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Nico slipped his fingers under the dress and pushed it over each smooth shoulder and down her arms. Now she was bare from the waist up, her back a sinuous curve that made his blood sizzle.

His voice was unbearably rough. ‘Turn around, Chiara.’

She waited an infinitesimal moment—enough to have Nico’s nerves screaming with tension and need. He almost laughed at the notion that she was innocent now. This women was a siren and she knew exactly what she was doing! She had to! He was on fire.

Chiara’s heart was beating so fast she felt light-headed. No one had ever seen her naked before. She’d never even inspected herself in the mirror, shying away from looking at her too pronounced curves.

And yet something new and bold within her compelled her to turn, and when she did an intense heat flooded her whole system. Nico’s eyes widened and colour slashed across his high cheekbones. His chest moved rapidly, as if he’d been running.

Chiara’s bare breasts felt full and heavy. Nipples tight and stinging. Nico reached out a hand and cupped one full weight in his hand and little beads of sweat broke out on Chiara’s brow.

He shook his head, as if dazed. ‘I want to see all of you.’

Chiara put her hands to the dress, where it hung precariously on her hips, and pushed so that it fell down. Now she wore just her panties.

Nico’s hand dropped to his side and Chiara saw him curl both hands into fists, as if to stop himself from reaching out again.

He said, ‘I never thought a woman like you could exist.’

Intense self-consciousness flooded Chiara and she brought her arms up to cover her chest and between her legs. ‘I’m too big—’

Immediately he stepped forward and took them down, saying, ‘No. You are beautiful. You embody pure sensuality, Chiara.’

She kept her gaze lowered, feeling even more self-conscious now—because she was practically naked while he was still fully clothed.

As if reading her mind, Nico took his hands from her again and started to undo the buttons on his shirt. Now it was her turn to look as bit by bit his chest was revealed, broad and powerful, with a smattering of dark hair that led in a line down his flat muscled abdomen and underneath his belt.

His hands were there now, and he undid his belt and trousers. With an economy of movement he pushed them down, taking his underwear with them. She sucked in a breath, taking in the majestic power of his aroused body, rising proudly from the dark curling hair between his legs. Her mouth watered and she wanted to taste him. It shocked her how carnal she felt. And, how right it felt.

‘Chiara...don’t look at me like that.’

She looked up, her face burning. He smiled and there was a falling sensation in her tummy—he’d never really smiled at her before.

‘I won’t last if you look at me like that.’


He took her hand to lead her to the bed behind them and she stepped out of the dress which had pooled on the ground in a mound of silk and lace.

She desperately resisted the urge to believe this moment was special, but it felt significant. She was about to give herself unhesitatingly to a man who had swept into her life and turned it upside down in the space of a week. A man who had behaved in an unbearably ruthless manner but who had shown her that there was something running deep under the surface.

There was more to Nicolo Santo Domenico—Chiara knew it.

He laid her down on the bed and looked at her for a long moment. Then he came down beside her. She desperately wanted to explore his body but she didn’t have the nerve. Any anyway he robbed her brain of any power to think when he started to touch her, saying, ‘I want to explore every bit of you, taste you...’

He encouraged her to lie back and do nothing as he proceeded to do just that. He started with her mouth, drugging her with deep kisses, while his hand explored her breast and pinched her nipple, making her turn to liquid and squirm against him, silently pleading for more.

Then he moved down, taking his time, teasing her until her nerves were screaming and she was begging for mercy. When he finally surrounded her nipple with his mouth and sucked it into the hot wet cavern she screamed.

His hand moved down, over her belly and to the juncture between her legs. He pushed them apart with gentle force and Chiara held her breath. He lifted his head and watched her as his fingers explored the place where she ached the most.

She turned away, embarrassed at how turned-on she was, but Nico turned her back to face him as his fingers explored all the way into the heart of her, where she was hot and wet.

‘You are so ready for me... It’s incredibly sexy, cara. And it’s the same for me.’

He took her hand and wrapped it around him, exactly as she’d wanted to do herself before. She was awed by the feel of him, steely strong and covered with hot silky skin. He felt so vulnerable and yet never more powerful.

‘I need you now.’

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