With a languorous sigh, Angelos shrugged fluidly out of his suit jacket. Without warning he caught her hand and pulled her to him. Taken by surprise, Maxie went crazy, struggling wildly to untangle herself from those powerful fingers. ‘Let go! What are you trying to—?’
‘Stop it!’ Angelos thundered down at her, and he released her again in an exaggerated movement, spreading both arms wide as if to demonstrate that he carried no offensive weapon. ‘I don’t like hysterical women.’
‘I’m not...I’m not like that.’ Maxie quivered in shock and stark embarrassment as he draped his grey jacket round her slim, taut shoulders. The silk lining was still warm from his body heat. The faint scent of him clung to the garment and her nostrils flared. Clean, husky male, laced with the merest tang of some citrus-based lotion. She lowered her damp head and breathed that aroma in deep. The very physicality of that spontaneous act shook her.
‘You’re as high-strung as some of my racehorses,’ Angelos contradicted. ‘Every time I come close you leap about a foot in the air—’
‘I didn’t yesterday,’ she muttered with sudden lancing bitterness.
‘You didn’t get the chance...I crept up on you.’ With a tormentingly sexy sound of indolent amusement, Angelos reached out his hands and closed them over the sleeves of the jacket she now wore, tugging on them like fabric chains of captivity to bring her to him.
‘No!’ Maxie gasped, wide-eyed, her hands flying up, only to find that the only place she could plant her palms was against his broad, muscular chest.
‘If you like, you can bail out after the first kiss—no questions asked, no strings attached,’ Angelos promised thickly.
Even touching him through his shirt felt so incredibly intimate that guilty quivers ran through her tautening length. He was so hot. Her fingers spread and then shifted over the tactile silk barner, learning of the rough whorls of hair below the fabric and enthralled. She was used to being around male models with shiny shaven chests. She shivered deliciously, appallingly tempted to rip open the shirt and explore.
Heavily lidded black eyes lambent with sensual indulgence intercepted hers. ‘You look like a guilty child with her hand caught in the biscuit tin,’ he confided with a lazy smile.
At the power of that smile, the breath tripped in Maxie’s throat, her pupils dilating. His proximity mesmerised her. She could see tiny gold lights in his eyes, appreciate the incredible silky length and luxuriance of those black lashes and the faint blue shadow on his strong jawline. The potency of her own fascination filled her with alarm. ‘You’re all wrong for me,’ she said in breathless panic, like a woman trying to run through a swamp and inexplicably finding herself standing still and sinking fast.
‘Prove it,’ Angelos invited in that velvet-soft drawl that fingered down her spine like a caress. A confident hand pushed into her drying hair and curved to the nape of her neck. ‘Prove that anything that feels this good could possibly be wrong for either of us.’
He was so stunningly gorgeous, she couldn’t think straight. Her heartbeat seemed to be racing in her tight throat. The insidious rise of her own excitement was like a drowning, overwhelming wave that drove all before it. He dropped his eyes to the pouting distended buds clearly delineated by the clinging bodice of her dress and her face burned red.
Slowly Angelos tilted her back, his arms banding round her spine to support her, and, bending his dark, arrogant head, he pressed the mouth she craved on hers to the thrusting sensitivity of an aching nipple instead. Her whole body jumped, throat arching, head falling back, teeth clenching on an incoherent whimper of shock.
Angelos lifted her up again, black eyes blazing with primal male satisfaction. ‘It hurts to want this much. I don’t think you were familiar with the feeling...but now you are.’
Trembling, Maxie stared at him, sapphire eyes dark with shaken arousal. Cold fear snaked through her. He was playing with her just as he might have played with a toy. Using his carnal expertise he was taunting her, winding her up, demonstrating his sexual mastery.
‘Don’t touch me!’ Her hand whipped up and caught him across one hard cheekbone, and then she froze in dismay at what she had done.
With striking speed Angelos closed his fingers round that offending hand, and slowly he smiled again. ‘Frustration should make you angry.’
Beneath her strained and bemused gaze, he bent his glossy dark head and pressed his lips hotly to the centre of her stinging palm. It was electrifying. It was as if every tiny bit of her body was suddenly programmed to overreact. And then, while she was still struggling to comprehend the incredible strength of his power over her, he caught her to him with indolent assurance and simply, finally, kissed her.