The Italian's Pregnant Mistress(5)

By: Cathy Williams

‘Wrapped that one up. I’m working on a joint venture with people in New York and London.’ He switched off the taps and seemed to be lost in thought as he stared down at the water.

‘Top secret deal?’ Francesca teased, stepping into the bath and lying back with her eyes closed. ‘Honestly, Angelo, I’ve told you before, only undercover secret agents have a right to be secretive about what they do.’

‘You, my dearest, have no idea how the world of business operates. One wrong word in the wrong ear and bang, a deal can be flushed down the drain before you have time to draw breath.’

Francesca smiled, eyes still shut. ‘You make it sound very exciting.’

‘It is.’

‘But you’ll have to give it up some day, Angelo. You know what they say about stressful jobs and high blood pressure.’ She opened her eyes and gazed at him with burning appreciation as he lowered himself into the bath opposite her. ‘And you’re not getting any younger. What will you do then? Perhaps you could consider a more restful career in your own line of cosmetics for men? The Angelo Falcone range of moisturisers?’

Angelo burst out laughing and, distracted for a few moments, he leaned towards her, ordering her to swivel around, which she did with some awkwardness, then he began to wash her hair. He did a very efficient scalp massage. She relaxed utterly, enjoying the feel of his fingers as he tipped shampoo into her hair and began working it up to a lather. It was way too late to be doing this, having her hair washed. She would never have the time to do a thorough job blow-drying it, but she didn’t care. No work for the next few days. She could actually luxuriate in the blissful freedom of not caring how she looked.

‘Hmm. That’s a thought. Not sure I would be very good at it…’

‘Why not?’

‘Too much of a man,’ he stated, using the attachment to begin rinsing the shampoo away.

‘Oh, I see. Of course. Why didn’t I think of that?’

‘Don’t know. You should have. It is not as if you don’t know me. In fact, I would say that you know me better than any woman ever has before…’

‘Is that a good thing, I wonder? Don’t you think it’s impossible to ever really know someone?’

For just a few heady, dangerous seconds she wondered how he would react if she told him how much he didn’t know about her. The temptation didn’t last long. Not when she conjured up the consequences. No more Angelo, and the thought of that sickened her even though she knew that there was no future between them. None at all. That was a bridge she wasn’t going to cross just yet.

‘Anyway, let’s not be serious,’ she coaxed, sliding back towards him and guiding his hands to her breasts. ‘You promised me a lovely, pampering bath. You know we models have to be pampered.’

He pampered her. He doubted she could have enjoyed it as much as he did. He loved running his hands along her wet, slippery body, soaping every inch of her, taking his time. Then, when they were on the point of shrivelling from over-exposure to water, he towelled her dry very slowly and very carefully and absolutely forbade her to put on any pyjamas, even though over time he had chosen every single item of nightwear she owned. From the stunning model who was never seen in anything but the finest of designer clothes yet harboured an array of oversized tee shirts in which she slept, she had become the possessor of fabulously sexy nighties, flimsy things that barely skirted her beautifully proportioned body.

Tonight, though, he wanted to feel her nakedness next to him, wanted to be able to touch her at any time of the night without his fingers having to come into contact with material, however little of it there might have been.

‘Are you happy, Francesca?’ he asked in a low voice, when they were finally in bed and facing one another.

She looked at him, startled and unsettled by the question.

‘What do you mean?’

‘I mean,’ Angelo said softly, stroking back her hair and running his thumb along the side of her face, ‘we meet like ships in the night. I live out of a suitcase and so do you. It isn’t satisfactory…’

‘It’s just the way it is. There’s nothing we can do about it.’ Her heart was beginning to beat faster. She could feel a fine film of perspiration break out as she frantically tried to think of ways to change the subject. Pointless. Angelo was persistent. She knew him well and she knew that he could be like a dog with a bone, the type of man who saw his goal in the distance and proceeded to get there whatever the obstacles presented on the way.