"When are we going to drop the bombs?"
Piper Madison's head snapped up at the question asked in a small boy's high-pitched tone. The dark-haired moppet, who could not be more than five, looked at the male flight attendant with earnest interest.
Glowing with embarrassed humor, his mother laughed softly. "He hasn't quite got the hang of not all planes being geared to war. His grandfather took him to an aeronautical museum and he fell in love with the B-52 bomber."
She turned to her son and explained for what was clearly not the first time that they were on a passenger plane going to visit Grandma and Grandpa. The little boy looked unconvinced until the first-class cabin flight attendant added his agreement to the mother's. Small shoulders drooped in disappointment and Piper had to stifle a chuckle.
There had been a time not so many years ago that her fondest hopes included being in that exasperated mother's place. Those dreams had died along with her marriage and she had accepted that. She had. Yet as much as she wished they didn't, those old hopes still caused a small pang in the region of her heart in moments like this.
But dreams of children definitely had no chance of resurrection in her current situation.
Trying to let the low-level background hum created by the plane's engines soothe nerves already stretched taut, Piper leaned back in her seat and looked away from the domestic tableau.
It didn't work. Despite her best efforts, her heart rate increased as anticipation of her arrival in Athens thrummed through her. She couldn't stop herself looking out the window, her eyes eagerly seeking evidence of the airport.
For hours it had been nothing but a blanket of cloud with the occasional break where the peaks of the Alps crept through. It had been a while since she spotted the last peak and she knew they were almost to their Athens destination. Less than an hour from seeing him. Zephyr Nikos. Her current boss and part-time bed partner.
She was more than a little keen to see the man and the place of his birth. Besides, who didn't want to visit paradise?
For that's where they were ultimately headed, a small Greek island that at one time had been the vacation home of a fabulously wealthy Greek family. Not so flush now, the patriarch had sold the island to Stamos & Nikos Enterprises. Zephyr and his partner, Neo Stamos, planned to develop it as an all-inclusive spa resort. And she'd been given the interior design contract for the entire facility, with a budget large enough to bring in whatever kind of help she needed to see it to completion.
She was beyond excited about being brought in at the ground level on such an expansive project. It would be an amazing coup for her business, but satisfying personally on a creative level as well. Even so, her current heightened sense of anticipation was predominantly for the man who waited for her there.
She had spent the last six weeks missing Zephyr with an ache that scared her when she let herself think about it. She should not be so emotionally dependent on a man who was only sort of her lover.
She bit her lip on a sigh.
They were involved sexually, but not romantically. They weren't anything as simple as casual sex partners. That would be too easy. She'd know exactly how to handle her one-sided emotional entanglement then. But they were friends, too. Good friends. The kind of friends that hung out at...