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Jed Sabbides shifted restlessly in his seat. The plane was beginning its descent, and not before time. A certain part of his anatomy was stirring at the thought of the delectable Phoebe waiting for him in London. He had planned to be in New York for three weeks, but had cut short his trip by a day and rearranged his schedule to work from the London office tomorrow to get back to her.
He had to be in Greece by Saturday evening for his father's birthday, and with the level of frustration he was feeling he had decided after a business lunch that only one night with Phoebe was not going to be enough A couple of telephone calls and the Sabbides company jet had been waiting for him at Kennedy Airportthe five-hour time difference between the two continents was for once a blessing.
A frown marred his broad brow. When had he ever changed his schedule for a woman? Never The answer made him slightly uneasy, and his thoughts drifted back to the first time he had met Phoebe
Exiting the elevator on the ground floor of the hotel he was staying at while he assessed the place with a view to purchase, Jed glanced at the girl walking across the foyer and paused for a moment, his dark eyes lingering in appreciation on her feminine form.
She was about five-eight, with pale blonde hair that fell in soft waves to her slender shoulders. Her profile was exquisite, and the sombre black skirt and white shirt she wore did nothing to distract from her shapely figure as she seemed to glide across the marble floor on a pair of legs that would make any red-blooded male's imagination go into overdrive.
His arrested gaze followed her as she stepped behind the reception desk and then turned with a smile for an approaching guest. Her smile took his breath away. His attraction was instant, and shockingly physical. He was without a woman at the time, and in that moment he decided the girl was going to be his, not for a second contemplating failure.
He approached the reception desk and asked if she could recommend a good restaurant. She tilted back her head, the better to look at him, and he realised she was even more beautiful up close. His fascinated gaze took in the delicate lines of her oval-shaped facethe creamy skin, the full mouth, and the brilliant blue eyes that now met his. He smiled and held her gaze, and her eyes widened in instinctive female recognition of his masculine interest. She actually blushed. Later he would learn why she did that.
Phoebe in the Greek language meant shining, brilliant, and she was all that and morebeautiful with a perfect body and a quick mind.
He asked her to have dinner with him that night. Amazingly she refused, stating she was not allowed to date guests, but he charmed her into telling him she only worked there at weekends to supplement her income while studying Politics and History at University.
He duly checked out, returning the next day to ask Phoebe again for a date and she agreed.
He had never met a woman yet who had turned him downusually they chased himand it was a novel experience, having to wait over a month before he got her into bed.
Mainly because Phoebe shared a house with three other studentstwo girls Kay and Liz, and the third a guy called Johnshe had virtually no privacy. But she flatly refused to dine with Jed in the suite he kept in one of the family-owned London hotels. Her excuse was that she would feel uncomfortable, having seen the kind of women who accompanied men to their rooms for only a few hours in the hotel where she worked.
She was a few weeks short of twenty-one, and her youth worried him a little. He could not decide if her concern was genuine modesty or if, like most women, she was angling for more than he was prepared to offer.
It was sheer coincidence, when entering the Empire Casino in the heart of London one night after Phoebe had left him frustrated yet again, that he met an old poker buddy of his and found the solution to his problem. The man had just been knocked out of the World Serious Poker Tournament, which was taking place in the casino at the time, and over a drink told him he was going to America and wanted someone to caretake his London apartment and his cat Marty while he was away.
Casually Jed told Phoebe the story, and asked if she was interested in the job. He introduced her to his friend, and when the cat purred and wrapped itself around her ankles she agreed.
It was a win-win situation all round, and finally Jed got further than a goodnight kiss. But even then she kept him waiting another few days!
It was a coincidentally novel solution, and a bit devious, he knewbut Jed was a cynic where the female of the species was concerned, and knew it was well worth the wait.
Pheobe surprised himshe was actually a virgin, a first for himbut amazingly she was the most eager and most incredibly responsive lover he had ever had
That had been twelve months ago, he suddenly realised another first for him. He had never kept a lover so long in all his thirty years.
With his experience of women he had long ago realised wealth was his main attraction to any female, and given his father was now married for the fourth time it was hardly surprising.
Not that it mattered to Jed. By the age of twenty-five he'd become a multi-millionaire in his own rightcourtesy of the internet at first, as a student at university having played poker on line, and then he had moved on to trading on the financial markets. Essentially another form of gambling, but one that made better use of his brilliant mind. He'd set up his own company, JS Investments, and never looked back.
At his father's request he had agreed to join the family firm while keeping on with his own business, and had soon virtually taken over the running of the Sabbides Corporation, which had for decades specialised in hotels as well as other areas of the leisure industry. The company was now incredibly successful, but Jed's relationship with his fatheralways strainedhad become increasingly bad.
If his father had taught Jed anything it was that marriage was not for him, and he kept his sex-life strictly separate from his business and family. No relationship lasted more than a few monthseight had been the longest until Phoebe. He certainly didn't believe in marriage, and he had told Phoebe most explicitly at the start. She had laughed at him and told him marriage was the last thing on her mind. She was determined to get a good degree, then start her career and hopefully travel the world.
On their first date, when she had asked what he did, he had simply said he was a businessman and travelled between offices in London, Athens and New York. But later her friend Liz had told her that mentions in the press referred to him as a 'Greek Tycoon'a description he abhorred.
Yet it did not seem to influence Phoebe at all. In the time they had been together she had never hinted at commitment, never asked him for anything, and he was pretty sure she had no hidden agenda. He had nothing to worry about. One year or two, as long as the passion lasted Phoebe was his.
Seven weeks ago she had completed her degree, and the graduation ceremony had been last week. She had invited him to attend and told him her aunt was coming as well. He avoided meeting members of his women-friends' family if possible, and had said he would try to make it. As he'd been in New York at the time he'd had the perfect excuse not to go
He had called Phoebe on the morning of the ceremony and wished her luck. She had been fineespecially after he'd mentioned he had a special surprise for her. Maybe she wasn't so different from the other women he had known, he thought cynically.
He often bought her gifts, and she was grateful and showed it in bed. This time he had bought her a spectacular diamond necklacebecause if he was honest he did feel slightly guilty at missing her graduation. And now he was a day early, which he knew without conceit would please Phoebe.
The thought made him smile in a way that was all male sensual anticipation
The plane landed and Jed stood up, shrugged on his jacket and straightened his tie. Tall, broad-shouldered, dark-haired and strikingly attractive, he was the epitome of the super-rich successful alpha male. He picked up his laptop and, with a goodbye to the smiling flight attendant, exited the aircraft.
Phoebe turned off the shower and stepped out of the cubicle. It was nine in the evening, and she wanted an early night so she would be totally rested and ready for Jed's arrival tomorrow night.
Her stomach fluttered at the thought
She glanced at her reflection in the mirrored wall as she reached for a bath sheet from the towel rail to wrap around her slender body. Slender for how much longer? she wondered, with a growing sense of elation tinged with slight concern.
She had yet to tell her boyfriend Jed she was pregnant
Jed Sabbides was a successful financier, and also the power behind the throne of the Sabbides Corporation. Phoebe had suspected from the beginning that he was wealthy, simply by his supremely confident attitude which was why at first she had been wary of him. He'd seemed so far out of her league, but now she was hopelessly in love for the first time in her life. Her flatmate Liz had told her the full extent of his mind-boggling wealth, at the same time as she'd tried to warn Phoebeafter she'd been offered the job of taking care of this apartment last summerthat Jed was setting her up to be nothing more than his live-in lover in London
Liz had been proved wrong
True, within days of her moving into this apartment they had become lovers, but they did not live together
Jed respected her, and stayed at a permanent suite at a deluxe hotel the Sabbides Corporation owned when working in London, while having an apartment on her own had allowed Phoebe to study hard in her final year at university.
Despite Jed's wealth they were just like any other couple in love, she told herself. They occasionally went out to dinner, or a film, and after their relationship had become intimate he'd often stayed overnightif pressure of work allowed, sometimes more than one night. Jed had left a few items of clothing here over the year, but he definitely did not live here. He travelled a lotas Phoebe knew to her cost when she lay aching for him in the big bed at night but she had the compensation of the ginger cat Marty to keep her company when he was gone.
Jed rarely discussed business with her, but it had not taken her many months to realise he was a workaholic and split his time between two continents. But on the bright side he had once told her he had an older sister, who was married with two young girls whom he adored, so he obviously liked childrena positive sign, surely. He would want their baby just as much as she did, she was convinced
Phoebe had met Jed when he was a guest at the hotel where she'd worked as a receptionist, and her life had changed from that moment. She had glanced up at the sound of his deep, slightly accented voice, looked into his gleaming dark eyes and been transfixed. He was the most gorgeous man she had ever seen. Then he had smiled at her, and every nerve in her body had tingled with an excitement she had never felt before. Incapable of looking away, she had blushed scarlet.
Twelve months later the sight of him and the sound of his voice still excited her beyond beliefand sometimes still made her blush
Phoebe Brownmaybe soon Phoebe Sabbides, she thought, lost in a daydream of the future. Snagging a handtowel from the rail, she bent her head and began to towel-dry her hair.
'Aghh!' she yelled, blinded by the towel as a large hand grasped her bare shoulder. 'What the heck?' she exclaimed as she was spun round and held at arm's length.
The towel fell from her hands, her hair forgotten, as she looked up at Jed, her heart leaping in her chest. Tall, dark and handsome did not do him justicehe was so much more than that. He had a dynamic vitality about hima presence that drew the eye of men and women alike wherever he wentespecially the woman. And why not? Phoebe thought, eagerly drinking in the sight of him. He was magnificent.
'Jedit is you.'
'I should hope so.' He grinned down at her. 'Who else would you welcome in your bathroom?' he mocked.
Then his hands slipped from her shoulders to unwrap the towel from her body, his laughing eyes darkening as they roamed hungrily over her shapely form.
'Now, thisthis is what I have dreamed of for weeks.' His gaze lingered on the proud thrust of her full breasts, the rose-tipped nipples tightening beneath his gaze. 'But the reality exceeds my wildest dreams.'
Phoebe tilted her head back further. He had shed his jacket and tie and unfastened the first few buttons of his shirt, revealing the tanned column of his throat and a hint of black curling body hair. A slow, appreciative smile parted her full lips.
'Ah, Jed I've missed you so much.' She sighed, and was gathered into his arms. His dark head dipped and his mouth covered hers. She wrapped her arms around his neck and they kissed with all the pent-up hunger and need that had built up over the time they had been apart.
His hands stroked down her back, and when they had to break for breath his head dipped lower, to capture one pert nipple into the heat of his mouth, licking and suckling as he tipped her backwards over a strong arm and delivered the same incredible pleasure to its partner.
'Damn, Phoebe, I can't wait,' he groaned.
She ran a hand through his thick hair and slid the other through the opening of his shirt, desperate to feel again the warmth of his bronzed skin and the pebble-like nipples half hidden in crisp curls. She saw the flush over his high cheekbones, the gleaming brown eyes deep black pools of desire, and she stroked her hand lower. Her fingers traced the rock-hard outline of his arousal through the fabric of his pants and she knew exactly what he meant.