The world—her world, the world she had thought she knew—had gone crazy, Lizzie acknowledged. The heat burning through her body was surely global warming gone into overdrive. Her breasts—both of them, not just the one he was caressing—were aching to be enjoyed, whilst the knowing male thigh thrusting between her own made her want to lean against it, move against it, open herself to it and to all the delicious sensual possibilities its presence signposted.
This man was…
This man was her enemy!
What was he doing? Ilios had never had any taste for casual, meaningless sex, and yet here he was touching this woman who was lying beneath him as though he was starved for the sensation of her female flesh beneath his hands—as though the desire he could feel pounding through him was so strong, so all-important and demanding, so beyond his own control, that he had no choice other than to submit to it.
As Lizzie pushed him away Ilios released her, infuriated both with himself for his unacceptable and inexplicable need and with her for being the cause of it.
‘You had no right to do that,’ Lizzie told him fiercely, desperately anxious to establish that she was not the one who had started what had happened.
‘That wasn’t what your body was saying.’
Of course he was bound to have known what she was feeling, a man like him, with that aura he had of sexual power and knowledge. Lizzie’s face burned hot with self-conscious awareness of how he had made her feel. She wasn’t going to allow him to get the better of her, though. She couldn’t afford to.
‘You can think what you like,’ she told him defensively. ‘But I know the truth.’
Of course she did. And the truth was…
She didn’t want to think about what the truth was, or what it had felt like to be held in his arms, to be touched by him, to have her senses set alight and her defences laying down their arms in willing surrender. She didn’t want to think of anything other than putting as much distance as she could between herself and Ilios Manos as fast as she could.
‘WHERE are we going?’ Lizzie asked uncertainly, once she was back on her feet and Ilios was a safe distance away from her.
‘Not to some secluded grotto so I can imprison you like some Greek nymph awaiting the gods’ pleasure, where you will be obliged to answer to my every sensual need, if that is what you are imagining. We are merely returning to Villa Manos, which is where I left my car.’
‘Villa Manos? That is where you live?’ Lizzie queried—after all, it was far safer talking about a villa than it was thinking about the dangerous effect his previous comments had been having on her.
‘No. I have an apartment in Thessaloniki, at the top of the Manos Construction office block. The villa is very old, and the building has fallen into disrepair. It was Tino’s hope that he could insist that it be bulldozed, because it might present a danger to the holidaymakers visiting the complex he planned to build here—but then I am sure that you already know all about that, since you are partners.’
They had almost reached the top of the incline now, and even though she was slightly out of breath Lizzie turned to face him, her normally calm grey eyes sparkling quicksilver-bright with temper as she objected. ‘I have already told you. I have never even met your cousin, never mind been the recipient of his confidences with regard to his business plans.’
‘Business plans which included manipulating me into selling him my half of our grandfather’s land once he had forced me to remove our ancestral home from it.’
Ilios had started to climb the last few feet of the path, so Lizzie did the same, coming to an abrupt halt as she saw what lay below them, bathed in the last dying rays of the day’s light.