The Medici Mistress

By: Clare Connelly

"O, what men dare do! What men may do! What men daily

do, not knowing what they do!"

William Shakespeare.





CHAPTER ONE

She peered around the filing cabinet once more, her heart racing.

It was him.

Three years might have passed since their last encounter, but every detail about Giac Medici was forever imprinted on her mind. His body had owned hers; her heart had been his.

Her mouth was dry as she watched him stroll down the corridor as though he owned the place.

Which, she supposed, he did.

From beneath her fanned lashes, and behind the safety of a wall of furniture, she watched as he paused to talk to one of the senior VPs. Morrison, she thought his name was, though his name mattered nothing to her. Especially not at that moment.

Giac’s tanned hands were thrust against his tapered waist, somehow emphasizing the breadth of his shoulders and the strength of his powerful legs. But it was his hands that made her body temperature soar. Remembering how those hands had felt on her body. Persistent, demanding and heavenly, they’d caressed and teased every inch of her.

She squeezed her eyes shut against the unwelcome avalanche of memories.

The way his mouth had breathed across her body as his tongue lashed and tasted her; his arms had encircled her; how it had felt when he’d taken possession of her, again and again, and shown her what pleasure and satisfaction truly were. His passion for her had been unrelenting. Their affair had been illicit and ill-advised, and somehow all the more desperately perfect for that fact.

There was no escape except for the executive boardroom a few steps from her hiding place.

She waited until he was engrossed in a document that Morrison, or whoever he was, held out and then took her opportunity. The door opened silently enough. With a shake of her head, she disappeared, just a wave of ebony silk pony tail and the fragrance of gardenias left in her wake.

In the safety of the cavernous space, she let out the breath she’d held pent up since first realizing he was back. Not just in London, but there, in the offices of Amicus Incorporated.

Three years was not such a long time, but every day had dragged and stretched. How could such a brief affair have reached through the fabric of her life in such a dramatic way? She had loved him, undoubtedly. But he’d killed that love when she’d discovered the truth about his engagement.

The whole time they’d been making love, she’d been building a picture-perfect future in her mind, with Giac Medici at the center of it. While he’d been indulging in a bit of completely despicable, utterly wild sex-on-the-side before tying himself down to another woman for life.

A woman he loved.

A suitable woman.

A woman born to American political royalty, the gorgeous and fascinating Carrie Ewing. She was the daughter of a senator, her grandfather had been Vice President, and she was on the board of several top charities and institutions around the world.

Annie Carlton knew herself to be beautiful, intelligent and interesting; but she was simply not on Giac’s playing field. How could she hope to compete with a woman like Carrie Ewing?

She cringed into the darkness, cursing her naivety in believing that someone like him would ever be serious about a girl like her. He was a self-made gazillionaire. No family money for him. Quite the reverse. From what he had said, his upbringing had been difficult and lonely. He had known from a young age that his success in life would boil down to his actions and deeds alone. He was hard-headed and famously ruthless, as renowned for his hostile takeovers of struggling corporations as he was his staggering good looks.

Which was how Amicus Incorporated had wound up in his swag of companies; and how she, a lowly legal adviser in those days, had wound up in his bed.

She sighed, pushing away from the door and walking deeper into the conference room. Absentmindedly, she ran a finger over the walnut desk, polished to such a sheen it was almost reflective.

The door opened, casting a wedge of light into the otherwise dark space. And she knew. It was Giac. Not because he’d seen her, but because they were drawn together like magnets. It wasn’t design, it was an unknown cosmic force. Slowly, she turned, schooling her features to resemble a mask of composure.

Their eyes connected instantly, forming a string of tension between their two alert bodies. His dark and cynical, ever-watchful, hers enormous circles of apple green in her pale, angular face. For once, she had the advantage. She saw the way a muscle flexed in his jaw; the way his eyes darkened at the same time his skin paled; the way his mouth parted slightly in surprise. He covered it quickly, but she’d seen it.

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