An Invitation to Sin(6)

By: Sarah Morgan


‘Me neither. Why the hell do you think I’m hiding in here?’ He gave an exaggerated shudder and glanced up at the green wall of the maze. ‘I’m hoping the Corretti board don’t have security cameras planted round the grounds. I’m supposed to be behaving myself.’

Despite her stress, she found herself wanting to smile. ‘This is what you’re like when you’re behaving yourself?’

‘I’m positively restrained and it’s killing me. Especially right this moment.’ His eyes lingered on her mouth with blatant interest. ‘I might be about to fall from the wagon. Or roll in the back of the wagon. You and me. Together. Now there’s an interesting thought.’

Taylor felt her heart beat faster.

Against her will, her eyes moved to his mouth too. Firm, sensual and very masculine. There was no doubt in her mind that Luca Corretti would be a skilled kisser. If rumour were correct, he’d certainly had enough practice.

Appalled by her own thoughts, she turned her head away and took a step backwards. ‘It’s a thought that doesn’t interest me in the slightest. I’ll leave you to hide. I hope your past doesn’t catch up with you.’

‘Me too. I don’t suppose you saw her on your way in?’

‘I didn’t see anyone. What does she look like?’

‘Desperate?’

She choked back a laugh. ‘You spent the night with her?’

‘Not the whole night, obviously.’ He looked so horrified by the suggestion that this time she did laugh.

‘Have you ever spent the whole night with a woman?’

‘Cristo, no! My mantra is “Until dawn us do part.” My longest commitment so far is six hours and I was bored by the end of that. You?’

It was uncomfortable to remember the number of times she’d thought a man was serious about her only to discover he was only interested in selling her out to the press. It had been a harsh training ground for independence. ‘I’m not big on romantic commitment.’

He groaned. ‘You should not have told me that.’

‘Why?’

‘Because that makes you my perfect woman.’ That sexy mouth slanted into a charismatic smile. ‘Just don’t tell me you’re addicted to sex and fast cars or I’m doomed.’

Silence stretched between them. They were standing in the dappled shade of the maze but the heat was stifling and oppressive.

Their eyes met and held.

His head lowered towards hers.

And suddenly they heard voices.

Appalled by how close they’d come to kissing, she glanced at him only to find him doubled up with laughter.

Taylor was torn between laughter and panic. The last thing she needed was to be caught with Luca Corretti. No one would believe it was an innocent encounter.

‘Stop panicking, angelo mia, I’ll rescue you.’ Putting his finger to his lips, Luca took her hand in his and forced her to sprint with him deeper into the maze. ‘I am the expert at the great escape. No one knows more about running from women than I do.’

‘What are you doing? I don’t want to be caught running away with you. and don’t pull me—this dress has no give in it.’ She tugged at her hand but he held it firmly, turned another corner and she gave a little gasp because there, in a shaded glade, was a pretty fountain and by the fountain was an open bottle of champagne.

‘No glasses, I’m afraid.’ With a wicked, sexy smile he released her hand and retrieved the bottle. ‘We’ll have to slum it.’

Weak with relief that they’d avoided detection, Taylor shook her head in disbelief as she watched him. ‘How did you—?’

‘How did I get it here?’ Those wide shoulders lifted in a careless shrug. ‘I imported it here under cover of darkness in case of emergencies. This definitely constitutes an emergency. Judging from the look on your face earlier, your need is as great as mine. I’m always willing to help out a fellow sinner in need. Sit down. Make yourself comfortable. Take a dip in the cool water.’

Taylor looked wistfully at the fountain. ‘I wish I could. This dress is the most uncomfortable thing I’ve ever worn but sadly it isn’t designed to allow sitting.’

‘So take it off.’

‘Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t. They’ve sewn me into it.’ She caught his look of astonishment and glared. ‘Don’t ask.’

‘All right—’ there was laughter in his eyes ‘—but if you want my opinion I’d say you’ve been stitched up, angelo mia.’

‘Very funny.’

‘I like the idea that you’re sewn into your dress. It could be erotic.’ He prowled around her, his eyes on her body. ‘So what do they expect you to do if you need to have wild, animal sex?’

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