Oh, how she wanted this man. Wanted him as she had never known it was possible to want any man, the hot demand of his kiss, the hardness of his thighs against hers, telling her that he returned that need.
Gabriel had never tasted anything as sweet as the response of Bella’s mouth beneath his. Never felt anything so lush, so perfect, as his hands moved down over her hips and then down to clasp her bottom as he pulled her into him, his arousal now nestled demandingly against the flatness of her stomach.
Gabriel dragged his mouth from Bella’s to cast a searching look down at her. Those beautiful violet-coloured eyes were so darkly purple it was almost impossible to distinguish the black of her pupils. Her cheeks were flushed, her lips swollen from their kisses, and she looked more erotically enticing than ever. Her breasts were firm against his chest, and Gabriel was able to feel the hardness of her nipples through the soft silk of his shirt.
‘Go. Before I lose all sense and make love to you out here in the hallway!’ He grasped the tops of her arms tightly and turned her in the direction of the bathroom she had been seeking. ‘I will return in two minutes with the champagne and glasses.’
Bella was completely dazed and disorientated as she entered the bathroom and closed the door behind her before leaning weakly back against it.
She was twenty-one years of age, had dated dozens of boys in the last five or six years, but never before had she known anyone or anything as lethal—as potent—as Gabriel’s kisses!
Bella straightened to look at herself in the mirror on the door of the bathroom cabinet over the sink. Her cheeks glowed with the warmth of her arousal. Her mouth—oh, dear, her lips were swollen and slightly parted as if in invitation! Her eyes were deep pools of liquid violet, the pupils enlarged. As for her breasts…Well, if she had any sense she would leave now! If she had any will power at all, she would make herself leave now.
Even as she told herself these things Bella knew she wasn’t going anywhere but back into Gabriel Danti’s arms…
‘Would you like more?’
‘Come a little closer, then. Now hold out your hand.’
Bella lifted the hand holding her glass to allow Gabriel to pour her more champagne as she sat on the sofa beside him, at the same time noting that he hadn’t touched any of the bubbly wine in his own glass since placing it on the coffee table in front of them. The two of them were seated in a sitting-room at the front of the house on the first floor, well away from the noisy party downstairs.
‘You aren’t drinking,’ she pointed out in an effort to cover up the slight shaking of her hand as she once again raised her glass to her lips and took a sip of the delicious pink champagne.
He shook his head, his arm along the back of the sofa as he sat very close beside her, that hand playing with the silken strands of her hair. ‘I’m going to the track for a practice session tomorrow, and I never drink if I am going to drive the next day.’
Bella’s eyes widened. ‘You shouldn’t have bothered opening a bottle of champagne just for me.’
‘It is not just for you,’ Gabriel assured her, dipping his finger into her champagne glass before running his finger lightly behind Bella’s ear and along her jaw. ‘I said I do not drink champagne before driving, Bella, not that I do not intend enjoying its taste,’ he murmured softly, his breath warm against her ear lobe as his lips moved to follow the trail of champagne left by his finger, his tongue rasping against her already sensitised skin.
The combination of Bella and champagne was more intoxicating to Gabriel’s senses than drinking a whole bottle of the expensive wine could ever have been, her skin so smooth to the touch, its sweet taste driving the heat through Gabriel’s already roused body until he throbbed with the need to touch her more intimately. All of her.
He held her gaze as he deliberately dipped his finger back into the champagne before leaving a moist trail from her chin, down the delicate curve of her throat, to the exposed swell of the fullness of her breasts, his lips instantly following that heady trail.
Bella squirmed pleasurably as the warmth of his mouth lingered on her breasts. ‘Gabriel—’
‘Let me, Bella,’ he pressed huskily. ‘Let me bathe you in champagne. All of you. So that I might drink from your body.’ His hand moved to cup her cheek as his thumb moved across her parted lips once more. ‘Will you allow me to do that, Bella?’
Bella had accepted exactly where this was going the moment she had agreed to accompany Gabriel up the stairs to what had turned out to be the private sitting-room that adjoined his bedroom. Although thankfully the bedroom door had remained closed, otherwise she might have panicked long before now.
Not that she was panicking. Quivering with delicious anticipation more described her present state of mind! Just the thought of Gabriel dribbling champagne over her totally naked body, before slowly licking away each drop with the rasp of his arousing tongue, was enough to heat every inch of her to a tingling awareness that suddenly made the few clothes Bella was wearing feel tight and restrictive.
‘As long as I can reciprocate.’ She dipped her own finger into the champagne before running that finger over the firm sensuality of Gabriel’s slightly parted lips. ‘May I?’ She paused expectantly with her mouth only centimetres away from his, violet eyes looking deeply into dark brown.
‘Please do,’ he encouraged.
What Bella lacked in experience she hoped she made up for in her delight at being given the freedom to explore the sculptured perfection of Gabriel’s mouth in the same way he had hers. She heard his ragged intake of breath as she gently sucked his top lip into her mouth and her tongue slowly licked the heady champagne from that softness. His hand moved up to entangle his fingers into her hair as she gave the same treatment to his bottom lip, knowing as those fingers tightened in her hair that these caresses were arousing Gabriel as deeply as they were her.
Gabriel’s body hardened more with each heated sweep of Bella’s tongue against his lips, the throb of his thighs becoming an urgent demand. In fact, he wasn’t even sure he was going to make it as far as the bedroom before stripping Bella’s clothes from her deliciously responsive body and surging hotly, satisfyingly inside her!
He moved back abruptly, a nerve pulsing in his tightly clenched jaw as he stood up to hold out his hand to her. ‘Come with me, Bella,’ he invited as she looked up at him uncertainly.
Gabriel continued to hold that gaze as Bella placed her hand in his and rose gracefully to her feet, her breasts quickly rising and falling beneath the thin wool of her sweater.
She was like a small, wild thing, Gabriel acknowledged with growing wonder. So tiny. So delicate. So absolutely, potently desirable.
Gabriel felt his stomach muscles tighten with the force of that desire, continuing to keep a firm hold of her delicate fingers as he picked up the chilled bottle of champagne with his other hand, neither of them speaking as they went into his bedroom.
‘Please don’t…’ Bella protested shyly as Gabriel would have turned on the bedside light.
A four-poster bed! A genuine antique if Bella wasn’t mistaken, as were the drapes of deep gold brocade that could be pulled around the four sides of the bed.
What did it matter whether or not the bed and drapes were genuinely old? It was still a bed. A bed Bella had no doubts she would shortly be sharing—very shortly, if the heat of his gaze was any indication!—with Gabriel Danti.
This was madness. Sheer, utter, delicious madness!
‘I want to be able to look at you as I make love to you, Bella,’ Gabriel said, once again standing very close to her, but not touching her, the warmth of his body alone acting on Bella’s