“And the rest of us benefitted.”
She smiled, warmth suffusing her. “I only wish I had a voice like Enya to add to my piano.”
“Your piano doesn’t need it.”
“You’d better watch yourself. I’m likely to get addicted to compliments like those.”
“That is a problem?”
“Only for me,” she admitted.
“It is no problem so long as I am around to supply them.”
“Right.” But how long could she reasonably expect that to be?
AFTER dinner and another lavish compliment about her talents, this one directed at her cooking accompanied by a promise to return the favor, they migrated to the music room. Neo was the only billionaire tycoon she could imagine making a promise of dinner and meaning he intended to cook, not having it catered.
He ran his hand along the Fazioli’s glossy top. “Play for me?” The request really pleased her, showing that he wasn’t afraid of invading her personal space like he had invited her into his.
She slid onto the bench, letting her fingers play gently across the keys as she always did when she sat down at a piano. “With pleasure.”
He turned to face her, his expression as serious as she’d ever seen it. “Is it?”
He couldn’t know how much that question meant to her. “It is. I want to play for you.”
“Do I have to sit in that chair over there?”
“Not if you don’t want to,” she said uncertainly. Did he want to stand?
Her unspoken question was answered when he joined her on the piano bench, filling her space in a way nothing had in her life except the music.
“Don’t hold any mistakes against me. I find your nearness distracting,” she admitted with a smile.
“Then we are even.”
“I distract you?”
“Near, or far. Yes, you do.” He sounded bemused by that fact.
She didn’t reply to what was a pretty shocking revelation to her as well. Instead, she started to play. It was a 1940s big band piece that sounded romantic on the piano. At least she thought so.
He listened in silence with a faint smile on his face for a minute before saying, “I like this, but I don’t recognize it.”
“It was popular in the forties.”
“Are you serious?”
“Maybe I should expand my musical horizons.”
“I’m always for opening yourself to new styles of music, or new to you anyway.”
“You do know that I wouldn’t be aware of any mistakes you might make?”
She grinned up at him as her fingers moved over the keyboard in a well-memorized pattern. “Maybe that’s why I played it.”
“Maybe it’s time I upped the stakes.”
Before she could ask what he meant, his strong arm snaked around her waist and his thumb began to play a matching beat to the piano music against her stomach.
Her fingers fumbled on the keyboard like they hadn’t done since she was a small child. “That’s upping the stakes all right.”
“Do you want me to stop?”
“Not at all.” She could play her music in her sleep. His nearness wasn’t going to get the best of her.
She concentrated on the song and tried to ignore the movements of his hand, but when a gentle kiss landed on her temple, she froze. “I thought you wanted me to play for you.”
“So did I, but I have discovered there are other things I want even more.”
“This.” He tipped her head up and kissed her, his lips molding hers with definite intent.
“Oh,” she breathed against his mouth.
That was all she got out before he deepened the kiss. They were upstairs and she was only marginally aware of how they’d gotten there. She had a vague sense that she’d been carried, but she was too busy touching him and reveling in his touches to think much about it.
“I wasn’t going to do this,” he said when he had her naked beneath him.
“You need time to recover from last night.”
“I feel fine.” She had a few twinges of soreness, but not anything near enough to stop her from pursuing pleasure like she’d experienced the night before.
But the pleasure wasn’t like it had been the night before, it was bigger. She screamed his name when she climaxed and again moments later when he drew a second orgasm from her oversensitized body as he found his own completion.
Then he held her, helping her to come down from feelings so intense her body shook uncontrollably in the aftermath.
“If you ever get tired of being a big-shot tycoon, you’ve got another career as a gigolo waiting for you.”