‘One of my cousins designed my London apartment. I did tell her what I wanted but it didn’t quite turn out the way I had imagined it would.’ Angelos closed his arms round her from behind. ‘We’re alone here. I gave the staff some time off.’
Maxie tensed. He pressed his wickedly expert mouth to the smooth skin just below her ear. Every treacherous pulse jumped in response. Maxie quivered, knees wobbling. With an earthy chuckle of amusement, Angelos scooped her off her feet as if she weighed no more than a doll and strode out of the hall down a long tiled corridor.
It was the end of the line of restraint and Maxie knew it. She parted her dry lips nervously. ‘Angelos?’ she muttered urgently. ‘I know you think I’ve slept with—’
‘I do not want to hear about the other men who have preceded me,’ Angelos interrupted with ruthless precision, glowering down at her in reproof. ‘Why do women rush to make intimate revelations and then lie like mad about the number of lovers they’ve had? Why can’t you just keep quiet?’
Not unnaturally silenced by that unexpected attack, Maxie chewed her lower lip uncertainly as he settled her down on the thick carpet in a beautifully furnished bedroom. Her entire attention immediately lodged on the bed.
Seemingly unable to tolerate an instant of physical separation, Angelos encircled her with his arms again and loosed a husky sigh of slumberous pleasure above her head. Curving her quiescent length into glancing contact with his hard, muscular physique, Angelos tugged down the zip on her dress. As cooler air hit her taut shoulder-blades, followed by the sensual heat of Angelos’s exploring mouth, Maxie braced herself and surged back into speech.
‘Actually,’ she confided in an uneven rush, ‘all I wanted to say is that I’m really not that experienced!’
‘Theos...’ Angelos ground out, abruptly dropping his arms from her and jerking away to stride across the room. Peeling off his jacket and pitching it aside under her bemused gaze, he sent her a look as dark and threatening as black ice under spinning wheels.
‘Sorry, what—?’ Maxie began.
‘Why are you doing this to me?’ Angelos demanded rawly as he wrenched at his tie with an exasperated hand. ‘Why tell me these foolish lies? Do you think I need to hear them? Do you honestly believe that I could credit such a plea from you for one second?’
Marooned in the centre of the carpet, her dress lurching awkwardly off one bare and extremely taut shoulder, Maxie let her gaze fall from his in a mixture of fierce embarrassment and resentment. If that was his response to the mere admission that she was not a bedroom sophisticate likely to wow him with the unexpected, or possibly even with moves he did expect, she could only cringe from the possibility of what an announcement of complete inexperience would arouse. And she did not want to go to bed with an angry man.
‘No doubt next you will be offending me beyond belief by referring to the man who kept you for three years...don’t do it,’ Angelos told her in emphatic warning. ‘I do not wish to hear one more word about your past. I accept you as you are. I have no choice but to do otherwise.’
Maxie tried to shrug her dress back up her arm.
‘And why are you standing there like a child put in the corner? Are you trying to make me feel bad?’
Hot colour burnished her cheeks. ‘You’re in a very volatile mood—’
‘Put it down to frustration...you’ve done nothing but freeze me out since I married you this morning,’ Angelos drawled with raw impatience.
‘And you have done nothing but think about sex.’
Having made that counter-accusation, Maxie collided with scorching black eyes of outrage and tilted her chin. Like a child in a corner, was she? How dare he? Her bright eyes blazed. The silence thundered. She shrugged her slim shoulders forward and extended her slender arms.
Angelos tensed, eyes narrowing. The scarlet dress shimmied down to Maxie’s feet, unveiling her lithe, perfect figure clad in a pair of minuscule white panties and a no more substantial gossamer-fine bra. Angelos looked as if he had stopped breathing. Stepping out of the dress, she slung him a catwalk model’s look of immense boredom and, strolling over to the bed, kicked off her shoes and folded herself down on it.
‘What are you waiting for? A white flag of surrender?’ Maxie enquired drily, pride vindicated by the effect she had achieved.
‘Something rather less choregraphed, a little warmer and more enthusiastic,’ Angelos purred with sudden dangerous cool, strolling over to the side of the bed to stare down at her with slumberous eyes of alarming shrewdness. ‘I’m developing a strong suspicion that to date your bedroom forays have been one big yawn, because you really don’t understand how I feel, do you?’