Yet, now she saw the fortress he’d brought her to, she felt total confidence they would make it through the night unscathed, at least in terms of any damage by the storm. The shelter was a small concrete building in a small clearing, close enough to be protected by the surrounding trees but far enough not to sustain any real damage should any of them fall. When she followed Pascha inside, she was further encouraged that no damage could befall them, the interior walls of the shelter being reinforced steel.

But whether or not a night spent here presented dangers of a different sort...

‘Where’s everyone else?’ The lodge had been deserted when they’d set off up the trail.

‘They’ve gone to their own shelter.’

‘What, this one is just for you and me?’

Pascha nodded, his mouth still set in the grim line it had held for the past couple of hours.

‘Why didn’t you tell me it would be just the two of us sharing?’ she asked, not bothering to hide her irritation.

‘I didn’t think it important.’

‘Well, I do. If you’d told me, I could have camped out with Valeria and the rest of the staff in their shelter.’

He raised a bored brow. ‘My staff are all, in one way or another, extended family to each other. I deliberately built them their own shelter so in events like this they could be together as a family. You might be a guest, and I might be their boss, but they deserve their privacy away from us.’

How could she possibly argue with that? Although, she wanted to. She really wanted to. Sharing a confined space with Pascha for the foreseeable future could only bring trouble.

The interior of the shelter was practical but luxurious, with a large double bed, a plush sofa, a dining table and a small kitchenette with a bar at the end. The only privacy came in the form of a bathroom which was, by anyone’s standards, opulent.

When Pascha shut the door of the shelter, the silence was total, making Emily realise just how loud the wind had become.

She peered through a small round window which reminded her of a ship’s porthole, the only source of natural light in the shelter.

Shelter? It was the same size as her London flat.

Turning her head, she found him opening cupboards and rummaging through drawers.

‘Can I get you a drink?’ he asked, not looking at her.

Taken aback at the offer, she stared at him. ‘What have you got?’


‘Rum and Coke?’ she said flippantly, wanting to test him.

His grey eyes met hers. ‘Do you want ice in that?’


He reached under the bar and pulled out a bottle of rum, arching a brow as he displayed it for her.

She had to admit, she was impressed. And an alcoholic drink might take the edge off her angst. Might. ‘No ice for me, thank you.’

‘A thank you? You shock me.’

‘I like to keep you on your toes.’

‘You’re doing an excellent job of it.’

While Pascha mixed them both a drink, her curiosity overcame her and she wandered into the kitchenette to rifle through the cupboards.

Amazing. There was enough food here for them to live like kings for at least a fortnight. A month, if they downgraded to princes.

‘I take it there’s a back-up generator?’ she said.

‘Of course.’

Something in his tone made her look at him. He looked furious. ‘What’s the matter?’

‘I’ve left my phone charger at the lodge.’


‘And I don’t have enough battery left to get through the night.’

‘I would suggest going back for it but looking at the trees through the window I can see it wouldn’t be the brightest of moves.’

‘Finally she says something sensible.’

‘I didn’t leave the charger behind so don’t take it out on me.’ She wasn’t any happier about it than he was—what if there was an emergency at home? James wouldn’t be able to get hold of her.

She forced herself to think practically. If an emergency did occur, she wouldn’t be able to do anything about it anyway, not from Aliana Island.

A whole evening of peace.

She couldn’t even bring herself to feel guilty about it. Peace had become such an elusive thing in her life.

It was just a shame she had to spend it with Pascha Virshilas. It would be more relaxing to spend it with an angry bear. Though she had to concede that an angry bear wouldn’t have the sex appeal...

Where had that thought popped out from?

No, no, no. If she was going to get through the night with even a semblance of sanity left, she had to tune out the fact she was in a confined space with the sexiest man alive.

Sexiest man alive?