Even more so when he had admitted what she had already suspected to be true after his reaction to their first time—that he was not the same with other women. Unfortunately, Piper had allowed herself to build emotional ties on that flimsy pretext, while ominously lying to herself about what was going on in her own heart the whole time.
But was the pretext so flimsy?
Despite what his words the night before had implied, she was special to him. They were friends and he had few enough of those, no matter how he liked to tease Neo to the contrary. Piper and Zephyr’s sexual relationship had already lasted longer than any other one he’d had as well. And she already knew it drew out a side in Zephyr he did not regularly let loose.
So, in all three of those instances, she was not business as usual for the tycoon. Add that to the fact he was vacationing for the first time since she’d known him, with her and for her benefit, and it all added up to something special. Right?
Or was she grasping at straws as she had done with Art, not wanting to believe he was being unfaithful until confronted by irrefutable evidence?
One thing she knew, she wasn’t going to lie to herself any longer. She loved Zephyr. Irrevocably and unequivocally. More than she’d ever loved Art, and she suspected more than she could ever love another person. But if Zephyr could not, or would not, love her, then she needed to stop this thing between them before she had no hope of coming out of it with a healable heart.
The thought of letting Zephyr go hurt so badly, an involuntary whimper slipped past her lips. He didn’t wake up, but his arms tightened around her, only exacerbating the pain.
Because if she walked away from him, there would be no one there to comfort her.
And that led to her final decision. She wasn’t going to waste what might well be her last days with Zephyr as even a pseudo-lover grieving a loss that had not come yet. She would squeeze every bit of joy out of their time together in Greece that she could.
Zephyr woke to the wonderfully pleasant experience of Piper giving him a massage. He was on his stomach, his arms relaxed above his head and his legs stretched out under the light covering of a sheet. She sat on his upper thighs, having an effect on him that he doubted she was going for.
Or maybe not. Piper was the most open and adventurous lover he’d ever had.
It bothered him that her moving him around had not woken him. His ability to incorporate her touch into his dreams showed how deeply he trusted her. As did the secrets of his past he’d shared with her the day before.
He’d never been tempted to tell that story to another woman, and no other lover had been allowed to sleep in his bed, much less wake him with a massage. He’d thought he’d been so clever in pursuing a sexual relationship without strings with the only woman he had ever considered a true friend. Now, he realized that kind of thing led to intimacies he did not crave.
He had to get his relationship with Piper back onto an even keel, or end at least the sexual side of it. Friendship and sex. Nothing more, and certainly nothing so deep it led to true confessions. He’d started at the Plaka, the day before, buying her gifts and clamping down on that dangerous urge to talk.
She’d done him a favor waking him with the massage. It would lead to sex and that was something he could handle. He didn’t open his mouth to blurt out things better left unsaid when it was busy pleasuring her.
“Mmm…” He stretched under her kneading fingers, rubbing his cheek against the bottom sheet, taking in the scent of their lovemaking from the night before.
Call him earthy, but he loved that smell and often put off their morning shower so he could enjoy it.
“Like that?” Her voice was husky as if she was getting as much out of this as he was.
“Very much. Are you sure you’ve never gone to massage therapy school?”
“It’s one of my many natural talents.” Humor laced that sweetly husky voice.
“I admit, I am grateful for this particular talent.”
“As you should be. So, I’m the only person in your life with this particular talent?”
“I’ve never asked Neo if he likes to give massages.”
Soft laughter tinkled above him. “I’m having a hard time imagining that conversation.”
“You’re not the only one.”
“There are no other women in your life who know how to relax your muscles like this? I find that hard to believe.”
Was she fishing? He’d never asked her if she slept with other men, but he knew she didn’t. He didn’t make it a habit to sleep with more than one woman at a time, either. It led to messy complications, and he didn’t do messy. Though he was rarely with a woman long enough for it to become an issue, he still followed his own rules. His longest liaisons could be measured in months, not years.