The arrival of the lift was too quiet and too far away for her to hear. But she heard the hard footsteps ringing down the corridor. Maxie tensed, anticipation filling her. The bedroom door thrust wide, framing Angelos.
In a black dinner jacket that fitted his broad shoulders like a glove, and narrow black trousers that accentuated the long, long length of his legs, he was breathtakingly handsome. Her heart went thud...and then thud again. His bow tie was missing; the top couple of studs on his white dress shirt were undone to reveal a sliver of vibrant brown skin.
Poised in the doorway, big hands clenched into fists and breathing rapidly as if he had come from somewhere in a heck of a hurry, he ran outraged golden eyes over her relaxed pose on the brass bed as she reclined back against the heaped-up luxurious pillows as if she hadn’t a single care in the world.
‘You’re here on my first night back...what a lovely surprise!’ Maxie carolled.
MOMENTARILY disconcerted by that chirpy greeting, Angelos stilled. His lush black lashes came down and swept up again as if he wasn’t quite sure what he was seeing, never mind what he was hearing.
Having learned some very good lessons from him, Maxie took the opportunity to sit forward, shake back her wonderful mane of golden hair and stretch so that not one inch of the remarkably sexy nightdress hugging her lithe curves could possibly escape his notice.
‘What do you think?’ she asked gaily. ‘I bought it in—’
His entire attention was locked on her, darker colour highlighting his taut high cheekbones and the wrathful glitter of incredulity in his brilliant eyes. ‘Where the hell have you been for the past week?’ he launched at her with thunderous aggression as he strode forward. ‘Do you realise that I flew back to Chymos before I realised you’d left the island?’
‘Oh, no,’ Maxie groaned. ‘I would’ve felt awful if I’d known that!’
‘Why the blazes didn’t you phone me to tell me what you were thinking of doing?’ Angelos demanded with raw incredulity. ‘You can shop any time you like but you don’t need to do it in time that you could be with me!’
‘Why didn’t you phone me to tell me that you were coming back?’ Maxie’s eyes were as bright as sapphires. ‘You see, I couldn’t phone you. None of the villa staff spoke a word of English and I don’t have your phone number—’
Angelos froze. ‘What do you mean you don’t have my number?’
‘Well. you’re not in the directory and I’m sure your office staff are very careful not to hand out privileged information like that to just anybody—’
“Theos...you’re not just anybody!’ Angelos blazed, in such a rage he could hardly get the words out. ‘I expect to know where you are every minute of the day! And the best I could do was follow your credit card withdrawals as they leapfrogged across Europe!’
What Maxie was hearing now was bliss. She had been missed. ‘I think it really would be sensible for you to give me a contact number,’ she said gently. ‘I’m sorry, but I honestly never realised how possessive you could be—’
‘Possessive?’ Angelos snatched in a shuddering breath of visible restraint, scorching golden eyes hot as lava. ‘I am not possessive. I just wanted to know where you were.’
‘Every minute of the day,’ Maxie reminded him helplessly. ‘Well, how was I to know that when you didn’t tell me?’
Angelos drove raking fingers through his luxuriant black hair. ‘You do not ever take off anywhere again without telling me where you’re going...is that clear?’ he growled, withdrawing a gold pen from the inside pocket of his well-cut jacket and striding over to the bedside table.
To her dismay he proceeded to use the blank back page of her list of his flaws to write on. She had left it lying face-down on the table. ‘What are you doing?’
‘I am listing every number by which I can be reached. Never again will you use the excuse that you couldn’t contact me! My portable phone, my confidential line, the apartment, the car phones, and when I’m abroad...’
And he wrote and he wrote and he wrote while Maxie watched in fascination. He had more access numbers than a telecommunications company. It was as if he was drawing up a network for constant communication. Mercifully it had not occurred to him, however, to take a closer look at what he was writing on.
‘I got the news that you had reappeared while I was entertaining a group of Japanese industrialists,’ Angelos supplied grittily. ‘I had to sit through the whole blasted evening before I could get here!’