“Like is an understatement.”

He reached down, slid his arm beneath the curve of her hip and swung her up into his arms. She fit perfectly there, as if she was made for him. It intensified the skittery, antsy feeling he’d been experiencing all night. Dangerous, his senses told him. But tonight he wasn’t listening to his head. Wasn’t focusing on anything but slaking his lust until there was none left.

He carried her into the penthouse and into the bedroom, which had become a war zone between them, a symbol of their mutual antagonism. But not tonight. He set her down on the carpet and reached for his watch, his socks. Peeled them off with deliberate intent. Liv moved her hands to the straps of her dress.

“Nessuno.” His quiet command brought her head up. He crooked a finger at her. “Come here.”

She walked toward him, myriad emotions in her blue eyes. Anticipation, definitely. Uncertainty... Maybe. She stopped inches from where he stood, so close he could feel the warmth of her breath on his cheek. He ran the pad of his thumb across the generous sweep of her lower lip. “I haven’t forgotten what you started in the restaurant that night, Liv. Finish it.”

Her eyes widened. Hot color flamed her cheeks. He watched her mouth form words, but they never came. He wrapped his fingers around hers and brought them down to rest against the straining bulge beneath his trousers. “Sitting at that table that night, all I could picture was you touching me, cara.” His fingers tightened over hers. “I burned for it. I burn for you.”

Color infused her neck and chest now, touching every centimeter of her. A muscle worked convulsively in her throat as she brought her other hand down to join the one he’d placed there, her fingers working the leather strap free of his belt. She pulled hard, uncinching it. He sucked in a sharp breath. Then her fingers were undoing the top button of his trousers, pulling his zipper down. The remainder of his breath left his lungs as she slid her hands inside his pants to cup the length of him.

Maledizione. He closed his eyes. “That’s it. Just like that.”

She moved her fingers up and down him, explored the hard length of his shaft molded by the close-fitting boxers he wore. Her touch goaded him onward, pushed him to an aching, desperate hardness. “Di più,” he murmured. More.

She slipped him out of his boxers and took him in her palms. He was big, harder than he’d ever been in his life, and her soft gasp made him swell even larger. “That’s right, cara. You do that to me. Only you.”

She ran her fingers up and down the pulsing length of him, taking her time to learn the contours of him, the silky tip of him. When he couldn’t take it anymore, he allowed his eyes to slit open.

Her gaze locked with his. The lust he read there almost pushed him over the edge. “In your mouth, sweet Liv. Do it. Now.”

The last word came out ragged and hoarse. A plea as much as it was a command. She must have been as lost as he because she gathered him in her hands and did as he said. He tensed, his entire body going stiff. His first slide inside her hot, welcoming mouth almost unmanned him. He tipped his head back and focused on the cloudless, dark sky through the skylight as he pushed himself back from the edge, forced himself to last so he could enjoy the insane pleasure Olivia was lavishing on him with decadent sweeps of her tongue.

When she had taken him as far as he could allow without ending it right there and then, when his sanity was failing him, he buried his fingers in her hair and brought her to her feet. His own essence mixed with her sweetness as he kissed her was the most heady pleasure he’d ever experienced. But he knew it could be better. Much better.

* * *

Olivia returned Rocco’s devouring kiss, her fingers buried in his hair, consumed with a sexual frustration, a need, the likes of which she’d never felt. He had built her up, played her, with such skill. Used her desire for him to inflame her own. And now she had to have him. Desperately.

Rocco lifted his mouth from hers, cupped her scalp in his fingers as his gaze meshed with hers. “You want me to touch you, beautiful Liv? Make you as crazy as you have made me?”

She could do nothing but nod mindlessly. He sat down on the bed and drew her between his legs. Her heart boomed in her chest, slamming against her ribs so hard she feared she might develop a heart condition right there and then. The strongest organ in her body felt as if it was going triple speed, the insistent pulse of it reaching into the base of her throat, making it hard to breathe. Her knees, which had just about had enough tonight, quivered at the carnal expression on Rocco’s face as he took her in.

He reached up and slipped the straps of her dress off her shoulders. The lightest touch of his fingers on her skin made her shudder. A smile tipped his lips. “Sì, Liv. We either survive this or we go up in flames. But we do it together.”

She was afraid it was going to be the latter. She was afraid she wasn’t going to survive him. He tugged her to him, pushed the dress down over her hips and off. Her eyes followed the dress as it fell in a pool of silk at her feet instead of looking at him, because he was too intense for her to handle.

Rocco slid his fingers under her chin and brought her gaze back up to his. “You look at me. No hiding tonight.”

He reached around, released the clasp of her bra and let it drop to the floor with her dress. His gaze moved down over her, lingering on the swell of her breasts, then her last remaining piece of clothing, a tiny navy blue lace thong. “Out,” he growled, urging her out of the pool of her dress and bra and kicking them aside. Then he brought her back between his legs.

His gaze held hers as he slid his palm between her thighs. Her panties were damp, betraying her desire for him. She closed her eyes at the satisfaction that glittered in his eyes. His fingers tightened on her thighs. “Open them,” he commanded. “Do not close your eyes to me, Olivia.”

She did. She was pretty sure she would have done anything he asked right about now, she was that turned on. But it was excruciatingly hard to make herself look at him as his stare burned into hers. As he removed the sliver of damp material and ran his thumb along the wet seam of her most intimate part.

A low moan broke from her throat. “Oh.”

He filled her with a finger then, his caress aided by just how intensely she wanted him. It was perfect, exactly what she needed when she was on fire for him.

“Like that, cara?”

“Yes.” She gasped. “Just like that.”

He brought his thumb to the center of her and rubbed her slowly, deliberately. She threw her head back and gave herself over to it. He left her alone for long moments while she pushed her hips against his hand and savored his delicious torment. But soon it wasn’t enough. Not nearly enough.

“Rocco, please.”

He stopped his delectable movements until her gaze was back on his. Then he eased another finger inside of her, filling her even more completely. She gasped as he invaded her tightness, stretched her body.

“I can feel you clenching around me, mia cara.” His eyes were a hot, dark brown on hers. “Imagine how I will feel inside of you, filling you completely.”

She already had when her hands had been all over him... She closed her eyes and focused on the rhythm he set, because now it really was too much. Concentrated on the release she craved. He slowed it down, drew out her pleasure until she almost screamed. Then he did it all over again. Faster, harder, he played her until heat infused every centimeter of her body and she was out of her head.

She didn’t realize the animallike groan had come from her until he pulled his fingers from her, pushed her back on the bed and came down between her splayed thighs. She thought he might take her then, but he pushed her thighs farther apart instead, moved his broad shoulders between them and slid down her body until his warm breath fanned her thigh. Oh, Lord. His tongue skated over her hot, aching nub in the briefest of movements. She grabbed the bedspread with her hands and clenched it between her fingers.

His soft laughter filled the air. “Tell me, sweet Liv. I want to hear you say it.”

She squeezed her eyes shut, too shy to say it. He slid two fingers inside of her again, penetrating her slow and easy. Driving her to distraction.

“Say it.”


“Please what?”

Her brain clouded over. “Your tongue,” she groaned. “Your tongue... God, Rocco, please, I want it there.”

He rewarded her with long, slow laps of his tongue that built her pleasure to such an excruciatingly good level that it was almost, almost enough. But not quite. She begged him then, husky, broken entreaties that sounded so wanton to her ears she would have stopped if she hadn’t been so desperate. But she was, and when he drove his fingers deeper and concentrated the expert flick of his tongue on the throbbing heart of her, she came apart beneath him like Fourth of July fireworks, pleasure radiating through every last centimeter of her skin.

She was incoherent, thanking him with broken sentences when he worked his way back up her body and took her mouth again with his. The intimacy of the kiss after what they had just shared was shattering.

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