‘Oh, yes, fiery little one,’ he drawled. ‘You do.’

‘Fiery?’ She lifted her head.

He touched one nipple, then the other, then he trailed his fingers down her spine towards her bottom. ‘Fiery, delicious, peachy—definitely peachy. I knew I was right about that even if I couldn’t understand it at the time.’

‘Right?’ She looked confused. ‘What do you mean?’

He laughed softly. ‘Don’t worry about it. Come here.’

She moved into his arms and not much later he made exquisite love to her in the moonlight, on their raft anchored in the sands of Araby.

Two things Jack touched on during his visits were rather surprising. His latest development project, a retirement village, and the property he’d bought.

‘Not the one with a shed hijacked to hide some vintage vehicles, the one I locked us into?’ she said, her eyes wide with surprise as she unconsciously repeated how he’d described it the last time it had been mentioned between them. ‘I happen to know it’s been sold to a company, Hanson Limited, or something like that.’

‘It’s one of my companies.’

It was a Sunday morning and he’d arrived just as she was starting a late breakfast. He wore a navy tracksuit and running shoes, his hair was windblown and he was glowing with vim and vigour.

‘Good,’ he added as he sat down at her breakfast table. ‘I’m starving.’

‘What have you been doing?’ Maggie asked as she got out more plates and cutlery.

‘A two-mile jog down Main Beach.’

‘Then you might need something more substantial.. like steak and eggs.’ She looked at him humorously.

He scanned the table. There was yoghurt and fruit, rolls and jam and, striking a slightly discordant note, a steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup.

He eyed it. ‘Going for oriental cuisine, Maggie?’

She shrugged. ‘I just get this incredible craving for chicken noodle soup. It can happen to me at any time of the day or night.’

‘Out of a packet?’

‘Oh, no. I make it myself so I can keep the level of salt down and there are no preservatives. I’m taking very good care of your unborn baby, Jack.’

He laughed. ‘I wasn’t suggesting otherwise. Well, don’t let it get cold, I’ll look after myself.’

‘There’s some leg ham and a nice piece of Cheddar in the fridge.’ Maggie lifted a spoonful of soup to her mouth and blew on it gently. ‘Help yourself if you like.’

He raised a wry eyebrow. ‘A continental breakfast? I will, thanks.’

‘So you bought it after all,’ she said when he’d assembled a much larger breakfast and was tucking into it.

‘Mmm… I thought you might be interested. Maisie said you had some good ideas for the house.’

‘I’m sure you could afford to pull it down and start again.’

‘I know you may still cherish the opinion that I delight in destroying landscapes and pulling things down to put up new ones, but in this case I don’t,’ he said mildly. ‘That house has a lot of character and potential.’

Maggie drank her soup, having had the wind somewhat taken out of her sails. Nor was it that that she had against Jack McKinnon any longer, she reminded herself. It was the fact that he could arrive uninvited at her breakfast table, make himself completely at home—well, she had suggested that, but all the same—and, treacherously, it reminded her of all the breakfasts they’d shared at Cape Gloucester.

One particularly came to mind…

‘What will we do today?’

He eyed her seriously. They’d had an early morning swim and she wore her pink bikini with her sarong knotted between her breasts. They were drinking coffee at the breakfast bar.

‘Nothing,’ he said.

‘Nothing?’ She wrinkled her nose at him. ‘How idle!’

‘I didn’t plan to be completely idle. Perhaps decadent would be a better word for it—starting now.’ He put his mug down and carefully untied the knot between her breasts to release her sarong, then he reached round and undid her bikini top.

Maggie looked downwards, entranced and feeling her heart start to beat heavily at the sight of his lean brown hands on her breasts.

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