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The Greek Commands His Mistress(8)

By:Lynne Graham

‘I am none of those things,’ Lilah rebutted angrily.

‘Stubborn because the minute we saw each other we were destined to be together but you immediately fought it. Contrary because you feel the same way about me as I do about you—instantaneous lust—but you deny it. And a closed mind because you believe a life of self-denial is innately superior to mine.’ A wolfish smile slashed Bastien’s lean strong face. ‘I can’t wait for the moment when you realise that you can’t keep your hands off me.’

Lilah gave him a look of withering scorn. ‘You’ll get old waiting for that.’

Straightening up to his full commanding height, Bastien strolled forward, fluid as a predator tracking prey. ‘Don’t keep me in suspense. Option two? Or option three?’

‘Three... Although I should warn you, you’ve picked the wrong woman.’

‘Three...’ Bastien’s accent made a three-course meal of the word as he savoured it with immense satisfaction. ‘In what way are you the wrong woman?’

Lilah shifted uneasily from one foot to the other. ‘I haven’t got the experience you’ll probably expect,’ she told him stiffly, deeply disturbed by his increasing closeness and fighting the revealing urge to step back out of reach.

‘I’ve got enough experience for both of us,’ Bastien purred, dark eyes flashing gold as he stared down at her. ‘Are you trying to tell me that you haven’t indulged that side of your nature very often?’

‘Haven’t indulged it at all,’ she countered curtly, lifting her chin, standing her ground, refusing to feel embarrassed. ‘I’m a virgin.’

Bastien actually backed away a couple of feet, his lean chiselled features setting into rigid angles of shock while his eyes flared more golden than ever below the thick canopy of his black lashes. ‘Is that a tease?’

Lilah gave him a grim glance. ‘No, it’s not. I just thought I should warn you in case it’s a deal-breaker.’

‘Are you telling me the truth?’ Bastien prompted in a roughened undertone, prowling closer again and circling her like a stalking panther. ‘You’re a virgin?’

Colour ran up below her pale cheeks but she held his fierce gaze. ‘Yes.’

‘If you’re telling me the truth it’s not a deal-breaker—it’s the biggest turn-on I’ve ever had,’ Bastien confessed, thoroughly shocking her with that assurance.

Bastien was disturbingly conscious that for once he was not uttering a mere soundbite for effect. He had never been with a virgin. When he was a teenager his partners had all been older, and when the age range of his lovers had begun to match his own maturity he had never dallied or even wanted to dally with a sexually innocent woman. For a start, he had never been attracted to young, immature girls. In addition he did very much like sex, and he had no time for those who would stick limits on a physical outlet he saw as both natural and free.

Yet something strange was happening to his views while he looked at Delilah, because he was discovering that when those same limits were applied to her and her innocence he was happy with the idea...and even happier at the prospect of becoming her first lover. He didn’t understand why he felt that way, because he had never been a possessive man, and nor had he ever been remotely unsure of his own skills in the bedroom and afraid of comparison.

A frown settled between his brows while he attempted to penetrate the mystery of his own gratification at her announcement—until the obvious answer came to him. What he found appealing had to be the sheer novelty of the experience she offered him...of course she would be something different, something new, something fresh!

‘That’s disgusting,’ Lilah told him furiously. ‘How can you admit something like that?’

Uncomfortably aroused by his thoughts, Bastien wanted to reach for her and demonstrate exactly how he felt, but he knew it wasn’t the right moment. The nervous flicker of her bright blue eyes, her very restiveness, warned him that if he gave her sufficient ammunition she would take off in a panic like a hare bolting for its burrow.

‘I will want you to sign a confidentiality agreement,’ he told her levelly, sticking strictly to practicality. ‘That’s standard. It means that you will never be able to talk about our association in public or in private.’

Her nose wrinkled with distaste. ‘I hardly think I would want to talk about it,’ she said drily, fighting the nerves leaping in her stomach.

‘In return I will purchase a suitable house for your father and his family.’

Lilah squared her slight shoulders. ‘No, you will not. I don’t want my family to be suspicious about my supposed job with you, and if you splash around too much cash they will definitely be suspicious. Give my father employment and he’ll take care of his own family without any further help from you,’ she told him with quiet pride.

‘I’ll want you to fly down to London with me tomorrow.’

Her eyes flew wide. ‘Tomorrow?’

‘I’ll call your father in to see me today and share the good news. I’ll inform him that you’re joining my personal staff. You can go home early to pack and you can dine with me at my hotel tonight.’

‘I have a prior arrangement to meet friends.’

‘To do what?’ Bastien demanded impatiently.

‘To eat out and see a movie.’

Bastien compressed his wide, sensual mouth. He wanted to tell her that in the near future she would do nothing without his permission. It was astonishing how much pleasure that belief gave him. But he didn’t need to crack the whip right here and now, did he? She would be his soon enough and he would share her with no one—not friends, not family, no one.

Was that what could be described as a ‘possessive’ thought? His skin chilled at the suspicion. No, the thought was born of the reality that he had had to wait so long for Delilah that he wanted and indeed expected to receive one hundred per cent of her attention. He was not and never would be a possessive man, he assured himself with confidence. Even so, now that Delilah was officially set to become part of his life, in a way no other woman had ever been, he would ensure that she was protected by telling one of his security team to keep an eye on her from a discreet distance.

Lilah watched as Bastien unfurled his cell phone, stabbed out a number and spoke at length in Greek—short, staccato phrases that sounded very much like instructions.

‘My driver will take you home now,’ he informed her smoothly. ‘And wait to collect your father and bring him back here to see me.’

Lilah hovered, because he made it all seem so bloodless and impersonal. Nothing she had said had changed his outlook about what he was doing. He neither regretted nor questioned his callous methods. He wanted her and he didn’t care what he had to do to get her. The passion that had to power such an unapologetic desire for her body shook Lilah.

He closed a hand round hers and entrapped her without warning. ‘Evidently I won’t see you now until tomorrow, when we meet on my plane. It’s probably just as well that you’re seeing friends tonight. It takes the focus off us,’ he pointed out with grudging appreciation. ‘It will be more comfortable for all of us that way.’

‘Certainly for you...if it keeps my father in the dark,’ Lilah gibed.

‘Do you honestly think I care about his opinion?’ Bastien countered thickly. ‘We’re single adults. What we do in private is our business.’

Long dark fingers closed round her other hand, tugging her closer, fully entrapping her.

‘Our business alone,’ Bastien repeated thickly, lowering his arrogant dark head to hers and teasing along the tense line of her full lower lip with the blunt edge of his teeth, before soothing it with his tongue in a provocative caress that caught her unprepared and sent liquid heat to pool in her pelvis.

‘We’re at work, for goodness’ sake!’ Lilah protested in a rattled undertone.

‘It’s just a kiss,’ Bastien husked, delving between her parted lips with his tongue and plunging deep with an unashamed hunger that roared through her like a bush fire.

Her knees locked and her legs swayed and she grabbed his forearms to steady herself, fingers clenching into the fabric of his suit jacket in consternation.

Just a kiss.

A little voice reminded her that in the near future she would have to give him a great deal more than a kiss. His mouth hardened on hers, hot and demanding, and a sensation like an electric shock tingled through her, awakening her body as nothing else had ever done. Her nipples pinched into tight buds of sensitivity; the secret flesh between her legs pulsed with sudden dampness. It was a wanting—a fierce wanting unlike anything she had ever felt before—and she was appalled by the response he was wringing from her treacherous body.

A lean hand clamped her spine to force her closer, and against her stomach she felt the hard swell of his erection even through the barrier of their clothing. A surge of burning heat that was very far from revulsion engulfed her and her face burned even hotter as he set her back from him with controlled force.

‘I shouldn’t start something I can’t finish,’ Bastien quipped.

Desperately flailing for something...anything...to distract her from the attack of self-loathing waiting to pounce on her, Lilah paused on her way to the door. ‘Is it all right if I bring my dog with me tomorrow?’