The Amalfi Bride - Page 80

Suddenly she was tearing his clothes off and kissing him all over. He was huge. When he grew even larger, she laughed in delight.

“Cara, you’re getting me so excited I can’t remember your plan. Wasn’t I supposed to massage you and make love to you slowly?”

“Forget my plan. I don’t have a plan.”

A rush of powerful feelings swept him. He took her in his arms and carried her to bed. Within seconds their bodies moved together in an ancient, timeless rhythm. When he entered her, he felt the most powerful, pleasurable connection to a woman in all his life.

For a long moment, he held her close, celebrating that first glorious wonder of being with her. Then his breath started coming in harsh, rapid gasps. He gripped her waist, pressing himself closer and plunged again and again.

“Faster,” she murmured, her breathing as out of control as his. “Yes. Yes. Yes.”

“I should slow down.”

“No!” she whispered in a low, frantic tone. “Faster.”

After they exploded together, she fell back against the bed, her body damp all over. He collapsed beside her, heavily exhausted.

“I’ll never be able to stand or to walk again,” she whispered. Then she began to laugh and to sob and to cling to him. “You’re really, really good.”

“You’re incredible, tesorina.”

“Does that mean we can do it again?”

Five

T he thick black straps of the backpack cut into Regina’s shoulders after their climb from the sea. The pack, which had felt light hours ago when they’d started their circuitous, uphill hike on a bougainvillea-shaded cobblestone path, felt as heavy as lead now. The dull pain throbbing in her lower back sharpened with every step.

Nico had offered to carry the pack. Why had she insisted on wearing it?

“Stop! I’ve got to rest.” Her legs were shaking from the vertical climb, and she was gasping as she sank down against a low stone wall and stared at the breathtaking view of cliffs towering above the blue water. She pressed her hand into her spine.

“Didn’t I tell you, you should let me carry this?” He lifted the backpack from her shoulders and set it on the dusty ground. “Do you want to go back to the hotel?”

“No.” Not that going back to the hotel would be a bad thing.

After making love for hours and sleeping all night in each other’s arms, she would surely have slept until noon if she hadn’t heard him calling room service. After making the call, he’d rolled over and pulled her back into her arms, nuzzling her throat and lips with his mouth and tongue until she’d been fully awake.

“I can’t let you waste your last few days and not tour the AmalfiCoast,” he’d said.

“Waste?” She’d smiled up at him dreamily. “I’m not wasting them.”

“Not if we hike. That was number one on your list.”

“You read my list?”

“While you were sleeping.” He’d smiled. “You’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t do what you came here to do.”

“Oh, but I will. I assure you.” She’d stroked his lower belly affectionately.

Room service had knocked just as he’d pulled her into his arms and had kicked off the sheets. He’d let her go, and they’d eaten and then dressed and prepared for this glorious if arduous hike.

“You were right,” she said, speaking over the sudden barking of dogs in a village somewhere below them. “This is all so beautiful. Thank you. Thank you for making me come here.”

“When you said you came here to hike the Sentieri degli Dei, I had no choice.”

“The path of gods,” she translated unnecessarily. “The guide book said it was steep, but the photographs were so extraordinary.”

“Pictures can’t really capture something like this, can they?” he said, his blue eyes on her face rather than the view. But then he’d seen it all before, she told herself. He lived here, didn’t he? And gigolos probably weren’t too keen on views.

Although she was deeply moved by the irresistible mountains and sea and had worked hard for this view, she couldn’t stop staring at him. She pulled out her camera.

“So much beauty is dangerous,” he murmured.

“Yes.” She snapped a picture of him.

“You feel like you could fly into such a view and be part of it as you might in a dream.” He brushed the tip of her nose with a fingertip and smiled.

Every moment with him had been perfect up to now. He’d served her breakfast in bed. He’d even sat on the bed, spoonfeeding her cereal with sugar and fresh raspberries. Never had she imagined that nibbling berries out of a man’s hand could be such a sensual, magical experience.

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