Ella’s voice came from the doorway and he turned, a smile on his lips because she was the one person who could relieve his current stress levels.
‘Are you off duty?’
‘Yes. The child is safely in ITU and doing well.’ She strolled towards him, all long legs and sparkling eyes.
‘Good.’ But he wasn’t thinking about the child.
She stopped in front of him and placed her fingers on his chest. ‘You were amazing.’
‘I thought Phil’s heart was going to stop, along with the patient’s.’ Nikos was captivated by her sweet smile and her frank adoration. She was deliciously uncomplicated.
And she had a fabulous body.
‘Phil is a very cautious person.’
Nikos pulled her into his arms, feeling the immediate response of his body as her softness pressed against him. ‘You need cautious people in this business.’
‘To counter people like you?’ Her eyes teased him. ‘You’re not cautious, are you?’
‘If you’re asking if I know what I want, then the answer is yes.’ Nikos lowered his head and took her mouth, tasting honey and temptation. ‘At the moment what I want is you, in my bed, naked.’
‘My bed.’ She trailed a finger over his rough jaw, her breathing slightly faster than it had been before the kiss. ‘We’ve only ever made love in my bed. It’s been six months and we’ve never once been back to wherever it is you live. Do you realise that?’
Yes, he realised that.
‘Your place is closer.’ Smoothly he steered the conversation away from that particular topic. ‘I’m hungry. What do I have to do to get some of your delicious cheese on toast?’
Her arms slid round his neck. Affection. Warmth. ‘I would have thought you were sick of eating cheese on toast in my room. Are you sure you wouldn’t rather go out to eat?’
‘I want to have sex, then eat, then have sex again,’ Nikos purred, backing her against the wall and feeling the volcanic response of his body. ‘And then have sex again. We’d get arrested for that in a restaurant.’
She was giggling, breathless—her eyes slightly shocked. ‘Nikos, this is ridiculous. We always end up in my single bed in the nurses’ accommodation. We’ve been together for six months. It’s time to stop behaving like hormonal teenagers.’
Nikos brought his mouth down on hers, but his brain refused to be as easily distracted as his body.
Surely that wasn’t possible.
‘Nikos?’ She dragged her mouth away from his, laughter and love in her eyes.
Nikos stilled. When had that happened? And why hadn’t he noticed?
Mentally, he retreated. ‘I like sleeping in your single bed.’ She was getting too close. He curved his hand over her bottom, knowing what had to be done, but finding it surprisingly difficult. Usually, ending a relationship was easy. ‘You have a choice. Either I go for a ten-mile run or I take you to bed. Which is it to be?’
The sexual tension reached almost unbearable proportions.
‘That’s a tricky choice.’ Her breathing was shallow. ‘It isn’t safe to be on the streets of London at this time of night.’
‘Good decision.’ Nikos kissed her again and reached for his jacket. As he urged her out of the door, he pondered on the best way to tell her that the relationship was over.
‘I STILL can’t believe he’d just dump you, Ella. Why would he do that?’
Ella stared straight at the long slender boat nestling quietly against the bank of the river, appalled by the discovery that her grip on her self-control wasn’t as firm as she would have liked it to be. ‘Obviously he didn’t like me enough.’ And even now, after four long months of no contact, she found it hard to believe that she wasn’t going to see him again—that the connection she’d thought was there hadn’t existed for him.
Helen made a disparaging noise. ‘Ella, you told me he barely let you out of the bedroom for the six months you were together. He liked you.’
‘He liked the sex.’ Ella watched as a kingfisher dived into the water, a flash of iridescent green and blue, searching for breakfast. ‘Men don’t turn every sexual encounter into happy ever after, you know they don’t. Women mate for life, men mate whenever the opportunity presents itself.’