Lizzie turned to him, but before she could even think of what she might reasonably say to bring an end to something she knew now would put her in emotional danger, Ilios was scooping her up, carrying her over to the bed, and kissing her with such shocking sensuality as he placed her on it that he immediately awakened her previous urgent desire.

In its fierce clamour it was impossible for her to hear any other voice—impossible for her to think of anything other than the growing sensual tension possessing her body.

Leaning over her, Ilios caressed her body, lingering over each touch with a focussed intensity that was all by itself unbearably erotic, driving her to reach for him. His lips brushed hers; his hand brushed her sex. His tonguetip parted her lips whilst his hand parted her thighs.


Lizzie could feel her heart hammering into her ribs. Supporting himself with his other hand on the bed, Ilios watched her face as he touched her slowly and intimately, until she was opening helplessly to him, arching up to him for more.

‘I want you. I want you, Ilios. Now—please.’

Lizzie’s words, gasped in eager longing, pierced Ilios’s hot desire, chiming a warning within himself that automatically set off his own protective defences. He had no means of ensuring that their intimacy would be safe. From what Lizzie had told him he doubted that she used any form of contraception as an automatic course. The thought of the health of either of them being affected by them having sex was one he dismissed immediately. He had never taken any risks with his sexual health, and he doubted that Lizzie had had enough previous sexual experience to have risked her own. But they were not protected against unwanted pregnancy, and that meant that he should stop—right now. After all, he had his future planned—and the children that would be a part of it. His children—his sons—protected from the pain he had known as a child, protected from any mother who might reject them or subject him to her avaricious financial demands.

His children who, according to Lizzie, having been conceived in the sterile atmosphere of a laboratory and carried by a woman they would never know, would be deprived of love.

‘Ilios?’

Lizzie reached up and touched his face, not understanding why he wasn’t responding to her, stroking her fingertips along the length of his sweat-dampened torso, trailing the narrow line of dark hair across his flat belly.

The look of hungry and absorbed need the moonlight revealed in her expression reignited the desire Ilios had been trying to suppress. Like flames devouring dry timber it raced through him, overpowering everything that tried to stand in its way, including his own inner warning voice. His body moved of its own accord, his mind powerless to control its need. And Lizzie reached for him, drawing him down towards her, her lips parting in the same longing he could feel in the way she moved to welcome him between her thighs.

The first hot, slick, sweet taste of her sex against his own brought down what was left of his self-control as effectively as a tidal wave smashing down a sandcastle on the beach.

He was within her, taking her, giving to her as they began the swift surging climb towards immortality. On the journey there were brief seconds of time when the pleasure was so intense, like stars within reach on a journey to the moon, that Lizzie was almost distracted enough to want to reach out to them—but then the drive of Ilios’s body within her own reminded her of the greater purpose, their ultimate shared destination.

It came for her with convulsive tightening of her body that quickened into her orgasm, just as she felt Ilios’s surrender to its fierce embrace spilling hotly into her.

Into her? Like an annoying fly, intruding on the wonderful peace of a lazy summer afternoon, the two words buzzed agitatedly inside her head, ignoring Lizzie’s attempts to brush them away so that she could enjoy the pure heaven of lying fulfilled and sweetly aching in the aftermath of orgasm in Ilios’s arms.

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