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Rose stepped outside and walked towards the luxury designer vehicle, not the sort of transport you used if you wanted to fade into the background, but then, irrespective of his mode of transport, Zac wasn’t afadingperson.

‘I didn’t float,’ she responded finally as she sank into the deep leather. ‘But I like beaches,’ she said as Zac slid in beside her, adding a defensive addendum. ‘For my time off, if the sea is close enough...? I know I’m not on holiday, Mr Adamos,’ she told him earnestly and tried not to inhale the clean male scent—unique and disturbing—he brought with him.

Zac’s angular jaw line clenched as provocative images floated through his head, instigating a testosterone current that sent hardening heat through his body. For seconds primal instincts were in charge as he imagined in tactile detail her, sleek and wet, wading out of the waves. The images had reached the point where he had laid her down on the sand when he closed down the reel. Imagination was a great thing when you were in charge, which he told himself he was, at all times.

There was a long pause while he reached for his phone, not because he needed to use it but as a useful prop until he felt safe, conscious that any vehicle was only as safe as the person behind the wheel.

‘Is it far?’

Rose waited, hoping he’d elaborate—she was naturally curious about where she would be staying—but he didn’t.

She huffed out a little sigh. He still hadn’t pulled away from the kerb and was looking intently at his phone. His focus made her envy his physical indifference to her presence, while she was feeling the weakening effects of being bombarded by the male magnetism that rolled off him in waves that ought, in a fair world, to be illegal.

Rose lapsed into silence, feeling the misery caused by her awareness of his sinful influence on her hormones compounded by the fact the painkillers she had taken earlier were wearing off.

Had she packed her prescription migraine meds? Rose wasalmostsure she had.

Another sigh made him turn his head to look at her pensive, pale, delicate profile. ‘Is there something wrong?’ he asked. Nothing that keeping her out of reach should not solve, he decided, sliding his phone into his pocket.

She shook her head, hating the breathless feeling she got when she looked at him and hoping that familiarity would breed contempt or at least immunity. If not, the next couple of weeks were going to be uncomfortable!

‘You were frowning and doing a lot of sighing.’

‘No, I...I’m fine.’

‘That’s a very aggressivefine.’

Rose, who had been aiming for firm, was startled. She had never been called aggressive before.

‘Got a slight headache.’

He looked sceptical but didn’t challenge her on it as he pulled out of the parking space.


ITWASAfifteen-minute drive but a world away from her poky flat. She knew the iconic building, of course. It was hard to miss on the skyline. Occasionally she’d wondered about the people who lived there and now she knew who one of them was.

Ofcoursehe lived in the penthouse. She was not good with heights.

‘You can open your eyes now.’

Her lips tightened at the amusement in his voice but she didn’t respond until she had stepped safely out of the open doors. ‘Glass, and it faces outwards. I don’t like heights.’ Close on the snapped comment she realised who she had aimed her snappy response at—her boss, who had already called her aggressive once.

He’d also kissed her, but not really.

‘That is...’

‘A conceit of the architect.’

She felt tense to be on the receiving end of his mockery, but his comment took the wind out of her sails. It wasn’t until a door opened that she realised the lift had deposited her directly into his home. She was standing in a reception hall that looked large until she entered the living space.

‘This is Arthur.’ The man who had opened the door looked almost as out of place in the open-plan minimalist splendour of a living area the size of a football pitch as Rose felt. She was trying hard not to stare at his characterful nose that had to have been broken multiple times.

Her eyes were drawn upwards. The ceiling was lofty and dominated by a stained-glass cupola that suffused the room with a tinted light. The rest of the decor by contrast was uniform shades of white. It crossed her mind that if someone had sat down to design a layout that wasnotchild-friendly, this would be it. Open-plan with steps—just made for a small child to tumble down—designed presumably to separate the space into individual living areas. There was a great deal of dazzling glass. Even the modern sculptures were all hard edges. The scattering of art on the walls could not harm a child, just give him nightmares, or maybe that was just her? She averted her gaze from one particularly gross example with a shudder. Maybe it was meant to make a person shudder, maybe that meant it was a masterpiece, but she would not personally like it on her wall.

Struggling to adjust to the room, Rose gave her silent verdict. Impressive to look at but not exactly cosy to live in—it took more than a few bright cushions and throws to achieve that. Not that anyone’s asking, she mocked herself, hoping that his Greek base would adapt more easily to child occupation. Not that she would be around when the baby became a toddler.

‘Hello,’ she said, wondering where this tough-looking member of the household fitted in, with his craggy face, and his track suit and trainers. She couldn’t figure it out, then he smiled at her and it didn’t matter. She instinctively warmed to him.

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