Giacomo frowned, the aristocratic planes of his face stiffening in hauteur. “As the book explains—”
Heat washed her cheeks. “Oh.”
“Well, I didn’t actually read the book.”
They both glanced at the floor beneath his booted feet. The book was gone.
His eyes widened slightly, his mouth softening. Even his posture shifted, becoming more relaxed and less rigid. Without the veneer of arrogance his natural beauty was clearly visible, reawakening the heat deep within Sam that her earlier touches had only placated, not satisfied.
He studied her as intently as she studied him. “But you performed the summoning ritual. You intoned your request for a master and repeated it exactly so there could be no mistake. Then you anointed the cover of the book with the fluids of your arousal. How could you have done that without reading the instructions?”
He shrugged, his broad shoulders rippling and his bare chest flexing. “Yet I am here.”
The sight of those sculpted chest muscles momentarily distracted her. She hadn’t realized it was humanly possible to have such magnificent muscle definition without having a bodybuilder’s overdeveloped physique. Then again, odds were pretty good that her mystery guest was not exactly human.
Years of reading fantasy novels allowed her to face this possibility without falling into a gibbering terror. Yet she also knew that magical and otherworldly visitors were never good things, no matter how hot they looked. She needed to get rid of him. Fast.
Clearly she couldn’t overpower him and she sensed asking nicely would get her nowhere. Her only choice appeared to be negotiating with him. The fantasy novels she was relying upon for guidance in this unfamiliar situation suggested that the negotiations would not go smoothly or have the consequences she expected. But she had to try. Starting with his claim that she’d summoned him.
Sam thought back to what she’d been doing before his arrival. She hadn’t said anything on purpose, certainly hadn’t intoned anything. But had she called out in the heat of passion?
“Please,” she whispered. “I said, ‘Please’. That was enough to summon y
Giacomo shrugged again. “Apparently. For, I repeat, I am here.”
“Yes, you are.” She sighed. “What am I supposed to do with you?”
He smiled, a devilish light sparking in the depths of his dark brown eyes.
Another shrug. “I am here in answer to your request. I will stay until you are pleased. Thoroughly pleased. The sooner you allow me to begin mastering you, the sooner you will experience transcendent pleasure.”
She thought again of the illustrated woman’s rapturous expression, a thread of longing curling within her. She squelched it. The risk was too great, no matter what reward beckoned.
“That’s not happening any time soon, no matter what kind of sex genie you are.”
He frowned, his expression returning to the cold arrogance he’d first shown. “I am a man, not a demon or djinn.”
“Right. A man who steps out of the mist into the middle of my workroom. Nothing out of the ordinary about that.”
“I did not say I was ordinary, merely that I was human.” He smiled slowly, lids veiling molten chocolate eyes. “You will find little ordinary about me when you let me master you.”
Sam blinked. “That’s the second time you’ve said that, that I have to give you permission to master me.”
“But of course.”
“Well, I’m not going to so you can just go back to wherever you came from.”
“I cannot. It is forbidden.” His eyes grew shadowed, his physical presence diminishing in some indefinable way as he drew deeper within his own thoughts. “There can be no failure.”
Her heart trembled, aching to soothe his obvious distress. She always wanted to fix things, to make people feel better. That’s why she was here after all. She could help her mother. But her need to fix things hadn’t worked with her ex-husband and she wouldn’t allow herself to fall into the same trap now.