The Italian's Pregnant Mistress(5)

By: Cathy Williams

‘Hmm. That’s a thought. Not sure I would be very good at it…’

‘Why not?’

‘Too much of a man,’ he stated, using the attachment to begin rinsing the shampoo away.

‘Oh, I see. Of course. Why didn’t I think of that?’

‘Don’t know. You should have. It is not as if you don’t know me. In fact, I would say that you know me better than any woman ever has before…’

‘Is that a good thing, I wonder? Don’t you think it’s impossible to ever really know someone?’

For just a few heady, dangerous seconds she wondered how he would react if she told him how much he didn’t know about her. The temptation didn’t last long. Not when she conjured up the consequences. No more Angelo, and the thought of that sickened her even though she knew that there was no future between them. None at all. That was a bridge she wasn’t going to cross just yet.

‘Anyway, let’s not be serious,’ she coaxed, sliding back towards him and guiding his hands to her breasts. ‘You promised me a lovely, pampering bath. You know we models have to be pampered.’

He pampered her. He doubted she could have enjoyed it as much as he did. He loved running his hands along her wet, slippery body, soaping every inch of her, taking his time. Then, when they were on the point of shrivelling from over-exposure to water, he towelled her dry very slowly and very carefully and absolutely forbade her to put on any pyjamas, even though over time he had chosen every single item of nightwear she owned. From the stunning model who was never seen in anything but the finest of designer clothes yet harboured an array of oversized tee shirts in which she slept, she had become the possessor of fabulously sexy nighties, flimsy things that barely skirted her beautifully proportioned body.

Tonight, though, he wanted to feel her nakedness next to him, wanted to be able to touch her at any time of the night without his fingers having to come into contact with material, however little of it there might have been.

‘Are you happy, Francesca?’ he asked in a low voice, when they were finally in bed and facing one another.

She looked at him, startled and unsettled by the question.

‘What do you mean?’

‘I mean,’ Angelo said softly, stroking back her hair and running his thumb along the side of her face, ‘we meet like ships in the night. I live out of a suitcase and so do you. It isn’t satisfactory…’

‘It’s just the way it is. There’s nothing we can do about it.’ Her heart was beginning to beat faster. She could feel a fine film of perspiration break out as she frantically tried to think of ways to change the subject. Pointless. Angelo was persistent. She knew him well and she knew that he could be like a dog with a bone, the type of man who saw his goal in the distance and proceeded to get there whatever the obstacles presented on the way.

‘Why do you say that?’

‘You know why. Because my work involves a lot of travel. As does yours. Angelo. Do we have to talk about this right now? I’m exhausted. Honestly. It’s late.’

‘No time like the present.’

‘Let’s just leave things the way they are. You asked me whether I was happy and yes, I am. Very.’ She smiled at him and closed her mind to the thought of what lay ahead. Over the past months she had become an expert at living in the present. It was such a good place to be.

‘Happy seeing me now and again? Happy getting diaries out so that we can work out schedules and arrange our meetings like business partners trying to find a convenient date to see one another?’

‘Whatever. Happy being with you when we do meet. It’s good enough for me.’ Please, let’s drop this.

‘There’s no need for you to be based in Paris…’

‘I have to be based somewhere and Paris is the most convenient place. I mean, my work is all in France or Italy, aside from shoots in the Far East.’

‘Which is slightly odd, considering you are from England.’

Francesca went very still, but he didn’t pursue that line of speculation. Instead he murmured gently, ‘You must have some hankering to return to your roots. I know you’ve told me in the past that the only time to be adventurous is when you are young, but you could shift your base to London and continue to be adventurous.’

Francesca released her breath on a sigh. ‘London, Paris—where’s the difference? You’re still all over the place, Angelo, and I accept that. I’m not one of these women who wants to pin you down. You know you’d hate that, hate feeling as though you’ve been put in a trap—how many times have you told me that as soon as a woman starts smelling the aroma of permanence, you start getting restless?’ She tried to lighten the atmosphere with a gentle smile. ‘Maybe I prefer you to be with me now and again and wanting it rather than risk having you around more often, with the danger of you losing interest…’