Charlie laughed, but she felt a little frisson at the thought of his kids, all with his dark hair, dark eyes and olive skin.
‘You don’t mean that.’
‘You’re right.’ Riccardo thought of the life that lay ahead of him. ‘I don’t. At least, not yet. I have too much living to do to even go near the thought of settling down with a woman and having a family. Now, are we going to go for that drink in Lucca or not?’
‘I don’t know if I can be bothered.’ Charlie stretched. ‘Besides, I don’t feel too good about using Fabio’s pool. I know he and Anna are out for the evening, but I shouldn’t think they’d like the thought of one of the workers flapping around on their property.’
Fabio and Anna ran part of the vast vineyards and had their own little villa and pool. Charlie, Jayne and Simone shared a flat in the nearby village and biked in every day to do their work. The arrangement worked, and Charlie didn’t want to ruin it by taking advantage of her employer’s absence. But Riccardo was having none of it. Youth, arrogance and a certain desire to impress the delicious woman staring up at him raced through his blood like fire. The boy who was mature beyond his years in the world of finance was right now just a young man willing to indulge an under-used wild streak.
‘It’s either the pool or else break into his house and use their shower…’
‘Don’t even say that!’ But she was laughing, caught up in the energy of the moment.
‘And we’re here now, aren’t we? In their grounds?’ Or should I say my grounds, he thought realistically. ‘In their grounds…in their pool…where’s the difference?’ Before she could say anything, he stood up and swiftly gathered up all their clothes, holding them high up and out of her reach as she scrambled to her feet, laughing.
‘You’re right, of course. We could always walk back to your place, but we’ll have to do it wearing nothing.’
‘You wouldn’t dare!’
‘Never challenge a man like me.’ Riccardo grinned, dangling the bundle of clothes away from her frantic attempts to grab, until she subsided with a little ‘humph’ of mock disgruntlement.
The pool was really only a few minutes’ walk through the vineyards which layered the hill in neat, orderly rows. And, once in the water, she had to admit that it was absolute bliss, beautifully cold and refreshing. And fun, touching him in the water, having him touch her. It was wicked, but how could she resist when he hoisted her to the side of the pool, lay her down with her legs dangling in the water and spread them wide apart so that he could lean at the side of the pool and taste her? A leisurely feasting with his tongue which flicked and darted, probed and squirmed. How could she resist something that felt so good?
This was what he had done to her—turned her from an ordinary, pretty teenager with ordinary, controllable relationships into a woman who was willing and eager to try anything with him. A whole new world of experiences had opened up and she had soaked them up like a sponge, loving the way he made her feel, loving him.
She climaxed with a long shudder of mindless ecstasy, amazed that her body could respond yet again with such involuntary urgency. Then she was content to lie there for a while before drawing her legs up and watching him as he swam like a fish up and down the lengths of the pool, before heaving himself out and then shaking off the water like a jungle animal surfacing from a river. He had utter confidence in his nakedness. He didn’t seem to give a jot that she was staring at him. She was like that now with him, but at the start just the knowledge that his eyes were on her had made her want to cover her nudity with her hands. No man had seen her before without clothes, and she had shied away from his rampant masculinity, fascinated and scared at the same time.