The Sicilian's Marriage Arrangement(12)

By: Lucy Monroe

Enthusiasm did not take six months to act, but she was too busy trying not to melt into a puddle of feminine need at his feet to tell him so. “Luciano?” she finally got out.

He spun her around to face him. “Spend the evening with me, cara. You know you want to.”

“David was right. You are arrogant.”

“I am also right.”

She would have argued, but he kissed her. The moment his lips touched hers, she was lost. His mouth moved on hers with expert effect, drawing forth a response she could not hide or control. She allowed his tongue inside her mouth after the first gentle pressure applied to the seam of her lips.

He tasted like she remembered. Hot. Spicy. Masculine.

When he pulled away, she was too lost in her own sensual reaction to his kiss to even notice he was leading her anywhere. It wasn’t until he stopped at the waiting limo and rapped out instructions to the ever-present security team, that she once again became aware of her surroundings.

Mary, mother of Joseph, it was just like at the party.

He could have done anything to her and she would have let him. She was also aware that while she’d been completely lost to reality, he had been in absolute control.

She tried to tell herself she was letting him hand her into the car because she didn’t relish riding public transport alone at night in a foreign country. But she knew the truth. If she didn’t sit down soon, she’d fall down. Her legs were like jelly and no way did she want him realizing that betraying fact.

Inside the car, she fiddled nervously with the strap of her brightly colored shoulder bag. It had a pattern of bright yellow and orange sunflowers all over it. She’d bought it so that it would be easily spotted among the other ladies’ bags on the tour, but it looked gauche sitting on the cool leather seat of the ultra-luxurious limo.

She was also positive that her casual lemon yellow sundress and flat leather sandals were not de rigueur for the types of restaurants he frequented.

“I think it would be best if you took me back to my hotel,” she said at the same time as he asked, “Are you enjoying your holiday?”

Her eyes met Luciano’s in the well-lit interior of the car. Apparently neither one of them wanted to discuss the recent kiss.

His intense gaze mesmerized her. “I do not wish to take you back to your hotel.”

“I’m not dressed for dinner out.” She indicated her casual, day worn clothes with a wave of her hand.

“You look fine.”

She snorted in disbelief. “Where are we eating, a hot dog stand?”

“I do not think they have those in Athens, cara.”

“You know what I mean.”

She didn’t even want to think how her hair looked. She’d long ago given up trying for a chic hairstyle and wore her natural curls in an only slightly tamed riot. Most of the time it suited her, but she could imagine that after spending the day tramping the streets of Athens it probably looked like she’d never brushed her hair in her life.

“You must trust me, piccola. I would not embarrass you.”

That was rich, coming from him.

“Now, please, won’t you tell me how you are finding your holiday? I remember you looked forward to it very much.”

He had closed the privacy window between them and the front seat and turned on the tiny lights that ran the entire length of the roof, giving off a surprisingly illuminating glow. A glow that cast his features in stark relief. The genuine interest reflected in his expression prompted her to answer.

“It’s been wonderful.”

“And what has been your favorite stop so far?”

She couldn’t believe a man of his extensive experiences would truly be interested in her first taste of Europe, but she answered nonetheless. “I really can’t say.” She smiled, remembering all the incredible things she’d seen. “I’ve loved every moment. Well, maybe not the airports, but David and the others have made the waiting around in drab terminals fun.”

Luciano frowned at the mention of David’s name. “It is not serious between you two?”

“If it were, you put a spanner in the works tonight, didn’t you?” She might have preferred that spanner, but he didn’t know that and his behavior had been unreasonable.

He did not look in the least bit guilty. “He implied you might come back to his room tonight. Are you sleeping with him?”

“That’s none of your business!”

He leaned over her, the big torso of his six feet, four inch body intimidating at such close range. Suddenly he didn’t remind her of just any old jaguar, but a hungry one intent on hunting his prey and moving in for the kill.