“Love,” she whispered silently against his lips.
Emma abruptly rolled him beneath her on the bed. He looked up at her, surprised. She smiled, her soul welling up with sudden certain joy. If he wouldn’t let her speak words of love...
She would show him.
* * *
Cesare stared up at the woman who’d just rolled him beneath her on the bed. He felt Emma’s hands stroke down his chest, as her legs straddled his hips.
She was so impossibly beautiful, he thought, dazzled by the pink flush of her creamy skin, the emerald gleam of her eyes. She looked down at him fiercely, like an ancient warrior queen who commanded an army of thousands eager to die in her name. Power emanated from her proud, curvaceous body like light. Power he’d never seen in her before.
“Emma,” he breathed. “What’s gotten into you?”
“Haven’t you figured it out?” Her full red lips curved into a smile as she lowered her head. She whispered against his mouth, “You have.”
She kissed him, and he felt that something had changed in her. Something he didn’t understand. She seemed—different. New. Beneath her touch, sparks flew up and down his body, a fire that burned him to blood and bone.
He’d wanted her for months. Years. But never like this. His body shook with need. She’d never, ever made the first move before.
He could hardly believe he’d once thought of Emma as having no feelings. This was who she really was: a seductive sex goddess, innocent and wanton, powerful and glorious...
As her lips caressed his, her long dark hair tumbled over his body, sliding over his overheated skin. Her full breasts brushed against his chest. With a moan, he cupped them with his hands. Breaking off their kiss, he wrenched his head to suckle a taut, pink nipple, licking it, pulling it into his mouth. His hand tangled in her hair, stroking down her naked back. He heard her moan. Felt her thighs tighten around his hips. He felt the soft, wet core of her brush the tip of his hardest edge as she swayed in innocently tantalizing torture.
Twisting away with a choked gasp, he started to reach for the wallet in his jacket hanging on a nearby chair, intending to retrieve a condom, but she stopped him.
“It’s not necessary.” She hesitated, then said slowly, “This time because I’m actually—”
“You’re still on the Pill?” He exhaled. “Thank God.” She stiffened, and he wondered if he’d said something rude, though he couldn’t imagine what. Women could be sensitive, and even though Emma was the most rational woman he knew, she was still undeniably a woman. Oh, yes. Running his hand down the curve of her bare breast—even fuller than he remembered—he looked up at her with heavy-lidded eyes. “I love that you are always prepared, Miss Hayes.”
She leaned forward, allowing her long dark hair to trail sensuously across his bare chest as she said pointedly, “Emma.”
“Emma,” he groaned as her fingertips trailed down his body. “Oh, God—Emma—”
Reaching up, he kissed her, and as she leaned down to kiss him back, he could wait no longer. Pulling her down on him with his hands, he simultaneously thrust up with his hips, pushing inside her, and heard her gasp as he filled her soft, wet body.
God. He’d never felt anything like this. He rammed inside her, filling her hard and deep. She slid over his hips, riding him, and his whole body started to tighten. No. No, it was too soon. The intensity of pleasure was too much. But being inside her without a condom...skin to skin...
He gripped her shoulders. “I’m not sure how long I can last,” he said hoarsely. “Give me... Give me a minute to...”
But it seemed Emma’s days of obedience were over. She continued to slide against him. He looked up, intending to protest. He stopped when he saw how her eyes were closed, her beautiful face rapt and shining in ecstasy.
No! He squeezed his eyes shut. He couldn’t see her like that! Not when at any moment he could... He could... But even with his eyes closed, he could still see her shining face, see her full breasts swaying above him as she moved. He felt tighter—tighter—about to explode...
“You feel so good,” she whispered. “So—good...”
“Oh, my God,” he said in a strangled voice. “Stop!”
Gripping his shoulders, she leaned forward, so close he could feel the brush of her lips against his earlobe, and whispered, “Love.”
It was the one thing that made him cold.
“Lust,” he growled back, and flung his body over hers, lying her beneath him on the bed. He ran his hands down her body, licking and sucking every inch of her skin. Sitting back against the pillows, he pulled her into his lap, wrapping his arms around her.
Tangling his hands in her hair, he tilted back her head and kissed her deeply. Lifting up her body, he lowered her hips heavily against him, thrusting slowly inside her. He rocked against her, controlling the rhythm and speed, slowing down when he came too close to exploding. Face-to-face, breath to breath, their eyes locked, their arms wrapped around each other, as close as two lovers could possibly be. He made love to her for what felt like hours until finally she gasped against him one more time, closing her eyes with a cry.
Cesare could hold back no longer. Kissing her shoulder, he sucked hard against her skin, and let himself go. He thrust inside her four times, so deep and hard that he exploded, so close to heaven that he saw only stars.
He saw only her.
Exhaling, he collapsed, still holding her tight.
It took long moments for Cesare to fall back to earth. He slowly became aware of the ticking of the old antique clock on the mantel. Blinking in the darkness, he saw he was in Emma’s bed, in her suite of rooms on the second floor of his Kensington house. Moonlight was creeping in through the edges of the window shades as he still cradled her in his arms. He felt her cheek against his chest. Against his heart.
He shifted, cuddling her in the crook of his arm, her naked body against his own. He saw a small mark on her shoulder, where he’d sucked a little too hard in a love bite. That would leave a bruise, he thought. He’d marked her as his own. And for some reason he didn’t want to examine, he was glad.
Emma blinked, smiling up at him sleepily before she glanced down at the bed. “What a mess we’ve made.”
He looked down. The duvet and sheets were twisted at their feet and there were banknotes everywhere.
Cesare prided himself on discipline. He’d tried to do the sensible thing with Emma, to make them both forget their intoxicating night and return to their employer-employee relationship.
He’d failed. Massively.
And he was glad.
Now they could both have what they actually wanted. Yes, his home might fall apart without her in charge. At the moment he didn’t give a damn. Who cared about milk in the fridge or having his bed made perfectly? Who cared about it being made at all, so long as he had her in it?
Emma yawned, her eyes closing as she settled deeper into his arms. Leaning forward, he kissed her softly on the temple. His own eyelids were heavy.
As she drowsed in his arms, he still shuddered with aftershocks of pleasure from their lovemaking. Making love without a condom, to a woman he liked and trusted, was a wholly new experience.
He’d certainly never had it with his wife.
Cesare looked down at Emma’s face, half-hidden in shadow as she slept in his arms. She looked like a slumbering angel, her black eyelashes stark against her pale skin, and masses of her long, glossy dark hair tumbling over the pillow.
He felt exhausted, utterly spent. But as he closed his eyes, he smiled. He’d proved his point, and he was suddenly glad Emma had quit her job with him. That meant she’d be available for full-time pleasure. Their relationship might last for weeks, even months, now she understood there was no love involved. There would be no arguments, no goals of marriage or children to fight over. They could just enjoy each other’s company for as long as the pleasure lasted.... He fell asleep, smiling and warm.
When he woke, the shadows of the room had changed to the soft gray light of dawn. Emma was stirring in his arms. He saw she was looking up at him with big, limpid eyes.
“Good morning,” she said shyly.
Cesare stroked her cheek with amusement. “Good morning.”
She bit her lip. “Um. If you want to go sleep in your own room, I’ll understand....”
He placed a finger to her lips, gently stopping her. “I don’t.”
Her expression suddenly glowed. “You don’t?”
He didn’t blame her for being surprised. He was somewhat surprised himself. Usually he couldn’t wait to get out of a woman’s bed the morning after. He usually left long before morning, in fact.
But he felt oddly comfortable with Emma. He didn’t need to pretend with her, or play games, or be polite. It was strange, but he felt like he could just be himself, without trying to hide his flaws. How could he hide them? She knew them all.
“I’m hungry,” Emma confessed, sitting up. “I can’t stop thinking about fried eggs and bacon and oranges...”
Cesare kissed her bare shoulder. He was not thinking about food. “We could go down to the kitchen.” He let his fingertips trail over her breast. “Or we could have a little breakfast in bed first....”
“Yes,” she whispered, lifting her lips toward his. He stroked back her wildly tousled black hair.