'You're so lovely,' Kyle whispered raggedly. 'So slender and graceful, so cool and elusive ' His hand was caressing her hip, the satiny skin of her thigh. 'From the moment I saw you, I've been burning for you. And I know you feel the same way, too.'
'You don't know anything of the kind,' Sophie retorted. But she had to speak between his kisses, and the blood was rushing in her veins, like molten gold being poured into a new mould, a new shape.
Then she remembered Maisie. Before he could stop her, she slid away from him, rose to her slender, shaky legs, and ran down the moist sand to the sea.
The warm water enveloped her, too warm and too salt to do much in the way of rinsing away her emotions, but at least she had escaped from the drowning maelstrom of Kyle's lovemaking.
For the time being.
The rhythm of the Caribbean surf was the most soothing sound Sophie had ever known. It was so different from the pounding of the North Sea, that gravelly hammering she had listened to all her childhood on the North Yorkshire coast; and different, too, from the peaceful lap-lapping of the Mediterranean, the only other sea she'd known.
Lying on her back in the baking sun, her eyes shut behind the opaque sunglasses, she had been listening to the alternate rush and hiss of the ocean waves all morning, wrapped in a world of peace and warmth.
Now and then there had been the distant voices of other people sharing this Jamaican morning; but the exclusive San Antonio Hotel owned the whole white sweep of beach, and since Sophie had walked almost half a mile from the hotel to find the most sheltered spot in it, encircled by rocks and sheltered from the breezes, she'd had the surf and the sun and the sand all to herself all morning.
She hoped it was going to be like this every day for the next three weeks.
For a single girl in her early twenties to have chosen to spend a three-week holiday by herself in Ocho Rios, on the beautiful north coast of Jamaica, was slightly unusual. But then, Sophie Aspen was a slightly unusual person. And she'd had strong reasons for choosing this kind of break.
After less than four days of her holiday, Sophie was already starting to tan a rich golden-brown. Her slim body, as she lay completely relaxed in her black bikini, might have served as a mouth-watering image for some lavish advertisement.