She moved toward him and boldly traced her fingers over his shoulders, down his broad back. She cupped his hips, his thighs and, last of all, his erection. His entire body was hot. He was fully aroused.

“Am I beautiful?” she whispered. “I do so want to be beautiful for you.”

With a groan, his arms wrapped her close. His mouth sought hers in a long, demanding kiss that made her body tighten and quiver.

“Yes, dammit, you’re beautiful.”

Lifting her gently, he carried her through the house to her bedroom.

Seven

A callused fingertip ran the length of her body in the velvet dark. Only dimly did she hear the rain beating against the stone walls and roof tiles and racing off the roof into the gutters. Blasts of lightning shot the night with fire. Not that she could see much blindfolded. And only vaguely was she aware of the bursts of thunder.

“They say that the blind are more sensitive to touch,” he’d whispered when he’d locked her in her bedroom.Amy’s eyes were still covered by a strip of black silk. She was naked, and her arms were stretched above her head and tied loosely with a long, white, silken scarf. Why had she let him tie her up?

Why not? He was the teacher. This was his lesson plan.

“If you’re going to be sexy, we must break down your inhibitions. You must be wild and free and willing to try things you’ve never tried,” he’d told her.

“Like making love in the rain out by the pool.”

“If the lightning stops,” he promised.

Her ankles were wide apart and tied by scarves at each corner of the bed. His head was lodged between her open thighs, his tongue tracing silky, satin circles and delving deeply inside her, tasting her essence.

For an hour she’d lain helplessly beneath him as his mouth and tongue had roamed her body, licking the soles of her feet and between her toes, licking her in the most intimate places until she’d become a wanton, quivering mass of flaming female sensation. When she cried out, feeling hot, on the edge, ready to explode beneath his next kiss or flick of his tongue, he slowed his exquisite torture.

“Don’t stop. Please,” she begged.

“Anticipation,” he murmured, kissing her secret femininity, “is everything. Sex is mainly in the mind, you know.”

“You’re killing me.”

He eased himself higher along her body. “No, I’m loving you. I want you to know how totally, how completely sexy you are.” He kissed her temple and she quivered. Then he gently kissed her lips. “You are the most responsive woman I’ve ever known.”

“But I’m afraid.”

“I won’t hurt you. Though sometimes a little fear enhances the thrill.”

“Kiss me. Hold me,” she pleaded.

His mouth found hers. Their lips and tongues joined, tasted. In utter bliss at the taste of him, she sighed. He settled down on top of her, his hips aligning themselves over hers before he slowly entered her.

His skin was even wetter and hotter than her own as he hovered above her, barely moving, each stroke expert. Suddenly he plunged harder, and she was screaming and weeping. When she began to writhe, he exploded. With a cry, she tore the scarves loose, and her hands clutched his shoulders.

“Yes,” she whispered, wrapping her legs around his waist and arching herself upward. “Yes.”

He buried himself even more deeply when she shuddered and dug her nails into his back.

Afterward, as he lay on top of her, his shaft still buried inside her, she reveled in the utter completeness she felt to be thus joined to him and held by him.

She’d missed him so much. How was that possible?

He kissed her brow, her cheeks, her eyelids and lashes, even the tip of her nose, muttering low, sweet words in French that she only partially understood.

“You could be insulting me and I’d never know.”

“You’d know. And I’m not insulting you.”

“I didn’t think you were.”

His stomach grumbled.

“Hungry?” she whispered.

“You did say dinner at eight o’clock sharp? And even for a Provençal, we’re long past that hour.”

“Oh, yes, dinner.” She got up slowly. “And I was thinking about making love in the rain.”

“With a mind like that you damn sure don’t need me to teach you to be sexy.”

“Oh, but I do.”

They dressed, and he followed her into the kitchen where he surprised her by proving that he could be as useful behind the stove as in her bed.

Together they chopped fresh vegetables and made pizza—or rather, three pizzas, mushroom, cheese and anchovy. He tossed a salad while she put the finishing touches on a steaming casserole of roasted chicken and mushrooms that she’d prepared earlier.

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