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She couldn’t delay any longer, Lisa realized, laying her hairbrush on the dressing table. She had brushed her hair so vigorously and for so long it was springing out around her shoulders. A spritz of perfume, and a slick of lip-gloss, and she was ready…

Tino turned the moment she walked onto the balcony. It was almost as if he could sense her presence before he saw her.

‘You look beautiful.’

‘Thank you. You look different too,’ Lisa observed dryly.

‘Yes, well, I thought I might as well make an effort,’ he said casually.

As they stared at each other Lisa found she was smiling. But she had to keep part of herself aloof if she was ever to stand a chance of remaining immune to Tino. He was wearing a black dinner suit that made him look more handsome than ever—if such a thing was possible. The white, open-necked shirt was a startling contrast against his tanned skin—and she was blatantly staring at him, Lisa realised, quickly looking away.

She was so beautiful it was the easiest thing in the world to forget about business. And business was the purpose of every moment he spent with her. It was easy to forget about dinner too, and just take her to bed…

He had never felt such unbridled lust for any woman. And why should he hold back when there was no reason to do so? Time was running out, after all. And she was smiling at him—and looking as if she meant it. He was getting the hang of this wooing business. Just as he had expected, the day out on the fishing smack had thrown all her preconceptions about him into confusion. The clothes that had been flown in for her from the top Athenian designers had clearly delighted her, or she wouldn’t be wearing them. The modest jewellery was a masterstroke—the amethyst earrings gleamed in the candlelight, setting off her sun-kissed skin, drawing his eye to the lustre of her hair, and making her even more beautiful for him. Next time he’d buy her emeralds to bring out the colour of her eyes.

They couldn’t stand like this staring at each other for ever, Lisa realised, still smiling as she walked forward. She felt strangely bashful, but then she wasn’t used to presenting herself for a man’s approval. And, for some reason, what Tino thought about her appearance really did matter to her.

‘You look lovely, Lisa.’ Taking hold of her hand, he raised it to his lips.

At his touch a quiver ran through her, and it didn’t stop there, so she pulled her hand away—too late.

He searched her face.

She stared at him and heard a little cry, and then realised that it was her own voice and that Tino had swung her into his arms.

As he strode inside the house with her all the servants seemed to have disappeared. He mounted the stairs swiftly, holding her close and safe in his arms. When they reached the top landing he shifted her weight effortlessly, and opened a door. Walking inside, he kicked it shut behind them, and lowered her to the ground in front of him, steadying her on her feet.

Gazing up, Lisa thought she saw something in Tino’s eyes that mirrored her own need. Acting on impulse, she reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck. Pulling back, he stared down at her for a few moments, as if he had to confirm something.

Lisa wasn’t sure which of them moved first, which of them gave in first. She only knew that she needed to feel Tino pressed up hard against her. She needed his mouth to claim hers with the same urgency she had to draw her next breath. And then they were kissing each other passionately, and she had her fingers laced through his hair, keeping him fast, pressing against him with all the hunger a lifetime of denial could produce. She heard the sounds of passion she was making, and didn’t care. Nothing mattered now—all she cared about was that Tino didn’t let her go, and that this time he didn’t leave her unsatisfied, because now she wanted all of him, with no restrictions, no boundaries, no doubts…

They were like two lions mating, raw, primitive, desperate, hungry. There was so much sex in the air it formed a miasma around them, invading their nostrils, and sending them both hurtling off to a place where no clear thought was possible, and only sensation and hunger existed; hunger that only one act could relieve.

‘I need you,’ Lisa gasped as Tino lifted her into his arms.