A Greek Escape - By Elizabeth Power


‘THAT’S IT! THAT’s the one we want! Stop wasting time, you idiot, and take it!’ The camera clicked the second before the bird took off from its rock and flapped away over the crystalline water. ‘Didn’t think I’d let you get away, did you?’

From her vantage point on the rocky hillside overlooking the shingle beach Kayla Young swung round with a swish of long blonde hair, embarrassed that someone might have overheard her. There was nothing but a warm wind, however, passing over the craggy scrubland, and the relentless sun beating down from a vividly azure sky, and Kayla’s shoulders drooped in relief.

She wasn’t sure when she had first started talking to herself. Perhaps coming away all by herself to this lovely island wasn’t doing much for her sanity, she thought, grimacing. Or perhaps it was a defence mechanism against the knowledge that today, back in England, the man she had thought she’d be spending her life with was an hour away from marrying someone else.

The wounds of betrayal were no longer so raw but the scars remained, and in defiance of them Kayla brought the SLR’s viewfinder to eye level again. Only her clamped jaw revealed the tension in her as, silently now, she appraised the beauty around her.

Misty blue mountains. Translucently clear water. Surprisingly hunky Greek…

She’d been following a line inland, coming across the deserted beach, but now Kayla brought her viewfinder back to the shoreline in a swift doubletake.

Bringing her camera down, she could see him clearly without the aid of the zoom lens, and she found herself homing in on him with her naked eyes.

Black wavy hair—which would have been way past his collar had he been wearing one—fell wildly against the hard bronze of his neck. In a black T-shirt and pale blue jeans he was pulling fishing tackle from the wooden boat he had recently beached, and from the contoured muscles of his arms, and the way the dark cotton strained across his wide muscular chest, Kayla instantly marked him as a man who worked with his hands. A battered old truck was parked close to her rock, on the road just above the beach, and as the man started walking towards it—towards her—Kayla couldn’t take her eyes off him.

For some reason she couldn’t quite fathom she lifted her camera to zoom in on him again, and felt an absurd and reckless excitement in her secret survey. A few days’ growth of stubble gave a striking cast to an already strong jaw, mirroring the strength in his rugged features. They were the features of a man toughened by life—a man who looked as fit as he was hard. A man not much more than thirty, who would probably demand his own way and get it—because there was determination in that face, Kayla recognised, as well as pride and arrogance in the way he carried himself, in the straight, purposeful stride of those long legs.

A man one definitely wouldn’t want to mess with, she decided, with a curious little tingle down her spine.

She could see it all in every solid inch of him—in the curve of his tanned forehead and those thick winged brows that were drawing together now in a scowl because…

Dear heaven! he was looking up! He had seen her! Seen her pointing the camera straight at him!

As her agitated finger accidentally clicked the shutter closed she realised the camera had caught him—and, as he shouted something out, she realised that he was aware of it too.

She stood stock-still for a second as he quickened his stride; saw him moving determinedly in her direction.

Oh, my goodness! Suddenly she was pivoting away with the stark realisation that he was giving chase.

Why she was running, Kayla didn’t know. Surely, she thought, it would have been better to stand her ground and brazen it out? Except that she hadn’t felt like brazening anything out with a man who looked so angry. And anyway, what could she have said? You caught my eye as I was sizing up the view and I couldn’t stop looking at you.

That would really have been asking for trouble, she assured herself, with her blood pounding in her ears and her legs feeling heavy. She darted an anxious glance back over her shoulder and saw the man was gaining on her now, along the stony uphill path that led to the safety of the villa.

And why had she been looking at him anyway? she reprimanded herself. She had had enough of men