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 (www.livelaughingman.com).

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

Maria

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?”

Castle of Dreams

Thanks to everyone who commented on our blog last month. The winner of the two free books is Jenna Blue! Congrats, Jenna, on your win, and thank you for being a loyal reader! 

Welcome to the special June edition of the Violet Femmes blog. To mix things up this month, we’ve decided to depart from offering our usual words of wisdom ;), and instead, offer you a short story, co-written by us all. It’s a story round robin, with the jumping off point a picture prompt. Jaye starts us off. Thanks for visiting. 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 (www.livelaughingman.com).

Fiats were not designed for girls with hips.

As Amelia put one wedge-sandaled foot out onto the drive, a small pouf of dust rose up, then swirled off to join the full-on storm of grit that had materialized behind the miniscule car as she had driven up the road leading to the imposing structure now before her. She twisted in the driver’s seat, attempted to put the other foot out. No luck. Reaching down in front of the seat, she grasped the lever and wrestled it to the side. The driver’s seat shot back, causing her thigh to slam into the car’s door frame. “Sugar beets!” she swore. Amelia rubbed at the spot, knowing that when she got ready for bed later, there would be a nasty bruise on her leg.

Able now to swing her other leg around, she found her footing on the uneven ground, and used the armrest on the car door to push herself up out of the car. She gazed up at the octagonal turret, its crenellations reaching toward the sky like fingers trying to harness the clouds. She suppressed a shiver, and drew her hooded capelet tight around her shoulders. If it weren’t for the sunny Italian countryside surrounding the austere facade of the castle, Amelia would be convinced she had just stepped into an animated feature film, complete with dancing candlesticks, singing tea kettles, and a big hairy beast.

She retrieved her oversized Fendi knock-off purse from the back seat, and picked her way across the dusty drive and along the cobbled walkway to the front door of the castle. If you could call a cross-section of a sequoia a door, because that is what the oversized portal reminded her of. Amelia lifted the heavy bronze ring at the door’s center and let it drop. “Knocker” was too tame a word…the force of the metal hitting the door sounded more like a battering ram.

Immediately, the door cracked open, and a pair of watery black eyes under bushy grey eyebrows peered out at her. “May I help you?” a weak masculine voice asked in Italian.

“I’m here to see Signore Buzzino,” Amelia replied. Italian was second-nature to her, thanks to her Nonna…and a year spent in the passionate arms of the man of the house.

The eyes looked her up and down, and the man’s upper lip curled up in a sneer. “Signore Buzzino is not at home. Good-bye.”

The butler, or whatever he was, tried to shut the door. Unfortunately for him, Amelia thought, he didn’t know whom he was up against. You didn’t mess with a girl from Jersey. She flat-palmed the door, and, catching the man off guard, she pushed the door open farther.

“I’ll just wait, then,” she said, and stepped inside onto the worn marble floors.

“You cannnot…” the man sputtered.

“Si, signore…I can. And I will. Please tell Rafaele I am waiting.”

Resigned to do her bidding, the butler led Amelia through the cavernous foyer of the castle, into a small library off to the side. He indicated a large, velvet-upholstered chair. “You may wait here. It may be awhile.” He left her to find his master.

Amelia removed her cape and hung it on the back of the chair, then made her way to the shelves along one wall. She perused the titles, running her fingers along the spines of the leather-bound books, trying to glean some insight into their owner…a man she had thought she knew quite well, only last fall. It was five months since she had seen him. Had he changed as much as she had?

She caught her reflection in a mirror hanging on the wall. My, she looked a wreck! Reaching into her purse, she looked for the comb she always carried. With it in hand, she returned her gaze to the mirror, and froze. Electricity shot through her, from her toes to the top of her head, as her green eyes met Rafaele’s deep mahogany ones. His hand grasped hers, and she dropped the comb she held.

He turned her around to face him. “Don’t, cara mia. I like your hair wild. It reminds me of how you look, right after our lovemaking.”

Amelia gasped, and in a breath, she was in his arms, his lips crashing down on hers.

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