Hubby and I are on our way home from visiting friends and family in Georgia and Florida. Next week I'll share some pictures and stories with you from our travels. But since I'm still on the road, I'm posting an excerpt from Her Royal Masquerade, book 1 in my Her Royal Romance series.
Her breath caught when his lips found hers. He drew them lightly across hers, not a real kiss, but the hint of one, the promise of more, if only they weren’t in the middle of a crowd. Mia shifted in his arms, moving her body against his. She found his hard erection and her body softened, moistened.
What was she doing?
“Hot,” she gasped, stumbling out of his embrace. “So hot. I’m sorry. I need some air.”
“Of course.” Vittorio wrapped his arm around her waist and the couples on the dance floor stopped and parted for them. He led her to a French door in a bank of floor-to-ceiling windows that opened onto a softly lit patio.
Mia rushed over to the waist high railing constructed of rough-hewn stone like the rest of the palace. Darkness had fallen while she’d been inside. Lights from the towns around them sparkled below. Stars in the inky sky twinkled above. Once again she had the feeling of stepping into a fairy tale.
The air was warm, even outside, with barely a breeze to lift the moisture from her skin. She took a few decidedly un-princesslike gulps of air, trying to calm the edgy arousal that burned within her.
“Are you alright?” Vittorio asked. He stepped up to her and the heat from his body didn’t help her at all. “Do you need to sit down? Something cold to drink?”
“I’ll be okay. Just give me a minute. I guess I’m just not used to the climate here.” She was so hot. She began to tug down one of the opera-length gloves. Would it be a serious breach of conduct if she whipped them off and threw them over the railing?
“Allow me,” he said, his voice suddenly a little deeper, a little slower than it had been a moment before. He took her hand in his, stretched out her arm in front of him. He ran his free hand up, starting at the palm of the hand resting in his. Slowly, so slowly, he moved his hand up her arm. There might as well not have been the fabric of the glove between them, she felt his touch so strongly. When his fingers reached the top of the glove, he didn’t immediately begin to remove it. Instead, he teased the bare skin of her upper arm with his fingers. “So soft,” he whispered, holding her gaze. He swept his hand up to her bare shoulders and cupped her neck, skimming his thumb along her collar bone, just above the diamonds Birgitte had trusted her with. “This beautiful necklace is not half as lovely as you,” he murmured.
She couldn’t speak, could only offer a shaky smile in response. He was holding her hand, her throat. Could he feel her trembling beneath his touch?
“But you are hot. It is our weather, no doubt. I can help you with this problem, I think.” Vittorio began to slowly peel the glove from her arm, dragging his fingers along her skin as he did. He focused all his attention on her arm, as if it were the most important thing to him at the moment.
What would it be like to have that single-minded attention focused on her while making love? Even as Vittorio stripped off her glove, her body heated further with the image of his long, powerful frame moving over her, entering her.
Mia imagined he would take command of her body, ensuring that he pleasured her with all the skill he surely possessed. She couldn’t help but wonder if he would look as amazing out of the expensively tailored clothing as he did at this moment. Of course, he would. Everything about Vittorio was first class. He would fit right in with Birgitte. Mia wasn’t close to being in the same league.
Vittorio began to strip off the second glove, giving it every bit as much attention as he had given to the first one. His fingers strummed along her arm as he tugged at the satin. Her newly bared arm hung at her side, her fingers closed into a fist so she didn’t reach out and tangle them in his thick hair.
“Don’t you have breezes in Mezzano?” she asked, her voice rough with desire. She hoped he would think it was the heat that affected her so. He still held one of her hands in his. She lifted the other hand to wave in front of her face, trying to stir the muggy air.
“Ah, my poor cara. It is still and humid this evening. Be assured we have our share of wind and rain.” The second glove was off now and Vittorio released her hand. How ridiculous it was to feel bereft at the loss of his touch. He folded the gloves and tucked them into the pocket of his jacket.
Mia lifted her heavy hair off her neck to try to cool off for a moment. Maybe she should have worn it up. “I know I should enjoy the warm weather. Right now in Stagatland I would have to be bundled up in a coat and scarf and boots to stand outside.”
Vittorio swept his gaze over her. “And it would truly be a shame to cover the amazing view I have at this moment.”
She let her hair fall down her back. “I suspect you have had a lot of practice with those charming lines,” Mia said, letting the amusement show in her voice. Still, she soaked up the compliment, let the pleasure flow over her like a warm spring rain.
He took her hand, lifted it to his lips. This time the kiss to the back of her bare hand sent fireworks bursting through her system. “It’s only the truth, Birgitte.”
Hearing her cousin’s name fall from Vittorio’s lips was like a handful of snow smacking her in the face. Of course. She had to remember she wasn’t Mia Holmberg tonight. She’d almost forgotten she was playing a part.
Her Royal Masquerade
Her Royal Bodyguard
Playing for Real