Page 2 of Expectant Bride

Eyes as black as pitch raked over her in a challenging appraisal as aggressive as a loaded gun.

'What the hell are you doing in here?' he shot at her in angry disbelief.

'I was just leaving—'

'You were hiding behind the door listening!' he contra¬dicted in pure outrage.

'No, I wasn't listening.' Ellie was genuinely shocked by the level of his annoyance, and then, as she recognised him, her own tension rocketed right off the scale.

No, they hadn't met before, but there was a dirty great enormous portrait of the guy in the ground-floor foyer. That portrait was the target of much teasing and admiring female comment. Why? Dionysios Alexiakis was drop-dead gor¬geous. Dionysios Alexiakis, popularly known as Dio, the ruthless, asset-stripping Greek billionaire who ran Alexiakis International. Oh, dear heaven, she registered sickly, she'd picked the wrong set of double doors to intrude behind. Now both her job and Meg's had to be on the line!

A grey-haired older man appeared from behind Dio Al¬exiakis. Frowning at her in dismay, he dug out a mobile phone. 'She's not the regular cleaner, Dio. I'll get onto se¬curity straight away.'

‘There's no need for that,' Ellie protested through teeth that were starting to chatter. 'I'm just covering for the usual cleaner tonight...that's all. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to inter¬rupt you...I was just about to step back outside—'

'But you had no business being here in the first place,' the older man condemned.

Dio Alexiakis studied her broodingly, eyes so dark they glittered like reflective mirrors and unnerved her. 'She was hiding behind the door, Millar.'

'Look, it may have looked like I was hiding behind the door,' Ellie argued in growing desperation. 'But why would I be hiding? Does that make sense? I'm just a cleaner. I can see I made a mistake coming in here, and I'm really sorry. I'll get out right now—'

Without warning, a large brown hand stretched out to close round her narrow wrist and halt her backward drift towards the door. 'You're not going anywhere. What's your name?'

'Ellie...I mean, Eleanor Morgan...what are you doing?' she gasped.

But it was too late. Dio Alexiakis had already tugged loose the scarf she had tied round her head. Her silvery pale hair fell round her shoulders in tumbled disarray. He towered over her, easily six foot three. Feeling menaced by his sheer size, Ellie gazed up at him, green eyes locking into fathomless black.

 Her tummy clenched as if she had dropped from a height, the oddest sensation of dizziness making her head swim and her knees tremble. His frowning appraisal had become an outright smouldering stare of sexual assessment.

'You don't look like any cleaner I've ever met,' he finally breathed in a roughened, accented undertone.

'You meet a lot?' Ellie heard herself ask foolishly, but then she had been thrown way off balance by what she had seen in his eyes. That age-old oversexed male to female reaction she despised.

'Ellie...there is an Eleanor Morgan on the maintenance roster,' the older man he had referred to as Millar cut in flatly. 'But she's supposed to be working on level eight, and Se¬curity haven't cleared her for this floor. I'll have her super¬visor sent up to identify her.'

As the other man relayed that information, the Greek ty¬coon's hard, dark features tautened. 'No. Get off that phone now. The fewer people who know about this intrusion the better.' Releasing her wrist, he stepped back to swing out a swivel chair. 'Take a seat, Ellie.'

'But I—'

'Sit!' he emphasised, as if he was dealing with a puppy in dire need of basic training.

Her teeth locking together at that style of address, Ellie dropped down, her slim back rigid but her heartbeat still rac¬ing. So she had walked in where she shouldn't have. She had apologised. In fact she had all but grovelled, she reflected resentfully. So why the continuing fuss?

'Perhaps you'd care to explain what you're doing on this floor? Why you came into this particular office and why you chose to stay and eavesdrop behind a door?' Dio Alexiakis spelt out with harsh exactitude.

The silence simmered. Momentarily, Ellie wondered if bursting into tears would get her off the hook. She met those hard black eyes and her heart skipped a startled beat. With Dio Alexiakis already behaving as if she had committed a criminal offence, honesty now seemed the wisest and safest course.

‘I’ve been having a bit of a problem with this bloke who works late on level eight,' Ellie admitted with fierce reluc¬tance.

'What sort of problem?' Millar prompted.

Dio Alexiakis let his intense dark gaze roam with bold intimacy over Ellie's small tense figure, lingering at length on the tilted thrust of her breasts defined by the overall and the slender perfection of her legs. As mortified colour ran up beneath her fair skin his wide, sensual mouth quirked. 'Look at her, Millar. Then tell me you still need an answer to that question,' he advised drily.