Page 63 of Expectant Bride

'I wouldn't dream of it...' She gave him a teasing glance, rejoicing in this new intimacy of mutual trust which allowed her to do and say what she liked. 'Not if it means you're likely to drown in buckets of booze and self-pity...'

Dio brought her down on the bed and pinned her there, black eyes alight with immense appreciation. 'You are a minx."

'I've got your number'd better watch out...'

'I adore you,' he husked feelingly. 'But you're not going to boss me around.'

Ellie slid loving fingers into his luxuriant black hair and whispered, 'Kiss me...'

And he did.

Then he lifted his head with a glint of mocking compre¬hension in his keen gaze. 'Pregnant, barefoot and in the bed¬room, agapi mou,' he told her slumbrously.

'You're misquoting.'

A slashing smile curved Dio's mouth. 'It was a statement of intent.'

'Well, if we're negotiating, what about all that “You don't tell me what I can do, where I can go or who I can be with" stuff?' Ellie enquired playfully.

'I just knew you would remember every word of that.'

'Because I reserve the right to.'

'You could have been a real agent provocateur in the maintenance department.' His brilliant dark eyes roamed over her and glittered with desire and boundless satisfaction. 'It's far safer keeping you in my bed.'

'I've got to admit the family cave's pretty comfortable,' Ellie sighed happily, sparing her impressive surroundings a look of approval.

And, with a husky laugh of appreciation, Dio kissed her breathless and proceeded to demonstrate the fringe benefits of sharing that family cave.

Ellie tucked her infant son, Spiros, back into his exquisite cradle. At four months old, Spiros was just adorable. He had hair the colour of silver-gilt and dark, dark eyes—an arresting combination of his parental genes. When he was sound asleep, he looked like a little angel.

The past twenty-four hours had been hectic, Ellie acknowl¬edged. Dio had thrown a huge party in London to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. Then they had flown out to the island and spent the day entertaining Dio's relatives, who had now all either gone to bed or travelled home again.

A whole year. Ellie could still hardly credit that she had been married to Dio for that long. And the magic had not only lasted but got stronger, she reflected, with glowing eyes and the slow, steady smile of a contented woman.

Working conditions in the maintenance department of Alexiakis International were now as good as they could get. Dio had never quite recovered from the sight of Ellie plug¬ging in that floor-polisher and then fainting dead away. Ellie had had no trouble convincing him that the cleaning staff deserved more generous remuneration for their rarely appre¬ciated efforts.

Ellie returned to their bedroom to slide into a very sexy confection of gold satin, a special order fashioned along the lines of a flamenco dress. Setting off to the beach house, after having instructed a maid to deliver her surprise note to Dio, Ellie took with her the glossy magazine that gushingly de¬scribed Helena Teriakos' wedding the previous week. She hadn't had a chance to finish reading the article yet

The bridegroom was a blue-blooded aristocrat, with a title a yard long. Helena looked positively triumphant. However, it was rumoured that the non-attendance of the groom's pow¬erful family signified their outrage at his choice of bride. On their terms it seemed that Helena was just not acceptable. Her family tree only went back a couple of generations, while theirs went back several centuries. But, studying the photo of the bridal couple, Ellie reckoned it would be a successful marriage. Helena's husband looked like Arctic Man, bis cold blue eyes, tight mouth and rigid carriage.

Slinging the magazine aside with a smile, Ellie lit all the candles and switched off the lights. Then she began to dance to the music she had put on to accompany her display. This was her private anniversary present to Dio. She loved to sur¬prise him. And when she caught the door opening out of the corner of her eye, she had to work really hard not to be drawn into looking directly at him.

When the music rose to a savage crescendo and ended, then she looked, and just burned beneath the sheer, glittering hunger and appreciation in Dio's stunning eyes.

'You are just so easily impressed!' she teased.

Dio hauled her into his arms just like a caveman. She was shivering with excitement. Sensual anticipation ran like fire through her veins, leaving her weak as he slowly crushed her into the hard, muscular heat of his big powerful body. 'So we're back where we started out—'

'Plus Spiros.'

'I never forget our son for a single moment...or the very beautiful, very sexy and wonderful woman who gave him to me,' Dio intoned with impressive intensity. 'I think I love you even more now than I did a year ago.'