Please be aware that this excerpt contains sensual content that is only suitable
for adult readers who are comfortable with frank language and descriptions of
When vibrant, forty-something widow Annie Conroy spies her new neighbours having kinky sex in their back garden, she decides it's time that she too woke up and smelt the erotic roses. And where better to begin her daring adventures than the luxurious Waverley Grange Country Hotel, and its hidden den of iniquity: the chintz-clad but wickedly pervy Suite Seventeen?
Under the stern but playful eye of exotic master Valentino, Annie quickly discovers the shocking hidden depths of her own sensuality, and surrenders herself body and soul to his outrageous games of power. But when the Waverley's entire future hangs in the balance, and Annie has the means to help save it, dare she gamble on going one step further... and giving her heart to the mysterious man who's come to control her?
Reprint by Black Lace Books, December 2014
Kindle :: US :: UK :: CA :: AU
Epub from :: Nook ::
Nook UK :: Kobo :: Waterstones
Print :: Amazon US :: Amazon UK :: Waterstones :: W H Smith :: Books a Million
NB. Print 27 Jan in US
Movement catches the corner of my eye, and at first I think it's my taxi I've
seen in my peripheral vision. But then it dawns on me that whatever it was came
from the wrong direction. I glance towards the corner of the building and see
a figure heading away across one of the less defined paths, towards the woods
that more or less surround the formal garden.
My breath stills inside me.
It's someone tall. With long black hair. But not wearing a dress.
No, strangely it's a man wearing jeans, but no shirt. As he disappears into the
copse, I just catch glimpse of a bare chest gleaming in the moonlight.
And before I can allow myself to think, I set off towards the same dark gap between
Don't do this, you silly mare!
My heels crunch on the gravel, but somehow I know that he meant me to see him
so I don't bother disguise my pursuit.
I think I've probably gone completely mad.
Once in amongst the trees, the path is rough and gloomy. I can barely see my footing
and I could easily trip or tread on something I hardly dare think about. There
could be anything in here. Creepy crawlies, foxes, even snakes, for heaven's sake!
And yet I soldier on, peering through the murk and bushes, tracking my quarry.
I think… I can't actually see him any more, and I'm seriously beginning
to wonder if I actually just imagined him.
'Fuck!' I growl, as my heels start to sink into softer earth with an ominous squelch.
It's not a word I'd generally use in politer company, but out here, in the grove
of total insanity, it's appropriate.
'Is that what you want?' a soft, familiar voice enquires as I suddenly burst though
into an area of slightly less dense undergrowth, tripping as I go.
As I find my feet, I see my companion, leaning against a tree, smoking.
It's Valentina, of course. Or should I perhaps say 'Valentino' now?
Still the height. Still the same heavy black silk fall of hair.
Still the same face.
He's scrubbed off some of the makeup but not quite all of it. His eyes still look
shadowed and smudgy.
But I see his body now. The shape of his shoulders, his chest and his torso. And
they, and his long lean legs clad in ripped and torn denims, are decidedly those
of a full on, red-blooded, almost stereotypically macho male.
He might have been plucked straight from a women's beefcake calendar, and as he
takes a pull on his thin black cigar and blows the smoke to one side, his eyes
remain on me, studying me narrowly.
'So, what do the signals say now?' He taps away ash, motionless in every other
aspect. Especially his eyes.
Don't people normally have to blink every so often? He doesn't seem to…
I'm out of my depth. In fact I think I'm probably in the wrong ocean. But somehow
I can't help but snipe back at him.
'The signals say "what the hell is this man doing prancing about in the woods,
half naked?"… That's what they say!'
'The hotel has a strict no smoking policy -' he takes a long, slow, indolent drag
'- and this is one vice I don't care to inflict on other people.'
Fair enough, but still, why the he-man bare chest?
'And sometimes, I like to strip off the layers, the masks and the transformations
and just be me.'
It's as if I've spoken. Or he's read my thoughts. It scares me and I think I need
to run, run, run and get away from here. And from him.
'Well, I won't disturb you then. Good night.'
I make as if to turn and backtrack along the path, but before I can, he pinches
out his cigar in a lightning gesture, flings it into the undergrowth and launches
himself forward. The messages from my brain to my muscles are hijacked somehow,
and he has me by the arm before I've even moved an inch.
'If you didn't want to disturb me, why did you follow me?'
His eyes shimmer in the faint light that breaks through the tree canopy, and his
face looks hard, yet amused. Now, when he looks so unambiguously male, he confuses
me far more than he did when he was in a dress.
'I don't know…'
It's the truth on one level, but on another it's a total lie. No matter what warnings
my brain is shrieking at me, every cell in my body just wants to get next to the
cells in his. I knew it the moment I saw him, in that blue dress. Even before
I actually sussed that he was a man. Which doesn't quite make sense.
Unable to articulate my feelings, I reach out and touch his chest.
His skin is warm, with a faint veil of perspiration. It's a sultry night, but
not so hot that he'd be sweating out here in the dankness of the copse. So maybe
it's me who's getting to him, despite his aura of macho confidence? The mask he's
still wearing even if he says he's got rid of them all.
I can feel his heartbeat though, and it's even and steady, so maybe he's indifferent
to me after all.
And then he kisses me.
In another of his pre-emptive strikes, he sweeps me into his arms with a strangely
romantic flourish, and presses his sensuous, mobile and still vaguely pink-tinted
mouth down on mine. I expect him to go all ravishing on me, and dive in immediately
with his tongue, but strangely, his lips just rest lightly against mine, more
intoxicating, really, for the delicacy of the pressure rather than brute, demanding
He's the first man I've been kissed by since Stan. Apart from perfunctory kisses
of comfort, from relatives, at the funeral. I thought I might be kissing Charles
tonight, but, hey, how wrong can you be?
Acting purely on instinct, I coil my arms around him. I can't believe this is
happening and I can't believe what I'm doing. This new, different, impatient me
takes the initiative and presses her tongue against his lips, demanding entrance.
He laughs, the sound deep and rough in his chest, and he admits me. Then a second
later, it's like he throws a switch and he takes total control.
Now, his tongue does invade. The action is graphic, blatant, and obvious. Thrust,
thrust, thrust, just like sex. My cunt quickens exactly as if it is!
Everything comes together. The months of celibacy. The bizarre erotic antics of
my neighbours. Vague fancyings of Charles and Greg and others. My run in with
Maria. And the appearance of this man, dressed as Valentina the beautiful transvestite.
I've never wanted to fuck more in my life.
As if reading my every emotional and physical reaction, he cups my bottom with
his long, elegant hand, and kneads my buttock as he presses my crotch against
his groin. He's hard as iron in his worse-for-wear denim, and as if possessed
by the spirit of an entirely new and different version of myself, I grind my pelvis
against him. Encouragingly…
He laughs again, increasing his efforts, fingertips curving lewdly and almost
poking at my sex from behind. I can barely believe it when I seem to automatically
adjust myself so he can get in closer. He's pressing against my furrow now, squeezing
rhythmically and tauntingly.
'Now do you know?'
I daren't look into those strange metallic eyes of his, but inexplicably, I answer
with a nod instead of breaking free and running for my life. Or at least running
for the sane, steady, normal respectable life I've led until now.
'Good. Now you're being honest,' he murmurs, his slight accent more noticeable
all of a sudden, as if excitement has stripped him of his polish. 'Show yourself
Suddenly I feel light-headed. I'm in Wonderland, but at the same time it's real.
I step back, not sure what I'm doing, and strike some sort of pose. My pashmina
starts to slip off and I grab for it, dropping my bag in the process and spoiling
the effect entirely.
He shakes his dark head and his amazing hair seems to ripple.
'Not like that,' he instructs, pulling a slim silver case and matching lighter
from his back pocket, 'Show me your body.' Illuminated by a narrow plume of flame,
his face looks satanic as he lights another cigar.
What does he want me to do? Strip off? I cast him a pleading, questioning look,
and he nods.
It seems so…
I glance around. There's nowhere to put my things, so I just let my bag and my
wrap fall, and reach for my zip. I feel ungainly and lacking in grace, but he
watches with interest and what might be appreciation as I wriggle free of my dress.
Grateful that I chose fake tan instead of tights, I step precariously out of it
and fling that in the general direction of the other stuff.
This pretty lingerie I have on was chosen on the off chance that I might have
to impress Charles, and also to act as a confidence booster. But I can't tell
what effect it's having on my watcher. He's probably seen far more daring and
far more seductively filled ensembles in his time, and I feel a bit silly displaying
my middle-aged body like a vamp.
Yet he purrs something indistinct in Italian that sounds generally encouraging,
and I take heart from that, and begin to heel off one of my shoes.
'No, leave them. I like shoes.'
Instead, I reach around and unhook my bra, acutely conscious that my breasts aren't
all that spectacular without benefit of its under-wires and subtle shaping and
moulding. When I hesitate, he clicks his tongue and shakes his head again.
Right then, to hell with it! I whip off the bra and fling that down too, resisting
the almost overwhelming urge to cover myself.
He says nothing. He just watches.
Obviously, it's an all off situation. And I'm scared. Stan was the last man to
see me naked, and before that, just two or three boyfriends, and years and years
ago, my Dad, when he bathed me as a baby. I've just never done this sort of thing
before. I've never even thought of doing this sort of thing before. And here I
am, stepping out of my knickers for a gorgeous but very peculiar man who I only
set eyes on about an hour ago.
I feel as if I might faint. But some unforeseen sense of backbone, and daring,
and downright perverted lust keeps me upright. It might be his lust, but I think
it's more my own. I don't know quite how to stand, but in a moment of bravado,
I through back my shoulders, lifting my breasts.
His gleaming eyes cruise all the hot zones. Thighs. Pubis. Breasts. He's assessing
me, rating me… marks out of ten? I probably stack up as rather average compared
to the sort of younger, sexier women he's used to, but I don't care. And he doesn't
seem to either. I guess he's a past master of masks, but there's a light in his
odd eyes that's unmistakable.
I comply, unsteady on my heels, but determined to keep it together. After a few
moments of his intense scrutiny, I nearly leap out my skin when his hands cup
my naked buttocks.
I never even heard him approach.
He palpates my flesh as if he enjoys the texture. Or maybe he's a bread-maker
in his spare time and just likes kneading dough. Obviously I pass muster because
he drops a swift kiss on the back of my neck.
'Do you touch yourself?'
As he asks, he touches me.
One hand remains cupped around my bottom, fingers sliding rudely into my groove
from behind. The other slides over my hip, then across my belly before plunging
without further ado into my bush. In an instant he's dabbling in my wetness from
the rear and flicking my clit from the front, and I cry out.
'No!' he says in my ear, sharply, 'Stay quiet. As quiet as you can. Let me work
I suppress my cries, but I can't keep myself from panting.
Let me work you.
The words seem to intensify the sensation, and objectify me. Which astonishingly
elevates my arousal. The sensation of being just a thing for him makes my sex
lurch and flutter and slick arousal slide tellingly down my leg. When he takes
my clit between his finger and thumb, I groan, despite his embargo. And when he
pushes a finger inside me at the same time, I yelp and come.
My pelvis lurches, jerking and jerking, but he doesn't miss a beat. I grab onto
him wherever I can reach - arm, hip - to stop myself falling as my crotch seems
to implode in a delicious ball of pleasure.
And it goes on! He works me to not one climax, but two, three, while I cling on
to him, the nails I so carefully manicured to impress Charles digging into the
flesh of this half naked stranger. I ignore his command of silence now, unable
to prevent myself making hoarse, uncouth sounds.
Just when I'm convinced I'm going to fall over, he abandons my sex and manhandles
me bodily to the ground. I'm like a rag doll, limp from my wrenching orgasms,
and I just go where he directs as he sets me on hands and knees, nudges apart
my thighs, and adjusts the tilt of my pelvis.
At the rasp of his zip, I have a sudden moment of abject terror, stunned by the
thought of disease, and the fact that even at my age, I could still get pregnant.
But then there's the tiny ripping sound of a condom wrapper being torn open. A
few seconds later, I feel the large, blunt, but mercifully latex-clad head of
his cock nudging insistently at my entrance. He grabs me firmly by the hips and
shoves me onto him, and then I'm filled up, jammed up, stuffed up, my body stretching
as never before to accommodate him.
'Touch yourself,' he commands, and still holding my hips, he begins to thrust
in long, hard, steady, rhythmic pushes. When I obey him, my one remaining hand
isn't enough to keep me aloft and I find the side of my face pressed into the
crumpled heap of my clothing.
Sex has never been so demeaning, but never ever quite this hot. I rub furiously
at my clit as he fucks and fucks me.
It barely takes a moment and I'm coming again, grunting and drooling against my
own abandoned dress while my lover pumps away at me like some kind of sex machine.
My cunt clutches and grasps at him, clenching hard, but still he goes on and on,
stroking remorselessly. I continue to climax, totally lost, no longer in a position
to even care what happens with him.
But then, he cries out. Something unintelligible, but quite possibly beautiful
in Italian… and I do care. The sound of his voice is masculine, but also
strangely sweet and plaintive, and I push back against him, abandoning the clit
that no longer needs my attention and reaching between our legs to very gently
cup his balls. They're tight and I feel them lurch as he ejaculates.
Seconds later, it's all over and he lets out another musical shout as we collapse
in a heap on top of my dress and underwear. At least, I'm a heap. He probably
looks like some graceful ballet dancer or ice dance champion at the end of a dramatic
We lie in silence. I can't speak. He just doesn't. But then, eventually, he eases
himself off me, sits on the ground at my side, and lays a gentle hand on my back.
'Are you all right?' The hand moves, stroking and soothing as if I'm a skittish
filly. I take a few deep breaths. Am I all right? I'm too flabbergasted to tell…
I could be all right. Or I could be all wrong.
A quickie. In the woods. With a total stranger. How weird and sleazy and dangerous
And yet it felt perfectly natural at the time. And somehow it doesn't feel sleazy,
even now. And it only feels dangerous in a good sort of way.
'Yes, I'm fine. Thank you,' I murmur, sitting up. Nevertheless, I blush like a
He strokes my face this time, with what feels like real fondness, then hands me
I dress in double quick time while he disposes of the condom I know not where.
But the time I'm decent again, he's smoking another cigar.
Unexpectedly, he offers me the case as if it's perfectly normal for a woman to
smoke thin black cigars. Maybe it is amongst the sort of women he knows?
'No, sorry… I don't smoke.'
'Good for you,' he says with a shrug, 'Far better to stick to the healthier vices.'
He gives me roguish wink, which makes his dark, metallic eyes twinkle.
It seems that's as far as it goes in terms of us discussing what's just happened.
He nips off his half-smoked cigar, flings it away, then almost companionably,
he takes my hand and leads me back along the path towards the Waverley. Neither
of us speaks, but to my surprise, I'm not bothered. I feel bizarrely comfortable
with this odd man that I only know in the biblical sense.
When we reach our destination, I'm amazed to see that my taxi is still waiting.
My erstwhile lover speaks quickly to the driver, then opens the back of the cab
and gently bundles me inside.
'Don't worry, it's on the Waverley's account. It's the least I could do.'
I essay a small grin in his direction as he stands there just looking at me, hand
on the cab door. 'Well, it's been… um… interesting… That is,
if I didn't just dream it all.'
He laughs softly. And the smile he gives me is somehow both flirtatious, and dangerous,
but at the same time kind.
'It's been wonderful.' He reaches in, takes my hand and kisses it fleetingly and
I notice for the first time that the nails of his hands are still painted blue,
'And I'll see you again soon.'
With that, he releases me, swings shut the cab door and slaps the side of the
vehicle to indicate to the driver to pull away.
As we speed off into the night, I twist around and look back through the rear
window… but he's gone.
Dear God, did I actually dream it after all?
© Portia Da Costa and Virgin Books 2007 and 2015
Kindle :: US :: UK :: CA :: AU
Epub from :: Nook ::
Nook UK :: Kobo :: Waterstones
Print :: Amazon US :: Amazon UK :: Waterstones :: W H Smith :: Books a Million
NB. Print 27 Jan in US
© 2014 Portia Da Costa
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