivers ran through her entire body. He moved his mouth to her other breast, increasing the sweet turbulence inside her. For her it had been a physical pleasure breast-feeding Theo but it hadn’t generated this acute level of sexual excitement. Tina was so wound up in it, she didn’t know if it was a relief or a disappointment when he lifted his head away.

Almost immediately he was whipping down her bikini pants and her feet automatically stepped out of them. Any concern about how she looked to him had completely disappeared. He scooped her into such a crushing embrace she could feel his heart thumping against his chest-wall and then he was kissing her again; hard, hungry kisses that sparked an overwhelming hunger for him. She wanted this man. She’d never stopped wanting him.

He lifted her off her feet and laid her on the bed. The sudden loss of contact with him instantly opened her eyes. He was discarding his clothes with such haste Tina was in no doubt of his eagerness to join her, and it was thrilling to watch his nakedness emerge. He was a truly beautiful man with a perfect male body. His olive skin gleamed over well-defined muscles. His smooth hairless chest was sculpted for touching, for gliding hands over it. He had the lean hips and powerful thighs of a top athlete. And there was certainly no doubt about his desire for her, his magnificent manhood flagrantly erect.

Yet when he came to her he ignored any urgency for instant sexual satisfaction. He lay beside her, one arm sliding under her shoulders to draw her into full body contact with him, his free hand stroking long, lovely caresses as his mouth claimed hers again, more in a slow seductive tasting than greedy passion. It gave her the freedom to touch him, to revel in feeling his strong masculinity against her softer femininity, the whole wonderfully sensual intimacy of flesh against flesh.

His hand dipped into the crevice between her thighs, his fingers moving gently, back and forth, intent on building excitement until she felt the exquisite urgency he had always made her feel in the past. Tina lifted her leg over his, giving him easier access to her, refusing to let any inhibitions deny her the pleasure she remembered. He changed the nature of his kissing, his tongue thrusting and withdrawing, mimicking the rhythm of what was to come, accelerating the need to have him there.

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