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Or a man who had gone too long without?

He found the latter explanation far more palatable and very easily solved. Sex was like any other hunger. It was not at all complicated as long as you didn’t start imagining there was anything other than a mutual attraction there. No matter how strong, no lust had a shelf life beyond a few weeks.

‘I think we should take this inside, don’t you?’

Sam swallowed as an image of her wide dilated eyes and messy hair floated through his head. Just how responsive would she be in bed...? Frowning in response to the sly voice of his libido, he pushed the images away to focus on the reason he was here.

She panicked. ‘No!’

Her response was so unexpected it stopped him and his thought processes dead in their tracks, and it took him a few moments to actually take on board what she was doing.

She stood there stubbornly, a hand braced against either side of the door frame.

‘Idon’tthink we should take this inside,’ she said firmly.

‘You’ve got to be joking,’ he said, feeling an unexpected stab of admiration as she tightened her grip on the door frame, blocking his way with, what, an entire seven stone nothing?

Stronger than his admiration was the mental image of placing his hands around her ribcage and bodily removing her from his path. His thought lingered on the image long enough to count as self-indulgent and he frowned slightly.

Maya compressed her lips and maintained her defiant stance even though, truthfully, she was starting to feel a little foolish. As gestures went this one was pretty futile, and she was still suffering from the weird feeling of having entered a conversation midway through.

Forget about the why, and the how, just focus on the now, she told herself, and in the now she physically represented no obstacle to him. He could have lifted her out of the way with one hand tied behind his back... It was far more worrying that the idea of him doing that made her breath come a little too fast as, under the protective cover of her lashes, she made a covert scan of his long lean length. It only revealed what she already knew: he had the physique of a Greek god who worked out a lot—or in this case an Italian god.

So nothing has changed in the twenty seconds since you last drooled over him, Maya!

‘Violetta!’ He pitched his deep voice to carry and Maya groaned.

‘All right,’ she sighed out. It was easier to admit the truth, or at least this portion of it, than have him wake Mattio. Dealing with one Agosti male at a time was enough and this one was way too big to rock to sleep. She cleared her throat and pushed away a deeply distracting image of his dark head on her breast. ‘She isn’t here, but—’

‘And Mattio?’

‘Well, you can’t have him...because he’s not here either.’

Sam’s brows lifted at her obviously panicky tack-on. ‘You are a very bad liar,’ he observed, unaccountably disgruntled at the discovery. ‘Look, enough.’ He brought one long-fingered brown hand down in a slashing motion. ‘I really don’t care who you have in there, beyond my nephew, who belongs with me.’

‘I don’t have anyone in there!’ she retorted.

But in his mind’s eye, Samuele was seeing a lover sleeping in her bed. Grimly, he found he had no problem disturbing this exhausted, sleeping boyfriend.

‘You always walk around dressed like that after midday?’

Catching his drift, Maya blushed. ‘My sex life is none of your business,’ she countered, thinking,It’s just as well he doesn’t know I haven’t got one.

Life might be interesting if it were his business.

As he veiled his eyes with his ludicrously long lashes she glimpsed a gleam before he delivered a flat statement that came out sounding a lot like a threat.

‘I can stay here all day.’

‘No, youreallycan’t.’

‘I—’ He stopped at the unmistakable sound of a baby cry.

‘Oh, my God, look what you’ve done now!’ she exclaimed.

On the receiving end of a ‘rot in hell’ glare, he did not immediately respond to the opening as she stood there, hands pressed together as though she were praying.

A moment later she breathed out. ‘I think he’s gone back to sleep.’

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