[Siren Classic: Erotic Contemporary Romance]
Danni Cirillo's heritage as she knew it was gone. The land and the wine label were sold. A collection of valuable family heirlooms is all that's left, and Danni proposes an arrangement with her friend, Nico Severino, in an effort to regain them.
Exchanging her birthright statues with nights in Nico's bed will have them both wondering if she's lost her mind. Danni's unorthodox approach to getting her statues back would end their friendship, but the memories they'd make together would stay with her forever. She knows she'll take away more than the small ivory carvings, she'll get an education only Nico can provide.
Now all she has to do is talk him into the deal.
A Siren Erotic Romance
4 CHERRIES: "This was high sensuality that never lost the emotion. Both the hero and heroine own neighboring vineyards, and there's an interesting set of erotic statues that inspire all sorts of romantic liaisons...the chemistry was phenomenal. I really enjoyed the interactions between Nico and Danni and felt that the statues were a cool twist." -- Heather, Whipped Cream Reviews
She knocked once, pushing open the study door, finding him staring out the window to the patio with his back to her. She paused, taking a quick inventory of him. Tall and lean with long, muscular thighs and a tight butt. She knew his slim waist widened into strong tight shoulders. Strange feelings of foreboding in the air made her hesitate. She'd never been uncomfortable in Nico's study, but today was different. A strange heat filled her, searching for its target and landed, making her lips moist and full, while a dull ache pulsed with her heartbeat. Of course, she knew it was just hormones and chemical reactions producing her lust, but Niccolo Severino still made her think about sex in a carnal direction no other man had produced. She'd wanted him all of her life, and now, old enough to have him, she knew it wouldn't happen. The way his brow was knit and his eyes fixed, Danni knew that whatever their discussion was about, it wasn't going to be productive to her sex life.
Letting out a sigh, she moved forward and dropped into one of the leather wingback chairs across from his desk while tossing her hat on another. Only then did he turn, making an almost dismissive nod toward the folder on his desk, the only folder on the glossy surface.
"Well, good afternoon to you too!" Danni let out a breath and studied him. "I was summoned and I've arrived. What's up, Nico?" She shifted to tuck one leg up under her on the chair and resettled in a half stretch against the opposite armrest.
The cotton of her T-shirt stretched across her breasts. She realized her nipples were hardened and prominently displayed. It gave her a sensual thrill knowing Nico saw.
"Danni, circumstances have changed while you were away at school these past years. A lot of these changes might be hard to accept. Just know this before we start…" He hesitated and turned back to the window. "I do love you, Danni, always have in one form or another, and I think if you let yourself, you'd realize you cared about me too."
"Of course, Nico. I've been smitten with you since I could understand the feelings you mixed inside me." She shifted only slightly, more curious than before, laughing lightly and adding, "Are you finally going to do me? Have you decided I'm old enough? Is it time to add another nod to your list, or are you in a dry spell?" Danni was laughing at the absurdity of becoming his mistress. While she'd always wanted to sleep with him, she knew it would come with commitments, none of which she needed right now. The farm had to come first. "Sorry, friend, timing's bad. I need to concentrate on the ranch now. Maybe after the spring pruning I could work you in, but not now." Danni waited for him to return some quick barb, but instead he was quite serious.
"Danni, will you marry me?"
"What?" She'd said the word aloud before she could take it back. "Nico, I do love you, but marriage…the idea is absurd."
"Yes, it is. But just remember I asked, Danielle. And that I do love you in my own way. It may be our only hope one day of remaining friends."
"Nico, I don't understand. Where is this coming from? You say things have changed. Tell me about the changes. Marriage is not something I take lightly, especially to you." Danni realized she meant what she said. "You deserve better."
"Let's hope you still feel that way when you leave here." Again, he nodded toward the desk, and she finally unlaced her legs, reached forward, and pulled the ominous folder toward her. Lust was lost to reality. Danni took a quick breath and opened it. Then she stopped breathing.
Inside was a full-color, eight-by-ten-inch picture of one of her great-great-grandfather's netsuke collection. It was the collateral for the original farm purchase. Through the years, its value had increased, as had the land and the product they produced. The Cirillo winery had been established on the value of statues. So small, she knew, yet so rare. Even back then, Matteo Cirillo understood value didn't always mean large. Through the years, each generation had taken great pride in respecting the collection and protecting it. Never once had any been sold or traded for cash or land. Intact, the collection was part of the heritage she took for granted.
An hour later found them in the kitchen, Nico in just a pair of old jeans, Danni with just her silk slip covering her nakedness. What should have felt awkward didn't. They moved with an almost practiced rhythm while making sandwiches and pouring tall glasses of cold milk. Their conversation was mostly about food, wine being diplomatically left out. With her back to him as she filled the dishwasher, Danni never saw the look on Nico's face. If she had, she probably never would have been able to face him again. Anger and lust boiled just beneath the surface, disappointment his proposal was again rejected not computing in his brain.
Nico sat in his kitchen, watching Danni wipe down the counter, continuing their conversations about restaurants and favorite meals. Her slip shifted with each movement, allowing him peeks at her thighs or the tops of her breasts. Her nipples were still hard and puckered; he longed to move behind her, to take her against the sink. Of course that wasn't part of their arrangement. She'd be sore, he knew. Hell, he had aching muscles in places he didn't know could ache. Once she became accustomed to his presence and size, she surprised him. Danni was no ice maiden. Once relaxed, she seemed to give herself to him freely.
There were moments when he felt the naivety to her touch. Now he knew he had to find a way to keep her here in the valley as his wife. He'd loved her from afar since before he should have thought about her. For years he'd been so careful not to push her further than was acceptable in his mind. Now he knew she was meant to be his. He didn't propose again. Instead, he stood and quickly moved behind her. He used his fingers against the silk to tease her nipples, his lips to tease the back of her neck. Danni pushed against him, shifted her hips against his erection, giving him permission.
Nico had planned on taking her back to bed for sleep but his alter ego took over. One hand dropped from her breast to brush against her lower lips and she let out a sigh. From there it was a simple lift of her slip and a lowering of his zipper as he slipped inside her. She groaned, and he started to pull away, remembering she'd be irritated. Her hands reached behind her, holding his hips tight.
"Don't stop," she half whispered, half groaned. "You feel different without the condom."
"Want me to stop? You said you were on the pill?" His lips continued to nibble at her throat and earlobe as he slowly pulled from inside her.
"No, don't stop. It was just an observation." Danni leaned forward, using the counter to balance herself as Nico's movements quickened. He felt her muscles clamp against him, holding his cock in a viselike grip while she climaxed. Her moist heat made his path slicker. He drove himself deeper several times before pulling the silk up over her buttocks, pulling from inside her. He let his cum spray against her skin, not thinking twice about watching it drip down her cheeks. Danni was still braced against the counter, her breathing returning to normal as his did. Nico wasn't sure what to do after this last performance, so he simply lifted her into his arms and headed toward the staircase.
"Shower," he whispered and she nodded against his shoulder.