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The kiss left Chelsea breathless.
He’d made no attempt to do more than just kiss her, yet she’d felt as if every part of her body was under siege.
“Why?” she got out, and saw Nikos’s lips curve ironically.
“Because I wanted to.”
“Do you always do exactly as you want?” she countered.
“Not always, but you have a mouth made for kissing.”
KAY THORPE was born in Sheffield, England, in 1935. She tried out a variety of jobs after leaving school. Writing began as a hobby, becoming a way of life only after she had her first completed novel accepted for publication in 1968. Since then she’s written over fifty, and lives now with her husband, son, German shepherd dog and lucky black cat on the outskirts of Chesterfield in Derbyshire. Her Interests include reading, hiking and travel.
The Thirty-Day Seduction
STEADYING herself as the boat rode the spreading bow wave from a passing tourist carrier, Chelsea viewed the island ahead with anticipation tempered by a certain disquiet. Ethics at war with ambition again, she acknowledged wryly; the bane of her professional life at times. Given the same opportunity, how many in her line would hesitate to take advantage?
“Skalos,” declared the man at the wheel of the luxurious cabin cruiser, reducing speed. “Welcome to my home.”
Chelsea turned her head to smile at the handsome young Greek, admiring the lithe lines of his olive-skinned body, clad only in denim shorts at present.
“I hope your family feel the same way.”
White teeth sparkled in the sunlight. “My friends are always welcomed!”
“Even foreign ones?”
He laughed. “We have no quarrel with the English.”
“All the same,” she murmured, “we’re not exactly old friends.”
“We’re neither of us old enough to be old friends,” he returned equably. “And why should it make a difference how long we’ve known each other? Two days or two years; it would be the same. We are-how do you say it-comparable?”
“Compatible.” Which they certainly appeared to be, Chelsea reflected. From the first moment of meeting, back there in Skiathos, they had got on like the proverbial house on fire. All the same, it was doubtful if she would be doing this had Dion not been who he was.
“How many Pandrossoses live on the island altogether?” she asked casually as the low-hilled, wooded landscape took on detail in the hot afternoon sunlight.
“Nikos is the only one, apart from ourselves,” Dion confirmed. “But there are several other families allowed to make their homes there too.”
“It’s privately owned?”
“Owned by the company.” The handsome features darkened for a moment. “The company my father should have been made president of four years ago when his brother died.”
From what she knew of Pandrossos affairs, the deceased president’s son, Nikos Pandrossos, had inherited too much power in the way of company shares to be ousted by his uncle, Chelsea mused. Nor could he be faulted in his handling of the business since. Pandrossos Shipping had gone from strength to strength.
He would be thirty-six now, which was young still to be in such a position. A multi-millionaire, it went without saying. Three years ago his wife and mother had both been drowned in a boating accident, leaving him with a young son. That was all the personal detail anyone appeared to know of the man. An enigma, that was Nikos Pandrossos. As stirring a challenge to any selfrespecting journalist as a red rag to a bull.
Coming into an inheritance at eighteen from her maternal grandfather, sufficient to keep her in a reasonable degree of comfort, Chelsea had seen no reason to opt out of university, emerging three years later with a firstclass degree and an overriding desire to become something big in the world of journalism. She’d been lucky enough to land a job on a leading newspaper, which had supplied the grounding she needed, and moved on from there to World Magazine for a year, during which she had made something of a name for herself. With no financial pressures, she’d been able to go freelance after that, enjoying the freedom of being able to choose her own storylines, most of which she had found little difficulty in selling. At twenty-five she had what most people-including herself-would consider an enviable lifestyle.
Her decision to take a couple of months out, flitting around the Greek Islands, had elicited no more than a resigned injunction to take care from her parents, who had long ago learned to accept her independence. Skiathos had been her third port of call, after Limnos and Alonissos, with the intention of fitting in as many points south as she could manage over the coming weeks. Something she had always wanted to do, and from which she hoped to gain enough material for a whole series of articles.
She had been sitting over morning coffee at one of the harbour tavernas, watching