Page 10 of Expectant Bride

'It's three in the morning Greek time. You should lie down for a while and try and get some sleep,' Dio murmured thickly.

The very sound of that deep, dark drawl was like honey drenching her every straining sense, sending a delicious little shiver through her taut frame.

Ellie blinked like a sleepwalker waking up. 'Lie down?' she mumbled.

A dark line of blood now accentuated the hard arc of his cheekbones. He reached out and pressed a service button. His astonishing eyes were semi-veiled by his lush lashes. The raw tension churning up the atmosphere turned her stomach over. Complete bewilderment assailed her, followed by a sudden stark flood of intense embarrassment.

As Ellie rose jerkily upright, looking everywhere but at Dio Alexiakis, the female flight attendant appeared. Ellie was shown into a sleeping compartment. She sank down on the edge of the surprisingly large bed, powerfully disconcerted by the lingering ache in her swollen breasts and the still ur¬gent tautness of her nipples. Never before had a man simply looked at Ellie and made her feel a hunger so powerful it hurt. But Dio Alexiakis had.

Ellie was shattered by that discovery, and ashamed of a physical reaction she had been quite unable to control. Had he realised what was happening to her? Had he recognised the effect he was having on her? She shut her eyes tight. She was appalled by the suspicion that Dio had not only recognised her helpless sexual response to him but banished her from his sight because of it.

A couple of hours later, a quiet but insistent voice roused Ellie from her uneasy doze. 'Miss Morgan...?'

Ellie came up slowly on one elbow. The flight attendant was hovering with a tray and a look of uncertainty. Ellie reached up with a grateful smile to accept the food finally being offered to her. "Thanks...yes?'

'We... well, the cabin staff wondered if perhaps you would like to wake Mr. Alexiakis,' she confided tautly. 'We'll be landing in fifty minutes, and naturally we're all anxious not to intrude any more than we have to—'

'Intrude?' Ellie queried, all at sea and wondering why on earth such a strange request should be made of her. Was Dio a grizzly bear when he was woken up? Had she qualified for the short straw? Did she look like cannon fodder?

The other woman sighed. 'Someone has to wake Mr. Al¬exiakis up now so that he can dress for the funeral.'

'The funeral...' Ellie echoed, her voice just fading out altogether.

‘I’m afraid this flight is very late, Miss Morgan. The delay back in London and the further delay in landing means that you'll have to travel to the funeral direct. I hope you won't think I'm being too personal, but we all think it's wonderful that Mr Alexiakis has brought someone with him for sup¬port,' she shared, and slipped out again.

Fully awakened now by sheer horror, Ellie stared into space. Oh, dear heaven, Dio Alexiakis was flying out to Greece to attend a funeral! That was why he had bought her all that black clothing! And the cabin staff had decided that she had to be somebody important in Dio's life because she was accompanying him. She remembered him saying that he hadn't wanted company on this particular trip, and groaned out loud at the memory while wondering whose funeral it was. Obviously somebody close. A relative? A dear friend?

After hurriedly choking down the breakfast on the tray, Ellie got up and rushed into the compact bathroom. She would have loved to take advantage of the shower but there wasn't time. She took out the black suit and put it on.

Her appearance in that suit astonished her. The light jacket fitted like a glove, nipping in at her tiny waist, hugging her slim shoulders, the deep vee-neck moulding her full breasts. The narrow skirt outlined the all-female curve of her hips and then tightened to outline her slender thighs. She looked sensational, she registered in amazement. Then, reddening at a vanity that seemed inappropriate, she turned from the mir¬ror, irritated with herself for being so superficial.

Returning to the cabin, she saw Dio's impossibly long and powerful length sprawled at a most uncomfortable angle across one of the fancy leather seats. Her now tenderised and conscience-stricken heart smote her.

Shorn of his formal jacket and tie, his silk shirt open at his strong brown throat and his jawline darkly shadowed by stubble, he looked so much younger and less intimidating. He also looked absolutely exhausted, and if it hadn't been for her presence he would naturally have enjoyed the comfort of his own bed.

Ellie tensed even more. To think the cabin staff had clearly been nervous of intruding on his grief! She herself had done nothing but intrude! Recalling every angry combative word she had slung at the airport, Ellie cringed with guilt and shame. So the poor guy had been in a rough mood. In the circumstances, that was hardly a surprise, and his preoccu¬pation had been equally understandable.