Inherited by Ferranti

By: Kate Hewitt


‘So do I,’ she whispered.

Slowly Marco came towards her. Sierra watched him, her breath held, her heart beating hard. ‘May I help you wash?’ he asked and she stared at him, paralysed by indecision and longing. Finally, wordlessly, she nodded.

She watched as Marco reached for the bar of expensive soap the hotel provided and lathered his hands. He motioned for her to lean forward and after a moment she did and he began to soap her back. His touch was gentle, almost hesitant, and it felt loving. It also felt incredibly intimate, even more so than the things they’d done together in bed. Yet there was nothing overtly sexual about his touch as he slid his hands up and down her back. It felt almost as if he were offering some kind of penance, asking for absolution. Almost as if this act was as intimate and revealing for him as it was for her.

She let out a shuddering breath as he pressed a kiss to the back of her neck. Desire, like liquid fire, spread through her as he kissed his way down the knobs of her spine.

‘Marco...’

‘Let me make love to you, Sierra.’

She nodded her assent and in one easy movement he scooped her up from the tub and, cradling her in his arms, he brought her back to the master bedroom. Sierra gazed up at him with huge eyes as he laid her down on the bed and then stripped his clothes from his body.

She held her arms out and he went to her, covering her body with his own, kissing her with a raw urgency she hadn’t felt from him before. And she responded in kind, kiss for kiss, touch for touch, both of them rushed and desperate for each other, until Marco finally sank inside her, buried deep, her name a sob in his throat as they climaxed together.

Afterwards they lay quietly as their heart rates returned to normal and honeyed sunlight filtered through the curtains.

She would miss this, Sierra thought, when it was over. And despite the tenderness Marco had just shown her, despite the fierce pleasure of their lovemaking, she knew it would be over soon. She felt it in the way Marco had already withdrawn back into the shuttered privacy of his thoughts, his eyebrows drawn together as he stared up at the ceiling. She had no idea what he was thinking or feeling. Moments ago he’d been the most loving, gentle man she could have imagined, and now?

She sighed and stirred from the bed. ‘I should dress.’

He barely glanced at her as he reached for his clothes. ‘We can order room service if you like.’

‘I’d rather go out.’ She wanted to escape the oppressive silence that had plagued them both since last night.

‘Very well,’ Marco answered, and he didn’t look at her as he started to dress.

An hour later they were seated at an upmarket seafood restaurant off Rodeo Drive. Sierra perused the extensive and exotic menu while Marco frowned down at the wine list.

‘So what business do you have to do here exactly?’ she asked after they’d both ordered.

‘I’m meeting with the real estate developers to agree on the site for the new hotel.’

‘Where is it?’

‘Not far from here. A vacant lot off Wilshire Boulevard.’ He drummed his fingers on the table, seeming almost impatient, and Sierra couldn’t help but feel nettled.

‘Sorry, am I wasting your time?’ she asked tartly and Marco turned to her, startled.

‘No, of course not.’

‘It’s just you seem like you can’t wait to get away.’

‘I seem...?’ Now he looked truly flummoxed. ‘No, of course not.’

Sierra didn’t answer. Maybe the problem was with her, not with Marco. She could feel how his changing moods affected her, made her both worry and want to please him. Had her mother been like this, wondering if her husband would come home smiling or screaming? Bracing herself for a kiss or a kick?

She couldn’t stand the see-sawing of emotions in herself, in Marco. The endless uncertainty. It had been better before, when she hadn’t cared so much. That was the problem, Sierra realised. She really was starting to love him. Maybe she already did.

Cold fear clawed at her. So much for a fling. How had she let this happen? How had he slipped under her defences and reached her heart, despite everything? She’d never wanted love, never looked for it, and yet it had found her anyway.

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