‘You don’t have to worry, Luca,’ she told him tenderly. ‘I’m not made of porcelain and neither is our baby! This is perfectly natural and right and you won’t hurt me. Just make love to me…now…please…’

To hear Katherine’s entreaty for him to make love to her made Luca’s heart soar to the heavens. It laid to rest some of the dark ghosts that had haunted him since Sophia had died…that had made him believe he would never know love or happiness with a woman again. Destiny—and Luca absolutely believed it was indeed destiny—had brought this lovely woman to his door, and he would be eternally grateful to the universe for its divine intervention. The sight of the ultrasound picture of their baby had made his heart throb with profound joy and gratitude. It had heightened the already powerful emotions he experienced whenever he was with Katherine.

Seeing her sensational sable hair displayed on the pillow behind her now, and with the uninhibited pleasure in her beautiful face as he started to move inside her, he felt proud, possessive and fiercely protective. His whole body was consumed with burning need for her. She had assured him he wouldn’t hurt her, but still a part of him was conscious that she carried their growing baby inside her, and so he took extra care not to allow his powerful need to run away with him.

The muscles in his arms straining like corded ropes from his effort to maintain control, Luca relaxed against Katherine a little to stroke his palms over her velvet-soft breasts. They fascinated and enthralled him with their darkened caramel tips, and he filled his hands with their lush fullness. Giving in to the pure temptation that they wrought, he put his mouth to them again as he drove himself as deep as he dared into Katherine’s sweet, hot satin centre. Her skin tasted like the most delicious dessert wine he’d ever sampled, and the evocative, heart-stopping pleasure that drenched him as her scalding heat enfolded him was like a star exploding in its dazzling intensity. It took him to the very brink of his carefully imposed self- control and left him trembling.

‘Let go, my love,’ Katherine coaxed, her breath warm and silky against his mouth. ‘You don’t have to wait…let go.’

Her hips thrust upwards to meet Luca’s and she wrapped her firm, shapely legs around his waist. He murmured something…he barely knew what…. The intensity of the erotic fire that engulfed him had actually for a moment made him lose his mind. Incredibly, even as he surrendered to Katherine’s sensual entreaty, in the same instant Luca felt her tight, hot muscles grip harder around him, then flex and grip again. She gasped, and squeezed her eyelids closed as he pumped urgently into her.

Never before had he and a lover reached the peak of their satisfaction together, at the same time, and the sensations the experience aroused in him were amazing…beyond incredible! He was filled with awe and love for this wonderful woman in his arms. And the thought that they were going to have a child together made Luca’s cup of happiness overflow. ‘Ti amo… Ti amo, Katherine!’ As he held her face between his hands, every lovely feature she possessed became infinitely dear to him. ‘You have to agree to be my wife!’ he told her passionately. ‘Tell me that you will marry me!’

‘Yes, Luca… I will marry you!’

He frowned. ‘I do not take your answer for granted. I want you to be absolutely sure that it is what you want.’

‘Did you not hear what I just said?’ Now it was Katherine’s turn to frown, but her expression was almost instantly replaced by a smile brighter than the Mediterranean sunshine. ‘All I know is that I might lose my mind if I don’t marry you, Luca! Don’t you know by now that you’re the one I’ve been waiting for all my life?’

‘I am sorry I did not trust you as I should have done when you returned to me! In future I will have no doubt about your loyalty—now I know you love me! So…what would you like from me as a wedding present, hmm?’

Lifting a coil of her lustrous hair and curling it round his finger, Luca allowed himself to genuinely relax. If he was the one she had been waiting for all her life, then Luca echoed that statement. Now he was anxious for them to start married life with a completely fresh page—all past mistakes and misunderstandings erased and wholeheartedly forgiven.

‘What about a new house?’ he suggested. ‘I will design one especially to your taste…here or in London. I do not mind where.’

Katherine appeared momentarily troubled. ‘I don’t need you to design me a new house, Luca…although the thought is wonderful! I want to fill this house with the sound of our children’s laughter…just as you said you once longed to do! It is a beautiful house, and I know I will grow to love it. After all…this is the place where we conceived our baby, and it will always be special to me.’

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