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Authors: C. C. MacKenzie

Tags: #Romance

Reckless Nights in Rome (22 page)

BOOK: Reckless Nights in Rome
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He toyed with
her hair as she turned to him.

“Was that who I
think it is?” Her gaze followed major European Royalty.

“Mmm hmm,” he
whispered, nuzzling her ear, sending a little shiver over her

A dark-eyed,
dark-haired beauty, in a black dress that looked as if it had been
sprayed on, sashayed up to Nico. She pressed amazing breasts into
him and tried to give him a hot kiss on the mouth.

In a move
Bronte could only admire he managed to avoid the kiss and the
breasts. Nico flicked a cool look to another man, security she
supposed by his earpiece, who stood against the wall. He moved to
the woman’s side, held her arm, whispering in her ear.

As she was led
away, the woman’s smouldering eyes held a mix of hot lust and
despair. Bronte found herself feeling sorry for her. Is that what
she would be like when this fantasy ended? She’d better remember to
keep her dignity intact.

The cold closed
expression on Nico’s face gave her the icy feeling that she was out
of her depth with this man.

She’d better
remember why she was here, an affair that was all and nothing more.
She was out to have fun and live life to the full for a change. But
something in the woman’s eyes tugged at her.

“Who was

Nico’s look
held a burning impatience, along with a warning.

“No one.”

Stung by his
attitude as much as by the tone, she lifted her chin.

“She is a human
being and deserves to be treated as one.”

Why was she
making a big deal of this? How would she handle it if he treated
her like that? The problem was she knew she couldn’t handle it.

“Someone I once
knew,” he told her with reluctance and she noticed his jaw

“Did you have a
relationship with her?”

He sighed in
frustration, pulling her into his arms.

“I would not
call it a relationship. It was a long time ago.”

“Shall I take a
wild guess and say it didn’t end well?”

His eyes met

“It ended
badly, my fault. She wanted something I could not give her.”

“She loves

He shook his
head, looking her dead in the eye.

“No, she loves
what I can give her. If I was penniless, she would not look at

He slanted her
a cool look as he pulled her to her feet.

Taking her
hand, he led her through the crowd to the dance floor.

Bronte yelped as strong
hands gripped her waist and spun her round.

Out of the
corner of her eye, she saw Nico move to intervene.

“Bronte Ludlow,
what the hell are you doing here?”

With a
delighted laugh, she threw herself into the arms of a tall, tanned
man with movie star good looks.


Lord Oliver
Bartholomew’s blue, blue eyes sparkled into hers.

He held her at
arms length and blew out a long whistle.

“I won’t ask
how you are, I can see for myself. Where have you been all my

He pulled her
to him and dropped her backwards with a passionate kiss.

He swung her up
as she mussed his sun kissed hair and patted his cheek.

Still smiling,
she grabbed Oliver’s hand and turned to Nico who gave them a bland
stare. Her pulse jerked at the possessive look in his eye and she
heard Oliver chuckle.

The trouble
with Oliver was he was almost like Alexander, a protective older
brother and perfectly capable of putting Nico through his

Oliver frowned
at Nico and she dug him in the ribs.

Wisely, Oliver
controlled the grin and kept his face straight as he squeezed her

She did the
introductions and the men shook hands. Eyeing each other like two
alpha wolves sniffing the air.

“Where’s Lucy?”
she asked, to break the suddenly tense atmosphere.

Oliver merely
pressed hot little kisses to the inside of her wrist with one eye
on Nico.

Bronte nearly
groaned out loud as Nico narrowed his eyes.

“I’m divorcing
her and marrying you.”

“Try it, pal,
and you’ll never father children.”

With high
mutual screams, Bronte and Lucy jumped around like lunatics.

The men grinned
at one another and Nico pressed a finger to his ear.

“What are you
doing here?” Lucy demanded.

Bronte decided
that married life certainly suited her old school friend. She wore
a mini dress in ivory lace that contrasted beautifully with her
skin. With legs up to her armpits, cropped black shiny hair and
dusky complexion, she looked fabulous. A supermodel, Lucy had been
scouted at the age of sixteen and never looked back.

“I’m here with
Nico for a few days. Alexander had a car accident, he’s going to be
okay,” she said quickly as Lucy gasped. “Nico flew me over

Lucy cast her
expert eye over him as Oliver introduced his wife.

She turned to
Bronte with raised brows and wide eyes.

“Hubba bubba,
he’s gorgeous. How did you meet him?”

Bronte filled
her in.

Lucy caught her
in a bone crushing hug.

“How are you
holding up?” she whispered in her ear.

“I’m doing
really well.”

Her friend
studied her with serious eyes for a moment.

“You look happy
and that makes me happy.” Then she gave her a naughty smile. “He’s
an upgrade from Jonathan.”

“He certainly

Bronte found
Nico watching her carefully, she caught his eye and he sent her a
slow, sexy smile.

“Now that looks
like a hungry man and I don’t mean for food,” Lucy drawled into her

Oliver gave
Bronte a kiss and slipped an arm around his wife.

“Darling, if we
don’t get a move on, we’ll be late.”

Lucy pecked her
cheek, waving at Nico as she was dragged off.

“Speak soon,
honey, I’ll break my diet and pay you a visit.”


“Nice people.”
Leading her onto the dance floor, Nico slid his arms around her,
swaying to the beat of the music. “For a moment I thought I had

Bronte batted
her eyelashes and he sent her a delighted grin.

“Oliver was the
first boy to see me naked.” She laughed at his pained expression.
“I was eighteen months old and he was eight.”

“They look good

“They’ve known
each other all their lives. They were meant to be.”

“Ahh, Bronte
the romantic. Come, let us dance.”

She had to hand
it to him, the man had moves. Not only that, he could sing too. He
hummed in her ear to a sexy slow number, twirled her until her head
spun to fast music. And rocked and rolled the night away.

Yes, he would
be the possessive type, she mused, as she shared hot, searing
kisses in the back of the car on their way home.

And Bronte
decided she didn’t give a damn.

Tired, but still nicely
buzzed, Bronte sat on the edge of the bed.

Taking off her
shoes, she caught a glimpse of her reflection in a floor to ceiling
mirror propped against the wall.

What had
happened to Bronte Ludlow, pastry chef and owner of Sweet

She looked like
a woman who was wildly in love with the man of her dreams.

No, not in love
she corrected herself, in lust. Her heart was safe.

With a white
towel slung low on lean hips, Nico pulled her to her feet and stood
behind her, firm fingers smoothed and pressed the flesh across her

Tipping her
head back, she enjoyed the moment.

He slid down
her zip, lifting her as the dress pooled at her feet then drew her
back against him.

Eyes dark with
longing met hers in the mirror.

Her eyes
widened in surprise as he placed her hands around his neck then
stroked her breasts, his thumbs circling rosy nipples.

She was riveted
by the frantic pulse in her neck.

Was that woman
with the wild, dazed eyes really her?

flooded her cheeks as she lowered her lashes.

Nico tipped up
her chin, his eyes more intense.

“Watch, see
what happens to you when I give you pleasure,” he said, without
taking his eyes off her face. A gasp escaped from her throat as he
ripped off her panties. Hot lips found the spot below her ear that
made her purr like a cat. “Hold on to me.”

Nico pressed
hot kisses along her jaw and she stretched back to give him access.
How could she permit him to do this to her?

Fascinated, she
could hardly breathe as she watched his hands reach lower, fingers
tantalising and teasing her navel.

The woman in
the mirror trembled, licked her lips as she rocked her pelvis back
and forth in wanton invitation. Under the towel, his cock jerked
into the small of her back.

“Open your
legs,” he moaned in her ear.

Eyes huge, she

His fingertips
stroked around her clitoris. Heat licked under her skin as the
orgasm built. It felt too good to have him touch her there. Gentle
fingers stroked those sensitive lips, swollen and slick. The
evidence of her arousal wept upon his fingers as a dark pleasure
shuddered through her.

He took her
hand, licked two of her fingers and placed them between her

“Oh! No ... I
...” His fingers covered hers as they pleasured her. The woman in
the mirror moaned as her legs gave way and together they sank to
the floor.

“Watch, see how
beautiful you look.” Sitting her between his legs, his fingers
guided hers into secret places.


Still his eyes
stayed on hers.

“I love looking
at you when you come. Let me show you.”

His fingers,
slick and wet, swirled teasingly around the spot. That little nub
stood proud and ready.

She was burning
up, her breath panting now.

Bronte reared up and
her cry of release pierced straight into his loins.

The tenuous
control Nico exerted over his raging libido snapped and he lifted
her, tossing her onto the bed. Emerald eyes, wide with aroused
surprise, flew to his. He read excitement mixed with nerves and it
only made the fire in his groin burn even hotter. This was no slow
seduction that gripped him, this was a ravenous hunger.

He was starving
and fell upon her.

He loved the
smell of her skin. The taste of her mouth, that flat stomach, he
could not get enough of her. Frantic now, his teeth tugged her
nipple, as his hands ruthlessly explored. Her little cries of
pleasure drove him crazy. The searing lust in his loins sent him
over the edge and she bucked under him.

He flipped her
onto her hands and knees, lifting her hips ruthlessly and entered
her with one hard thrust, then rode her fast and hard. She screamed
and he held still, breath gasping for control as she fisted around
him, the after-shocks drained his life-giving fluid and he followed
her into oblivion.

Bronte’s legs clung
around his waist.

She laid her
head on his shoulder as he carried her into the bathroom.

Drowsy, she lay
relaxed between his legs, up to her neck in bubbles in a stone bath
in the shape of an egg. He simply held her, his cheek against her
hair as he muttered words in Italian. She could stay like this
forever she mused as her mind drifted.

, you are almost asleep.”

Wrapped in a
huge white bath towel, he carried her into the bedroom. And Bronte
felt her eyes sting. Had anyone ever cared for her like this?

Naked, she slid
under the duvet and into his arms. Her last thought before she sank
into a dreamless sleep was that life just didn’t get any better
than this. And she ruthlessly ignored the little voice that told
her to make the most of it.




“I have a

Bronte looked
up from her breakfast.

Today Nico wore
a power suit and looked more like the man who owned Ludlow Hall
than the man who’d burned up the dance floor last night.

“I have plenty
to do. Nico, don’t look like that. I don’t mind.”

She rose, gave
him a hug and pressed a kiss on his smooth cheek.

He caught her
in a rib crushing embrace, pressing his mouth to her throat.

“Take this.” He
handed her a Blackberry Smartphone. “I noticed you using one at
home. If you need me, my personal number is at the top of the list.
I need a favour?” He gave her an over bright smile that had her
narrow her eyes.


“Pop into
Madame’s and try on three evening gowns she has selected for the
ball. The driver will take you anywhere you want to go.”

The pleading
look in his eyes melted her heart.

“Only three?”
At his nod, she gave in. “Okay, but I don’t need the driver.”

“This is the one.”

Madame clapped
her hands as Bronte turned in front of her. The designer label made
her uneasy. It probably cost a small fortune, but she had to admit,
it was a dream. Chiffon Elie Saab in ivory and gold silk. Strapless
and fitted across the bust, it fell in a glittering waterfall from
her hips. It could have been made for her.

“I’ll take

“Would you like
to try on ...?”

interrupted her with a firm little smile.

“No, but thank

Madame patted
her hand.

“I’ll have it
boxed and delivered to Nico’s apartment.” She slanted Bronte a
look. “You make him happy. Take care of his heart; he does not give
it easily.”

“I’m sorry?”
Stiffly polite, Bronte stared at her.

The woman
blushed and took a breath.

“I apologise if
I have offended you. He is very dear to me.” She moved to the
window and stared out into the street. “See those boys?”

Bronte moved to
her side and saw a couple of very dirty little boys, around nine
years old, playing with a football. “He was one of those a long
time ago.” She turned back to Bronte and smiled. “He has done well
for himself, no?”

BOOK: Reckless Nights in Rome
11.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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