An Invitation to Sin(8)

By: Sarah Morgan

She had to stop herself reaching for the champagne in his hand. Because she wasn’t able to get out of her dress, she’d avoided drinking and now her throat was parched from the heat. ‘But why do you want to meddle in other parts of the business?’

‘Sibling rivalry.’

‘But you’re all members of the same family. Surely that qualifies you for a seat on the board.’

‘The qualifications for a seat on the board seem to be old age and sexual inactivity.’ He suppressed a yawn. ‘I suppose that’s why they call it a “bored.” Needless to say I’m bombing out big-time. I have a feeling that whatever I do, I will always be in the wrong.’

Taylor felt a flicker of sympathy. ‘I know that feeling.’

‘I’m sure you do. You, Taylor Carmichael, are one, big walking wrong.’ His gaze lingered on her mouth. ‘So tell me what else is on your list of banned substances.’

‘Men like you.’

‘Is that right?’ His eyes on hers, he lowered the champagne bottle back into the fountain. Somehow, without her even noticing how he’d done it, he’d moved closer to her. His dark head was between her and the sun and all she could see was those wicked eyes tempting her towards the dark side.

‘What are you doing?’

‘Testing a theory.’ His mouth moved closer to hers and suddenly she struggled to breathe.

‘What theory?’

‘I want to know whether two wrongs make a right.’ His smile was the last thing she saw before he kissed her.


WHAT THE HELL was she doing?

Taylor opened her eyes and found herself staring into two dark, slumberous pools of molten male hunger.

As his mouth moved skilfully on hers, desire punched low in her belly and then spread through her body with a speed that shocked her. One minute she was thinking, the next minute she was kissing him back, gripped by a deep, visceral emotion she couldn’t even name.

He seduced her mouth with lazy expertise, his tongue teasing hers with a delicious skill that weakened her legs with frightening speed.

Her stomach twisted. Her body melted. She wanted to stretch luxuriously into the warmth of that hand resting high on her bare thigh.

Her bare thigh?

Horrified, she tried to pull back but her body was weakened by pleasure. ‘My dress—’ The words were swallowed by the heat of his mouth. ‘Luca—’

‘I agree. The dress has to come off.’

‘No.’ She was laughing and appalled at the same time, her hand covering his as she stopped him sliding the fabric upwards. ‘You’ve ripped the stitches.’

‘No, you ripped the stitches,’ he purred, ‘when you wrapped your leg around me.’

‘You pulled my leg round you—we shouldn’t be doing this. I don’t want to be doing this.’

‘Tell that to your pulse rate. It’s revving like the engine of my Ferrari.’

‘I thought you were trying to prove to the board you’re responsible?’

‘I’ll use a condom. Does that count?’

Appalled by how much she wanted to laugh, Taylor locked her hand in the front of his shirt, feeling hard male muscle against the backs of her fingers. ‘I don’t think that’s what they have in mind. You don’t want to take this risk and neither do I. We have to get back to the wedding before the bride comes.’

‘If I have my way you’ll come before the bride.’ Laughing wickedly, he delivered a slow, sensual kiss to the corner of her mouth. ‘Some things are worth taking a risk for and you, Taylor Carmichael, are definitely one of those. You are sexy enough to make me forget all about being good—’ his hand was buried in her hair and his mouth was on her neck ‘—and it really turns me on to know that underneath your icy, composed exterior you are still a bad, bad girl.’

Taylor closed her eyes but that simply intensified the crazy swirl of feelings so she opened them again. ‘You’re wrong. That isn’t who I am.’ It couldn’t be. ‘I don’t want this.’

‘You’re crushing me, dolcezza.’ He was kissing her jaw and she could hear the smile in his voice. ‘Think of my poor, delicate ego.’

Nothing about him was delicate. Not the powerful shoulders, nor the rock-hard biceps. He was all muscle and masculinity and Taylor was so desperate for him her whole body ached. ‘I don’t want you.’

‘Yes, you do. You want me as much as I want you but you’re determined to deny your true self.’

‘I’m not denying anything.’ Panicking, she shoved at his chest. ‘Enough! Damn it, Luca—get away from me.’ In the past two years she hadn’t even looked at a man and suddenly here she was, pressed against the hardness of him, her body melting against the heat of his. The chemistry was off the scale and it terrified her. Of all the men she could have found herself with, he was the most dangerous of his species. ‘I’m not that person any more. I’ve changed.’