Lily gazed at him silently. Her heart was racing and she wanted to feel his lips against hers, experience the mastery of his kiss again. But for a long moment he didn’t move.
‘So have I,’ she whispered, thinking about the time when it had been natural for her to pull him close for a kiss. Before she thought about what she was doing, she leant nearer and pressed a light kiss against his mouth.
For a heartbeat she held her breath. He hadn’t kissed her back. Maybe this wasn’t the way he wanted it to be now. But her lips tingled with the feel of his firm, sensual mouth and she was desperate for him to kiss her properly.
Suddenly Vito began to move and everything seemed to happen at once. His strong hands were under the hem of her full skirt, sliding rapidly up the outside of her legs, making the breath catch in her throat. Then, before she realised what he was doing, he took hold of her hips and lifted her so that she was sitting astride him.
She grabbed hold of his broad shoulders to steady herself as desire flooded through her, pooling at the very centre of her womanhood. Her most sensitive feminine place was now pressed intimately against him. She could feel his erection pushing powerfully against her through his trousers. They were in a perfect position for making love—and sensation stormed through her quivering body, as if that was really what they were doing.
The movement of the boat as it bounced lightly over the waves bumped their bodies together erotically,— and Lily felt her breath coming in shorter and shorter gasps. In a distant, rational part of her mind, she couldn’t believe how aroused she was. He’d barely touched her and he hadn’t even kissed her. Yet her body was on fire.
His hands were still under her skirt, resting on her hips and pulling her into close contact with him. She longed to feel those hands glide across her, but for a moment they stayed perfectly still.
‘I want to touch you all over,’ he murmured as his hands started to move.
Her knees on the seat were supporting her, and there was room for him to slide his hands around the curve of her bottom. She bit the tip of her tongue lightly between her teeth. His fingers left a tingling trail in their wake—but she needed more.
‘Kiss me.’ His words were a command, but suddenly she wondered if he was playing a game with her. A moment ago he hadn’t kissed her back. Would he respond this time? Or would he sit there as cold as stone—despite the fact he knew how turned on she was, and that she could feel how hard he was?
Her position astride him meant that her head was slightly higher than his. She leant forward and brushed her lips lightly over his. He was driving her wild with frustrated sexual need—she’d try to give him a taste of his own medicine.
But as soon as their lips made contact another rush of overwhelming desire stormed her body and, almost as if from a distance, she heard a low, sexy moan emerge from deep within her.
Suddenly Vito lifted his hand and cupped the nape of her neck. He pulled her mouth down roughly to his, and kissed her with a furious passion that matched the pent-up energy burning inside her. His tongue plunged in deeply and she took it willingly, inviting the rough, sensual invasion of her mouth. She wanted to taste him, feel— him. She wanted to be as close to him as possible.
They’d never kissed like this before. All through the many wild or tender nights they’d shared, she had never experienced a kiss so intense. The blood was singing in her ears, blotting out everything but Vito and her overpowering— need to be with him.
Then she felt his other hand push up between them, pulling at the buttons on the front of her dress. A moment later his hand was inside, slipping under the lace of her bra to cup her breast. A deep sigh of pleasure— escaped her, but he kept on kissing, delving deeper with his tongue as his fingers found her nipple and teased it.
Sensation spiralled out from her breast and she finally pulled back from his kiss, gasping for air.
‘Oh, Vito.’ She breathed deeply, feeling her body shuddering against him.
‘You’re ready for me.’ One hand was still inside her bra, doing exquisite things to her breast, and he slipped the other under the curtain of hair that had fallen forward over them. He pushed it behind her shoulder, then pulled her silk wrap closely around her to cover the open front of her dress. ‘And as soon as we are inside I’m going to make you mine, once and for all.’
His words of possession rolled through her body like an incredible promise. She wanted to be his. She’d always been his. From the moment that they’d met he had been the master of her body, able to lift her to heights she had never imagined possible. Able to make her world splinter into a million points of absolute bliss, where nothing mattered but being with Vito.
She made a murmur of protest as he slipped his hand gently from her dress, then she realised that the boat had already slowed down as it wound its way through the canals of the city. In a minute they would be at the palazzo.
The boat glided up to the gothic arch of the water gate, and Vito lifted her from his lap. Her legs were unsteady, and before she realised what he was doing he pulled her wrap tightly around her and swept her up into his arms. A lifetime of watercraft and canals had made him nimble on his feet, and within a moment he had whisked her off the boat and carried her straight up to their bedroom.
HE LAID her on the bed and stood over her, discarding his jacket and tie, before kneeling beside her and finishing off undoing the buttons on her dress.
She gazed up at him, smiling at the way his fringe had fallen forward over his face. She reached up to run her fingers through his luxuriant black hair, while he unbuttoned her dress.
Touching his hair suddenly seemed a curiously intimate thing to do. It was silly to think that, considering what had happened on the boat and what was about to happen. But for that moment she found herself thinking that everything would be all right. She could almost imagine the past six weeks had never happened.
‘I’ve missed this,’ Vito said, slipping her dress off her shoulders and pulling it all the way down under her hips.
He let his gaze wander over her as she lay on the bed dressed in nothing but a lacy bra, French knickers, holdup stockings and high-heeled shoes.
She was gorgeous.
‘You are beautiful,’ he murmured, cupping one breast in each hand. They were deliciously warm beneath his fingers, and he felt her nipples harden instantly— against his palms.
She was moving restlessly on the bed, and he knew it wouldn’t take much to bring her back to a state of heightened arousal. She had been unbelievably responsive to him out on the lagoon, and knowing how he was affecting her had also been a powerful aphrodisiac for him. Not that she’d ever had to do much to turn him on—he’d been hot for her from the moment he’d first laid eyes on her. And tonight he planned to lay more on her than just his eyes. They were to be married, and he would make her his wife in every sense.
With skilful fingers he slipped his hands behind her back to unhook her bra, and as he tossed it to one side he saw her start to tremble again. Her pupils were dilated with her building need, and as she arched her back, thrusting her breasts up towards him, he knew exactly what she wanted.
‘Oh!’Lily cried out as his mouth closed over her nipple. Glorious feelings rippled through her body, as his sinuous tongue worked magic on her tingling flesh. ‘Oh,Vito!’She said his name again. She couldn’t believe she was really here, that this was really happening.Vito was making love to her again, and everything would be as it had been.
His hands were moving over her body, burning a trail wherever they touched, removing her French knickers and stockings, urging her pulse rate up and up.
She lay naked on the bed, breathing raggedly as Vito finally lifted his head to look at her. A knot of sexual excitement twisted inside her as she gazed into his darkened eyes. She knew he wanted her as much as her body was aching for him.
But he was wearing too many clothes. She needed to feel his skin against hers, run her hands over his hard, muscled body. She reached up to undo his shirt.
‘This is good.’ Vito’s voice was husky as he looked down at her fingers struggling with his buttons. ‘I should have remembered—eating out always made you amorous.’
‘No, it didn’t,’ Lily protested, finally tossing his shirt away. Then she paused and stared at him, suddenly thinking back to when they’d lived together. Some of their most romantic evenings had involved an evening out.
‘Ah—now you remember,’ Vito drawled, lazily pulling his black leather belt through the loop on his trousers.
‘It wasn’t eating out,’ Lily replied.
A strangely hollow feeling moved through her as she suddenly realised that it had been more about having his attention. When he’d spent an evening with her—rather than working—it had made her feel special. Wanted. Worthy of him.
When he’d slipped into bed beside her after a night spent in his office she’d always welcomed him into her arms. But it hadn’t been the same. She’d taken pleasure from knowing that he sought comfort in her arms after a long day of work. But it was never the same as when he’d spent time with her.
‘We’ll test it again tomorrow,’ Vito said, his voice tickling her stomach as he leant forward and scattered kisses over her sensitive skin. ‘We’ll go to Luigi’s.’