Playing by the Greek's Rules(73)

By: Sarah Morgan

Her reaction was so sudden, so shockingly unfamiliar, she simply stared back, stunned, her mind grappling to take in what it meant.

‘Yes, thanks. I’m—’ Awareness crashed upon her in a flurry of alarm. ‘Naked!’ she gasped, jack-knifing to sit up.

Dimly she was grateful he stepped back but her focus was on locating the cover she must have flung off. She hoped she’d flung it off. That it hadn’t been dragged off her by a stranger.

Horror skated skeletal fingers down her spine as Jacqui grabbed for the lavishly embroidered throw that had slipped from the bed. She didn’t feel like she’d been groped. She couldn’t remember anything but the solid, calming warmth of broad hands on her shoulders. But how could she be sure?

Seconds later, with the cover wrapped tight around her overheated body, she swung to face him.

Never turn your back on danger.

The stranger was tall, imposingly tall, which was saying something given her lanky height. Few men made her feel petite. The effect of powerful height was emphasised by the breadth of straight shoulders that filled the doorway. Jacqui’s first impression was of hard, lean masculinity. Her second, that he hid something.

His expression was closed, almost stern, yet his gaze belied the sombre attitude. Those eyes looked heavy-lidded and secretive. They remained fixed on her face, thankfully not dropping to where she fumbled, tucking a stray edge of fabric under her arm.

She’d never experienced such an instantaneous physical reaction to any man. That unsettled her almost as much as finding him here, leaning over her.

Jacqui hitched the material higher and set her jaw, trying to control the apprehension tightening her flesh. Even the innocent brush of fabric against her skin seemed evocative, reminding her of her nakedness.

In all her years of travel she’d got packing down to a fine art. It was a sign of her distraction that for the first time ever she’d forgotten to pack her ancient sleep shirt. It hadn’t mattered two hours ago, but then she hadn’t expected to wake and discover a hero from an Arabian Nights fantasy towering over her. Or was he a villain?

‘Who are you?’ Her voice emerged faint and husky. She hated the tremor in it. She cleared her throat. ‘What are you doing here?’

He didn’t move yet she had the impression he stood taller, more imposing, if that were possible.

‘I believe that’s my line.’ He paused, brows raised, as if waiting for her to answer.

But Jacqui had learned never to show weakness or doubt. She had a perfect right to be here and she refused to cower as if she’d done something wrong. He was the one who’d invaded her privacy!

Before she could tell him so, he spoke again.

‘Who are you and what are you doing in my harem?’