Authors: Carole Mortimer
“I’m going inside you now.” He moved onto his knees to take a condom from the drawer beside his bed, ripping the packet open and putting it on before kneeling between her thighs, taking his weight on his arms before he entered her in one sure, smooth, deep thrust.
The slickness of her juices and her relaxed muscles allowed him to arch his hips forward so that she took all of him to the hilt, his balls instantly becoming wet from those juices and slapping against her as he thrust. Her hands moved to grasp the muscular cheeks of his ass to give her leverage while she arched up to meet each fierce and measured stroke.
Alexandre gritted his teeth and continued to ride her through her next climax, and the next, reveling in her gasps of pleasure and the heat of her channel as it gripped him in ever tightening, pulsing waves. The need to come became overwhelming—
“Come for me now, Alexandre!” Her fingers squeezed the globes of his ass, nails raking and digging into his flesh and sending him hurtling over the edge into the intensity of his own climax and taking her with him.
Stazzi felt completely disorientated when she woke in the darkened, unfamiliar room. Well…it wasn’t completely unfamiliar, she acknowledged ruefully. She worked here five days a week, after all, which meant she knew the bedrooms in the penthouse apartment at the Meyers Hotel intimately. She had just never woken up in the bed of one of them before.
The realization that was where she was, along with the body lying next to her, reminded her exactly
she was waking up in this particular bed next to Alexandre St Sebastien.
They had slept for a short while after that first time of making love, before waking and making love again. Her body now felt not only satiated but well used, and she ached in parts that had never ached before. A pleasurable ache that reminded her of all the many ways Alexandre had made love to her.
Stazzi rolled over onto her back and stretched those aching muscles. She hadn’t meant to stay on, but Alexandre had taken her into his arms again and pulled the bedclothes over them both once he returned from disposing of the second condom in the bathroom. Alexandre’s warmth had been irresistible as she curled into him, and she had felt too satiated to even attempt to move. She must have drifted off to sleep again in Alexandre’s arms.
Thank goodness she had woken up at… A glance at the illuminated digital clock on the bedside table told her it was two o’clock in the morning. She still had time to get dressed, climb into a cab, and go home to her apartment and sleep for the rest of the night. Toe-curling sex was one thing, but she couldn’t still be here in the morning. And Alexandre might not appreciate waking up and finding her in bed beside him either.
Talking of which…
She rolled over to indulge herself with a last ogle of the man himself before she had to leave. Alexandre was lying on his side facing her. His hair was tousled over his brow, face relaxed in sleep, and so incredibly handsome. Still naked, his shoulders were wide, with a light dusting of dark hair on that muscular chest—
What the hell…?
The smile faded from Stazzi face to be replaced by a frown as she realized that beautifully defined chest was barely rising and falling.
She sat up quickly to place a hand against where she knew his heart to be, and realized not only was Alexandre’s breathing so shallow as to be almost undetected, but his heartbeat was only a faint irregular murmur against the palm of her hand too.
Alexandre was dying in front of her eyes!
Stazzi was sobbing in panic as she quickly scrabbled to the side of the bed to switch on the bedside lamp so she could take a closer look at Alexandre. His face was deathly pale, and there was even a blueness starting to appear beside his mouth, his breath becoming a shallow, painful rasp in his throat.
Oh my God, Alexandre really was dying.
How could Alexandre be dying? Why was he? What could possibly have caused such a reaction in a man only in his midthirties, who had certainly been healthy enough just a few hours ago to make love to her—
Alexandre was showing all the signs of an allergic reaction, and both Gerard and Alexandre had told her he couldn’t tolerate shellfish.
Okay so they hadn’t
any fish at dinner, but what else could this be?
Stazzi was crying in earnest as she began to rifle through Alexandre’s clothing scattered about the bedroom floor, searching for the epinephrine pump she knew most if not all people affected by such a severe allergy always carried with them.
She sat back on her haunches, panicked gaze flicking everywhere as she searched the surfaces of the room for the medication, so very aware of the time passing. Alexandre’s bodyguards. One of them was sure to be outside in the hallway, and he would know what to do—
There. On the dressing table.
Stazzi had only ever seen this reaction once before in her life, in the hotel restaurant, as it happened. But she remembered what had to be done as she grabbed the epinephrine and hurried back to the bedside, placing the pump against Alexandre’s neck and pressing the button to inject the medication. As far as she could remember, the recovery had been almost instantaneous.
As it was with Alexandre. His face was becoming less pale, the blueness disappearing from his lips as he began to breathe more easily.
He gave a groan as he rolled over onto his side, eyes flickering beneath his eyelids for several seconds before he opened them and looked up at her. “Anastazia…?”
Stazzi didn’t answer him as she dropped the pump onto the bed. She hurried across the room to grab and put on a robe from the bathroom before throwing open the door. As she’d thought, a bodyguard was standing out in the hallway. “Prince Alexandre has suffered an allergic reaction. You need to—” She didn’t get any further as the man pushed her aside and ran into the bedroom, all while talking into the radio attached to his lapel.
What happened next was a blur of activity as several more bodyguards rushed into the bedroom, followed a few minutes later by a fully dressed Gerard St Sebastien. The latter flicked Stazzi a censorious and damning glance as she sat unmoving and numbed in a chair beside one of the long windows before he hurried to his cousin’s bedside.
Stazzi might have been invisible as the bedroom filled with yet more people over the next few minutes. A doctor, followed by two ambulance attendants, who bundled Alexandre, naked and still slightly groggy, onto a mobile stretcher before almost running out of the room with him strapped to it and down the hallway to the lift. All the bodyguards and Gerard St Sebastien accompanied them.
Leaving Stazzi sitting alone, still wearing only the hotel bathrobe, in a now-empty bedroom that only seconds ago had been filled with people. The bedroom where she and Alexandre had made love so wildly only hours ago.
Oh God, he had so nearly died. If she hadn’t woken up when she did…
She gave a choked sob as the tears fell softly down her cheeks. “Thank you for saving Alexandre’s life,” she murmured shakily. “You’re welcome,” she answered herself, knowing that self-pity was ridiculous in the circumstances, but too shaken still to be able to rationalize anything past the fact that Alexandre might have died if she hadn’t awoken when she did.
If that really was an allergic reaction to shellfish, then Stazzi had no idea how he could have ingested it. They had both eaten burgers for dinner, and the kitchen staff knew to be extra careful about any of the food they prepared for the prince. And yet all of Alexandre’s symptoms, and the fact he had recovered after being injected with the epinephrine, pointed to that having been the reason he had almost died.
Stazzi had no idea how long she remained seated in the bedroom, still too shocked to be able to move.
Certainly long enough for Daniel Meyers to arrive and find her sitting alone and dressed only in a robe in Prince Alexandre of Androcco’s hotel bedroom.
“Daniel Meyers totally overreacted.” Lissa angrily paced the sitting room in their apartment, having delayed leaving for work once Stazzi told her what had happened. “You
Alexandre’s life, for goodness’ sake.”
Yes, Stazzi had done that. But she had still been suspended and sent home until Daniel had carried out an investigation. He wanted to know exactly how and why Prince Alexandre had suffered an allergic reaction and had to be rushed to a private clinic for treatment. The reproach in Daniel’s eyes also said that he would then have to make a decision regarding Stazzi having obviously spent the night with the prince.
“It’s almost as if he thinks you’re responsible for Alexandre becoming ill.” Lissa gave a disgusted shake of her head.
“Maybe I am.” She shrugged. “He has an allergy to shellfish, so maybe he’s now developed an allergy to my perfume too. Or my body lotion. Who knows why it happened? The important thing is that Alexandre is hopefully going to be okay.”
thing was Stazzi had no way of knowing whether he was or not. Her suspension meant she was no longer in the loop to be able to know the health of one of the hotel guests, and she had no idea what clinic Alexandre had been taken to. She doubted they would give any information out about one of their patients even if she did. And Alexandre was in no condition to let her know how he was.
“Well…yes,” Lissa conceded grudgingly. “But a lot of thanks you got for that.”
“I don’t need thanks.” Stazzi grimaced, still nursing the mug of coffee Lissa had made for her when she came out of her bedroom ready for work and realized Stazzi was sitting in the darkness of the sitting room, still dressed in the clothes she had been wearing when she went out the previous evening. “I just need to know he’s okay, and I doubt Daniel Meyers is in any mood to tell me.” She frowned.
Lissa sighed. “I could always ask the asshole…? I’m sure Ash would be able to find out how Alexandre is.”
“Asher!” Stazzi brightened. Why hadn’t she thought of that? Because she was too upset and sleep deprived to be able to think straight, that was why. “No, I’ll give Knight Security a call, Lissa,” she reassured her, knowing by her friend’s relieved expression exactly how much Lissa would have hated having to talk to Asher Knight again. But she would have done it for Stazzi. “Directory Enquiries are sure to have the number listed.”
Stazzi was totally aware Lissa was trying to alleviate some of her tension with humor, and she loved her friend for it, but she was far too upset about Alexandre to respond.
Directory Enquiries did have a telephone number listed for Knight Security, and even though it was still early, Stazzi immediately called it, only to be told by the woman who answered that Mr. Asher Knight wouldn’t be in the office today. Stazzi’s enquiry as to when he would be had been answered with the woman assuring her someone else in the company would be happy to assist her if she would like to make an appointment. Stazzi had politely declined, but left a message she had called and her telephone number, so that Asher could return the call the next time he was in the office.
“Would you like me to stay home with you today?” Lissa voiced her continuing concern.
“No.” Stazzi gave a rueful smile. “No point in both of us being miserable.”
“Misery loves company.”
“Not me,” she assured her friend firmly. “You’re already late to work as it is. Don’t worry about me. I’ll spend the day cleaning the apartment.” It didn’t particularly need cleaning, and she doubted it would stop her thinking about Alexandre, but she needed to keep herself busy.
“How did last night go?” Lissa continued to hover. “Apart from the Alexandre-almost-dying-next-to-you-in-bed thing, of course,” she added with a wince.
Stazzi gave a rueful smile. “Apart from that, it was wonderful. Just an ordinary date. Dinner and watching a movie together.”
“And mind-blowing sex.”
“Well…yes, that too.” Her cheeks warmed self-consciously.
“Look, I’m sure that Alexandre will contact you himself once he’s able to.” Lissa brightened. “I have an aunt who has allergies, and it doesn’t take long for them to recover once they’ve received their medication. Alexandre will probably be back at the hotel later today.”
“He’s a prince, Lissa. I’m sure they’ll want to keep him in for observation at least until tomorrow.” By which time, Stazzi would be climbing the walls in her anxiety to know if he was okay.
She waited until Lissa had reluctantly left for work before allowing herself to wallow in thoughts of Alexandre. Last night had been…amazing. Not just the sex, but the whole evening. She had felt totally relaxed in Alexandre’s company as they ate dinner and then watched a movie together, and she knew he had felt the same way. The amazing sex had been a natural progression from feeling so at ease with each other.
Stazzi felt a sense of unease the more she thought about last night.
Alexandre had been fine when they made love the first time, and then again when they both woke an hour or so later. If his allergic reaction had been to something he ate, surely it would have affected him much earlier than it had? Unless it really was her perfume or body lotion?
Or maybe something about this situation was just off…?
“What do you mean, you have no idea what happened to Anastazia?” Alexandre demanded of his cousin as he quickly dressed in the tailored trousers and formal shirt brought to him in the clinic from the hotel by one of his bodyguards earlier that same evening.
“You’re supposed to stay in the clinic overnight—”
“Fuck that,” he dismissed as he sat up on the bed after putting on his shoes. “Where is Anastazia now?”
Gerard glared. “Who gives a damn what happened to the little whore who shared your bed— What the hell are you doing?” He gasped as Alexandre stood abruptly to grab him by the throat and push him up against the wall. Hard.
Alexandre’s face was only inches from his cousin’s. “
give a damn. And don’t ever talk about Anastazia in that derogatory way again.” His voice was dangerously soft. “Do you understand?” His fingers tightened in warning about the other man’s throat.