‘Mac, please!’

The desperation in her voice tipped him over the edge and he entered her with one powerful thrust. He couldn’t have held back then even if he’d tried but he didn’t need to. Bella was with him every step of the way, her body arching under his as he drove them both to the heights of passion and beyond. They were both shaking when they came back down to earth, both stunned by the sheer intensity of what had happened. Mac knew that he had visited a place he had never been before and that he would never visit again without Bella. It was only with Bella that he could experience such rapture, such a feeling of completeness. Only Bella whom he loved.

The need to tell her how he felt was very strong but something stopped him, a tiny vestige of that fear of rejection that had blighted his life for so long. Although he hated himself for being such a coward, he knew that he needed to come to terms with how he felt before he could take the next step.

Rolling onto his side, he smiled into her eyes, loving the way her face lit up when she smiled back at him. If that weren’t proof that she felt something for him, he thought, then what was?

‘Now that I’ve had my wicked way with you, Dr English, I suppose I’d better feed you,’ he said, battening down that delicious thought. Maybe she did care about him but he had to be sure—one hundred per cent sure—before he went any further. ‘How about bacon and eggs—would that hit the spot?’

‘Mmm, lovely.’ She batted her eyelashes at him. ‘I don’t suppose you offer your guests breakfast in bed, do you? I’m feeling far too relaxed and comfortable to get up.’

‘I suppose I could stretch a point just this once.’ He huffed out a sigh, playing up the role of martyr to the full. ‘I must warn you, though, that I don’t plan to provide such luxuries on a regular basis.’

‘Oh, so there are going to be other occasions like this, are there?’

She grinned up at him, her green eyes filled with laughter, and Mac couldn’t resist. Bending, he dropped a kiss on her lips, feeling his body immediately stir. Catching hold of her around the waist, he lifted her on top of him.

‘I think so. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I know there will.’

He ran his hand down her back, feeling her tremble as her hips were brought into intimate contact with his. That she could feel how much he wanted her wasn’t in any doubt. He kissed her long and hungrily, not even surprised by the depth of his desire. Even if he made love to her a dozen times a day, he would still want her, he thought.

Their lovemaking was just as fulfilling the second time round. Mac had to drag himself out of bed afterwards. He knew that Bella must be hungry and he wanted to feed her and take care of her every need. The thought filled him with tenderness as he dragged on his clothes and went to start preparing their meal. Bella had decided to take a shower and he smiled when he heard the water running. He could get used to sharing his life here on the boat with her. Very easily too.

It was the first time he had ever considered such an arrangement and it shocked him. Although he’d had many girlfriends over the years, he had never lived with any of them. It had seemed like a step too far and yet he knew without even having to think about it that living with Bella was what he wanted more than anything. He wanted the intimacy that came from living together, wanted to get to know all the little things that made her tick, like her favourite food and which programmes she enjoyed watching on television. His head began to spin because if he went down that route then it was just a small step to the next, but was he ready for that, ready for the ultimate commitment—marriage?

He wished he knew, wished with all his heart that he could simply close his eyes and know it was what he wanted but he couldn’t. Not yet. That last pesky remnant of fear was still niggling away at the back of his mind and, until he had rid himself of it, he couldn’t make the final decision. He sighed heavily. Please heaven, he prayed he wouldn’t leave it too late and end up losing her.



Bella groaned as she laid down her knife and fork. She had eaten far too much but it had been hard to resist when Mac had placed the meal in front of her. Now she smiled at him, loving the way his eyes lit up as he smiled back—another indication of how he felt about her, perhaps?

‘Are you trying to make me fat, Dr MacIntyre?’ she said, trying not to get too hung up on the idea. Maybe they had made love and maybe it had been marvellous but she mustn’t take anything for granted. ‘Because you’re definitely going to succeed if you keep cooking me meals like that!’

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