The Greek's Ultimate ConquestBy: Kim Lawrence
WHEN HAD HE actually last slept…?
The medication that the medic had administered to him in the field hospital had only taken the edge off his agony and since he’d got on the military air transport to Germany it hadn’t even done that, despite the copious amounts of alcohol he’d downed in an attempt to self-medicate.
But now he was finally about to fall sleep, the moment was delayed as a half-burnt log in the open grate disintegrated, sending a star burst of sparks outwards and pulling him back from the brink. He watched through heavy half-closed eyes as the flames flared briefly before fading, leaving dark specks on the sheepskin stretched over the wood floor.
The woman lying across his arm stirred gently before burrowing into his shoulder. He flexed his fingers to relieve the numbness that was creeping into his hand, and with his free hand pushed back a hank of hair tinged silver by the moonlight shining through the open window. He glanced down, the soft light caressing her face revealing the smooth curve of her cheek.
She was, simply, beautiful. It wasn’t just the bone structure and the incredible body, but she had something else about her…a glow, he decided, smiling at the uncharacteristically sentimental thought as he rubbed a strand of her hair between his fingertips. She was the sort of woman that at any other time in his life he would have gravitated towards. But even though he’d picked her out immediately when she had entered the bar earlier—with a noisy, youthful après-ski group oozing the confidence that came with privilege and intent on having fun and spending money—he had not reacted. Instead shutting out the sound of upper-class voices, he’d turned back to the drink he’d been nursing as he’d sunk once again into his black thoughts.
Then she’d come over to him. Up close she was even more spectacular, and she clearly had the self confidence that went with knowing it as she approached him. A real golden girl complete with golden glow, long gorgeous legs, her lithe body lovingly outlined in tight-fitting ski gear that was suited to her sinuous, athletic body. Her fine-boned face had perfect symmetry, the full lips and the deep blue of her wide-spaced eyes made him think of an angel, a sexy angel with a halo of lint-pale hair that glittered in the reflection of the beaten copper light shade suspended over his table.
Her voice was low, accentless, and had a slight attractive husk.
A flicker of uncertainty appeared in her eyes when he didn’t respond, then after a moment she repeated the greeting, first in French and then Italian.
‘English is fine.’
She took the comment as encouragement and slid onto a stool beside him. ‘I saw you from…’ Without taking her eyes from his face—they really were the most spectacular eyes—she nodded towards the group she had arrived with, who seemed to be involved in a noisy shot-downing game. The sight of the bunch of spoiled socialites giving the bar staff a hard time twitched his lips into a contemptuous sneer.
‘You’re missing the fun,’ he drawled.
She glanced back at her friends, giving what appeared to be a wince before training eyes that were a shocking shade of blue on him. ‘It stopped being fun about two bars ago.’ Her soft lips still smiled but a quizzical groove appeared between her brows and her head tilted a little to one side as she continued to stare at him. ‘You look…alone.’
He gave her a look then, the one that made ninety-nine out of a hundred people back off. The hundredth was generally drunk, although it was obvious this woman wasn’t; her blue stare was clear and candid, unnervingly so. Or maybe what unnerved him was the electric charge he could feel in the air between them, a low-level thrum but undeniably present.
He cut her off before she could introduce herself fully.
‘Sorry, agape mou, I’m not good company tonight.’ He wanted her to go away, he wanted to be left alone to slide back into the darkness, but when she didn’t, he wasn’t really sorry.
‘Are you Greek?’
‘Among other things.’
‘So what do I call you?’
Nothing worse than he’d called himself. ‘Nik.’