Ten Days in Tuscany
by Annie Seaton
A Men of the Zodiac Novel
Men of the Zodiac novel by Annie Seaton
One lie will ruin everything…
Gia Carelli waits tables in her small Tuscan village, dreaming of a life in which her overbearing family allows her to move to Florence to pursue art. Everyone expects her to marry a nice local boy and raise a horde of bambini, but when a gorgeous, wealthy stranger visits, Gia wonders if maybe her stars are about to change.
Nic Baldini has returned to his Tuscan Villa for a much-needed break from the responsibilities of his powerful family. Struck by local artist Gia Carelli’s raw talent and passion, he finds himself wanting to help her…and lies about his identity in order to gain her trust. But as theirpatron-protegée relationship is quickly eclipsed by desire, Nic realizes that one tiny lie could cost him the woman he’s falling for.
About the Author: Annie Seaton lives on the edge of the South Pacific Ocean on the east coast of Australia and she is fulfilling her lifelong dream of writing. She has been delighted to discover that readers love reading her stories as much as she loves writing them. Annie lives with her own hero of many years. Their two children are now grown up and married, and two beautiful grandchildren have arrived. Now they share their home with “Bob” the dog and two white cats. When she is not writing she can be found in her garden or walking on the beach… or most likely on her deck overlooking the ocean, a chilled glass of wine in hand as the sun sets.
“Hmm. Let me see. Can I find a spot that needs attention?” Nic’s voice was low, and he was so close to her it vibrated through her skin. Gia looked down at his chest and her eyes lingered on the beautiful script that was embedded into his skin.
“So that is the tattoo. Courage, Nic?” She grinned up at him as she placed both of her hands on the word that was inked on his skin. “I have no doubt you have plenty of that.”
Slowly he lowered the brush, and for a moment, Gia thought she’d escaped retaliation for daubing his cheek with paint.
“Maybe you need a little courage. Do you think, bella?”
He grabbed both of her hands with one of his and held the brush high with the other. Her breath caught as Nic used his body to gently push her back against the wall. She watched fascinated as he lowered his head and caught the thin straps of her singlet top in his teeth, and the stubble of his chin brushed her shoulder as he slid the strap down with his teeth. A shaft of pure desire ran from her shoulder and honed straight between her legs. If Nic hadn’t been supporting her with his body, Gia would have slid down the wall into a useless heap; her legs were trembling with anticipation.
She swallowed and lowered her voice. “Courage for what?”
Nic lifted his head and held her gaze. “Coraggio. To have faith in yourself and your exhibition.” His eyes were half-closed, but Gia watched with fascination as he leaned back and lowered the brush. The first strokes on the top of her breast were feather soft, and she tipped her head back and closed her eyes. A half swirl for the C and her fingers tingled with the need to touch Nic, but he still held her hands firmly in his. His brow was creased with concentration as his eyes remained firmly fixed on her breasts as the brush tickled her. The circle for the O was painstakingly slow, and she was sure he was deliberately taking his time to complete each letter. The R was completed just as slowly, and Gia closed her eyes when Nic began the next letter. The paint was cool on her skin, and the sensation of the tip of the fine brush was sending quivers to her belly.
“Hmmm. We have a problem.”