Castle of Dreams Part 2

Welcome back for Part 2 of our round robin short story month. I hope you enjoyed reading Jaye’s great start with Amelia & Rafaele’s story. This week, I get to pick up where Jaye left us hanging. So pull up a chair, a glass of wine, and enjoy!

Before I start, though, a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Femme Michele Mannon for her first contest final. Her story, OCTAGON GIRL, finaled in the Sheila Contest in the Single Title category. Best of luck in the final round Michele! We’re all rooting for you!

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win this month’s prize…a tin of specialty tea and a mug, from Hugh Jackman’s Laughing Man coffee and tea company (

Okay, without further ado, here’s Part 2 of Castle of Dreams. Enjoy!


Amelia thought the time and distance apart would lessen the heat of their passion, but it was even more explosive than before. Rafaele’s mouth commanded hers and she opened her lips, desperate to taste him. And oh, did he taste good. Like the Malbec wine he drank, sweet and rich in texture.

He broke away and kissed along her neck. “I’ve missed you, cara mia. Please tell me you missed me, too.”

Miss him? She’d done nothing but over the past five months. What wasn’t to miss when she’d found her perfect man…and then had to let him go.

“I did, Rafaele.”

He slid his hands under t-shirt and was working his way up her back. In no time he’d unfastened her bra and filled his hands with her breasts. She nearly fainted from the pleasure. But she wasn’t ready for this…yet. They had things to discuss first.

“Rafaele,” she gasped.

“Yes, cara,” he whispered before simultaneously claiming her mouth and rubbing her nipples between his fingers.

They were moving now and before Amelia knew it, he’d led her onto the couch. Things were happening so fast, her mind couldn’t catch up with the brigade of sensations hurtling towards her.

She jerked away from his embrace. “Rafaele, we must talk.”

“Later. Now I want to make the most passionate of love to you.”

Yeah, he’d made that pretty much clear as his fingers slid under her skirt and were making their way up towards her…

“No. You need to stop.” She used all her strength to push at his broad chest. When that didn’t get a reaction, she did the only thing she could think of. She yanked a few chest hairs.

“Dios mio! What are you doing, cara?”

“Don’t you want to know why I’ve come here?”

“Your reason doesn’t matter now that you’re here.”

The familiar smell of his cologne filled her nostrils, making her want to do nothing more than straddle him on that couch. She took a steadying breath and rose to get some space.

He sighed. “Fine, cara. Tell me why you’ve finally come, after all these months.”

She felt him behind her and when she turned, he handed her a glass of wine.

Amelia took a deep sip and enjoyed the way the sweetness of the wine exploded with flavor in her mouth before sliding smoothly down her throat. “Made in your vineyard?”

He nodded.

She was procrastinating and based on the look he gave her, he knew it.

“I finished my master’s degree this semester,” she blurted.

“Wonderful, cara. Congratulations and a celebration are in order, then.”

After eight excruciatingly long years, she now had both a B.S. in Interior Design and Master’s in Architecture. It was a both a relief and a worry, now that she needed to get herself a job and pay off all those loans.

“I want to apologize for what I said to you when you left last year.”

“The part where you refused to come here to live with me or the part where you said you never wanted to see me again?”

A blush crept up her neck and stained her cheeks. “Both.”

He pressed a hand to his chest. “You broke my heart, cara. I’ve been lost here without you.”

“Your visa to teach at NJIT was up and I still had over a semester left to finish there. I was so close, Rafaele, I needed to finish. And you needed to get back to your family and run the vineyard. How is your brother?”

Pain flashed across Rafaele’s face. “He passed at the beginning of the year.”

Tears filled her eyes and she reached for his hands. “Oh, I’m so sorry. Why didn’t you let me know?”

He stiffened. “Because after you mailed me back the unused airline ticket I sent you, I didn’t think I’d ever hear from or see you again.”

She flinched. She had no right to attempt to step back in his life. But there was still one thing she hadn’t told him.

“I may have come if you offered more than a warm bed.”

He raised an eyebrow at her. “What do you mean?”

“I wanted to be more than your lover. You asked me to come to live with you, in Italy, with no long-term promise.” She took a deep breath. “I thought you were going to propose to me, Rafaele. And when you didn’t…well, it hurt.”

He cupped her face. “I had planned on doing just that when we arrived here. I wanted you to see my house, my vineyards. I wanted you to be sure before I asked you.”

Her heart jumped into her throat. “Really?”

“Really. The question is, would you have said yes?”

She thought for only a fraction of a second. “Hell yes.”

He kissed her then, a slow and deep kiss that held the promise of an eternity of love and passion.

Suddenly, there was a crash behind them. Amelia jumped and grabbed onto Rafaele.

A woman Amelia had never seen before stood across the room, a tray of food and broken plates now on the floor, hands on her hips. “Who the hell are you, puttana, and why are you kissing my fiancé?”

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  1. Jenna Blue

     /  June 10, 2012

    Ooooooh! Wow, Maria! This is awesome! I love the twists and turns & especially the cliffhanger! : ) Absolutely can’t wait for parts 3 & 4! Come on Jodi & Michele…start brainstorming!
    Also: Michele, congratulations again on the contest final!!! I have such a good feeling for you! : )
    To all: the round robin was a great idea! I’m enjoying immensely!

    • Hi Jenna. I’m glad you liked where I picked up the story. With part 1 ending with a kiss, I needed something to keep them apart. The round robin was fun to do and help got my creative juices flowing.

  2. Nicole Doran

     /  June 11, 2012

    Ditto to what Jenna said Maria (sorry..not enough coffee for me yet this AM). Can’t wait for the next one. Congrats Michele.
    Nicole 🙂

    • Hi Nicole. I’m glad you liked part 2. Thanks for your email as well. It’s nice to hear you can start to detect our writer’s “voice”. It brought a smile to my face today!

  3. Wow, talk about a twist! Nicely done, Maria.

  4. RoseAnn DeFranco

     /  June 11, 2012

    Haha…I was waiting for the rug to pull out from under her. Fun stuff!

    • Hi RoseAnn. I couldn’t make it THAT easy for her. What fun would that be? I’m sure Michele will find some more fun twists to add to our story.

  5. hieubietusa

     /  June 11, 2012

    Maria: The dialogue is terrific. This is what I enjoy…heavy dialogue, with detailed descriptions paving the way.
    By the way…the last three lines…I know I steal lines from you…but did you get the idea from my latest book…”Things that have happened to me.”

    • Hi Joe. I think I remember reading something like that on your facebook profile, right? 🙂

      I’m glad you liked my portion of the story. It was fun to write.

  6. Great job, Maria! I especially love this line…”The familiar smell of his cologne filled her nostrils, making her want to do nothing more than straddle him on that couch.”

    When I wrote the begnning, I sort of knew where I would go with it if I continued the story. You went in a slightly different direction. It’s interesting to see where our own individual minds take the characters.



    • Hi Jaye,

      That’s one of my favorite lines, too. There were a few different directions I considered going, but ended with this one because it left a bigger hook for the readers. I’m sure Michele will come up with something interesting and probably completely different from where I would take it next. Thanks for a great start.

  7. Hi Maria! Nice job. And thanks, throwing in a fiance! Hmm, you really have me thinking here. Possible genre twist. Diamond necklace. Resurrected brother (joking!)

    BTW, thanks for all the kind wishes on the Sheila contest 🙂


  8. Maya

     /  June 20, 2012

    Wow! Maria, Hot and steamy. You really took over in a good way. Love what you guys are doing. On to part three.

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