Concealing the fact that all his instincts were telling him to grab that gorgeous behind and mould her to him came at a price, in the form of the pain in his groin and the slick of sweat that lay like a fine sheen over the surface of his skin. Despite appearances and the Northern blood running in his veins, he was immune to the heat, but the same could not be said of a soft warm female, at least not when it came in the dangerous form of Angel Urquart.
‘We’re eating on Saronia?’ she speculated, experiencing mixed feelings about this journey into the unknown. The caution was sensible, the excitement was not!
‘Don’t you like surprises?’
‘Only some of them.’
‘Come on, Angel,’ he urged, mocking her with his electric-blue eyes. ‘Live dangerously.’
Angel looked away, remembering what had happened the last time she had lived dangerously. Now she was a mother who was going to provide her daughter with what she had craved as a child: a calm, nurturing environment to grow up in. Combustible relationships were not on the agenda and there was no escaping the fact that sparks flew every time she came within the same square mile as Alex.
Unlike yesterday, she was in a position to actually appreciate the wind-in-your-face experience of cutting through the water in the fast speedboat. She sat back, knowing the journey would not last long, though it turned out to be a little longer than she anticipated. Instead of mooring where the film crew were dropped off, he continued on, following the coastline.
The filming had all taken place at the side of the island that faced the mainland. They had been requested not to leave the immediate area so she had never seen this side of the island, and she immediately saw how different it was—much greener and more lush.
He cut the engine and brought the boat expertly up to the edge of the small wooden pier.
‘There used to be a road from the other side of the island but it fell into disrepair. The only access now is by water or helipad.’
It turned out there was no road this side either. The stony, near-vertical route he drove the open-topped four-wheel drive along barely deserved to be called a track. Halfway up the hill Angel, who was hanging onto the overhead strap, turned her head and yelled, ‘If you’re going to drive like this, you might at least put two hands on the steering wheel.’
He threw her a lazy smile. ‘You’re a back-seat driver.’
Angel didn’t respond. They had just topped the crest of the hill and she was staring at the scene revealed in front of her. The pristine sand was as silver white as the Hebrides, the long waving grass behind it dotted with wild flowers, and set in the middle of the green rippling carpet was a white marquee and pitched under it was set a long table. Two figures were unloading items from the four-wheel drive vehicle parked close by.
‘If I’d known I would have dressed.’
She half expected the couple who were unloading food to wait on them, but they drove away after a quick word with Alex. As she watched them vanish and responded to the light touch between her shoulder blades that made her conscious of every prickling inch of her skin she realised just how alone they were.
She gave a laugh to cover her nerves and approached the shaded table covered with a white cloth laid with silver and crystal.
‘This is your idea of a picnic?’ It might be some people’s idea of a seduction scene. Discounting the possibility and the flip of excitement low in her pelvis, she was sure that he wouldn’t have gone to this much trouble for nothing. The question remained—a lot of effort, but why?
‘I don’t like sand in my food.’
‘You could always concrete over the beach.’
‘An idea, but I have to think about my eco credentials.’
‘Especially as they’re so profitable.’
The muttered response drew a thin smile from him. ‘You are, as always, eager to assign the worst possible motives to my actions.’
She opened her mouth to deny this charge and closed it again, her eyes sliding from his as she mumbled, ‘I can be a cynic.’
‘If you’re interested in all things eco you might like to look around my house sometime.’
Following the direction of his gesture, she frowned, seeing only a grassy hill above the high-tide mark, but then a glint of light reflected off glass caught her attention.
‘Yes, it’s easy to miss at first, isn’t it?’ The architects had fulfilled their brief and made the structure blend in with the landscape, but they had gone one step further—they had made it part of the landscape.