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He seemed pleased to have got that out of the way, and then her guard must have dropped because he raised her hand to his lips and dropped a kiss on the back of it.

‘I realise it’s late.’ He tried for contrite. ‘Do you forgive me?’

Lisa snatched her hand away. ‘Do you always march uninvited into other people’s homes?’

His lips pressed down ruefully, attractively…

‘I’m sorry, Lisa, I thought we had both earned some downtime.’

He was sorry? She didn’t think so. But since when could someone brush a hand with his lips and set a whole body on fire?

‘Don’t you ever relax?’ he pressed, his perceptive gaze refusing to release her.

‘When I’m given the opportunity.’

‘Surely you must get out of this starchy uniform of yours, and kick back once in a while?’

‘Surprisingly, I tried to do that very thing this evening. I took a long, warm bath, slipped into a comfy robe, and came down here… to relax.’

‘Touché,’ he murmured softly.

Lisa sighed with frustration. Technically, Zagorakis was her guest—and she couldn’t forget that his money could rescue her company. She couldn’t afford to be too rude to him—and the food did look delicious…

‘Why don’t you let me choose something for you?’ he suggested, picking up the plate again.

‘I can manage, thank you. Really, you don’t need to—’ Raising her voice, she was forced to insist, ‘Give me that plate.’


By the time she went to take it from him it was loaded with delicacies—but he kept his grip on it, so that she was bound to him by a too-small china plate… and when he stubbornly resisted her attempt to pull it free she could feel her cheeks start to burn. ‘You really didn’t need to go to all this trouble.’ She tugged a little harder, refusing to give him the upper hand.

‘It was my pleasure, I assure you.’

‘Why exactly?’

‘Perhaps you deserve a little spoiling. Perhaps we both do.’

It was hardly the answer she had been anticipating—and certainly not when it was delivered in that frank and engaging way. His eyes were so deep she was in danger of drowning in them, and they were standing far too close. The warmth of his body was curling round her like a seductive cloak and she could almost forget that, as far as Bond Steel was concerned, Constantine Zagorakis was arch enemy number one—

Breaking eye contact, she pulled away.

‘Champagne?’ he said pleasantly.

She was still fighting off his powerful sexual aura. But then common sense kicked in: definitely no champagne. She loved it, but she wanted to keep her wits about her. What she should do was go to the kitchen, fill a jug with iced water, and pour it over both of them. ‘Thank you, I’d love a glass of champagne.’

The expression in his eyes should have brought her to her senses. She was on the point of crossing an invisible line, a line she knew she always had to stay behind. She only had to remember her mother’s fate to know that she could lose everything, if she ever allowed her senses to take the lead… but she couldn’t risk antagonising Tino Zagorakis. He was a formidable business opponent, and on a personal level perhaps even more dangerous… but forewarned was forearmed—and one glass of champagne couldn’t hurt.

As Tino handed her the glass of champagne he lifted his own and tipped it towards her in a silent toast. She replied by walking away to perch on the edge of the room’s only straight-backed chair. She needed a moment to collect herself. This encounter was something new for her. In the past men had always been happy to follow her lead, which was hardly surprising since most of her relationships were conducted in her head—she didn’t have time or inclination for anything else. She liked her life the way it was—tidy, successful, and absolutely safe.

‘Are you sure you’re comfortable over there?’

In spite of all her good intentions, the look Tino gave her made Lisa’s heart pound. If nothing else Tino Zagorakis set new standards for her fantasies. ‘I’m fine, thank you.’

‘More champagne?’