Lisa made an angry sound. ‘So, I’m stuck with this for the next week?’
‘If you mean me.. then, yes, you are.’
‘Well, don’t ever try that again,’ she warned. ‘And don’t give me that look either. I’m warning you… I mean it, Tino.’
‘Of course you do.’
Tino knew what was at stake for her, Lisa realised, and, like it or not, she was tied in to this. Tino Zagorakis held the fate of Bond Steel in the palm of his hand, and she had to play by his rules, or risk losing everything.
He stood watching her, slouched on one hip. ‘Do you know what you need?’ His voice had turned low and mocking.
‘No, but I’m sure you’re going to tell me.’
‘You need someone to say no to you, Lisa—someone who can curb your headstrong ways.’
‘Headstrong?’ She’d never put a foot wrong in all her adult life—and no one in his right mind would call her headstrong. No one would dare. ‘And I suppose you think you’re man enough for the job?’
‘I know I am.’
The sardonic murmur made Lisa shiver with desire. She had to fight it, fight him. ‘I’ve had enough of this. I want to go back.’
‘Not a chance,’ he said flatly. ‘We are going to enter into negotiations Greek style.’
‘What are you talking about? Greek style?’ Ancient tableaux of partly clothed men and women captured in various poses of sensual indulgence sprang into Lisa’s mind. She was prepared to go a long way to secure the deal, but not that far.
‘We’re going to get properly acquainted before we sit round a table.’
‘Properly acquainted?’ Her throat squeezed tight. ‘Why? I don’t want to.’
‘Bad luck for your company.’ He shook his head.
‘No—stop… wait a minute.’ To Lisa’s relief he stopped walking and turned around.
‘So, we’re agreed?’ he said. ‘No more talk of business today?’
She muttered two words grudgingly: ‘All right.’
‘That’s good, Lisa.’
Did he have to make it sound as if she had achieved something monumental?
‘That wasn’t so hard, now, was it?’
Lisa confined herself to a glare.
‘There can be no possibility of a deal until I find you more biddable.’
‘Biddable?’ That was too much! ‘So, now you’re resorting to blackmail?’
‘Blackmail?’ Shaking his head, Tino made a sound of disappointment with his tongue against the roof of his mouth. He was teasing her, taunting her—baiting her. ‘No, not blackmail, Lisa. You see, if you respond well, I will be fair. But if you are determined to remain wilful and contrary, then you will have to be tamed.’
‘Tamed? I’d like to see you try.’
‘Is that a challenge, Lisa?’
And then, incredibly, before she realised what he meant to do, he had picked her up and put her over his knee! And before she could recover from that, he exclaimed, ‘Theos! You would send me mad!’ And let her tumble to the ground as if her naked flesh had scorched him.
Wiping a hand over his eyes, Tino looked as if he couldn’t believe what had happened. Scrambling to her feet, Lisa couldn’t believe it either. She didn’t know whether to rail at him, or laugh, and the longer they stood staring at each other, the more she wanted to laugh.
Tino was clearly stunned that a moment of passion had brought him to the point where he had almost put her over his knee and spanked her, while she was surprised the idea excited her so much. She had to think fast. She couldn’t let this drive a wedge between them or it would be the end of the deal. ‘We both need some cooling-off time.’ Nervous laughter bubbled out of her, but Tino’s expression stopped it dead.
What was this turning into? Tino stared at Lisa hard. He had never come close to losing control before, but right now his senses were raging. In an ideal world, sex between them would have been fun—explosive—but the courtly dance of civilised behaviour stood between them. That and his determination to bring her to heel. But he realised now that where the thought of subduing a woman physically was anathema to him, the thought of spanking Lisa as a prelude to something else was overwhelmingly appealing.