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Authors: C. C. MacKenzie

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BOOK: Reckless Nights in Rome
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The man, Becca
decided with a low moan, had magic fingers.

She knew she
should tell him to stop, but heat scorched over her too sensitive
skin wherever he touched her. Her breath caught as his tongue
licked her throat and his arousal, thick and hard, pressed into the
small of her back.

Lust detonated
between her legs as he turned her in his arms, pressed her back
against black granite and captured her mouth with his even as her
nipples grazed his chest. She parted her lips to allow his
thrusting tongue access. God, he tasted fantastic. This time there
was nothing gentle in the kiss. There was power, possession and a
relentless hunger. That hunger called to her and she answered it
with a desperation that verged on insanity.

Was she making
those high, keening moans? Her ardour matched his, kiss for kiss,
touch for touch.

When his
fingertips touched that screaming little pearl of nerve ends, her
legs gave way as the climax took her breath.

“Put your legs
around my waist,” he muttered in her ear, his voice was deep the
tone harsh as he caught her mouth with his and she did as he asked.
Then, thank God, he was inside her. She clung to him, legs around
his waist, and arms around his neck as he pumped his hips,
thrusting into her, gasping into her mouth desperate words in
Spanish. Together they soared higher and higher to a place she’d
never known existed before last night. The muscles contracting her
centre clutched him again and again. Then the world went black as
her mind splintered into a thousand stars.

Their hearts
hammering as one, Becca realised Lucas was supporting her weight as
well as leaning a hand against the wall for support. Their panting
breaths mingled before he groaned into the soft spot under her ear.
Pressing a soft kiss to his shoulder, she clung to him and blinked
as the water, cool now, battered their skin.

Lucas flicked
hair from his face and those dark eyes framed with wet lashes
studied her carefully.

He grinned as a
hot flush rose from her toes to flood her neck and cheeks.

“Now that is
how I want you to look at me,
querida
, not like a scared
little rabbit.” Although his voice was soft, the tone was of a man
used to command.

His fingertip
stroked a burning path down her breast.

Reality gave
her a vicious slap.

She caught
herself and blinked furiously to hide the emotions that flooded her
throat and stung her eyes.

Blindly and on
legs that were far from steady, she moved out of his arms, out of
the shower. With a shudder she pulled on the complimentary thick
white cotton bathrobe and wound a towel around her head.

Rolling up each
sleeve she refused to look at him as he dried himself.

A quick glance
told her his eyes had narrowed. His intense gaze had the nerves
clutching her stomach grow claws.

She turned from
him; a firm hand on her arm pulled her back.

Those eyes were
not so gentle on her now, but edged with suspicion.

“I see we have
a problem.” Lucas gripped her other arm and gave her a
non-too-gentle shake. “Are you in a relationship? or...” Those dark
eyes searching hers narrowed. “Are you married?”

Becca went very
still, needles of tension prickling up her spine.

His eyes went
ice over steel and she trembled.

“Answer me!”
His voice was a whip lashing across raw emotions.

In her head the
last ten hours had assumed a surreal quality, almost like an out of
body experience. He shook her again and the cold reality of her
situation gave her another hard slap. This time yesterday she
hadn’t set eyes on this man. The way she’d danced with him in the
nightclub had shame burn a scorching path up her neck and into her
cheeks.

The way she’d
gone to his hotel without a second thought for her personal safety
had common sense demand now what the hell she’d been thinking.

She’d let a
total stranger take liberties with her body. Do things to her,
touch her in ways she’d never been touched before ... Even by ...
Guilt incinerated her cheeks.

Becca blinked
up into a face she didn’t recognise now. He looked too big, too
wide. His eyes were cold, hard and absolutely appalled.

Furious with
herself because she’d behaved in a way that was so alien to her
nature warred with humiliation and self-reproach.

The toxic mix
of emotions burned in her throat and she grabbed anger like a
lifeline.

How dare he
treat her like this?

She pushed him,
dismayed when he didn’t budge.

The look in his
eyes chilled the marrow in her bones.

Her legs might
be trembling, but her chin came up.

“Let go of me,”
she whispered.

Time seemed to
stand still before he thrust her away as if she’d burned him. Becca
staggered as he turned and stalked out of the bathroom. And jumped
as the door to the bedroom slammed behind him.

Scrubbing hot tears
from her cheeks Becca wondered what on earth she was going to
do.

She towel dried her
hair before dragging a comb through it so hard it brought fresh
tears to her eyes. No crying. It changed nothing.

For almost two years
she’d managed to hold it together, to lock grief into that dark
place in her psyche. She’d thrown herself into working ten or even
twelve hour days.

Recently cracks had
appeared in her facade when she least expected it. Her behaviour
was becoming erratic she realised now. She’d been on the edge,
nearly losing her temper with Justin twice this week. The pressure
was getting to her, the stress of delivering to strict creative
deadlines again and again made her feel like a hamster on a wheel
going nowhere fast.

Last night had been
her first night out since ... The ache in her heart was a physical
agony now she simply couldn’t ignore. But she wouldn’t think about
it. The main thing was to get out of here in one piece and she
still had to get past a very angry Lucas.

How could she
tell a perfect stranger something she still battled to come to
terms with herself? She knew it simply wasn’t logical to feel as if
she’d betrayed Rick, but she couldn’t help feeling terribly
guilty.

Not only had
she had sex with another man, but it been totally outside any
experience she’d had with her late husband. Rick had been gentle
with her. He’d cherished and loved her. What she’d experienced last
night had been nothing but an overwhelming lust, the sexual act at
its most primitive, most basic.

What did that
say about her as a woman?

Grief, still
horribly fresh, washed through her system.

Closing her
eyes tight, Becca fought for control as she steadied herself.

She desperately
needed to find that dark place where she brooded in safe
isolation.

The occasional
shudder overtook her as she fumbled with the zip of her dress;
thrust her feet into her shoes.

She wound the
cream cashmere pashmina around her and picked up her bag chanting
to herself to get out and away from this man.

With a deep
inhale and exhale, she opened the door.

The scent of
bacon and coffee made her stomach heave.

Lucas was sitting at a
desk writing on a sheet of hotel paper.

He wore soft blue
jeans and a black sweater. His feet were bare.

The logical
unemotional part of her brain, the part that got her through every
endless day, noticed the way his black hair clung to his skull and
that he had the most beautiful hands.

He turned and saw
her.

Becca kept her eyes on
his chin.

The atmosphere was so
icy she shivered.

“Rebecca, what?” The
words, quietly spoken, vibrated with suppressed fury.

“Sorry?”

“Your
surname.”

“Wainwright,”
she told him in a shaky voice.

“That would be
Mrs Rebecca Wainwright?”

She nodded. It
was the simple truth.

He folded the
paper and placed it in an envelope. All the while those dark eyes
stayed on her face.

“You are a
piece of work, Mrs Wainwright. I do not suppose I am the first to
be taken in by those big eyes? Or do you have the usual sob story
about how your husband does not understand you?”

Becca blinked
and opened her mouth to tell him the truth then closed it. What had
happened to her was none of this man’s business.

Common sense
told her she’d done nothing wrong, but her heart told her she’d
betrayed Rick by acting like a common whore. She’d let Lucas Del
Garda touch her in ways, kiss her in ways that had broken every
link in the chain of her self control. Rick would never have bent
her over the arm of a sofa, thrusting into her, rutting like an
animal, so hard that his balls slapped against her sweet spot.

And she’d loved
every single second of the experience. What she’d wanted, needed,
had been a physical connection, an intimacy with another human
being. She’d been starving for it she realised now with
hindsight.

This man, who
had swept her off her feet last night, was physically overwhelming
and an expert in seduction. He’d played her body like a violin,
knowing precisely which strings to pluck to make her soar to his
tune. And God, she’d soared to dizzying heights. Heights she’d
never reached with the love of her life.

Her womb
clutched again as she stood there just staring at Lucas. Shame
flooded her system and she wondered if she would ever be able to
forgive herself for still having lingering erotic feelings of
desire for a total stranger.

Emotion drowned
her voice. “I’ve never done anything like this before.”

The effect of
his dark nerve-shredding stare was devastating.

The hold on her
emotions became shiveringly unstable.

Heat scorched
her cheeks as his gaze ran over her body possessively.

She caught a
glimpse of the thundering pulse in the hollow of his throat as he
swallowed and took a deep breath.

His hand fisted
on the table.

“Can I call
you?” The words were spoken so softly she strained to hear him.

The room was so
quiet she might have heard a silkworm breathe.

Emotions all
over the place with everything that had happened in the last few
hours, initially her mind refused to compute.

Good God, he
was willing to have an affair? Disappointment with him warred with
a righteous anger that she’d behaved like a wanton with a man who
appeared to have no respect for women or the sanctity of marriage.
Becca didn’t take much notice of the tabloids, but it appeared
they’d been spot on with this guy and he’d had the gall to say that
she was a piece of work?

What kind of
man was he?

She shook her
head as the deepening fury with herself turned outwards. Anger felt
a hell of a lot better than guilt.

Her throat was
dust dry. “I don’t think that would be a good idea.”

His eyes were
cool now and remained on her face as he stood and moved towards
her.

For a moment
she thought he was going to argue, but he handed her the
envelope.

“If you ever
change your mind.”

Heart
thundering in her ears, she stared at the envelope before dropping
it at his feet.

Opening the
door she looked back and tipped up her chin, finding it hard to
focus through swimming emotions.

“Don’t hold
your breath. I’m not married.” She blinked rapidly to clear her
vision and saw his eyes narrow before she continued, “He died and
he was worth ten of you.”

 

End of Chapter One
'AStormy Spring'

 

 

 

 

Due out in Late
Autumn - 'Run Rosie Run
'
'
The next book in the
C C MacKenzie Ludlow Hall series coming in Late Autumn 2012 is 'Run
Rosie Run' (Alexander & Rosie’s story)
Here’s the first
chapter for you to enjoy!

 

 

A wise man once said,
‘Be careful what you wish for because you might just get it.’

 

Pastry Chef Rosemary
Gordon had worked hard her whole life to be successful. Now the
wedding cake business she runs with her best friend, Bronte, was
winning awards, life should be perfect. But Rosie has a deep, dark
secret...

 

And the steadily
bubbling chemistry with Bronte’s brother, Alexander Ludlow, has
suddenly become way too hot to ignore...

 

 

Chapter
One

‘You’re not getting any
younger.’

The clear
frustration in her mother’s voice booming through the telephone
speaker made Rosie hunch her shoulders and count to ten.

Biting her
tongue she added the final touch, an icing extravaganza of
pearlescent calla lilies, to the cake topper of a five tiered snowy
white wedding cake.

Woo hoo! It
looked fabulous, even if she did say so herself.

‘Rosemary
Margaret Gordon,’ the disembodied voice continued and Rosie winced,
the use of her full name was a bad sign. ‘I want what’s best for my
baby girl. You need to look at your work life balance. Living to
work is not healthy.’ The tone, Rosie noted dimly, was now
wheedling. ‘I’d have thought after Bronte had the twins you’d have
pulled your finger out. But it’s been two years, darling, and I’m
worried. You’ll be thirty soon. Tick tock, tick tock.’

Rosie sent the
phone a dark look.

There were
times when her mother never ceased to amaze her and this was one of
them. She was twenty-nine on her next birthday not thirty.

‘Tick tock,
tick tock?’

‘Your
biological clock, if you’d lift your head out of icing and cake
mixes you’d have read that many women are leaving it too late to
have children. Rosie, you’re worrying me.’

Well, that was
a downright lie. When had she ever given her mother a moment’s
anxiety?

BOOK: Reckless Nights in Rome
3.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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