She shrugged. ‘They’re tenacious. It was to be expected.’

 ‘They’re like locusts.’ He laid his palms on the table, his face stark with anger.

 Not wanting all the good feeling ruined, she raised a hand to his face and palmed his cheek. ‘Thank you.’

 The blue in his eyes darkened, his frame stilling. ‘For what?’

 ‘For trying to keep them away from me.’

 His nostrils flared a touch. He didn’t answer, simply stared at her as if trying to peer into her mind.

 She gazed back, drinking him in, the heat inside her—so constant when with him—bubbling beneath her...

 And then he dipped his head and covered her mouth with his, holding it there, not moving, just breathing into her, warm champagne-scented air filling her senses until he gently slid his mouth across her cheek and brushed his lips against her ear. ‘Soon, agapi mou, I will do more than just kiss you.’

 Her insides melted. Her heart racing at a gallop, she was about to grab his hand and beg him to whisk her away to somewhere private when Zayed joined them, announcing his presence by slapping Christian hard on the back.

 ‘Come on, newlyweds, it is time for the Kalamatianos,’ he said, referring to the traditional wedding dance adored by all Greeks. Over his shoulder, Mikolaj and Tanya grinned and waved, already tapping their feet in anticipation.

 She was so glad she’d gone behind his back and invited them. It hadn’t sat well with her, knowing he would have no one from his childhood there. Knowing Christian was happy she had done so lightened her further.

 It made her feel all warm and fuzzy inside, thinking they had gone behind each other’s back to bring someone important to their big day.

 Soon she was on her feet with Christian in the centre of the dance floor, each holding an end of a scarf that had been thrust at them. With traditional Greek music playing, Zayed and Stefan chivvied everyone up to form a circle around them, the guests linking hands and, following Mikolaj and the other Greek guests’ example, swirling around them like a circling snake, shouts of, ‘Opa!’ ringing out.

 Alessandra had the time of her life. When the Kalamatianos was over, everyone, including the bride and groom, stayed on the dance floor. They danced together, slow songs, fast songs, their hands entwined, their eyes only for each other.

 She wanted the wedding and all the good feelings it evoked in her to last forever, to hold on to this moment for as long as she could. Contrarily, she wanted it to end now, wanted the sensuous promise ringing from Christian’s eyes to become reality.

 Soon...

 Soon it would be time to retire to his suite and begin their newly married life in a manner that sent heat surging through her just to think about it.

 * * *

 Christian opened the door of the suite and, keeping hold of Alessandra’s hand, closed it behind them.

 ‘Someone’s been busy,’ he observed, burrowing his face into the nape of her neck. At long last, he was free to touch her and taste her and do all the things he’d wanted to do for so long the ache in his groin had become a permanent part of him.

 His suite—their suite, now all of Alessandra’s possessions had been moved in while their celebrations had been going on—had been decorated. Flowers were artfully arranged in vases, rose petals had been scattered over the bed and a bottle of champagne sat in an ice bucket next to two champagne flutes.

 ‘Clichéd but very romantic,’ she said, twisting round to face him.

 All the dancing had left her cheeks flushed and her eyes alive with pleasure.

 He wanted those eyes glowing with pleasure for a different reason.

 Gripping her hip, he pulled her to him and snaked his arm around her waist.

 He gazed down into those striking eyes and those moreish lips. His to taste.

 She was his to taste.

 As he bent his head to claim her mouth, she darted gracefully out of his clasp, laughing softly. ‘Not yet.’

 ‘You’re making me wait?’ he said, his words coming out with an animalistic growl.

 ‘I’m going to freshen up. Remember, anticipation makes fulfilment taste all the sweeter.’ She sashayed to one of the bathrooms, flashed him a smile full of promise and locked the door behind her.

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