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Rhythm and blues

Mistress By Blackmail(5)

By: Caro LaFever

“Mr. La Rocca—”

“You may go, Angie.” His gaze never left the tiny woman who’d stopped stomping and now stood inside the room in rigid anger.

The door shut with a soft thump.

Her face was a lovely oval, her chin slightly pointed. Her black hair was cut short and curled around her petite ears. Her mouth was pure perfection. Plump, pink, and lush. Her eyes flashed with fire. He couldn’t quite pick out the color across the length of the room, but they were light. Filled with the light of battle at the moment.

Remarkable. The air between them sizzled. He would not have been surprised if electric shocks sprang from both of their bodies.

Dio. He could almost forgive Matteo for moving this piece of art into his flat.

The woman crossed her arms in front of her. “You have a lot to answer for.”

“I usually do.” His tongue felt thick. His mouth dry.

“You can’t force Matt to marry this Viola woman.”

“Mmm.” He clamped down on his libido and focused on the task at hand. The task at hand that had become remarkably more desirable in the last few minutes. This was no longer a chore; it would be a pleasure to take this woman to bed. In fact, having sex with her was now his primary aim. How lucky for him this coincided with his ultimate goal of detaching her from his brother.

“That’s all you have to say for yourself?”

“Matteo has been whining? In his usual way?”

“He isn’t whining. He’s upset.” Her graceful hands lifted and sliced the air with curt, angry movements. “He’s in despair. Because of you.”

“I’m sorry to hear it.” He watched, fascinated as her whole body vibrated with energy.

“No, you’re not. Or you’d do something about the situation.” She began to pace. “Whatever I have to do, I’ll stop you from doing this to him.”

The passion in her voice when she talked about his brother sliced fury right through his lust. The sudden picture of Matteo and this nymph in bed together pulsed through his brain, sending him into a full-throttled rage. Which astonished him. He rarely lost his formidable temper. But it was definitely temper knotting in his throat. He couldn’t help the biting words spitting from his mouth. “You are close to Matt.”

Her eyes widened at the tone of his voice. “Definitely.”

“My brother is a lucky man.”

Something, a spark of shrewdness or cunning, flashed across her face. “Yes,” she said slowly. “He is lucky to have me.”

“So you have come to plead for your love.”

Her body stilled. A pause of breathless silence passed between them. Then she finally nodded. “That’s right. That’s exactly right.”

The knot in his throat grew, still he couldn’t help tightening it further. “You love Matteo.”

“Yes.” She walked to the edge of his desk, staring at him across the shiny surface. “And for the sake of this love, I’m asking you to call off the marriage.”

Her eyes were blue. The deep, vibrant blue of a Tuscany night sky. They were filled with emotion. Love. Something he long ago stopped believing in.

“No.” He stared right into her eyes. “Never.”

“Please,” she whispered. “This would make me very happy.”

“I will make you happy.” He stood with an abrupt jerk. “But in an entirely different way.”

Chapter 2

The Great Man was…well…great.

Darcy took in a deep breath and tried to suppress every quivering cell in her body. Every female cell. Yet this was impossibly hard to do. The man before her was the epitome of male perfection. She’d expected an older version of Matt. Rather lanky, rather messy, and definitely non-threatening in the sexual department. Instead, she confronted every woman’s dream.

Well, certainly hers.

A revelation in and of itself. She had blissfully assumed she was immune to desiring or dreaming. Never, in her entire life, had she gone gaga over a guy. Not once in her entire existence had she thought she’d die if a man didn’t want her. When other women went on and on about some bloke, she wondered what the big deal was about any of the male species.

Clearly her mum had left her another important gift.

The gift of not losing her head over a guy.

She’d kissed guys, naturally she had. She’d had sex. She’d figured she should find out what all the fuss was about. Prove she wasn’t scared, she wasn’t scarred. So she’d done it. Once. She’d been proud of herself. Proud she’d muddled through the incident without gagging or losing her control. The experience had been rather untidy, but not anything she couldn’t handle. And she’d been ultra-proud of herself for not suddenly thinking she’d fallen in love with the man.

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