At the entrance to the cave of the dark magician, the music from a vast ocean rose and fell and rose again. Mysterious shadows swirled and danced in the dim light shed by the lanterns. The air held the scent of the ocean and smoke from the fire left to die in the living room fireplace. A drift of mist rose from the heated water into the cold air, momentarily distorting the magician's face. The heat that coiled through her body and made her skin prickle had nothing to do with the water temperature.
He moved again and his face now lay in shadow. His shoulders, broad, bare and heavily muscled rose from the shifting dark warmth that surrounded them. Carrie swallowed against a sudden constriction in her throat. Her heart hammered in her chest.
His spell was cast and, from the moment she had stepped out onto the deck, she had been caught in its magical, beguiling threads. Her common sense desperately tried to fight free and so she asked questions, yet paid no attention to the answers. She tried to carry on a normal conversation, yet had no clue what words actually left her mouth. And all the while, the threads drew tighter and tighter and her willpower seeped from her.
The argument in her head was like a ping-pong match. She should never have taken up the hot tub invitation. She had known exactly what it might mean. Yet the burning need in her to repeat The Kiss couldn't be denied.
This was utterly crazy. She needed her head examined.
It was divine, wonderful, exhilarating.
He was her boss and she ran the risk of a broken heart and of losing her job.
Her life held enormous complications.
So did his.
If she allowed herself to be enticed into this dark cave, there could be only one possible outcome. And that was the biggest problem of all.
She made one last attempt to hold on to her sanity. Pressing herself back against the wall of the hot tub, she asked in a voice that wasn't steady at all, "What about the kiss?"
"What about the kiss?" He loomed closer. Wisps of steam curled off his shoulders. His eyes gleamed, their dark message compelling. His hands settled on either side of her thighs, effectively imprisoning her, though he still didn't touch her. "Did you think about the kiss at all today?"
The words washed over her, seductive and powerful. She closed her eyes to shield herself against his expression, but instead saw the image of his face last night right before he kissed her. In desperation, she tried to summon a lie. She opened her mouth but the word that came out wasn't the one she intended to utter.