Betrayed By the Billionaire (pt 8)

Chapter Eight

Waking the next morning Sierra stretched sleepily, freezing instantly as her foot touched something, gasping with the realisation that that something was Max, the memories of the previous evening coming back in an instant.  He shifted beside her, an arm moving to wrap around her waist as he pulled her back tightly against his chest, his sleepy voice a sensual drawl against her ear, “Good morning Sierra”

A shudder of desire ripped through her as his tongue gently glided against her ear lobe, he giving a small chuckle full of innuendo, the sound of it like a jolt arousing every part of her body.  “How did you sleep?”

She felt her lips curl into a large smile, the heat curling deep within her belly.  “Very well thank you…very well indeed”, her wicked side rearing itself as she wriggled her bottom against the rising hardness of him as he groaned softly.

“You are a wicked little tease Sierra Summers”, his voice like gravel as she rolled onto her back to look up at him, a small sensual purr leaving her lips as her arms wrapped around his neck, her large dark eyes full of fire and promise as they flicked over his handsome face.   “Now what should we do about that?”,  she whispered as his mouth once more descended to hers.

Many hours later the two, freshly showered and dressed, sat on deck enjoying breakfast together, Max’s hand moving to entwine his fingers within hers. “I know that we are due to make port at home today…but give the word Sierra and I can slow us down …give us another night onboard”

With a chuckle her eyes flashed warmly back at him before giving a deep sigh, “That is very kind of you…and I will admit it is also very tempting”, before a rueful look crossed her eyes, “However, I have to make sure that someone is there to meet the crew.  They are like children if not handled correctly”

His hand lifted hers to kiss each finger in turn, Sierra surprised at how quickly the flames of desire once more licked at her.  “I didn’t expect this Sierra”, he murmured softly against her skin, “But I would be lying if I said it was not something I didn’t want to happen”

Savaging her bottom lip she frowned gently.  “And what is ‘this’?”, she questioned softly, seeing the small look of surprise from him before he gave a small shrug.   “Can anybody really answer that?”, his voice thoughtfully seductive.

With a bitter twist of her mouth her brows rose, “No…I just wondered how soon you would once more be packing me off your island”  His intake of breath instantly made her regret her words as she had pulled her hand back, wiping her brow softly, “I’m sorry…that was uncalled for”

Max’s lips set in an angry line.  “I wish you would believe me when I tell you that there really was no other choice Sierra”, his eyes once more finding hers with so much honesty deep within them, “I never wanted you to go…I had no choice”

For several moments there was silence; their eyes locked together before she once more dropped hers.  “I guess there is nothing to be gained in always dredging up the past”, her words thoughtful, Max looking as though he had more to add before giving a small sad smile. “No…I guess not, sometimes the past is best left there”  Sierra nodded as their breakfast was placed before them, both sitting back in their chairs, both lost in their own thoughts.

Each had worked for an hour after breakfast before meeting on deck where they swam in the cool pool, later still fishing off the back of the Cruiser, neither really interested in catching anything.  Sierra found herself enjoying this time with him, surprised how easily they once more relaxed in each other’s company, just as they had so many years ago.  However, where before their constant parry of words had irritated her it now seemed to just add to the sexual sizzle between them.

As the small ribbon of land appeared before them, Sierra felt the sense of disappointment along with the excitement of once more being so close to the island she once called home.  Stood by the railing, he moved behind her, his arms encircling her waist, kissing her cheek softly.  “How does it feel to be home?”

Sierra fell back against him, her head against his cheek and shoulder, “It feels good”  His head nodded gently before he turned her round to face him, his look focussed and apprehensive.  “I know that you organised to stay at a bed and breakfast…But would you consider staying at the Villa…with me?”

Without thinking she nodded, a broad grin filling his handsome face as he kissed her, the kiss full of heat and passion.  “You will not regret this”, he murmured against her mouth as she kissed him back.  Already Sierra knew that she would, knowing without a shadow of a doubt that she would be hurt even more than the last time they had separated, because standing on his boat, with the island looming closer with each passing moment she finally understood why.  Those years long ago when she had been forced to leave, it had not been the island she missed, not the place she had grown up, but the man who had pushed her, tormented her, bickered constantly with her and yet who had shown her more care than any other.  It was Max she had missed and she now knew why.  She was in love with him.  She was in love with Max Alessandro.

The next two days flew by in a blur of activity.  The day after they arrived on the familiar paradise the crew started to descend on the small island, their presence the focus of the many islanders who lived there.  Sierra found moving in with Max easier than she would have thought possible.  Their nights were full of the simmering sizzling sexual passion which would flare the moment the two were alone, especially so close to a bed, Sierra revelling in her newly found sexuality.

Max had found having her with him intoxicating, never tiring of the way she reacted to him in bed, waking each morning before her, only able to stare down into the most beautiful face he had ever known.  He would wait for that moment that she too would awaken, seeing the fire that would spring to her eyes as she would reach out for him, that moment filling him with gut-wrenching arousal as her lips would form the small meow of need and her eyes would sweep down to his mouth.

During the day he would often take time to watch her in action, impressed with how well organised she was.  The respect for Sierra by all of the crew was clear to see, they all appreciating how slickly the whole process seemed to run, no hitch of any kind rearing its head to ruin the up-coming shoot or result in expensive delays.

The third day had seen the arrival of Sean G himself, Max having already offered to put him up in the villa showing him around.  When the singer discovered that his Personal Assistant was also staying there, quickly learning that she was in fact sharing a room with Max Alessandro, he had given her a telling smile before leaning in and whispering in a mocking voice “I see you joined the rest of the female race”, Sierra giving him a shrivelling glare as he raised arms in an innocent ‘Don’t shoot me’ stance, her lips twitching as she snottily responded, “It was cold on the other side of the wall”, moving away as his laugh followed her.

The shoot had been planned to run over four days, Max enjoying spending time on set, fascinated with how long each scene took realising just how important having everything in place was to ensure that the Director’s vision was realised.  He also smiled seeing the way only she was able to manage the ego of the singing star.  With the pressure of the shoot, his well-known temper surfacing often, only Sierra prepared to stand up to him.  She had also been the one who would smooth over the invariable blow-ups of the star and the director, Max impressed with Sierra Summers.

{next installment 11th December}

Betrayed By the Billionaire (pt 7)

{Beware – this contains adult content}

Chapter Seven

Waking abruptly, she felt the sheen of perspiration over her body. The memories were still so vivid in her mind as she rose, pulling a wrap around herself before slipping out of the room in search of the galley and a milky drink which might help her sleep.  Given that it was only two in the morning she did not expect to encounter anybody below, the only others awake at that hour on deck, she was sure.

Sitting in the silent galley, she nursed the glass of half-finished milk, jumping as the door once more opened, her eyes haunted as she swallowed down the groan at the sight of the man who entered.  Wearing only silk bed pants, his tanned, toned torso naked, his black glossy hair tousled from sleep or lack of, Max moved towards her, his sleepy eyes widening as his brows rose in a surprised frown at finding her sitting in the dimly lit room, his eyes sharpening instantly.

“Sierra?…Are you OK?”, his tone full of concern, as she gave a shaky return smile lifting her glass of milk in explanation of her presence, trying not to show her discomfort at how little she was wearing, tugging at the small wrap as though it would cover her long legs. “I couldn’t sleep.  I guess seeing you again brought back some bad memories”

Grimacing, he gave her a sympathetic lop-sided smile pouring himself a glass of milk also. “You dreamt of your mother?” Sierra nodded softly.  “Yeah…and what happened after”  Max flicked a sideway look at her, “Oh”, his only comment as the two sat together in silence.

Rising, she gave him a nervous smile.  “Goodnight.  Think I will try again”, turning to escape the man bringing such disruption to her, not aware of the way her body tightened so visibly.  His hand moved out to grab her arm halting her, his long fingers winding around the delicate circle of her wrist, where her pulse raced at this smallest of touches, his fingers  sending electric shockwaves through her whole body.

“I know you blame me Sierra…but I really did do what I thought was for the best”, his head lifted to look into her eyes, holding them as she gulped, blinking nervously. “Maybe you did Max, but my mother had just died.  I needed time to mourn, to get used to what had happened and you had me packed away to boarding school”, her eyes flashing with both anger and hurt as she lashed out at him, Max seeing the pain within her eyes at her words.

His expression held no apology as the two continued to stare at each other before he spoke softly. “Perhaps, but what I did was done with your best interests at heart.  I really wish you would believe that”  Dropping her eyes, she again made to turn, aware as still holding her wrist he had risen also, lifting her small hand, bringing it to his mouth, Sierra gasping at the touch of his lips against the softness of her skin sending scorching heat to pool deep within her belly.

“I…I”, she stammered, her mouth drying seeing the fire rise within his eyes as his other hand snaked around her waist hauling her in harder against him.  Dropping her arm his hand cradled her head, his fingers sliding through the silkiness of her hair, his eyes dropping to her mouth.  Standing immobile in his hold she knew she should push him away, run from him, but her feet remained rooted to the spot, her eyes falling to his mouth also.  Hearing the sharp intake of breath from him, her eyes fluttered closed as he finally kissed her.  The shudder that ripped through her had been intense, her body falling in harder against him, the feel of the heat of his naked torso against her enflaming her need for him even more as his mouth travelled down her jaw, his fingers splayed against her back.

She heard the glasses they had both been drinking from hitting the ground as in one smooth motion he cleared the table, lifting her and laying her over the cold wooden surface, Sierra groaning softly as his weight joined her pinning her to the hard tabletop.  She encouraged him, hands flying over his body, caressing the long column of his back, sliding around the elasticated waistband of his silk pants, the goosebumps on his skin where her fingers traveled exciting her, making her more daring.  He pulled the wrap from her, unbuttoning the silky top which was between him and his need, Sierra shuddering as the cool air wafted over her body as the two sides slid from her.

Max paused, his eyes dark pools of need as he groaned softly.  “God, you are so beautiful”, his words enflaming her need as she gasped, his mouth descending to one heightened nipple, his tongue tantalizing and teasing it as she grabbed his head pulling him harder to her, her back arching against him.  “I want you Sierra”, his voice was taut with that need, her head nodding as she found herself crying, “Yes, yes”, before his mouth once more returned to take hers, she feeling the hardness of him against her through the silk pants.

Pulling back, he had taken in the woman partially naked on the table, her long hair in disarray, a silken cushion around her beautiful head, her large aqua eyes slowly opening as she held his look.  Moving forward again he scooped her into his arms, his mouth once more finding hers as she clutched at him, kissing him back with a passion equal to his.

Walking with purpose, he made his way to his own stateroom before he was able to gently place her onto the bed, Sierra sighing once more as his weight again covered her, the feeling so right, as he pulled her top from her shoulders, the wrap and small night shirt flung to some unknown corner of the room.  His mouth trailed down her throat and along her shoulders before once more finding the raised peaks and swirling his tongue around the nipples, sent her into a frenzy as her hands slid under his pyjama pants, caressing the tight buttocks, a masculine growl leaving his mouth as his lips slid lower.  Kissing down her smooth silky skin, he followed the gentle curves of her stomach, Sierra raising herself onto her elbows, her teeth biting her lower lip to hold back the groan which rose in her throat.  As he continued down, her head fell backwards, a low moan leaving her as he pulled her legs apart, his tongue finding the moist heat of her, Sierra gulping in lungfuls of air.

She had never known such pleasure, his hands sliding under her bottom, pulling her harder against his mouth as she whimpered softly in his hold, writhing and bucking against him with a wanton need that was both shameful and intoxicating.  When it came she could hardly believe the intensity of her climax, her breathing coming out in loud pants and cries as her hips moved against him, the sensations sweeping over her before she became limp.   Max moved back up her body to once more capture her lips, bringing her down softly from the intensity of the experience, her eyes full of confusion at what had just happened.

Looking deeply into his eyes, hers were soft, her hand lifting to gently caress his cheek, his wide smile raising one of her own before his mouth once more descended.  She tasted herself on his tongue, surprised as the flames once more licked at her with an intensity that was shocking and so unexpected.  In an instinctive action, she moved her hand to push at his pants, Max rolling over and quickly pulling them from him.  “I need you”, his voice was tight and husky as he moved over her laying between her legs, Sierra wrapping her arms around his shoulders, her hands pulling at him, needing him too.

His words had been broken, hoarse, as he kissed along her jaw. “Do I need protection Sierra?”, his words hardly audible as he raised himself over her, her body becoming more rigid as her eyes opened in surprise, her voice unsure. “I…I’ve never”, she began as he groaned, understanding coming on him as he pulled back from her slightly, her hands grasping his shoulder, her eyes full of pleading.

“No…don’t stop Max…Please…don’t stop”, her rigid fingers clinging to him.  Holding her eyes he kissed her mouth softly, rolling from her as he silently retrieved protection from his nightstand, making himself safe before once more returning to her.  “Are you sure?”, his voice tortured as she raised her head to once more kiss him softly, Max deepening the kiss even as the hardness of him nudged slowly into her tight body.

Moving slowly, the effort causing a sheen of sweat to gather on his shoulders Max took his time, struggling with how perfectly her body enveloped him, tightened around him, before he felt the small membrane within her tear.  Sierra stiffened as she felt the pain and discomfort of his penetration, a whimper leaving her lips as her eyes flew open, a gasp of surprise leaving her.  His mouth once more dropped to kiss her so softly on the mouth, moving deeper within her until his full length was sheathed within the tightness of her body.

Pausing, he allowed her to adjust to the shock of his penetration, waiting until her body had relaxed, despite his own need to drive harder and faster into her, knowing that of all things he did not want to hurt Sierra.  Finally as she relaxed beneath him he began slowly so slowly to rock against her, his thrusts becoming harder and deeper as her legs wrapped around his, her body moving with his in perfect rhythm, Sierra hardly able to believe it as she felt the sensations once more rise, her hands gripping his upper arm as once more her head fell back, whipping from side to side as the climax swept over her in wave upon wave of pleasure, not aware as she had cried out his name.

With a groan of relief his thrusts had become harder faster, his breathing ragged until with a final surge he released deeply within her, his gasps joining hers as she clung to him, both shuddering with the intensity of the experience until Max collapsed heavily over her, both panting hard, trying to catch their breaths.

Sierra wrapped her arms around his neck, her lips kissing his cheek still trembling with the intensity of what they had just shared, loving the feel of his weight over her, the feel of him so comforting, this thought surprising her.

After several moments Max pulled himself from her, his arms wrapping around her shoulder to pull her tight against himself, a small groan leaving him. “You were a virgin”, his tone full of anger aimed at himself as he groaned.  “I am so sorry”, hurt deep within his voice as she pulled herself up to look down into his eyes seeing the pain deep within them.

“I wanted this too Max”, she had whispered softly, a chuckle rising from her lips as her mouth dropped to kiss his chest, her voice playful.  “And of course you know that this makes me right, even after ten years…you were wanting to be my first”, his rumbling laugh against her neck sending another shudder through her as he had pulled her in for a hug.

“Damn you woman, do you always have to be right?”  His arms enveloped her tightly, kissing her head gently, Sierra feeling blissfully happy as she felt the fatigue engulf her, a soft yawn leaving her lips as her eyes fluttered closed, sleep finally claiming her.  Hearing her breathing slowing and becoming deeper Max too felt sleep tugging at him, his arms encircling her, a happy smile on his face.

 {next installment 27th November}

Betrayed By the Billionaire (pt 6)

Chapter Six

Moving into the main living quarters he had turned on the television, trying to watch a movie, his mind not really taking in the story, his thoughts full of the woman who had just left.

In her room Sierra quickly changed for bed, looking at herself in the mirror as she brushed out her long naturally wavy hair.  The evening had been enjoyable, she struggling to hold onto the resentment she held for Max.  With a sigh she again reminded herself that it had all happened so long ago, that perhaps some things were better left in the past.  However, with a scowl she rose pulling back the sheet, telling herself again that she had trusted him, trusted him more than nearly anybody else in her life and he had rejected her, pushed her away, sent her away.  The pain she felt then once more filling her.

Falling asleep in the large stateroom she had fallen into an immediate sleep, tired from her previous two evening’s lack of sleep.  However, her dreams were again not pleasant ones but ones full of the past, her dream once more returning to an evening ten years previous.  One that she had managed to push to the back of her mind for so long, the worst night of her life.

Max had rescued her from the advances of one of her classmates, not that she was too happy at the time, childishly choosing instead as he had told her to ‘act like a brat’.  As his car had turned the corner to the small house she and her mother shared, she had forgotten her anger as she gasped seeing the flashing lights of the ambulance and police cars.  Fear gripped her as she spun around to look at Max, his face suddenly sombre as he pulled in behind a police car.

“Stay here”  His voice had been sure and kind, even offering her a small reassuring smile as he smoothly jumped from the vehicle, Sierra not aware as her hands flew to her mouth, eyes wide with shock as they followed him as he approached one of the police officers.  The two talked for a few moments, Sierra seeing as his face became more and more serious before the two men together turned to where she sat in the car, the two seeming to come to some agreed decision.

Walking back to his car Sierra had known that things were bad, his body rigid, a strange light in his eyes as they fixed on her.  Opening the door he gently took her hand, pulling her out.

“W…what’s wrong…where is my mother?”, her voice so full of the terror in her eyes, looking imploringly at Max, the events of earlier forgotten as her voice shook uncontrollably.  The pity in his eyes was enough for her to know that things were as bad as they possibly could be as she began to tremble violently.

His arms had gone around her then, pulling her against his chest “I’m sorry Sierra, your mother ….she collapsed…she…”  A long low moan escaped her as she shook her head.  “No…No…it must be a mistake”,  while she had known in her heart of hearts that her mother was dead, tears now streaming unchecked down her face as she sobbed against him, his arms holding her tightly.

“I’m sorry Sierra…you need to speak to the officer…identify your mother”  Sierra felt her legs buckle, the world tilting and becoming unfocussed as pure undiluted pain and mourning swept over her, blackness swooshing in to claim her as she fainted, Max holding her even tighter against himself, scooping her up in one fluid movement, as a paramedic ran to them.

When she woke, she had been in a strange room, her brows knitting together as she groaned.  Instantly an older woman appeared by her side, Sierra realising that she was lying on a large comfortable chaise.  “You’re safe dear…just lie there for now.  You’ve had a shock”, the soft words kindly spoken by the regal woman who took her hand, patting it gently.  Her eyes scanned the room, finally falling on Max, stood against the large ornate fireplace, his handsome features sombre and focused on her.  At that, everything rushed back in, as with another moan she sat bolt-upright her eyes focused solely on him.

“M…my mother”, all she could manage, as he shook his head softly, the tears once more filling her sight  as she fought so hard to control herself, her head dropping to stare at the ground.  After several moments, the only sound the tick ticking of the grandfather clock she finally looked back up, her features cold, controlled, the shock still so evident to the other two in the room.

“What happened?”, her only words, as Max moved to join his mother beside her taking her cold hand in his, his voice soft.  “They believe that she had a brain aneurism”, squeezing her hand as it began to shake. “They won’t know for certain till after the autopsy, but whatever happened it happened fast”, his eyes holding hers comfortingly “They found her as though she was asleep on the chair…she didn’t suffer Sierra” Sierra gulped down the sob that caught in the back of her throat as she gave a slight nod of her head.  Standing, she straightened the dress she and her mother had spent so long choosing, the dress she had worn for what was the worst night of her life, that she would burn the first moment she could.

Mother and son allowed her the time to collect herself, to pull herself together as she seemed so small and vulnerable in the large living room, bravely trying to deal with the tragedy.  Finally she cleared her throat.  “Where am I?”  Mrs Alessandro gave her a small smile.  “Max brought you to our home.  Seemed the best place to bring you in the circumstances”

Nodding softly she fixed him with large haunted eyes, her voice almost inaudible, “That was very kind of you Max, but I should be getting home now.  I can’t take up any more of your time”

Mother and son looked at each other as she made towards the door, Max stepping in front of her, his hands placed gently on her shoulders.  “You can’t go back Sierra”, watching as she pulled herself up taller, her small chin tilted defiantly at him in a stance he had become so used to with her.  “It is my home.  I have arrangements to make”

Max looked over at his stunned mother before once more looking at her.  “Of course you do”, he whispered softly. “But the police are still there.  Stay here for tonight Sierra and I will accompany you tomorrow back to your home”  She had not even argued with him as she nodded in agreement, a small thank you leaving her lips as the older woman moved forward to wrap a comforting arm around the young girl’s shoulder, leading her to the room that she had ordered to be made ready for the young woman.

Sierra never returned to her home.  She spent the next two weeks at the Villa of the Alessandros.  Max had been kindness itself as he accompanied her to the undertakers, telling her not to worry about costs as she arranged for her mother’s funeral.  On the day itself he stood by her side, watching her with concern as she remained so still and proud, the only sign of emotion from the young woman being the tears which slid down her face as the coffin moved soundlessly behind the curtains in the crematorium.  It had also been he who joined her as she stood by the sea spreading the ashes over the crystal waters that her mother loved so much.

Sierra had to admit that he had been the tower of strength she needed, helping her to cope with the loss, thankful to him and his mother for their support and kindness.  It was therefore with shock that she had walked in on the two of them so deep in conversation, the topic being her she quickly realised as the older woman beckoned for her to join them at the table where they sat, pushing a brochure towards her.

“We have organised for you to attend a private boarding school in Scotland Sierra” Sierra’s eyes flew to hers in disbelief “What!!”, she cried, her eyes staring at the two.  “But…I plan on staying here.  My home is here”, she declared, her voice rising in panic.  Max had been the one to speak. “You have no family, nobody to look after you”  Raising his hand as he silenced her protestations. “You need an education Sierra and it is the most sensible thing for you…you cannot stay here forever”

Raising her small chin she gave him a withering look.  “I want to return to my home and stay on at school here”, seeing as the other two looked quickly at each other, his mother wringing her hands nervously, “I’m sorry Sierra, your mother did not own the house.  It was rented.  The owner has taken it back already; your belongings are in storage”

Sierras mouth closed abruptly, her look flying from one to the other.  “How could I afford this?”, her hand sweeping to the brochure of what appeared to be an expensive boarding school.  Max looked back solemnly. “Your mother left insurance money with instructions that it be used for your education.  It seemed important to her that you did well”, his hand moving to cover hers, Sierra pulling hers back.

“Then I can rent the house and stay at school here” His voice had been harder, more firm, “No.  You are only fifteen Sierra you can’t rent a house or be by yourself…this is the only option”  Looking hopefully at the older woman she pled softly, “You could rent it for me…and I would pay you”, the two shaking their heads emphatically.  Max’s voice brooked no argument, “No.  You leave tomorrow, it is all arranged”

Rising, Sierra turned to Mrs Alessandro, gently thanking the older woman for her kindness before turning to Max, her eyes growing colder as she moved wordlessly out of the room.  Halfway up the stairs, Max caught up with her. “This really is for the best Sierra.  I hope you come to see that”

Pausing to look at him her expression had been icy and calm. “You were kind to me during all of this and I want to thank you for that”, a coldness deep in her tone, “but all I wanted to do was to stay in the place I call home…and you made sure that I couldn’t do that.  I will never forget that Max Alessandro…never”, before turning and running back up the stairs, tears streaming down her eyes.

That was the last words she shared with Max, the next day Sierra finding herself flown from the island to start her new life in a Scottish boarding school.

 {next installment Nov 20th}

Betrayed By the Billionaire (pt 5)

Chapter Five

Moving to his stateroom later that evening, Max paused, his look flying to the door in which the woman who had been filling his thoughts all night slept.  Sighing softly, his hand rose to the handle of his room; he froze hearing the whimper from within the other room.  Knocking gently he called her name, hesitating before the sound of crying made him open the door, sliding inside.

Sierra was laid under the silk sheet, her body writhing under it as she seemed to be tossing and turning, tears streaming down her face as her whole body shook.  In great agitation she was moaning and whimpering pathetically, Max moving quickly over to where she lay.  He held down the groan seeing her laid on the large bed, so stunning, her long hair falling around her, adding a youthful look to her beauty.  Wearing a small silk nightdress, the shoestring straps showing her soft creamy flesh, his eyes tried not to stare at the way her breasts, only just covered by the thin material, drew his eyes, his body instantly reacting to her sensuality.

As another groan had been torn from her lips he dropped down beside her, taking her into his arms holding her tightly to him, she clutching at him as she murmured over and over in abject misery, “No…No”   His hands gently soothed her hair as her head lay tucked under his chin.  Whispering comforting words he felt as she slowly seemed to relax until her breathing became more regular, deeper,  a more restful sleep finally taking her.

He continued holding her for ten minutes, ensuring that the nightmare did not return he told himself, not prepared to admit how having her in his arms, breathing in the scent of her seemed so right.  Finally he laid her back down against the pillow, his look again taking in how beautiful even in sleep she seemed, her smooth skin luminescent in its perfection.  Her long lashes swept across her cheeks and that determined mouth, the mouth he so badly wanted to kiss, so red and enticing.  Max frowned at this thought.  Even in sleep her mouth was set in a stubborn line, a smile lighting his own as his eyes flicked across her features.  She stirred softly and to his surprise whispered his name.  Not full of the coldness that she used during the day, but softly, gently the strangest of sensations filling him as that her lovely lips curved into a gentle smile, Max backing slowly from the room.

At breakfast the following morning Sierra appeared early wearing a pair of light summer trousers and shirt with capped sleeves.  She looked cool and efficient, Max giving a grin as she moved towards him, seeing the small frown fall onto her smooth forehead.  “What is so funny?”, she bit at him as he leant forward to pour her a cup of tea .“You are on a boat in the middle of the sea and dressed for the office” His eyes trailed down her.  “Don’t you own shorts or a bikini?”

Giving him a contemptuous return look she sat down opposite accepting the drink. “I think that you seem to forget Max that I am here to work.  This is not a holiday for me”  His eyes were mocking as they continued to follow her every move.  “And when was the last time you had a holiday Sierra?…And I would love to know just how you spent it”

Her eyes flicked uncomfortably to his, the shutters well and truly closed as she gave a small ‘pfft’ sound.  Sitting further back into the seat, she had not been prepared to admit that for the three years she had worked for Sean she had never taken a holiday, never able to pull herself from her work.  Sighing at her refusal to answer he too sat back, a playful smile touching his lips.  “OK, well perhaps you will tell me how you ended up working for Sean”

Sierra had been thankful for the safer less personal subject to talk about.  She told him of finishing boarding school and winning a place at one of the top universities in the country where she studied business and law.  He gave a smile, seeming to appreciate her success, surprising Sierra.  When she left university with a First she had won an apprenticeship with a record company.  Sierra had soon shone in her new role with her efficiency and the organisational abilities able to get any job done.

With a smile she remembered the day in which she walked into a conference room, Max enjoying the story as she told of coming across a woman sitting in tears moaning softly and flicking through numbers on her mobile phone.  She managed to get the story out of the woman that she had to get in touch with an executive who was refusing to answer, the woman seemingly terrified that her employer would be furious with her if she did not succeed.  Sierra had quickly opened up her computer, carrying out some research on the executive until she found the one piece of information which she used to be put through to his office.  The other woman thanked her as she took her business card, brushing her tears away.  Sierra had thought nothing more of the meeting until the following week, when the singer Sean G himself entered her office and offered her the job that his previous assistant had just resigned from, she finding out that the woman had given him the details of their meeting.  He had doubled her wages there and then and Sierra had never looked back.

Chuckling, Max squinted at her, the sun behind her giving her an almost angelic look.  “From what I heard Sean is not the easiest person to work for”  Her lips quirked as she nodded softly.  “He…..well he can be brusque”, her eyes full of humour, “But then so can I”  Max nodded, remembering the many arguments the two had when she was growing up, knowing that she was not someone who would ever let anybody walk over her, the only person in his youth who had ever stood up to him.

“The first time he yelled at me I tore a strip off him and explained that if he did it again I would ensure something very bad befell his beloved tuxedo collection” He laughed loudly as her lips curved into a smile at the memory.  “From that day on we never seemed to have a problem”  Max grinned, respect in his eyes.  “You always were a little hell-cat Sierra…and I imagine that you got results which would have been more important”

She nodded her head, giving a small shrug.  “I seemed to have a knack for it”  He knew that she was playing down how challenging the work would have been.  In a voice which he hoped did not sound too interested he asked gently, “I hope that you forgive me for my assumption that you and Sean had some kind of relationship.  He is a man of … appetites I believe, and I can’t believe that he would not be interested in someone as lovely as you”

Sierra had given him a surprised look, once more feeling the way her heart jumped at his compliment, her lips smiling.  “He tried”, she chuckled, “But I pointed out to him that it would be a bad idea”  She had not elaborated on the many months he chased her trying to get her into bed, before finally accepting that things were never going to move that way.  Surprisingly this had only strengthened their working relationship and friendship, she becoming somebody he could talk to, an almost sisterly figure, knowing that no matter what she would always be honest with him.

“Well having mocked you for your work ethic…I must do some of my own”, he grinned, his smile once more caused her insides to flip-flop so alarmingly.  Rising, he paused at her seat, Sierra looking up at him swallowing the small moan seeing him in a t-shirt and shorts, his lean hips so close to her.  “Your mother would have been proud of you Sierra”  His soft words were full of genuine sincerity and took her by surprise, a small tear rising to her eye a she nodded softly, turning from him so that he would not see her reaction as he moved away.

For the rest of the morning she retreated back to her small office, responding to the many emails that awaited her.  By midafternoon she sat back with a soft sigh.  Her desk was clear, nothing more left to deal with, and she bit her lip softly.  Moving from the office she made her way up to the deck, leaving the air-conditioned interior and instantly feeling as the mid-day sun caused her clothes to stick to her as the heat hit her like a wall of hot air.

She looked at the shimmering swimming pool, the clear cool water so tempting, her eyes taking in that nobody else was around.  Savaging her lip with indecision she finally gave way to temptation, moving back to her stateroom and pulling on a bikini, allowing her long hair to fall free around her shoulders and down her back.  Grabbing a towel, wrap and sun hat she once more returned to the poolside.

Not one to gingerly step from the heat into the cold water she dived cleanly into the coldness, the sense of relief on her skin instant as she gave a small half-laugh half-cry at the change in temperature, the small laugh forced from her lips.  Swimming two lengths of the pool she finally turned onto her back floating happily, her eyes closed as the water lapped lazily against her body.

The splash had been unexpected, Sierra’s eyes flying open as Max surfaced beside her, a large grin on his face.  “So you do have a bikini…holding out on me Sierra”  She pushed out to the side, a scowl on her face.  “I don’t recall saying I hadn’t brought one”, she bit out in annoyance as he laughed.

“Am I scaring you away?”  Sierra turned to face him, her chin raised defiantly at his obvious challenge.  Shaking her head she struck out, once more swimming a length of the pool gracefully gritting her teeth as he easily kept pace with her.  Reaching the other end she pulled herself out moving to lie on one of the comfortable sunbeds, annoyed when Max dropped into the one beside her.

“I thought you were working”, she managed between gritted teeth, his large smile only making her angrier.  “Nope.  All done and I am all yours”  Her withering look said much as he shook his head.   “You know, sometimes Sierra I think that you are not happy to be here”  Turning to face him, the disbelief clear on her features, she spluttered, “You have got to be kidding me.  You planned this, although I can’t understand why you would bother”

His sensual laugh filled her ears  “Really…you can’t imagine why?”, raising himself so that he could look down at her, his eyes flashed full of humour, Sierra pulling her sunglasses over her eyes to hide her discomfort.  “You always did like to annoy the hell out of me”  His laugh again brought a reluctant one to her.   The ringing of her mobile saw her jump, a sigh escaping her as she heard Sean from the other end.

Max listened as she jotted down notes on the pad which had appeared from nowhere, her expression serious as she hung up giving him a lop-sided smile.  “Sorry – work calls” Max nodded as she moved back down the deck; he took the time to admire her curvaceous figure and the way she moved so gracefully away.  Her long hair swung around her body making her seem younger, softening her features causing him to have to hold down the desire that rushed through him.  With a small frown he wondered when the gangly little girl he had known had become the sex kitten who just left.

She did not reappear again till later that night as dinner was being served.  Max shook his head gently, asking,  “Do you always work such long hours?”  Sierra looked at him with surprise, nodding.  “Sean’s life is hectic, I enjoy it”  Sitting together alone at the table, she felt unsure, her eyes once more flying to admire Max as he poured her a glass of wine, Sierra taking it, appreciating the crimson liquid, smiling softly.

The last time she had been on the island and stayed with his mother and him, the older woman had been suffering from a serious illness, Sierra saddened to hear of her death two years ago after a long illness.  Flicking a look at him, she had licked her soft lips.  “I was sorry to hear about your mother Max.  She was a good woman”

He sighed softly, nodding.  “She liked you too Sierra”, his voice soft, “I really appreciated the flowers and card you sent”  Sierra looked at him with surprise.  She had sent the flowers to the funeral home and was surprised that he had even seen them.  “You must have received many tributes”, she murmured softly.  Max nodded, “Yes.  She was well respected”  He looked carefully at her, a strange expression on his face. “I read all of the cards.  I would have replied but you didn’t include a return address”

His eyes held hers as the very air between the two sizzled with sexual tension; Sierra was the first to drop her look as she took a long calming drink, quickly changing the subject as she asked what he had been doing in the past few years.   He answered her many questions about mutual acquaintances, she finding herself relaxing in his company as the years seemed to melt away, the two enjoying their meal together.

She listened, hearing the fate of the many friends she grown up with, the boat taking the few children to the mainland each day.  Most had married and had families, Sierra laughing shaking her head with disbelief.  “I can’t belief that it has been so long”, she murmured dreamily, her mind still seeing the named people as the children she remembered.  As silence fell between them she flicked another look at him.  “So what about you Max?  How come you never married and settled down to raise a brood of arrogant, aristocratic offspring”

He chuckled, the corner of his lips turned upwards.  “Never seemed to find the right woman”  His look became playful.  “Either that or I felt taking myself of the market would be so unfair to all those women out there”  His statement made her laugh, Sierra realising that she was enjoying being with him.

The small clock on the wall chimed ten and she grimaced. “Didn’t realise it was so late” she said, giving him a large smile.  “I am up early in the morning – still lots to do before we reach the island…so I think I will head for bed”  Max rose with her, feeling the twang of regret that she was leaving, as he wished her a good night, she smiling warmly back before moving from the galley.

 {next installment 13th Nov}