Giulietta Visconti roamed the halls and ballroom of the lavishly appointed, elegant family home. Impatience rode her hard. Her mood was so at odds with the jovial crowd milling about that she marvelled they weren't casting strange looks at her - she could've sworn she actually vibrated with the restlessness, unable to concentrate on anyone or anything for any length of time.
Blood sizzled hotly in her veins; she felt as if she were on top of the world - like she had just climbed a mountain, fought a battle, won the hardest fought of wars. The merger of the two powerful corporations had been her baby from start to finish, and the completion of that merger exactly one day before had left her feeling invincible, all-powerful... and horny. And if Antoine Laconte would hurry up and deliver that delectable ass of his, she could begin to scratch that particular itch.
Giulietta scowled, and realizing what she was doing, quickly smoothed her expression - she took pride on the self control that had seen her through many the proverbial dip in hot water - but right now, the way her breath caught and heart beat in a heavy rhythm, the empty ache at the pit of her belly and insistent throb between her legs told her that she was more than ready to let go of some of that control.
She needed a man. Bad.
For the umpteenth time in the last hour, Giulietta stole another look at the grandfather clock across the room; 11:34, two minutes since the last time she'd checked, and five minutes since the time before that. Antoine's plane had landed an hour ago... Where was he? The drive from the airport didn't take more than thirty or forty minutes... he should've been here by now, and just before her impatient gaze left the clock's hands, she wondered which was wound tighter at the moment, she or it.
That's how it always was - the weeks and months a mind-absorbing task took, she focused on it to the exclusion of everything else... thinking, breathing, eating only for the operation at hand. The intensity took its toll, and the aftermath left her reeling - exhausted, exhilarated, satisfied... yet craving for satisfaction of a different nature. This time was no exception - save one thing; everything would change tonight - Simon was set to go, the papers had been signed and all was in readiness. When the clock would strike at midnight, Giulietta would be free - free to reclaim her life as her own again.
No more deadlines, no more sharks disguised as honorable, or less honorable, businessmen and women. No more sleepless nights and unhealthy obsessions of money and gain. No more world of high-powered men and women, where information and money made and broke lives. She'd return to the gentler, less demanding state of being that she had left behind willfully at the age of twenty-seven. When her father Roberto and step-mother Amanda Visconti had perished in a plane crash over the Rockies, she'd been summoned by family duty to obey the call of obligation and put her own life and career at MIT on hold for the sake of her younger siblings and stability of the family empire so lavishly built by their parents and grandparents in the previous decades. Now, almost seven years later, she was on the verge of reclaiming that scientific life. Whenever she thought about it, she felt giddy with excitement and her pulse sped up - she was full of plans; she could hardly wait.
A tall lanky man with a shock of reddish hair, good-looking in a nerdish kind of way, a former business associate who had visions of a relationship beyond the realm of business, spied her again. She had more or less successfully managed to dodge him the entire evening, and as he neared, she had no intention of changing plans now. Sighing inwardly and maintaining a tight grip on her inner reins, she gave him a polite if slightly strained smile before breezing past him as if she actually had a purpose... other than avoiding him, that is.
That did not go unnoticed - the small hairs at the back of her neck prickled and she shrugged obtusely, refusing to meet her brother Simon's eyes. She knew what she'd see: reproach. Despite being her junior by six years, her brother had in the past two years cultivated the parental skill of making her feel guilty when she engaged in behavior that he - being conscious, proper and, when occasion called for it, ruthless - viewed as improper for a major stock holder and the CEO of a successful corporation to indulge herself in.
In all honesty, she couldn't blame him. A far cry from her younger siblings' serious and ambitious natures which suited their respective obligations, passions and futures at the head of family business, her own passion for the shark infested waters of the business world was a fleeting one, sprung from the temporary nature of the state of affairs. A fact which she had cheerfully recognized from the beginning... and pursued with the full force of her passion, will and intellect. Tonight, in little less than half an hour, all that would change - she wanted that freedom so badly that she could taste it, smell it.
She made another round, fighting the scowl that threatened to overtake her expression and fighting equally to maintain some control over her rebellious body. The clingy dress draping her statuesque form disturbed her, subtly teasing her, the soft fabric hugging her thighs and gliding on her sensitized skin almost like a lover's touch, the soft rustling of the fabric as she moved like a lover's lowered hot whisper in the ear. Her heart was beating in a heavy rhythm of anticipation; a damp, weighty ache between her legs tormented her. It had been a long time since she had indulged herself - felt a lover's touch, sheathed a man's hardness. She thought of Antoine - how cool and silky his hair felt when she plunged her hands in it, how his touch offered both fire and blessed relief... how it felt to take within herself his hot length of male flesh.
A wry grin tucked at her mouth - she was half-amused, half-appalled to notice how she managed to make her own breath catch at the thought of having Antoine... his lips, those wickedly, blessedly knowledgeable fingers gliding on her sensitive skin and...
Giulietta reined in her thoughts, snatching a delicate glass of champagne from a passing waitress in hopes of calming her ignited nerves. It didn't. She briefly considered getting another drink, a stronger one - but she didn't want to get drunk, not even tipsy. Oh no, she wanted to be fully conscious and in full command of her faculties; the hot anticipation zinging in her veins didn't allow for anything else. She wanted every single nerve in her body fully capable of receipt...and response.
It was a quarter to twelve now. Giulietta could sense Simon nearby, practically glowing with disapproval at her behavior, and she had to suppress a grin; if he thought her behavior bad now, she couldn't wait to see his face when he saw who she had invited...if Antoine ever gets that delectable ass of his over here, that is! She caught herself scowling again, and dug out the tiny cell phone that all but disappeared in her palm as she flipped it open. She was about to press the appropriate speed-dial button when finally... finally... she saw him.
Antoine hadn't seen her yet - he must have just arrived, for he was standing at the open French doors, perfectly at ease as he watched the party. Giulietta in turn watched him a moment, helplessly spellbound by a faint, lingering amazement... surprise that a man like that actually walked this earth. She'd never seen perfection... but Antoine Laconte came as close to it as she had ever seen, and Giulietta drew in a hasty breath as every instinct suddenly heightened, focused on him - the music was suddenly more vibrant, the colors more intense... Just looking at him made her hungry.
Her mouth went dry as she let her gaze linger, taking in the chiseled perfection of his body, flawlessly accented by the midnight blue silk shirt and black leather pants hugging his magnificent physique with just enough precision to proclaim exquisite tailoring. His glorious hair fell in soft curls to his shoulders, thick and dark and vibrant. She ached to bury her hands in the silky mass, to slide the strands between her fingers, along the neatly trimmed mustache and beard which she knew to feel silky soft and produce the most delightful tingle on her own sensitive skin... She shivered delicately as she watched his mouth, luscious and sensuous, and she wondered whether it tasted as heady as it looked. Antoine had explored every inch of her body, done things to her and she to him that made her heat and blush when she thought of them, yet never had she allowed herself the taste of his kiss... of all the intimate, carnal things they had shared, that always seemed too intimate... too private.
It couldn't have been more than seconds but it felt like a century before Antoine's gaze found her, and by then she was already moving towards him, the delicate cream silk of her gown swirling softly about her ankles.
"Antoine," she said in greeting, and the knowing, male intent in his dark eyes sent another excited quiver down her spine. She held her hand out to him. He took it in his; warm, long and elegant fingers covered hers as he simply held it, lightly rubbing the backs of her fingers with a slightly yet excitingly rough thumb. "About time you got here."
Giulietta was inordinately proud that the words came out in her usual low, musical voice rather than the breathless whisper she felt sure was the only sound she could produce right at that moment. How could such a small touch be so effective? The slow, light sweep of his thumb over her knuckles set her skin to delicate fire, and she wanted to feel that fire burning pure and deep, until the flames burned her restlessness away.
"I apologize, Cara... An accident on the freeway." Antoine's Italian accent only served to enhance the smooth, velvety cadence of his voice, adding a seductive quality to the words, wrapping them in a mixture of confidence and sex. There was an arrogant, bold tilt to his head as he surveyed her form - those dark, sparkling, knowing eyes approved; they asked and expected... and somehow, knew. Lodestone eyes, she thought distractedly, seared and a little unnerved by the quality of his gaze. A dark brow quirked upward as, with one glance, he read the signs and knew how it was with her. A strange little quiver danced down her spine, and staring at those compelling eyes, for a moment she quite forgot that they were simply standing there... then Antoine broke the spell, somehow nodding without the actual movement of his head, behind her towards where elegant men and women danced under the glittering chandeliers.
"Shall we dance, or..." he queried in a low voice that lowered gloriously more at the last word, each dropped octave ripe with meaning... seemingly touching every nerve in her body. She drew in a steadying breath and forced herself to, if not ignore the electric sensation coursing from where their hands joined, then to at least marshal her thoughts into a semblance of order. What she wanted to do was to secret him away to a place where no one would disturb them until morning... and because she wanted it - craved it - so much, her innate caution... or maybe it was purely self-preservation... could not immediately commit to an action that would literally show him just how badly she did want him.
That indecisiveness lasted for a total of five seconds - then she saw from the corner of her eye the red-head approach - the one who'd been hounding her the entire evening - and with abrupt urgency, she was out of all patience with him and the other guests who would latch themselves onto her like a limpet if she so much as stopped but for a moment. She ached to feel Antoine's hands on her; longed for the thick, blissful impalement as he pounded into her. She had done more than her duty already this night. Simon could look after their guests; it was like second nature to him, anyway. And Sable was here, too - working her magic on the room. She had her mother Amanda's flair for public relations; no one would miss her once Giulietta was out of their sight. Her lips let forth one small word, two letters, small and usually insignificant, but from her mouth, on this night, they were anything but.
Giulietta breathed only for Antoine to hear. "Come - I promised to show you my brother's newest acquisition, didn't I?" That was for the benefit of the redhead and anyone else who happened to be near by. Simon's collection of ancient weapons was a source of pride for him - and also one of aggravation; he couldn't quite come to grips with sharing at least one passion with a man he detested. Even after two and a half years, Giulietta hadn't had the heart to tell him that that was how she had met Antoine - in a bidding war for a particular antique weapon.
Simon's collection was housed in a showroom at the back of the house, off-limits tonight for the guests, and that was the direction she led Antoine in now. The back staircase was also in that direction, and she intended to take him up to her suite of rooms. His arm was around her, and she felt the strength of it on her lower back as he slowly spread his fingers, his warmth seeping through the silk of her gown as he exerted a gentle pressure that was nevertheless inexonerable. She wanted to curl towards the seductive warmth of his body, and the brush of a muscled thigh against her own made her breath catch. They passed the showroom; the back staircase wasn't far, her suite of rooms quite near the top of them... but suddenly even that was too far away.
"I can't. I can't..." Her eyes locked on the door of a restroom a few feet away, and she half-pushed, half-pulled Antoine inside it. Slamming the door shut and locking it, she turned around. Until now she had been focused so much on the inside and herself, as if focusing on him, really focusing on him, might bring down the last of her defenses. But now they were in shambles anyway, and she could allow herself to see the excitement in him, too. She had never been able to decide whether he exercised a fabulous control over his body, or whether he genuinely desired her, or perhaps it was just his natural sexual appetite or something else... whatever the cause, his body was already responding. His gaze was on her breasts, and slowly his expression changed slightly, the arrogant boldness enjoined with tightening of lust, the look in his eyes hot and glittering... and exquisitely controlled.
"Your nipples are already tight," he whispered, his breathing deepening. "And I haven't even touched you yet."
She didn't have to look down to discover the truth of his words. She could feel the heavy tightness of her breasts, feel her puckered nipples rasping against the smooth silk of her gown. She wasn't wearing a bra - the low cut of the gown in the back made that an impossibility. Warmth was gathering in her body, seeping down to pool in her loins and she shifted restlessly, feeling the ready dampness between her legs, the delicate folds where he would enter slick and puffy. She instinctively rubbed her thighs together in an effort to assuage the ache - a subtle movement, yes... but one that was so obvious to the man in the restroom with her that she might as well have been screaming her need out loud. With an easy smile and gracefully economic movements, Antoine began to loosen the buttons of his shirt, and she abruptly lost what little ability of speech she still possessed.
"You must tell me, Cara, what it is that got you so fired up..." That was said in a rather absent tone as his fingers released a button after button. Riveted by the slash of smooth caramel skin, she pushed his hands away and took over the task herself, craving for the feel of him. She almost moaned aloud at the wonderful feel of him, flattering her palms against his chest and sliding the shirt out of her ravenous hands' path until the entire glorious expanse of his upper torso was bared. Fascinated, she let her flattened palms glide across the warm, sculptured form of flesh and bone, exploring the territory that belonged to her, and only her, tonight.
His hands had been lightly resting on her waist... now they tightened, pulling her against him. His hands slid down to knead the full resilience of her bottom, lifting her hard up against his thick erection. She moaned with delight, and wiggled at just the sheer pleasure of the sensation. The tension was like a cord in her, tightening her insides until she moved restlessly against him, reveling in the hard warmth of his body and the demanding push of his erection against her belly. The little nubs of his male nipples called to her and she dipped her head, circling the closest to her mouth with the tip of her tongue, tasting the slight saltiness of his skin. Smiling to herself, she heard rough, uneven breaths that Antoine took at the warm, moist touch of her tongue before she closed her mouth on the little bud, sucking and teasing the erectile tissue until it pebbled.
Down below, the enticing bulge of his arousal prodded against her stomach, beguiling even through the leather warmed by the flesh beneath. The insistent throbbing between her legs seemed to blossom out of control; with a low sound of need, she pushed away from Antoine, just enough to create space for her hands to work on the fastenings of his leather pants. Working with surprisingly sure and nimble fingers, she made another low, inarticulate sound - this time of delight bordering on relief - as the leather parted and his thick, throbbing erection thrust into her waiting hands. She trailed her fingers greedily along its silken, veined length and felt him grow still thicker and harder under her ministrations.
Giddy, intoxicated with the lust coursing in her veins, she crowded closer, breathing the male scent of him. He delved his hands under her dress, spreading his fingers wide on her stomach just for a heartbeat. Her hips jerked convulsively towards him and her knees nearly buckled as Antoine slid his hard fingers between her thighs, the insubstantial, filmy wisp of her panties proving a meager yet frustrating protection - in a few more shuddering heartbeats, he had her careening on the edge of orgasm.
"NO!" The order came out almost as a shriek and she dug her fingers into the strong muscles of his shoulders in an effort to anchor herself. "No—no half measures, Antoine—I want you!"
A midnight silken eyebrow arched at the demand, a smile hinted at just one corner of the mouth, a smugness brought the words.
"Where, Cara? Tell me," the steaming question barely audible, "Where do you want me?" The answer came just as low, just as humid, just as smug.
The lop-sided smile evened itself, fuller at receiving just the answer he'd hoped for.
"Your wish is my command," his warm breath tickled the sensitive skin of her throat, rewarding her, and she moaned at the sensation. His warm, deliciously rough hands slid down her thighs, taking her underwear with them as he bent to strip them down her thighs and off. When they retraced their path, the full skirt of her dress pillowed over his arms and around her waist. Giulietta moaned again, louder, freer - unbearably excited, exposed and vulnerable as the cool air washed over her bare flesh. With easy strength, he hoisted her onto the counter and she yelped in shock - the sink counter was cold under her bottom.
"Antoine - hurry..!"
"Impatient, eh... Hold on, Cara, just a little while longer..." With swift fingers, he opened the little packet and quickly sheathed himself. Pushing her thighs further apart, he moved deeper between them, gripping her hips with a powerfully certain arm and guided himself to her, to the soft opening awaiting him. She didn't want any teasing and he knew it, pushing into her with earth shattering directness until he was fully enveloped within her hot, rioting flesh. "Alright, baby?" He crooned to her, steadying her with one hand as he paused, a throbbing potent presence inside her.
"Yes—yes. Just... Move!" Gasping with pleasure and urgent need, she dug her nails into his shoulders, reeling with the sensations - cold sink beneath her, the hardness against her...the heat inside her. She was trembling violently, and he gathered her closer, stroking her back, comforting her. Then he began to move. First restrained little thrusts that set off spasms of intense pleasure through her, cruelly beautiful delivered strokes that had her arching and climbing her legs up his to wrap around his thighs as best she could as she tried to move with him, to feed the wildfire of inferno that roared out of her control. Antoine gripped her bare bottom and pulled her to the edge of the counter with one quick tug, positioning her so that every thrust ground him against her exposed, straining little sexual nub...and the restrained strokes evolved. She felt the thick ridge of his penis head moving back and forth inside her, and all the tiny muscles within her clamped down in frantic pleasure, her voice confirming it with an elated gasp. He pounded into her and she felt like she was on fire, convulsively arching to meet his plunging hips as the ecstatic tension coiling in her loins at last violently flared out of control, flooding her every nerve ending with swelling, ungovernable pleasure. She could have wept from relief... except it wasn't enough.
"Again," She gasped, the orgasm still tearing through her. She heard, as if from a great distance, his deep ragged breathing as he dealt with his own self-control in order to pleasure her. "More."
He did so with commendable bravery and gusto. And afterwards, she leaned against him feeling as weak as a kitten, the heavy physical satisfaction saturating every fiber of her being. But she knew it was only the quiet before storm - she still felt that restlessness, and to burn it off, she needed more... more of Antoine - hard and fast... slow and gentle. Slipping down from the counter, she restored her gown back to a semblance of order, creased as it was. She felt her pulse flutter back to life as she watched his easy, graceful movements, admiring each flex of muscle and twist of tendon as he discarded the used condom and clothed himself once more.
"So... were you able to clear your schedule for tomorrow? Can you stay the night?" Giulietta queried, her mind already jumping ahead, making plans that brought her a little involuntary shiver of delight.
"I am taking the 4 o'clock flight out tomorrow afternoon," he began matter of factly, then sharpened his stare while softening his tone, "but until then, Cara... I am all yours. The usual arrangement...?"
"A-ha..." Giulietta unlocked the door and walked out. Antoine bent to pick up the filmy panties from behind the trash bin where they had somehow ended up, and as he followed her out of the bathroom, he tucked the undergarment into his pant pocket with a trademark grin.
The initial meeting...the negotiations, the contract and its fulfillment...the business of pleasure had just begun.