Page 4 of The Amalfi Bride

I don’t know his name. He hasn’t even spoken to me and I want to make love to him like an animal.

Still, she knew his voice was low and deep and thick with amusement, because she’d heard him talking to the girls at the table next to his earlier.

In her real life across the Atlantic Ocean, she would have wanted to know where Adonis had gone to school, what were his life plans, who was his family. But this half-naked girl with the gardenia in her hair felt more than thought.

She was beginning to become a little scared. It was as if vital pieces of her being were rushing toward him and he was claiming all as his due. The hunger to be in his arms, to kiss him, to taste him, to know passion, real passion, maybe for the first time in her life, kept intensifying.

So, if he were a G-word guy, did that mean he could be hers…for a night? If she was willing to meet his price? Or did he just service a privileged few?

Blood rushed from her head.

But what about those eight precious vials of E-321’s you-know-what stored at the sperm bank? What about E-321’s picture and profile taped to her fridge? What about Lucy—brilliant, well-meaning Lucy—and their plan to raise their children together as siblings?

A sexy stranger was not for a health nut and control freak like Regina, either! She might catch something.

No. Something told her she wouldn’t.

Maybe she’d gone without sex for too long. Maybe it was the voluptuous, naked statues dotting the landscape and decorating the palazzos all over Italy that had her hormones hot to conceive the old-fashioned way.

Regina believed sex was for committed relationships and marriage. Period.

What about for procreation? whispered the hormones. You’re thirty-three and single and nearly too old.

You should be married, whispered another voice. All her life, Regina had been known for her brains, her old-fashioned morals, her perfectionism, her goal-setting abilities, and her quick decisions. What if she let herself go just this once?

Her lips parted. She nudged her skirt above her knee and waited for life to happen. How exactly did one go about hiring a gigolo anyway—if he was a gigolo?

Was there some secret signal? Should she lift her skirt even higher? Or maybe lower her lashes and wink seductively? Or should she walk over to the bar, open her purse and show him the money? Or should she just sit here and wait for him to make the move, whatever that was?

Last night he’d followed her into this same bar. Only, when he’d started to flirt, she’d run out and hidden behind some chestnut trees. He’d rushed outside and looked for her while she’d held her breath, frantic he’d find her. Finally, he’d given up and kayaked out to Simonetta, the mega yacht moored some distance from shore, where he must have spent the night.

With a woman? A client? The older lady in veils? Her thoughts made Regina feel slightly nauseated.

One moment, the object of her affections was leaning back against the bar, sipping his beer while studying the magnificent white yacht with a rather keen interest. The next, his gaze swept the room and fastened on her again.

She met his eyes. With a fingertip, she teased her skirt higher. Her lips parted. Spellbound, dry-throated, she did not look away.

His gold necklace flashed with the last of the sun’s rays. A gift from a client? From the woman in the Ferrari? Or the one on the yacht? How many women were there? She had a prejudice against guys who wore gold necklaces.

Did one tip a gigolo? Would he tell her the rules? As an attorney, she had a natural interest in all contracts.

When he kept staring at her, the two girls giggled at the little table near his and then glanced at her, too knowingly. Doubtless, they were locals and knew his profession and read her intentions.

Was she that obvious?

When the girls frowned, Regina felt her cheeks heat and her pulse race.

Maybe she should rethink this. When she tried to stand up to leave, her legs felt too weak to hold her. She sagged against her table. Then her waiter scurried over with an icy flute of sparkling champagne. He said something in rapid, nasal Italian, which was beyond her minimal knowledge of the language and pointed to her admirer at the bar. When she looked over, Adonis shifted his weight onto his right leg and beamed.

Her heart sped up even faster, and her lacy pink panties trimmed in black lace began to feel damp. She should run out to the taxi stand and hire somebody to take her up to the palazzo where she was staying. She would take a cold shower or a long swim in the pool and then a sleeping pill. She needed to think this through, form a plan.

Instead, she touched the stem of the flute he’d sent over with a manicured fingertip. When she threw back her head, her long brown hair flowing down her back, and began to sip, his mouth curved again. She smiled back just as boldly.

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