“You’re good,” she gasped in a strangled tone.
“Worth every penny.”
On a low growl, his mouth followed the path of his rough palm, kissing her thighs, her calves, lifting her feet and sucking each bare toe. Then he did the same thing to the other leg. When he was done, his mouth lingered on her pink satin panties, on the area that covered the dark curls between her legs.
When a fingertip entered her, she clutched his head closer and let out a sob that made him groan.
“I want you so much,” he said. Then he ripped her panties down and hauled her to bed.
As he settled himself on top of her, a knock sounded loudly against the outer door. “Room service,” an impersonal voice called.
“Damn. Damn.” He jerked free of her. “Who the hell ordered room service?”
“You.” She giggled.
“You said we had to have strawberries.”
Sucking in a breath, he let her go. Then he picked up her robe and helped her into it.
“You stay here,” he ordered.
“Tell him to add the tip to the bill.”
“I think I can handle it.”
She was still standing against the wall, clutching her robe to her body when he returned with the tray of food. His blue eyes were fierce and hot, his black curls damp against his brow.
“You look adorable,” he said.
She bit her bottom lip. “Come back to bed.”
“Sometimes it heightens pleasure to stop and start.”
He carried the tray out to a shaded loggia and set it down. He plucked a bunch of purple grapes and went back to her. He nibbled half a grape and then shared the other half with her. It was sweet, yet tart.
“Did you really have a late lunch?” he murmured.
“No. I am…a little hungry, but I can wait.”
“No, if you’re hungry, let’s eat now.” He led her outside, pulled out her chair and seated her, placed a plate, napkin and silverware before her, and then opened a bottle of wine.
The evening was darkening rapidly. Birds settling in the nearby treetops twittered noisily. Delicate, fleecy clouds were lit up by the moon and the town’s lights.
“We call clouds like that pecorelle, little sheep,” he said.
“They look like they’re on fire.”
With another sigh, she breathed in the scent of the sea and flowers, as if she were, at last, relaxing in his presence.
“So, you’re a lawyer?” he said.
“Do you like it?”
She seemed about to say yes and then stared at him, as if in wonder. “You know, I don’t think I ever thought about how I feel about it until a couple of months ago. I just wanted to be successful.”
“In what way?”
“Make A’s in school. I wanted my parents to be proud of me. I wanted to live in the right neighborhood, have the right husband, and be acceptable to the right kind of people. So, I went to college and law school.”
“I suppose it’s the same everywhere.”
“And are you successful?”
“For a while, I thought so. I mean, I have everything I ever wanted. Only, it isn’t like I thought it would be. My firm represents a lot of major corporations. Some of them do things I hate, such as pollute groundwater. I get paid handsomely to defend them. And even though I drive a nice car and have a nice house, lately I’ve been wondering if I’m still one of the good guys.”
“Then there’s my sister, who didn’t even finish college. She’s so happy. She’s married, and she has three adorable children. My parents are prouder of her than they are of me, and maybe they should be. So, lately I’ve been wondering about my life, where it’s going…where I want it to go.”
“Do you want children?”
“Very much. I love my niece and nephews so much, you see.”
“What? You don’t think I’d be here like this…I mean, with you…if I were serious about someone back home?”
“Some women come to Europe to play.”
“I suppose you’d know about that.”
He felt his mouth tighten.
“Sorry. I—I…” She drew a breath. “My last boyfriend, Bobby, asked me to marry him right before I came. I said no.”
“Long story. I thought I wanted to marry him. But what I really wanted…” She stopped herself. “Why am I telling you, of all people, about my life?”
“Because I asked.”
“Okay, I’m confused. Who isn’t?”
He cut off a piece of cheese and placed it on a cracker. Then he offered it to her.