“Let me go!” She twisted, using her hands to beat at his shoulders. “I have to pack. I won’t be manhandled.”

“As my mistress, you do have certain duties,” he whispered, gripping her tightly. “Unless you want to resign?”

“No!”

“Good!” Before she could say more, his mouth closed over hers, his tongue hot and seeking.

Foolish person that she was, her heart began to pound and soon she was melting against him.

“Sometimes I hate myself,” she murmured.

“For what?” His mouth was nibbling her lips as he tore off his shirt and ripped open his jeans.

“For being so easy. For liking this so much. For wanting you so much.”

“For being sexy? Isn’t that the whole point of our affair?”

“You talk too much,” she said.

“So the hell do you.”

She could not wriggle out of her clothes quickly enough.

“Do you want me? Or her?”

He encircled her wrists with his hands and drew her close. “Dammit, who the hell am I with?” he growled. “I told you, my mother invited her. As soon as I saw Céline, I explained that I had other plans and suggested that she take the first train back to Paris. She agreed.”

His black head dipped toward hers, reclaiming her mouth.

Was he telling the truth? Amelia didn’t know.

She only knew that when he laid her down on the oriental carpet and slid inside her, she’d never wanted anything more than him filling her, completing her, loving her. She was so touched by his return and his ardor and his concern that she might be hurt and jealous, tears leaked out of her eyes as he brushed his mouth down her throat, over her breasts.

Maybe he cared about her feelings, but he did not love her.

And he never would. His coming back meant nothing. They had a business arrangement. That was all.

Not that the true nature of their relationship was easy to remember as his kisses deepened and her senses swirled. And when he made love to her, he swept her away to a new dreamlike reality.

When they could breathe again, he carried her to the bed and began sucking her bottom lip as if he had all the time in the world to make love to her a second time.

“You’re not mad at me any longer?” he whispered.

She drew back. “I never was. We will not arouse deep emotions in each other. You will teach, and I will learn.”

“And we will both enjoy.”

“If only temporarily.”

When he caught her closer, her body urged him to take new liberties, even as her heart told her to be cautious.

She was only his mistress for a month. Céline, or someone like her, would win in the end.

“But I have him now,” she whispered to herself after her third climax. “I have him now.”

“What did you say, chérie?” he murmured, his hot breath tickling her ear.

“Nothing important. Nothing the least bit important.”

“I believe you have the makings of a perfect mistress. You just get better and better.”

Smiling, she lay back. Never had she felt more beautiful.

Nine

C ool, soft moonlight glimmered across the surface of the pool. The night smelled of pine and lavender and starlight.

Remy’s manhood was still deeply embedded inside her as she lay beneath him, her naked bottom on the scratchy chaise longue. She sighed, feeling warm and sated from their lovemaking.With a fingertip he slicked a tendril of her hair back from her hot face. “You work much too hard to be a satisfactory mistress. All those boxes…”

During the past week, she’d packed and organized Aunt Tate’s clothes all day, and then every night he’d come and they’d made love, swum and had dinner. She hadn’t thought of the beautiful Céline waiting in the wings too often, but when she had, she’d told herself she was just being realistic, that this month with Remy meant nothing beyond her original intention. She was learning to be sexy, and that was all.

“If I’m to leave in a month, I must get certain things done,” Amy said, trying to keep her tone casual.

“You said you wanted to be my mistress. I have business in Cannes—a villa in need of some rather extensive repairs. I need to go inspect the job and talk to the engineer. Because of you I’ve delayed going too long. A real mistress would accompany me.”

“Who will pack Aunt Tate’s things?”

Caressing her hair with his hands, he kissed her throat, causing her pulse to beat madly.

“Cannes is much too crowded this time of year. Too many English. Too many tourists looking for bargains. Certain friends of mine have told me they’ll be there, and that they want to see me. A dutiful mistress would accompany her lover.” He lowered his voice. “I swear—the trip would be unbearable without your delightful company.”

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