Our Kind of Love

By: Victoria Purman

CHAPTER

1

Anna Morelli plundered the deepest recesses of her brain for every Italian swear word she knew and let them rip in a furious, unadulterated tirade.

All in her head, of course.

The handsome-as-all-get-out charmer who was looming over her in the early morning light – tall, tanned and naked as the day he was born – had a big hand pressed firmly over her mouth. She got the clear warning in his wide-eyed stare and clenched lips. His lips. Diavolo.

‘What was that?’ She forced the words out in a whisper against his palm.

He held a finger from his other hand to his own lips and raised an eyebrow. The flare of awareness in his denim-blue eyes almost sparked between them and set Anna on fire.

They both stilled as they heard them again. Plodding footsteps on the other side of the bedroom door. Someone else was in the house.

‘Don’t. Say. A. Word,’ he murmured.

Anna gripped the cool cotton sheets with shaking fingers, pulling them up to cover her breasts. She was well and truly stuck. Not between a rock and a hard place but between someone else’s sheets and utter humiliation.

She was about to be discovered naked in bed with an almost total stranger. Joe. Joe something. Merda. She didn’t even know his last name.

He slowly lifted his hand from her mouth and then moved over her, planting his arms on the bed, one on either side of her bare shoulders until he hovered over her. The morning light from the window shadowed across his face and he looked like a Hollywood actor in an ad for men’s cologne. The growth on his tanned jaw, his wide shoulders, his hard chest, his flat stomach.

Anna licked her lips, which suddenly felt as though they’d been scorched by a scalding north wind. Joe watched her wet tongue slide over the plump fullness of her mouth and he seemed to see it as some kind of invitation, lowering himself until all that was between them was the sheet. Anna realised that if he stayed there much longer it would be burnt to a crisp.

She gulped, tried to think. Which was near on impossible given the combination of chilled champagne, hot sex and naked handsome guy that had addled her brain.

Here were the facts as she knew them.

The night before she’d attended a wedding in the sleepy but kind of charming beachside town of Middle Point on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula.

Somewhere between sunset and sunrise she’d cried in the ladies’ loo, danced to too many ABBA songs (including Dancing Queen, twice), eaten handfuls of wedding cake with her fingers, been led astray and had survived the best, knock-your-socks-off rebound sex ever in recorded history. All with only the slightest hangover thudding behind her eyes.

But now she had no clue where she was and, judging by the way a certain insistent part of the naked handsome guy’s anatomy was pressing against her, he wanted to repeat the many and varied events of the night before.

Anna squeezed her eyes shut, hoping not only to block out the temptation, but also to give herself time to find her good sense.

Unfortunately it was eight hours too late.

‘Get off me,’ Anna said through gritted teeth. She planted her hands on his hard muscled shoulders and shoved. She had to get him out of her line of sight and figure out a way to get him to stop looking at her like he was all the cat got the cream.

With a raised eyebrow and a stifled laugh, Joe did as she asked, slinking backwards off the bed like a retreating tiger. He got to his feet and gripped the door handle to make sure it remained closed.

Standing there, looking like a tanned Statue of David in every feature but one extremely important one, the man had the nerve to laugh. He scraped a hand through his hair and grinned. That made one person in the room who found some humour in the situation. In direct and shameful contrast, Anna felt humiliation and regret coagulate in the pit of her stomach.

‘What’s so funny?’ she mouthed in a furious whisper. Any other time, in another circumstance, a grin like that and those adorable crinkle lines around a man’s eyes would have been infectious.

‘I think my sister’s home.’

‘Your sister?’ Anna felt every hair on her body prickle.

‘And you’re in her bed,’ Joe informed her calmly.

Che cazzo.

‘Are you telling me you live with your sister?’ What kind of loser was this guy? And exactly how drunk had she been the night before?

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