As he gathered her in his arms, he whispered to her in Greek. The words fell against her skin like a caress as they both reached their peaks. She snuggled into his body, content and sated.
She must have slept then, because when she opened her eyes, Chrysander was lying beside her, his arm thrown possessively over her hip. He regarded her lazily, his golden eyes burning with sated contentment.
Now was the time. She needed to broach the subject. There would never be a better occasion. Why did the thought of asking him about their relationship strike terror in her heart?
“Chrysander,” she began softly.
“What is it?” he asked, his eyes narrowing. Had he heard the worry in her voice?
“I wanted to talk to you.”
He stretched his big body and pulled slightly away so he could see her better. The sheet slid down to his hip and gathered there. She felt vulnerable and exposed and trembled when he slid his hand over the peak of one breast.
“What is it you want to talk about?”
“Us,” she said simply.
His eyes grew wary and then became shuttered. His face locked into a mask of indifference, one that frightened her. She could feel him pulling away, mentally withdrawing from her.
A buzz sounded, startling her. Chrysander cursed under his breath and reached over to push the intercom.
“What,” he demanded tersely.
“It’s Roslyn. Can I come up?”
Marley stiffened at the sound of his personal assistant’s voice. It was late in the evening and yet here she was, popping into the apartment she knew he shared with Marley.
“I’m very busy at the moment, Roslyn. Surely it can wait until I come into the office tomorrow.”
“I’m sorry, sir, but it can’t. I need your signature on a contract that’s due by 7:00 a.m.”
Again Chrysander swore. “Come then.”
He swung his legs over the side of the bed and stood. He strode toward the polished mahogany wardrobe and pulled out slacks and a shirt.
“Why does she show up here so often?” Marley asked quietly.
Chrysander shot her a look of surprise. “She’s my assistant. It’s her job to keep up with me.”
“At your personal residence?”
He shook his head as he buttoned up his shirt. “I’ll return in a moment, and we can have our talk.”
Marley watched him go, her chest aching all the more. She was tempted to save the discussion for another night, but she had to tell him of her pregnancy, and she couldn’t tell him of the baby before she knew how he felt about her. What he thought of their future. So it had to be done tonight.
As the moments grew longer, her anxiety heightened. Not wanting the disadvantage of being nude, she rose from the bed and dragged on her jeans and shirt. So much for looking composed and beautiful. She shook her head ruefully.
Finally she heard his footsteps outside the bedroom suite. He walked in with a distracted frown on his face. His gaze flickered over her, and his lips twitched.
“I much prefer you naked, pedhaki mou.”
She gave a shaky smile and moved back to the bed. “Is everything all right with work?”
He waved his hand dismissively. “Nothing that shouldn’t have already been taken care of. A missing signature.” He stalked toward the bed, a lean, hungry glint in his eyes. As he came to a stop a foot away from where she sat, he reached for the buttons on his shirt.
“Chrysander…we must talk.”
Annoyance flickered across his face, but then he gave a resigned sigh. He sank down on the bed next to her. “Then speak, Marley. What is it that’s bothering you?”
His closeness nearly unhinged her. She scooted down the bed in an effort to put distance between them. “I want to know how you feel about me, how you feel about us,” she began nervously. “And if we have a future.”
She glanced up to check his reaction. His lips came together in a firm line as he stared back at her. “So it’s come to this,” he said grimly.
He stood and turned his back to her before finally rotating around to face her.
“Come to w-what? I just need to know how you feel about me. If we have a future. You never speak of us in anything but the present,” she finished lamely.
He leaned in close to her and cupped her chin. “We don’t have a relationship. I don’t do relationships, and you know this. You’re my mistress.”
Why did she feel as though he’d just slapped her? Her mouth fell open against his hand, and she stared up at him with wide, shocked eyes.
“Mistress?” she croaked. Live-in lover. Girlfriend. Woman he was seeing. These were all terms she might have used. But mistress? A woman he bought? A woman he paid to have sex with?