The Medici Mistress

By: Clare Connelly


She winced at her own stupidity, regret making her feel stupid. She dropped his hand and stopped walking. “No.” She shook her head. She’d slept with him in the heat of the moment, but sanity was returning to her now. “I… I should actually go.” She scanned the room, and saw her dress crumpled in the corner. She ran to it and scooped it up, shaking it out and pulling it on without pausing. She strode down the corridor, fully aware that he was following her, and not caring. Nor did she care that she’d left her underwear somewhere in his apartment. She needed fresh air, immediately.

“Wait,” he commanded, his tone imperious, his voice clearly demanding obedience.

She didn’t falter.

“Annie,” he spoke sharply, increasing his pace to reach her. “Cara, you do not need to run out like this.”

She stopped walking, forcing herself to speak calmly. There was a dull pain in between her legs; the pain that came from muscles having been stretched in completely new ways. She wanted to be back in her own small apartment, to process what had just taken place.

“Giac, it’s fine. I’m glad that it’s over with. And you’re right- you were the perfect man to lose my virginity to. Skilled, desirable, and with no strings attached.” She smiled at him brightly. “Thank you.”

“What the hell are you saying? Did you intend to sleep with me- or anyone – just to get it over with? Is that what you wanted?”

“For my first time to be with someone tall, dark and handsome? Isn’t that what every girl wants?”

“I don’t believe you,” he said quietly, uncaring of his own nakedness.

“Believe what you want, Giac. Being a virgin at twenty one is embarrassing.”

“No,” he denied. “It isn’t. It’s remarkable, and fascinating, but certainly not something to be ashamed of.”

She ignored the way his words made her heart soar. “Whatever. Thank you.”

“Thank you?” He retorted with disbelief. “You do not thank me for making love to you. And you do not run out on me.”

“Oh, you’re wrong, Giac, on both scores.” She scanned the room, saw her handbag dangling over a chair and reached for it. She hooked it over her shoulder and threw him what she hoped would pass as a casual smile. She knew she had moments before the shock of her situation really sunk in. “Good bye.”

“Annie,” he said coldly. “I am not a man to be walked out on. If you leave now, that is the end of us.”

She nodded. “I understand.” Hadn’t he already said there could be no ‘us’, anyway?

As she hit the Mayfair pavement, and walked towards Bond Street tube, she felt only shock. She didn’t know that Giac watched her slow, confused walk until she passed out of sight. He swore when she turned the corner, and reached for some clothes.

He was completely incapable of letting her go.

It took him precisely three minutes to catch up with her. And three minutes to forever change the course of his life.

CHAPTER THREE

“We have to talk,” he said into his mobile, watching Annie out on the terrace of his penthouse. She was wearing a ridiculously short pair of denim cutoffs, and a simple white singlet top. Her hair fell as one down her back.

“That’s funny. I’ve been thinking the same thing.” Carrie’s voice was distracted. “What’s up?”

Outside, Annie lifted her tea cup to her lips, her hands so elegant and fine, her mouth so desirable, that he felt himself stir to arousal. In the three nights since they’d first slept together, they’d barely left his bed. Work had taken a complete back seat for both, as discovering one another’s bodies became the order of the day.

Still. The certainty of hurting a woman he greatly admired made him hesitate. “It can wait until I’m back in the States. Will you be home next week?”

“Sure thing, Giac. Is everything okay? You sound different.”

If he sounded different, it’s because he was different. A changed man, courtesy of one beautiful and independent Annie Carlton.

“It’s fine.” He forced himself to make small talk. To ask about Carrie’s life, and the various charity events she was knee-deep in organizing, though he barely listened to a word she said. It was sheer relief to hang up the phone. He caught sight of his reflection as he moved purposefully through the lounge room. He despised himself for what he was doing.

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