Bound By Temptation - Cora Reilly

PROLOGUE

Liliana

I knew it was wrong. If someone found out, if my Father found out, he’d never let me leave Chicago again. He wouldn’t even let me leave the house anymore. It was vastly inappropriate and unladylike. People were still bad-mouthing Gianna after all that time. They’d jump at the chance to find a new victim, and what could be better than another Scuderi sister getting caught in the act?

And deep down I knew that I was exactly like Gianna when it came to resisting temptation. I simply couldn’t. Romero’s door wasn’t locked. I slipped into his bedroom on tiptoes, holding my breath. He wasn’t there but I could hear water running in the adjoining bathroom. I crept in that direction. The door was ajar. I peered through the gap.

In the last few days I’d learned that Romero was a creature of habit, so I found him under the shower as expected. But from my vantage point I couldn’t see much. I edged the door open and slipped in.

My breath caught at the sight of him. He had his back turned to me and it was a glorious view. The muscles in his shoulders and back flexed as he washed his brown hair. Naturally, my eyes dipped lower to his perfectly shaped backside. I’d never seen a man like this, but I couldn’t imagine that anyone could compare to Romero.

He began to turn. I should have left then. But I stared in wonder at his body. Was he aroused? He tensed when he spotted me. His eyes captured my gaze before they slid over my nightgown and naked legs. And then I found an answer to my question. He hadn’t really been aroused before. Oh hell.

My cheeks heated as I watched him grow harder. It was all I could do not to cross the distance between us and touch him.

Romero slid the shower open with unhurried movements and wrapped a towel around his waist. Then he stepped out. The scent of his spicy shower gel wafted into my nose. Slowly he advanced on me. “You know,” he said in a strange voice. “If someone found us like this, they might get the wrong idea. An idea that could cost me my life, and you your reputation.”

I still couldn’t move. I was stone, but my insides seemed to burn, to liquefy into red-hot lava. I couldn’t look away. I didn’t want to.

My eyes lingered on the edge of the towel, on the fine line of dark hairs disappearing beneath it, on the delicious V of his hips. Without my volition, my hand moved, reaching for Romero’s chest, needing to feel his skin beneath my fingertips.

Romero caught my wrist before I could touch him, his grip almost painful. My gaze shot up, half embarrassed and half surprised. What I saw on Romero’s face made me shiver.

He leaned forward, coming closer and closer. My eyes fluttered shut, but the kiss I wanted never came. Instead I heard the creak of the door. I peered up at Romero. He’d only opened the bathroom door wide. That’s why he’d moved closer, not to kiss me. Embarrassment washed over me. How could I have thought he was interested in me?

“You need to leave,” he murmured as he straightened. His fingers were still curled around my wrist.

“Then let me go.”

He did instantly and took a step back. I stayed where I was. I wanted to touch him, wanted him to touch me in turn. He cursed and then he was upon me, one hand cradling the back of my head, the other on my hip. I could almost taste