Page 48 of The Crown Affair

So why did he find himself wanting to tell her more?

Matt’s heart thudded and his blood ran cold. Feeling highly unsettled, he eased himself from beneath her arm, swung his legs over the bed and got up. He pulled on his clothes and ran his hands through his hair.

Staring down at her as her mouth twitched in her sleep, he fought the urge to throw his clothes off and get back into bed with her, and picked up his shoes.

That kind of thinking led to madness.

He needed time to regroup. Regain some sort of control and decide what the hell to do about everything.

Work was the solution, he thought, heading to the door and sanity. Work was always the solution. And as neither Laura nor the attraction he seemed to have to her showed any signs of going away, maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put some physical distance between them.

There was bound to be a conference going on about something somewhere in the world.

Laura felt sunshine prick her eyes, gingerly opened them and then grinned and stretched.

Wow. What a night. Every muscle in her body ached with a delicious kind of languor. In between acquainting herself with every inch of him and vice versa she’d lost count of the number of orgasms she’d had.

But the spectacular sex aside, what was giving her an even warmer glow this morning was the fact that Matt had opened up. Just a crack, but far more than she’d thought he would have done.

OK, so she’d asked the questions, and he hadn’t volunteered much that she hadn’t asked, but to be honest she hadn’t expected him to venture anything at all. But he had and the balance in their relationship was definitely moving in her direction. Which was progress.

Laura froze mid-stretch and her heart lurched. Hang on a second? Progress? What was that all about? Since when had progress mattered? And since when did she and Matt have a relationship? The last thing she wanted was a relationship. She and Matt weren’t about relationships and progress, were they? No. They were just about sex. With any luck lots of it.

In fact she might just remind him of that very thing right now.

Fizzing all over with desire, Laura rolled over, fully expecting to slam up against the hard warm naked body of Matt, but instead met nothing but cool air.

Oh. Desire vanished as sh

e sat up and felt the pillow that still bore the indentation of his head. Cold. Hmm. So much for embarking on a raging affair right now. Matt’s absence did not bode well for a long leisurely start to the day.

Nor did the note she suddenly spied on the bedside table. Clutching the sheet and wrapping it beneath her arms, she rolled over, picked it up and then fell back against the pillows.

Gone to Athens. Didn’t want to wake you.

Laura read the note twice. Not that she needed to when the message was perfectly clear, but the first time she’d got a bit distracted admiring his handwriting and remembering the feel of his hands on her body.

But when she read it a second time the bottom fell out of her stomach and disappointment flooded through her.

Gone to Athens? Laura didn’t know what to think. Matt hadn’t mentioned anything about a trip so what on earth was he doing in Athens? Especially when they’d scheduled a meeting for this afternoon to discuss the budget for the restoration work.

And why hadn’t he wanted to wake her? She wouldn’t have minded. Surely he hadn’t had to leave so suddenly there hadn’t been time for a quick goodbye. Surely she was worth more than eight words, one apostrophe and two full stops.

And after what they’d shared she deserved a kiss at the very least.

Laura’s throat tightened as the note slipped from her fingers and fluttered to the bed. That wasn’t fair. She wasn’t forgettable. She wasn’t dispensable. And she wasn’t going to have another man walk all over her.


SO MUCH for assuming that out of sight out of mind might actually work, thought Matt grimly, striding along the corridor to his suite and scowling. Attending the conference in Athens had been a complete waste of time in that respect.

From a professional point of view it couldn’t have gone better. He’d networked, held discussions and drawn up agreements.

People had congratulated him on his new role and he’d been able to answer their questions about his plans for the country, for the first time feeling confident that he knew what he was talking about.

But while all that had been going on he hadn’t been able to get Laura out of his head and it was driving him demented. Much more of this tension and this aching, this clawing kind of need, and he’d snap. He’d start making mistakes and the Sassanians would wonder what the hell they’d done in voting in favour of him to restore their battered country.

Maybe he should just give in and suggest a fling. A fling didn’t mean a relationship, did it? A fling just meant lots of the mind-blowing sex he’d been missing and very little conversation.

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