‘Or kidnapped by pirates.’

‘Not many pirates either.’

She could feel him smile against her hair, and she jerked back and glared up at him, her eyes swimming with tears. ‘Don’t joke. What did you think you were doing going out in a flimsy boat like that in weather like this?’

‘I’ve been through worse.’

‘But I haven’t,’ she cried, beginning to pummel him again. ‘I thought I’d lost you. I thought I’d lost you and I’d never be able to tell you how sorry I am. And I am sorry, really sorry.’

Alex caught her wrists. ‘So am I.’

‘You don’t need to be,’ she said wretchedly. ‘I’m the one who told you to go away.’

‘Phoebe, I—’ he broke off suddenly and her heart lurched crazily at the look in his eye ‘—am not having this conversation in the pouring rain,’ he muttered, sweeping her into his arms, oilskin and all, and carrying her down the jetty and along the beach.

‘Where are we going?’ she said, not really caring as long as she could stay in his arms for ever. She wanted to burrow beneath his soaking clothes and warm herself against his skin.

‘The beach hut.’

‘I didn’t know there was one,’ she mumbled against his chest.

‘It’s very basic.’

He backed into the wooden hut nestling among the trees at the edge of the beach and then set her on her feet. He was right, she thought, glancing around. It was very basic. Just one room. With a bed. Unmade and clearly slept in. But as long as it contained Alex, it felt like home to her.

In the blissful warmth of the hut, she felt the terror and anguish melt away. Then she caught the look in his eyes and nerves swooped in to take over. ‘Have you been staying here?’ she said, keeping her eyes fixed to the floor.



‘Too many memories everywhere else.’

‘Of what?’

‘Of you.’

Her head shot up. Alex was leaning against the wall of the hut, his arms folded over his chest, and watching her.

‘Good memories?’ she asked nervously.

‘Disturbing memories.’

‘Me too,’ she said, her heart thundering. She’d come this far. She had to see it through to the end. Whatever the outcome. ‘I’ve missed you,’ she said, her voice cracking. ‘I know I drove you away, but, I swear, give me another chance and—’ she scoured his face for the tiniest flicker of encouragement but his expression was inscrutable and her courage suddenly deserted her ‘—perhaps we could resume our affair.’

Alex tilted his head and stared at her for what seemed like hours. ‘No,’ he said eventually.

‘No?’ Phoebe suddenly felt very cold. Oh, God. Maybe she had got it all wrong. Maybe it was way too late.

‘I don’t want an affair.’

Phoebe thought she might break apart. ‘Alex, please—’ She didn’t care that she was begging.

He pushed himself off the wall and walked slowly towards her. ‘It’s a good thing you’re here.’

No, it wasn’t. It was heartbreaking. She should never have come. She took a step back and swallowed down the aching lump in her throat. ‘Is it?’

Alex nodded. ‘Saves me a bumpy ride back to London,’ he said, a faint smile appearing on his lips.

Tags: Lucy King Billionaire Romance
Source: www.StudyNovels.com
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