The Change in Di Navarra's Plan

By: Lynn Raye Harris

His lips hovered over hers and her eyes slid closed. Her heart was beating so hard he must surely see the pulse in her throat. But she didn’t care. She was too caught up in the beauty, the wonder, the perfection of this night. It was like a fairy tale, and she was the princess who’d finally been found by the prince.

His laugh was soft and deep. It vibrated through her, made her shudder with longing.

And then his mouth claimed hers in a tender kiss that stole her breath away. It was so sweet, so perfect—

But she wanted more. She leaned closer, and he laughed again, in his throat this time, before he parted her lips and thrust his tongue into her mouth. Holly couldn’t stop the moan that vibrated in her throat.

The kiss suddenly changed, turned more demanding then as his mouth took hers in a hot, possessive kiss unlike anything she’d ever experienced before. Their tongues met, tangled, dueled. She could feel the strength of that kiss in her nipples, between her legs. Her sex throbbed and her panties grew damp.

She wanted to be closer to him. Needed to be closer. She wrapped her arms around his neck, clinging to him, losing herself in this kiss, this moment.

Drago finally dragged himself up, away from her, breaking the kiss. Her mouth tingled with the memory of his. Her eyes settled on his mouth, and a thrill went through her.

“My dream,” he said, his voice a sensual purr in her ear, “is that you will accompany me back to my apartment.”

Holly could only stare at him as he stood and held his hand out. Everything in her wanted to be with him. She wasn’t ready for this night to end, no matter that a tiny corner of her soul urged her to be cautious. She wanted more of this excitement, this exhilaration.

More of Drago.

Holly put her hand in his, and her skin sizzled at the contact. This was right, she knew it deep down. So very right.

“Yes,” she said shyly. “I want that, too.”


One year later...

“I DON’T KNOW why you don’t march right into his office and demand he help you out.”

Holly looked up at her best friend and roommate. Gabriella was holding little Nicholas, rocking him back and forth. He was, thankfully, asleep for a change. Poor Gabi was such a saint, considering that Nicky hadn’t slept a whole night through since Holly had brought him home from the hospital.

Holly picked up a tester and sniffed it. Attar of roses. It filled her mind with a profusion of fat red blooms like the ones that her gran had grown. Bushes that now belonged to someone else, since she’d lost the property months ago. Her mouth twisted as bitterness flooded her throat with scalding acid.

She set the tester down and pushed back from the table where she mixed her fragrances. “I can’t go to him, Gabi. He made it very clear that he wanted nothing more to do with me.”

Holly still felt the sting of Drago di Navarra’s rejection as if it was yesterday. She also—damn him—felt the utter perfection of his lovemaking as if it had happened only hours ago. Why did her body still insist on a physical response at the thought of that single night they’d shared?

At least her brain was on the right track. The only response her brain had was rage. No, that wasn’t quite true. Her mental response was like a fine perfume. The top note was rage. The middle, or heart note, was self-loathing. And the base note, the one that had never yet evaporated, was shame.

How had she let herself be so damn naive and needy? How had she fallen into Drago’s arms as if it were the easiest thing in the world when it was nothing like her to do so? Holly pressed her teeth together. She would never be that foolish again. She’d learned her lesson, thanks to Drago, and she would never forget it.

She’d been so easily led, so gullible and trusting. She hated thinking about it, and yet she couldn’t quite stop. And maybe that was a good thing, because it meant she would never be that foolish again. The world was a cold, hard, mean place—and she was a survivor. Drago had taught her that.

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