Maid for the Billionaire
Page 23

 Ruth Cardello

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And practically crashed into Dominic who was standing just outside her room.
He quickly pocketed his cell phone.
She said hurriedly, “I don’t want to go to Boston and I don’t want you to walk away from your life. I just want you to share it with me. I love you, Dominic.”
He swept her up into his arms and kissed her hungrily. Their hands explored each other with the fervor of lovers reunited. He broke the kiss off and buried his face in her neck. She felt him smile against her skin. “So, should I call Scott back and tell him that he’s going to have to find another way to win back my business? He was amazingly willing to help me spirit you away to some safe house if I wasn’t able to convince you to stay before we landed.”
Abby pulled back and put an indignant hand on one hip. “You were going to kidnap me again?”
He gathered her up, settling her flush against him and joked, “Is it again if I never actually let you go?”
It was difficult to stay angry with Dominic when he held her so close. Abby felt that familiar responding quiver of anticipation deep in her stomach. Still, he had to know that things were not always going to go his way. “This is not funny. What happened to proving that you love me by letting me go?”
A sheepish smile flit across his face, disappearing almost as quickly as it had formed. “I never agreed to that. All I said was that I would fly you to Boston. Letting you go was never an option.”
Abby smacked him in the chest with the back of her hand. “I came out here because I thought you loved me enough to never see me again.”
He took her hands in his and said, “I don’t love you that much.” She gasped in shock, but his explanation quickly warmed her heart. “I love you more than that. Ask me to give up my company, move to Boston and become a nine to five man and I’ll do that for you. I love you that much. But don’t ask me to just walk away. I can’t walk away. I need you.”
With a cry of happiness, Abby launched herself into his arms. Tears of happiness were flowing down her cheeks. “I don’t know what I would have done if you had listened to me and ended it.”
He held her at arm’s length for a moment and said, “And you’ll never find out, because I’m not going anywhere and neither are you. Marry me, Abby.”
Most women would have shouted yes, but Dominic hadn’t chosen any of them. He’d chosen Abby; a woman who considered raising his blood pressure an enticing form of foreplay. “Will you?” she asked ambiguously.
Her answer threw him for a moment. His head cocked to one side. “Will I what?”
With a voice as prim as a librarian’s, Abby said, “A proposal is generally worded as a question and not a command.” In response to his blank stare, she supplied the entire phrase. “Will you marry me?”
“Yes, I will. Thank you for asking. I can’t wait to tell our future children that you are the one who proposed.” Dominic laughed and didn’t even attempt to hide his glee at having outmaneuvered her.
“I did not just propose!” Abby said trying to keep the laughter out of her own voice. She swatted at his shoulder, but he only laughed more. “Take it back.”
He sidled closer to her, pulling her back into his arms. “Take back my yes?”
No matter that it sounded irrational, Abby said, “Yes. You are not telling our children that I proposed to you on the flight back to Boston after you kidnapped me.”
Dominic encircled her face with his hands and kissed her lightly, chuckling against her lips. “Does it really matter who asked as long as the result is the same?”
Absolutely. Her rebuttal was a simple narrowing of her eyes. She hoped her man was intelligent enough to correctly interpret it.
He stopped laughing and cupped her shoulders gently. “Abigail Dartley will you marry me?”
This time she decided to forego any teasing and threw herself back into his arms, “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
Between kisses, he asked, “Do you still want to see my island?”
“Now?” Abby asked breathlessly. “Can we do that?”
Lips slightly pursed with the irony of it, Dominic said, “Yes, all it would take is for me to inform the captain that I’d like to change course – again.”
“Poor Dominic,” Abby laughed up at him, imagining the scene in her head. “He’ll think you’ve lost your mind.”
Dominic said in his deep, velvet soft growl, “I can think of a few ways for you to make it up to me. It’s a good thing this will be such a long flight.” He went to the phone in the bedroom and called the cockpit. After issuing the new flight plan, Dominic turned back to Abby and said, “Now, where were we? Oh, yes, you were going to do something to make me feel better about the whole world knowing I’m stupid in love with you.”
Abby crossed the room slowly, dropping clothing as she went. “Not stupid…impulsive perhaps.”
“Is that what you call having my security men escort you forcibly to the plane? I couldn’t let you go. I panicked. I hope it didn’t scare you.” His voice went up an octave in surprise when a naked Abby yanked his shirt out of his pants. His eyes widened with pleasure at the boldness of her actions.
“Do I look scared?” she said as she pulled him closer by his belt and began to undo it.
“No,” he said huskily, a telltale sexual smile spreading across his face.
Thoroughly enjoying his bemusement, she slid his pants and boxers down his legs with a deliberately slow pace, enjoying his shiver of pleasure when he felt her breath against his thighs. “I have a confession. I thought the whole kidnapping thing was sexy. That conquering warrior tone is a real turn on and being whisked away to your private island had me imagining all kinds of wicked fantasies.”
“Really?” he said. His heightened interest was obvious in his eyes and the way he instantly hardened within her eager hands. He quickly shed his shirt and bent to effortlessly lift her before him. His tongue made a tantalizing path from her abdomen to circle one of her nipples lightly. It tightened and puckered beneath his attention. “So when I was angry, you were picturing me doing this?”
He slid her down the front of him, enjoying the feel of her hardened nipples against his chest. Abby arched backwards and sighed with pleasure when he reached down and slid a finger inside her already excited folds. She shuddered and whispered, somewhat shyly, “When you came back to the plane and threw me on the bed, I wanted to pull you down on top of me.”
He plundered her mouth while maintaining a firm rhythm with his hand, a rhythm that had her bucking against his gifted thumb and tightening her inner muscles around his finger. His voice was thick with passion. “You should have.”
“What would you have done?” she asked breathlessly, hanging on to her last shreds of coherent thought as waves of warm pleasure spread through her.
Dominic carried her to the bed and poised himself above her. His tip teased, entering then withdrawing, until she was grasping at his shoulders with need. “What all conquering warriors want to do,” he said with satisfaction and buried himself deep within her, taking them both to a place where further conversation was impossible.
Chapter Seventeen
Isola Santos, Dominic’s private island, rose out of the sea about seventy miles off the coast of Naples like a rocky fortress. His immense steel and glass mega mansion which dominated a quarter of the nearly hundred acre island looked like it would have fit better in a business district of any major city rather than overlooking the 18th century stone structures Dominic said he planned to one day remove.
Like so many of his other possessions, it made no effort to blend into its surroundings. The compound screamed money and power. Its massive main entrance foyer was three floors of glass and polished chrome which branched out into a large rectangular structure that encircled gardens, Olympic sized pools, and even a small stable like some modern fort.
During the tour, Abby lost count of the number of bedrooms. She loved the private movie theatre, but stopped at the sight of a set of sliding chrome doors. Hand on hip, she turned to Dominic and asked, “Really? An elevator? Was that necessary?”
Dominic flushed slightly. “Too much?”
Abby shook her head in confusion as the tour led out a back door and onto an enormous veranda that overlooked one entire side of the island. There was no denying the cold beauty of the modern paradise he had crafted for himself, but it didn’t fit the man she knew any more than it did the island itself. “Dom, don’t get me wrong. This place is beautiful…”
Dominic wrapped his arms around her waist from behind and breathed in the scent of his lover’s hair, sighing with contentment. “I hear a but in your voice.”
Abby hugged his arms into her stomach. “It doesn’t seem like you. And if this is you, could you have actually left it for Boston? What if I had asked you to?”
Hugging her closer, Dominic said, “A month ago, I couldn’t have. This house, like so much of what I own, was built out of some compulsion to prove to my father that I was better than him. Sad, isn’t it? To waste so much time and money on things that aren’t important.”
Abby’s chest tightened at the pain in his voice. “It wasn’t wasted, Dominic. Look at what you created. It’s beautiful.”
He turned her gently in his arms and met her eyes with such sincerity that it nearly broke her heart. “No, you’re beautiful. You don’t have to sugar coat it for me, Abby, this place is gaudy and overdone. Before I met you, I had an emptiness I couldn’t explain. I used to think that if I made more money, purchased something better, or built something bigger it would fill that void, but it never did. All of the things I bought, all of the decisions I made, were for my benefit and none of it made me happy. Our Chinese scholarship program is the first thing I’ve done in a very long time that I’m proud of. I can’t even take credit for it, since you forced me to do it, but it still feels good.”
“Oh, Dom, you don’t give yourself credit for the good you’ve done. What about Mrs. Duhamel? She told me about how you helped her when she had no one else to turn to. Does that sound like a self-absorbed man?” She laid a comforting hand on his cheek and felt his smile even before she saw it.
“One kind gesture does not make a saint,” he said ruefully.
“I don’t want a saint, Dom. I want you.” When he cocked his head to the side in a blatant request for her to continue, she said, “I fell in love with the complex man who returned to Boston because his sister needed him and didn’t want to meet her alone so he was willing to blackmail me into going with him.”
Abby adored the flush she saw in his cheeks. “I’m not sure at that point I was thinking about too much more than how to get you naked.”
The light pinch Abby gave his stomach was a playful reprimand. “Say what you want, but the way you clung to my hand told me everything I needed to know.”
“I did not - ” he started to say then wisely stopped himself. “Regardless, I want you to know that I’m no longer the man who built this monstrosity of a home. I want to do something more important with our money in the future. What do you think of a scholarship for inner city children in the United States? I think Corisi Enterprises could spare another five percent.”