Maybe he had been selfish to embark on this passionate odyssey with her? She surely deserved better than just enjoying some explosive sex with a man who—despite his genuine concern for her—fully intended to kiss her goodbye some time soon? When she’d talked about her ex he had heard disappointment and hurt in her voice that her imagined happy future with him had come to naught, and in such a cruelly painful way too. Surely a short affair with Blaise would only confirm her opinion that all men were louses? Users…who didn’t give a damn about her as long as they got what they wanted?

Dropping his hands to rest them lightly either side of her hips in her long satin dress, Blaise couldn’t resist impelling her body closer to his, even though he was in turmoil about his right to intimacy with Maya at all.

Her scent made him feel hypnotised…drugged. And he wanted her again, with no lessening of the fierce need and burning desire that had seized him from almost the first moment he saw her. Reverently he touched his lips to her infinitely soft cheek.

‘Let me take you to bed, Maya. It won’t make the hurt go away, but it might help you forget for a while…And the truth is I need to make love to you…need it more than anything else in the world right now…’

When he reached out his hand for hers, Maya hesitated only a moment before silently slipping her palm into his…

Her fingers splayed lightly across Blaise’s hipbone, Maya snuggled closer to his wonderful naked masculine form in the bed. ‘Your skin feels like rough warm silk,’ she told him, smiling up into his handsome face in the lamplight.

‘And yours…there are no words to do such delicious softness justice. Except perhaps to say that I think heaven must feel like this. You’re a revelation to me, you know? Yes, a revelation—as well as one very irresistible and tempting woman, Maya Hayward.’

‘How tempting?’ She touched him in the place where he was most sensitive and most aroused. Beneath her gently exploring fingers she sensed the warm silken length of his manhood pulse even harder into life. They had already shared some of the most combustible languorous kisses Maya could imagine—her lips still bore the exquisite aftermath of his alternately demanding then gentle mouth. Now she watched him rip open a slim foil packet to release the protective sheath inside, his brief examination of her teasing expression hot, libidinous and hungry.

‘Climb on top and I’ll show you, sweetheart.’

‘You mean sometimes actions speak louder than words…even for a playwright?’ She grinned.

Along with her seemingly insatiable desire for this man, there was a new lightness and playfulness skipping through her bloodstream that she hadn’t known was even possible. Loving the sensation of her inner thighs gripping Blaise’s lean, arrow-straight hips, she didn’t take her gaze off his as he thrust upwards inside her with devastating intent. His blue eyes were like living, dangerous electricity, and she immediately felt him fill her to the hilt. He stayed there, rocking her gently, so that she was intimately acquainted with every wonderful inch of him, his hands clasping her hips.

Her head momentarily falling back, Maya shut her eyes. That sense of lightness pulsing through her body wasn’t just because she’d finally decided to leave the past behind and move on…it was because she was in love, she realised. Her eyes shot open again. Blaise might not yet trust her enough to share whatever it was that troubled him, and he might have clearly hinted that he wasn’t a man who welcomed long-term commitment either, but there it was. She loved him. Hugging the knowledge to her, she gazed down at him with a new sense of wonder and appreciation.

‘Hey,’ he said, his seductively low-pitched voice breaking a little, ‘keep on looking at me like that and you may just have to stay right where you are for the rest of the night. Think you could handle that?’

Leaning towards Maya, he cupped her face, drawing her mouth urgently down to his before she could reply. As the heat and hardness of his demanding kiss avidly claimed her, she willingly returned his passionate fervour with all her heart, suddenly finding herself praying hard that one day, despite her intention to only enjoy a brief affair, he might love her back…that his love might lead to the dream of a happy, fulfilling union   with a man that constantly eluded her.

‘I think I could handle anything you wanted to give me, Mr Walker,’ she murmured, nuzzling her face deep into the beguiling warmth of his neck…

He was outside walking by the wall again, with the wind in his hair and—it had to be said—a spring in his step. He didn’t waste time speculating why. The reason was back at the house, eagerly continuing research for the play on Blaise’s behalf and by all accounts loving every minute of it. It had taken a monumental effort on his part not to say to hell with it and keep Maya in bed for the rest of the day. But the plain fact of the matter was that he had a play to write, and it wouldn’t progress any further if he lost himself in any more distractions…delightful and engaging as they might be.