He laced a possessive hand into her tumbling mane of curls, his other hand closing to her hip to tilt her against him. His mouth came down on hers with a raw, hot hunger that made no attempt to deny its urgency. The erotic plunge of his tongue provoked a surge of moisture between her thighs and she shivered convulsively in spite of the heat. She broke the kiss to finish unbuttoning the shirt and finally spread her hands across his bronzed hair-roughened torso, letting her fingers stroke and explore down to the intriguing silky furrow that disappeared below his belt while remaining awesomely aware of the revealing bulge beneath his chinos. Trembling, mortified by her own eagerness, she drew back from him, closed one hand over his and began to move towards the stairs.

‘You want me too,’ Leandro said thickly, his satisfaction unhidden.

‘Shut up, or you’ll get ravished on the stairs,’ Molly warned him.

In response to that threat, Leandro pulled her slight, swollen body to him and kissed her with a passion that blew her away. He removed her dress in a shaded room where muslin panels swished across the chestnut-wood floor in the faint cooling breeze coming in through the open windows. Birds were singing in the woods behind the house. A swelling sense of happiness blossomed inside her, as if only now was she finally able to believe that she was back with Leandro.

She slid onto cool linen sheets and felt him hard, hot and rampant against her thigh and gloried in the differences between them. He stroked the full, firm globes of her breasts, lingering with tender care on the swollen pink buds of her nipples. She was all restive energy and craving, controlled by the pulsing ache in her pelvis. Everything was happening just a moment later than she needed it to happen.

‘Leandro, please…’ she framed, her voice tight with stress and longing.

‘Trust me,’ he breathed huskily. ‘It’ll be better this way.’

Her hips shifted up to him. She was way past caring about the exact shades of satisfaction; she was more than willing to settle for the most basic kind of all. Even before he touched the most receptive spot on her entire body she was burning up, liquid with desire and unbearably sensitive. The sound of her moans made him crush her reddened lips below his again. Her impatience tormented her, her need more fundamental than any she had ever known before.

Leandro turned her gently on her side, eased her back against him and entered her with a sweet, piercing depth that made her cry out in surprise and pleasure. And as he had promised it only got better. His slow, insistent rhythm was indescribably sensual and extremely controlled. Her excitement climbed to torturous heights as waves of pleasure began to pulse through her. She reached a shattering climax and tears wet her eyes at the wonderful intensity of her release. But nothing could have been more precious to her than the moment when Leandro vented an ecstatic groan and spilled inside her. He closed his arms tightly round her and pressed his mouth to her shoulder, muttering incomprehensible words of Spanish.

Right then at that pinnacle of happiness she recognised how fierce and elemental their hunger to make love again had been. They had needed to rediscover and share that intimacy after their separation, brief though it had been.

His fingers flexed against the swell of her stomach as the baby kicked and he lifted his tousled dark head. ‘Is that our child moving?’

Molly confirmed that it was. He kept his hand in place before finally turning her round to face him and holding her close. ‘I’ve signed you up with a local gynaecologist for the duration of our stay.’

‘That wasn’t necessary.’ But Molly was secretly impressed that he had thought to take that precaution.

‘I felt that it was, tesora mia,’ Leandro intoned. ‘Just in case we need to consult a doctor while you’re here. I’m coming with you the next time you have a scan.’

‘Only if you want to.’

His ebony brows pleated. ‘I always wanted to, but I thought you might find my presence an intrusion at such appointments. You never showed any sign of wanting me to accompany you.’

It dawned on her that he had felt excluded and doubtful in a situation that was new and unfamiliar to him. She shifted closer and touched her mouth softly to his. ‘I assumed you’d know that I wanted you there for support, but I didn’t say anything about it because I didn’t want you to feel obligated to go. I knew how busy you were.’

‘A man who is too busy for his family doesn’t deserve one, querida. My father died when I was five and I barely remember him. I was in boarding school a year later.’

Molly frowned. ‘That’s much too young to be sent away from home.’

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