Except for the heat. Every inch of me felt warm, bursting with fire.

Alejandro pulled me into the shower. He pushed me away from him firmly, and I whimpered.

“Patience,” he said, and I could almost hear his smile. He was still in control. Unlike me...

With agonizing slowness, he washed me in the shower, tangling shampoo in my hair, rubbing soap over my body, scrubbing every inch of me. I felt him stroke my full, naked breasts, my waist, my hips, the soft hair between my legs. I closed my eyes, swaying on my feet. I felt hot and unsteady as he caressed my hair, down my earlobes, my neck. I left handprints in the glass wall of the shower, against the white steam.

Turning me around to face him, he ran his hands down my breasts, over my belly, over my hips and thighs. Hot shooting streams of water poured over us both.

And he knelt before me. Gently parting my thighs, he pressed his face between my legs.

I gasped. His lips were tender and sensual and warm. His tongue slid against me, inside me, the merest breath of a stroke, hot and wet beneath the warm water.

I closed my eyes, pressing my hands against the glass wall behind me.

His hands slid around me, holding me firmly against his mouth. He teased me with the tip of his tongue, soft and light against the most sensitive part of me, then spread me wide and lapped me, until I tossed back my head, slapping my long wet hair against the glass as I shook all over. The hot, steamy water poured over us both as I felt his hands—his tongue—slide over my wet, pink skin.

For an intoxicating eternity, he teased me, bringing me almost to an explosion of pleasure beneath the steamy pulse of the shower, then backing away the very second before I would have exploded into bliss. It might have been seconds or hours, that he seduced me with this sweet torment....

When my need was too much to bear, and I was shaking so hard I could barely breathe with desire, Alejandro turned me around, pressing me against the glass, my bottom resting against his hard, thick length.

“You’re mine,” he growled in my ear. “Say it.”


“I’m yours,” I breathed, pressing my arms against the glass.

“Again.”

“I’m yours!”

“Forever.”

“Forever,” I whispered.

He thrust inside me roughly, deep and hard, and I gasped.

I forgot everything in the overwhelming pleasure of having him inside me. Pleasure was not a big enough word for it. I melted, lost myself, found myself, until he exploded inside me, and I soared.

Afterward, both of us were panting and spent, and he abruptly turned off the water. He opened the shower door and toweled me off. Without a word, he lifted me in his arms and carried me to our enormous bed. Looking back, I saw the trail of water he’d left across his stark floor.

Clinging to my husband’s naked chest as he carried me, I felt as if I were in another time or place. I wondered dreamily about other lovers who’d done this, hundreds of years ago, in this very castle, when the sultan ruled.

Setting me down naked on our bed, he looked down at me. I smiled up at him, blinking tears of emotion, of anger and joy all mixed up together.

Climbing beside me, he held me, kissing my temple tenderly. Our bodies intertwined, his wet skin sliding against mine. My hand stroked the hardness of his chest, laced with dark hair. He held me tight. My eyes were heavy, and started to close.

I’d told him the truth in the shower.

I was his.

Now and forever.

Because I love him....

The realization hit like a bolt of lightning, causing my eyes to fly open.

I was in love with him, and there was something he was keeping from me. A reason he was lying. A secret he thought would hurt me.

I was in love with my husband.

But if I knew the secret he hid from me, would that love be destroyed?

CHAPTER NINE

THE NEXT FEW weeks fled by in a blur. We spent our days doing the work of the estate, talking to tenants and managing the house. I started painting in the garden in the morning, and played with our baby on the floor of Alejandro’s home office as he worked on the computer and spoke on the phone to employees around the world.

“I begrudge them every hour,” he told me, stroking my cheek. “I would rather spend it with you.”

My heart sang as the birds did, flying free through the lush green trees, across the wide blue Spanish sky. But eventually, Alejandro had to go on a business trip. “Madrid?” I pouted.

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