“And so he went bankrupt. Then died from the shame of it.” She closed her eyes, fighting back tears.
“He was weak. And a coward to leave his family behind.” She felt his hand on her shoulder as he brushed back her hair with his thick fingers. “I’m done protecting you from the truth. You stole from me. Just like him.”
Barely controlling her body’s involuntary tremble at his touch, she blinked fast, struggling to contain tears that threatened to spill over her lashes. She pressed her nails hard against her palms. If he sees me cry, I’ll kill myself.
“I hate you,” she whispered.
His grip on her shoulder tightened. “Good. We’re even.”
“Let me go.”
Pressing her back against the wall of leatherbound books, he ran his hand along the bare flesh of her arm. “You chose to come back with me. Did you think it would cost you nothing?”
Heaven help her, but even now, hating him, she wanted to run her hands along his back, to touch the strength of his muscles and the warmth of his skin. She wanted to lace her fingers through the curls of his short dark hair and pull him down to her, to taste the sweet hardness of his mouth.
Oh, God, what had come over her? Trembling from the effort, she forced her body to stay still and betray nothing. “You’re not some medieval warlord. You can’t toss me in a dungeon and torture me into surrender.”
He gently traced the back of his hand down her cheek. “We have no dungeons here. But I could keep you in my bedroom. Every night. And you wouldn’t escape.” He whispered in her ear. “You wouldn’t want to.”
She sucked in her breath as a hard shiver rocked her body. She couldn’t stop it even though she knew, pressed against her as he was, he’d be able to feel the movement.
He rewarded her with a smug, masculine smile. “Would you like that, Anna?” he murmured against the soft flesh of her ear, his breath hot on the tender skin of her neck. “Would you like to sleep against me again? Or would I have to tie you to the bed and force you to remember how good it once was between us?”
She felt his closeness and power over her and she hated it, even as part of her longed for him with all the strength of her body’s memory.
“I don’t want you,” she gasped, but even as she spoke the words she felt her traitorous body slide against him, melding every soft curve against his well-muscled form.
He leaned forward, lowering his head. Involuntarily she closed her eyes, licking her lips as her body moved against him.
She felt the warmth of his breath. She could smell his skin, a scent of soap and hot desert sun and something more—something she couldn’t describe but that made her yearn for him with all the ferocity of her heart, as she’d once hungered for Christmas as a child.
But Nikos was in no hurry. The seconds it took before his lips finally touched hers were exquisite torture. And when he finally kissed her the world seemed to whirl around them, making her dizzy, making her knees weak.
She’d expected him to savage her lips, to try and break her in his embrace. But his kiss was gentle. Pure. Just like the very first time he’d kissed her, long ago, that night he’d shown up at her door half-mad with confusion and grief…
He deepened the kiss, brushing his hand through her hair as his tongue caressed her own. She clung to him, returning his caress with a rising passion.
He lingered possessively in her arms, kissing her neck and murmuring endearments in Greek. A sigh of pleasure came from deep within her as she ran her hands through his dark, wavy hair.