As abruptly as it had begun, it ended.
They stood there staring at each other. Angel saw wariness in his blue eyes then, with a muttered imprecation, he turned away.
She remained where she was, her eyes wide, her hand to her mouth as he stalked away back along the path they had just walked along.
AFTER HER FACE had been viewed from all angles and all light conditions by all interested parties, including the dermatologist who had been shipped in when Clive had developed a spot, it was decided that the situation was not as bad as originally feared. In three days’ time the swelling would be gone and the bruises that make-up didn’t disguise could be airbrushed away.
Three days was not long enough to fly home and see Jas, but long enough to miss her like hell. With nothing to fill her day, Angel found sheer boredom set in very quickly. Sunbathing on a beach might be many people’s idea of bliss, but Angel had never been good at sitting still doing nothing.
With no other suggestions after she had been banned from doing anything that might injure her and delay the schedule further, she ended up armed with a pair of knitting needles, a ball of bright blue wool and instructions from Clive, who assured her a child could do it. He predicted she’d be amazed at how relaxing it was so she sat beneath a palm tree and set about being creative.
Half an hour later, her teeth aching with tension, she grabbed the tangled lot and flung it across the beach. She knew she was acting like a spoiled child, if you discounted the adult expletive that accompanied the action. She knew it wasn’t the minor frustration that made her want to yell and stamp her feet, it was everything that had gone before and what was to come. Her teeth ached with the tension that was tying her body in knots. Not thinking was exhausting. If she could have rid herself of the decisions she had to make in the same way she had that damned wool—the colour reminded her of his eyes—she might have been able to enjoy a moment’s peace.
Before the voice, the prickling on the back of her neck had warned her she wasn’t alone. Even so, she flinched when he spoke.
‘It’s an instant fine for littering here.’
How long had he been watching her?
She turned her head in the direction of the mocking drawl but sat rigidly, watching as he gathered up her rejected knitting and walked back towards her. It was just her luck. Miles of beach and he had to walk along the stretch that she had chosen. Ashamed of the ache of longing that made her throat dry, she followed his progress across the sand.
Alex was in no hurry, but as he got closer her heart rate became more erratic. Pressing a hand to her chest, she lowered her gaze and trained her eyes on his bare feet. It seemed a relatively safe part of his anatomy to focus on until, unable to stop herself, she lifted her gaze up over his hair-roughened calves and muscular thighs. The khaki shorts he wore were belted low over his narrow hips and his short-sleeved shirt hung open, revealing his lean ribbed brown torso.
‘So are you here to arrest me?’ She extended her hands, wrists crossed for imaginary cuffs. ‘I’ll come quietly.’
‘Now that I find hard to believe.’ The idea of her giving up without a fight brought a grim smile to his face as he dropped her knitting needles onto her lap. ‘Actually I’m here to save you.’
The comment drew a sardonic laugh from Angel. The only thing she needed saving from was standing right there, sending her entire nervous system into a state of chaos, with his long, greyhound-lean limbs, oozing sex from every perfect pore.
‘From death by boredom.’
‘Who says I’m bored?’
He reached down and picked off a fibre of bright blue wool that clung to his shorts. He arched a sardonic brow and let the fibre blow away. ‘You’re bored.’ And unless he was totally out in his assessment, as eaten up with burning frustration as he was.
Bored...much worse, thought Angel. She was hopelessly aroused—just looking at him made her nerve endings tingle. She pressed a hand across her middle to ease the heavy dragging sensation low in her pelvis. There was no place to hide except behind the big floppy hat she wore and the sunglasses that hid her eyes from him.
She produced a scowl. ‘Isn’t that littering or are you a special case?’
His white teeth flashed. ‘I like to think so.’
She stroked a restless hand up and down her smooth calf. ‘I’m not good at sitting still.’ Catching the direction of his gaze, she stopped stroking and pushed her sunglasses back up on her nose.