He parted the edges of her shirt with exquisite slowness and stared down at her breasts, barely concealed by the lacy white bra she was wearing. His eyes were filled with so many emotions when he looked up that her heart overflowed. Was this how it should be? she wondered giddily. Was this what she had missed, having a man look at her as though she was the most wonderful sight he had ever seen? She had no idea what the answer was but she knew that she would remember this moment for the rest of her life—the moment when she discovered how it really felt to be a woman.

‘You’re so beautiful, Bella. So very, very beautiful...’

The rest of the words were swallowed up as he bent and drew her nipple into his mouth. Bella cried out at the explosion of sensations that erupted inside her. The moist heat of his tongue, the erotic stimulation of the damp lace against her flesh, the sensual whisper of his breath as he raised his head and blew gently on the hard nub made her tremble with longing. When he turned his attention to her other breast, lavishing it with the same attention, she wasn’t sure if she could bear it. She could feel her passion mounting, feel her desire growing more and more urgent with every delicate stroke of his tongue. Lacing her fingers through his hair, she raised his head, uncaring if he could tell how much she needed him.

‘Mac, I don’t know if I can take much more of this,’ she whispered hoarsely.

‘Sweetheart!’ He kissed her hard and hungrily, then stripped off the rest of her clothes until she was naked to his gaze. His eyes grazed over her and she shivered when she saw the desire they held as he raised his head. ‘Tonight is going to be special, Bella. I promise you that. Just give me a second.’

He slid off the bed and, picking up his trousers, took out his wallet and removed a condom from it. Bella closed her eyes as he lay down beside her again and took her in his arms, shuddering as he entered her. There wasn’t a doubt in her mind that he was right. Tonight was going to be special. For both of them.

* * *

Mac lay on his back, one arm resting across his eyes. It was almost midnight and the daylight had disappeared a long time ago, but they hadn’t switched on the lamps. Maybe they had both felt a need to preserve the status quo. Casting light onto the scene might spoil things; it might make them question the wisdom of what they had done. He didn’t want to do that and he sensed that Bella didn’t want to do it either.

He sighed softly. He was still finding it difficult to accept how quickly his feelings had changed. The anger he had felt about the way Bella had treated Tim seemed to have melted away. Finding out that his friend had had an affair had been a shock but it wasn’t only that which had made him see that he had been unfair to her. Holding her in his arms, being close to her had done more than merely satisfy his desire for her. It had made him remember exactly who she was, and that certainly wasn’t the sort of woman who would turn her back on someone in need. No, Bella had been forced into ending her marriage by Tim’s appalling behaviour and it made him feel incredibly guilty to know how badly he had misjudged her. Now he could only pray that he hadn’t made her life even more difficult by what they had done.

‘Penny for them, Dr MacIntyre.’

Her voice was low but Mac heard the uncertainty it held and lowered his arm. Rolling onto his side, he pulled her to him and kissed her softly on the lips. Maybe he did have doubts, but he intended to keep them to himself. He didn’t want her worrying unnecessarily.

‘I’m not sure they’re worth as much as a penny,’ he countered, clamping down on the rush of desire that flooded through him. They had made love not once but twice and he really shouldn’t be feeling this need again, he told himself sternly, but to very little effect. ‘I was just letting my mind drift rather than thinking actual thoughts.’

‘So you weren’t regretting what we’ve done?’ She looked steadily into his eyes and he sighed, unable to lie to her.

‘No. I don’t regret it, but I do wonder if it was right. I...well, I don’t want it to affect our friendship, Bella, and make life even more complicated for you.’

‘Neither do I.’

She smiled but there was something about her expression that made him wonder if he had phrased that badly. Getting into a discussion about the problems it could cause if they had an affair didn’t seem right, but maybe he should have made his feelings clearer? However, before he could try to make amends, she tossed back the quilt and stood up. Mac gulped as he was treated to a tantalising glimpse of her beautiful body before she pulled on a robe.

‘I’ll have a shower then make us some coffee. There’s a second bathroom along the corridor if you want to use that,’ she told him briskly.

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