The Greek Commands His Mistress(4)

By: Lynne Graham

Lilah didn’t like to dwell on those traumatic years, when she had begun to hate her father, because it had seemed then that he could not be trusted with any woman—not her mother’s friends, not even his office staff. Mercifully all that behaviour had stopped once her father met Vickie, and since then Lilah had contrived to forge a new and much closer relationship with her surviving parent. Only now Robert Moore had settled down was his daughter able to respect him again and forgive him for the past.

Bastien, on the other hand, was not the family-man type, and he had always enjoyed his bad reputation as a womaniser. He was an unashamed sexual predator, accustomed to reaching out and just taking any woman who took his fancy. He was rich, astute and incredibly good-looking. Women fell like ninepins around him, running to him the instant he crooked an inviting finger. But Lilah had run in the opposite direction, determined not to have her heart broken and her pride trampled by a man who only wanted her for her body.

She was worth more than that, she reminded herself staunchly, as she had done two years earlier—much more. She wanted a man who loved and cared about her and who would stick by her no matter what came their way.

Being powerfully attracted to a man like Bastien Zikos had been a living nightmare for Lilah, and she had refused to acknowledge her reaction to him or surrender to the temptation he provided. Yet even now, two years on, Lilah could still remember her first sight of him across a crowded auction room. Bastien...tall, dark and devastating, with his glorious black-lashed tawny eyes.

She had been there to view a pendant that had once belonged to her mother and which Vickie, unaware of Lilah’s attachment to the piece, had put up for sale. Lilah had planned to buy it back quietly at auction, preferring that option to the challenge of telling Vickie that she had actually been pretty upset when her father had so thoughtlessly given all her late mother’s jewellery to his then live-in girlfriend.

And the first person Lilah had seen that day had been Bastien, black hair falling over his brow, his bold bronzed profile taut as he examined something in his hand while an auction assistant in overalls stood by an open display cabinet. When she had been directed to that same cabinet she had been hugely taken aback to see that Bastien had had her mother’s very ordinary silver sea horse pendant clasped in his lean brown hand.

‘What are you doing with that?’ she’d asked possessively.

‘What’s it to you?’ Bastien had asked bluntly, glancing up and transfixing her with breathtaking dark brown eyes enhanced by lush, curling black lashes.

In that split second he had travelled in her estimation from merely handsome to utterly gorgeous, and her breath had tripped in her throat and her heart had started hammering—as if she stood on the edge of a dangerous precipice.

‘It belonged to my mother.’

‘Where did she get it from?’ Bastien had shot at her, thoroughly disconcerting her.

‘I was with her when she bought it at a car boot sale almost twenty years ago,’ Lilah had confided. although she’d been startled by his question, not to mention the intensity of his appraisal.

‘My mother lost it in London some time around then,’ Bastien had mused in a dark, deep accented drawl that had sent odd little quivers travelling down her spine. He had turned over the pendant to display the engraving on the back, composed of two letter As enclosed in a heart shape. ‘My father Anatole gave it to my mother Athene. What an extraordinary coincidence that it should have belonged to both our mothers.’

‘Extraordinary...’ Lilah had agreed jerkily. as disturbed by his proximity as by his explanation. He’d been close enough that she’d been able to see the dark stubble shadowing his strong jawline and smell the citrus-sharp tenor of his cologne. Her nostrils had flared as she’d taken a hasty step backwards and cannoned into someone behind her.

Bastien had shot out a hand to steady her before she could stumble, long brown fingers closing round her narrow shoulder like a metal vice to keep her upright.

Lilah had jerked back again, breathless and flushed, heat flickering in places she had never felt warm before as her gaze had collided with the tall Greek’s stunning eyes.

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