Authors: Zara Cox
Tags: #Erotica, #Literature & Fiction
Kindle Edition | Copyright 2013 Zara Cox
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Coming Soon from Zara Cox – RHAPSODY'S DELIGHT
Table of Contents
About the Author
Early Spring 2012
“C’mon, ladies, bottoms up!”
“Bottoms up? The way you’re going, it’ll be bottoms out before the hour’s up!” Lexi Mayfield shouted over the sound of pumping music to her friend and bachelorette party honoree, Cara Saldana.
“That’s fine by me. I have a very nice ass, so if it wants to hang out, I just might let it.” The statuesque brunette rose, planted red-tipped fingers on the table, and performed an exquisite little wriggle with said ass, earning several appreciative whistles from the guys at a nearby bar. Fiona and Sally, the other two girls forming their quartet, giggled and joined in the dance. One sported a cheeky veil and the other a red halo. The catcalls grew louder, and Lexi watched the girls, buoyed by countless cosmopolitans, start an impromptu conga line around the table.
Friday night, and
, the latest “in” club on the London social scene, was packed to the rafters. From their centre booth, Lexi observed the beautiful and not-so-beautiful drink, dance, and flirt, wishing she’d gone with her original suggestion of a spa weekend to treat her soon-to-be married friend.
Nightclubs weren’t her thing, especially the headache-inducing strobe lights and the head-banging shriek-fest that passed for music.
, as she’d rightly predicted, was a wall-to-wall meat market. Guys in tight fitting clothes - some showing off honed muscles, others desperately hiding paunches - performed improbable gymnastics to the throbbing music, alongside women in skimpy outfits. She grimaced, looked away, and shuddered as the short, comb-over guy at the next table gave her a lecherous once-over.
Give her a salsa club with soft lights and sensual Latin music any day. Or better yet, the serene bliss of her favorite spa, which is where she planned to celebrate her own bachelorette party in a month’s time.
The now much longer conga line approached. Cara, self-appointed fearless leader, whooped and swayed in front, leading ardent followers between the tables.
“Come on, Lexi.” She made a grab for her as they passed by the table.
“No, thanks. I’m fine exactly where I am, thanks.” Lord, she hated making a spectacle of herself. Joining the conga line clad in the short, tight black mini skirt Cara had all but forced her into was definitely out of the question.
She cringed as Cara stopped, hands planted on her hips and glared at her. “You promised, Lexi. You promised me a fantastic time tonight. These are my last days of freedom, for fuck’s sake! The least you can do is help me enjoy myself.”
Lexi refrained from reminding her semi-inebriated friend that she didn’t need anyone to have a good time. Cara could have a full-blown party in a padded cell all by herself.
Instead, she put down her mineral water and let herself be pulled up, her protests ignored as Cara forced her in front of the line.
“Finally, some signs of life! Now wriggle that ass and show me what makes my big brother so hot for you,” she commanded.
“Oh, don’t be such a prude,” Cara replied, her American accent distinctive in the jumbled mix of Cockney and middle-class tones. Her hands slid up over Lexi’s hips and anchored at her waist. “What is it you English say? Don’t be such a big girl’s blouse? Now move!”
Pushed from behind by the restless line, Lexi stumbled forward, going with the sway of bodies. She opened her mouth to explain that the expression was normally reserved for wimpy men not women, but stopped as she felt Cara’s warm breath tease her ear.
“Don’t think I haven’t heard you and Enzo going at it like crazed monkeys. You don’t fool me for a second with that Mary Poppins facade. Underneath those don’t-touch-me clothes, you’re a raging little vixen.”
Lexi turned shocked eyes to her friend, frantically trying to recall when Cara could have heard her with Enzo. It must’ve been—
“Yep, the night of your birthday party last month,” Cara supplied helpfully. “You guys thought I’d left. I’d crashed in the back bedroom. Your screams woke me up. For such a prude, you’re very…vocal in bed, aren’t you? Or was it your brand new status as my brother’s fiancée that got you so hot?” Her crude chuckle grated on Lexi’s nerves.
“Sorry if the noise woke you…” She flinched as the hand around her waist tightened almost painfully.
“If that’s your thing, then go for it, I say. As long as you think you’re doing the right thing, that is.”
“The right thing? You mean marrying your brother?” The loud music made her think she’d misheard, but when she glanced over her shoulder, the look in Cara’s eyes told a different story. Lexi tried not to react to the mild venom she saw there.
“It’s easy to confuse great sex with love. And as much as I love him, Enzo can be a jerk sometimes. Besides, he’s not exactly the homebody type. He works really long hours. Hell, sometimes he doesn't come home at all, just sleeps at his club, and not always alone, if you know what I mean. You sure you want to put up with that?”
Lexi frowned as alarm skated down her spine. “Should you talk about your brother that way?” She tried to pull away.
Cara stayed right behind her. “He's
brother; I'm stuck with him.” She paused a beat. “But there's no reason why you should be.”
Lexi missed a step and stumbled as the restless dancers pushed the conga line forward. “Are you trying to tell me something? Are you warning me off?” Were the fears she’d harbored since becoming engaged to Enzo real? Did Cara hate the thought of her, or anyone else for that matter, marrying her precious brother?
The younger woman gave a shrug. “I just think all this happened too fast. Maybe you need to think about it some more before you rush into a mistake you’ll regret.”
“The same way you rushed into your engagement to Ian after only three weeks?”
Her hands dropped from Lexi’s waist and she stopped in the middle of the dance floor. “You think I’m making a mistake? Or are you jealous because Ian asked me to marry him even though you dated him first?”
“I’m not jealous and I never said you were making a mistake, but obviously you think I am by marrying
Cara’s lips turned downward. “Maybe I’m giving you advice that I hope my own brother would give me if he thought I was making a mistake.”
“And does he?”
“No, he knows I'm happy with Ian.”
“And I’m happy with your brother, so let's drop this, shall we?” For several seconds, the mutinous expression remained in Cara’s eyes. “Cara?”
“Hey, what's the holdup? Let’s keep the conga movin'!” someone shouted from behind.
“Fine, just make sure you’re doing the right thing, considering your age and all.” Undisguised malice accompanied the words and Lexi’s heart sank even further.
“Gee thanks, but I don’t think twenty-nine qualifies me for the recycling dump just yet.”
Cara flicked back her hair, shameless at her insult. “You know what I mean.”
“No, I don’t. And frankly, I don’t think I want to know.” When Cara tried to force Lexi to resume the conga, she pulled away. “I think I’ll go and sit down now.”
Heart pounding, she returned to the table and swallowed a mouthful of mineral water. While it wet her throat, she couldn’t help but wish for something stronger to dull the edge of her anxiety.
As designated driver, however, she had no choice but to stick to water. Unfortunately, it did nothing to stop the fretful emotions rampaging through her.
Because somewhere in the recesses of her mind, she’d also questioned how she, a snuggie-and-X-Factor-loving, nightclub-loathing nobody like her had managed to bag someone like Enzo Saldana, the sexiest man she’d ever seen?
Yeah, the thought had intruded once or twice, way before Cara’s brazen put down.
Breathing deep, Lexi placed the glass on the table and paused as she caught sight of her engagement ring.
Just the mere thought of him calmed her nerves.
Enzo, the love of her life. Her other half. Her soul mate.
God, she hadn’t believed such intense feelings could exist between two human beings until she met him.
Four weeks ago, after only three months of dating, he’d asked her to marry him, and all her dreams had come true. Eastwell Manor was booked, courtesy of a last-minute cancellation, and her fairytale dress now hung in her closet. In two months’ time, she’d walk down the aisle, join her life with Lorenzo Saldana’s, and live happily fucking ever after.
A smile broke over her face. All of a sudden, she couldn’t wait to get back home, coax him round to her apartment, and have monkey sex with him.
God bless the day Sally had talked her into joining her salsa class.
She’d spied Enzo the minute she’d walked into the salsa club on the third week of lessons--a dark, brooding figure in the corner of the main bar. Having already met him and received his frosty reception at the house she’d showed to him and his sister that morning, she’d been reluctant to approach him again, even though his eyes remained pinned on her. She’d watched surreptitiously as he rebuffed all attempts from the women in the class to seduce him onto the dance floor.
Tall, sleekly-muscled, clad in jeans and a tight black T-shirt, the word
seemed to sum up the raven-haired hunk who’d watched with lazy amusement as she attempted the complicated salsa moves.
In the end, she suspected that he’d taken over her practice out of pity as she’d tortured the dance steps.
But all it’d taken was one touch, one look into his deep, green eyes, and she’d lost her heart. Well that, and him molding her to his body halfway through a particularly sensual move, fisting one strong hand in her hair and whispering hotly in her ear,
“I’m not sure whether I want to teach you how to salsa properly or just take you home and fuck you ten ways to heaven.”
“Take me home,” she'd whispered with an urgency that had shocked her.
He’d taken her home. He’d showed her exactly
salsa move. Then he’d thrown her on the floor and fucked her until she was hoarse from screaming her pleasure.
By morning, she’d been halfway in love with him, swept away by feelings so strong, Mount Vesuvius at full rage couldn’t have stopped her from claiming him as hers.
That he felt the same made heaven a truly wonderful, glorious place to be.
Except for the snake in paradise.
From the start of her relationship with Enzo, Lexi had felt Cara’s mild disapproval. She couldn’t pinpoint the problem because they’d seem to hit it off after being introduced by Lexi’s childhood friend, Sally. Cara hero-worshiped her brother, that much had been obvious from the get-go.
But lately, she’d begun to wonder whether Cara had faked her goodwill. With her stark warning just now, Lexi could no longer pretend that she had Cara’s blessing. But why did she hate the idea of her marrying Enzo so much? Couldn’t she see how happy she made Enzo, and vice versa?
Lexi’s solitaire ring glinted in the strobe lights of the club, and her warm glow receded as she recalled how disastrous her previous relationships had been.
Take Ian, for instance. Contrary to Cara’s inference that she was jealous, she’d felt nothing but relief when Ian had turned his attentions to someone else. Although they’d dated for a while, Lexi had never felt he was
one. And frankly by the time she broke things off, Ian’s intensity had scared her a little.
Cara had struck a nerve, calling her a prude. Or at least that’d been the label hung on her before Enzo had shown her that there was more to sex than vanilla-missionary with her eyes shut in the dark. Hell, he'd even taught her that gentle loving could also be red-hot. Sex with Ian had always left her feeling inadequate and unfulfilled.