Authors: Marina Anderson
‘I don’t think you were silent, do you, Juanita?’ he asked.
She shook her head.
‘A pity, you were doing well until the end. Come with me. It’s time for your forfeit.’
He held out his hand, and Juanita took it reluctantly. Passively, she let him lead her through into an adjoining room. Livia followed, closing the door behind the three of them, and then stood waiting to see what would happen.
Carlos gestured towards the bow window, which had a wide seat in the bay. ‘Stand over there, face out of the window and put your hands on the seat,’ he ordered Juanita. As she slowly moved to obey him, he drew a glass jar out of one of the bureau drawers and dipped his fingers into the cream inside it.
Juanita glanced back over her shoulder, and immediately tried to spin round, but Carlos was too quick for her and pushed her back into position. ‘You know how good this can be if you only relax,’ he reminded her.
The Brazilian girl’s body trembled, but Carlos knew he was right. He loved to take her this way, thrusting into her second, tighter entrance and feeling her initial resistance weaken as the discomfort turned into a dark, forbidden pleasure.
Livia sat on the seat next to her friend, and while Carlos began to cover his tight erection with the lubricating cream, she started to gently caress Juanita between her thighs. She slid her fingers up and down the channel between her inner sex lips, and when Juanita’s juices started to flow she nodded at Carlos.
By now he was painfully hard, and grasping the Brazilian girl round her waist he eased himself inside her, rotating his hips so that he was touching every possible nerve ending inside her sensitive back passage. She tightened herself against him, trying to expel him, but he only grasped her more firmly still. When she whimpered, he whispered in her ear, reminding her of what was to come.
At first she twisted and struggled, trying to resist him. Then, after a few moments, he felt her relax as sweet pleasure began to take over. Now Livia removed her hand, leaving Carlos free to reach round Juanita until it was his fingers that were playing with her.
He started to move himself rhythmically in and out,
gently at first but then harder as he imagined that it was Chloe he was inside. In his mind it was Chloe who was moaning and sobbing, ashamed of her own dark sexuality. It was Chloe’s clitoris that he was pinching between his finger and thumb, and it was Chloe that he emptied himself into as he came in an explosive climax that left him feeling weak and drained.
He scarcely heard Juanita’s screams of shamed gratitude, or noticed the strange look that Livia gave him as he withdrew from her friend, because his thoughts were elsewhere. To him this had been nothing more than a practice run, albeit a very enjoyable one.
One day, no matter how long he had to wait, his dream would come true, and if Chloe put up more resistance than Juanita, then so much the better. Running his hand down the Brazilian girl’s moist back, he left the two young women alone together, showered and went to bed.
If his spies were right, then his disillusioned little nun was already on her way back to England. He’d expected her to run to him for help, but clearly she was more independent than he’d thought, which should only increase the pleasure of the chase. Although she didn’t know it, he and Livia would soon be joining her in England too.
s Chloe sorted through the plastic bags of clothes, toys and household knick-knacks that were the result of their most recent street collection, she couldn’t help comparing the damp drizzle of an English day in June with the sun-drenched heat of Copacabana beach.
She’d been back in England for six weeks, and was still struggling to come to terms with all that had happened to her since her fateful meeting with Carlos Rocca. There were times when she wished she’d never set eyes on the man, because he’d brought her world crashing down round her ears and made it impossible for her to stay in Brazil.
Although she’d been lucky enough to land a job as a paid member of a London-based charity for Brazilian street children, the money was so poor that the only room she could afford was little better than the tiny cell-like room containing just a single bed that she’d lived in while in Rio.
She worked long hours, often staying on after everyone else had gone, because there was nothing else in her life. Everything that she’d believed in was gone, and she wasn’t getting the satisfaction from her work that she’d expected. Every day, in fact almost every hour, she’d find her thoughts wandering to her first glimpse of Carlos in the
hallway of his magnificent house, and she couldn’t understand why.
She’d met a lot of handsome men when she was younger, before she’d decided to embrace the religious life, and none of them had affected her in the same way. It was as though his strange dark-blue, black-lashed eyes held a sense of danger, which ignited something in her, something new and disturbing.
It was only at night, when she couldn’t control her thoughts, that her subconscious mind let her see what this might involve. When she woke from these dreams she was drenched in sweat, and would quickly pray for guidance. However, she was beginning to suspect that she may have been using religion to protect herself from an inner darkness that she was afraid to confront.
‘There you are!’ said Lizzie, the branch organiser, as she entered the room. ‘I hoped I’d find you here. I’ve got a job for you. Something different for once. We’ve had a letter from a man living in London who was born in Brazil. He’s very interested in our work and wants someone to go round and talk to him about it in detail before he decides whether or not to give a regular donation. It sounds as though it would be a lot of money if he did choose in our favour, so make sure you do a good job on him!’
‘But I’m new,’ protested Chloe. ‘You should go yourself – or send Anna. She’s the sophisticated kind of woman who’d appeal to a wealthy, ageing Brazilian.’
‘He might be young for all I know. Anyway, I can’t send Anna. He’s asked to see you.’
‘Me?’ Chloe stared incredulously at her. ‘That’s impossible. I don’t know anyone in London.’
‘Well, apparently someone knows you. He said he met you once when you were living in Rio de Janeiro.’
Chloe’s mouth went dry. ‘I can’t go,’ she said quickly.
‘I’m out of practice at making conversation. It’s going to take me months before I can socialise again, you know that. I’ll do anything else – address all the envelopes, do cold telephone calling – anything but …’
Lizzie laughed. ‘There’s no need to panic. You’re very good at explaining our work to people. Let’s face it, you’re the only one of us who’s been there and knows what it’s really like. Besides, as you’ve decided you want to rejoin the world again, you’ve got to start some time, and this is a golden opportunity. He lives in a nice area, very posh.’
Chloe’s stomach felt peculiar, as though it were getting tied up in a knot. ‘I really don’t want to do this, Lizzie,’ she said quietly.
‘It’s all in a good cause,’ retorted Lizzie briskly. ‘I’ve arranged for you to go there at three this afternoon. I thought three sounded a very civilised hour. You might get tea and scones!’
Chloe knew when she was beaten. ‘All right,’ she agreed miserably.
‘Cheer up. He might be young, handsome and single as well as rich, then you’ll thank me! His name’s Carlos Rocca, by the way. Ring any bells?’
Chloe shook her head She’d already known, of course, but the last thing she wanted was to start discussing her previous meeting with Carlos, and the part he’d played in her decision to leave the order. Also, if he’d taken the trouble to look her up while he was in London, then she very much doubted that she’d have any reason to thank Lizzie.
At precisely three o’clock that afternoon, she rang the bell of the three-storey house in Maida Vale. She hadn’t known what to wear for the meeting. Most of her clothes had been given away when she’d become a postulant a year earlier, and those that she’d kept were too loose, because she’d lost
a lot of weight in Brazil – a combination of the heat and the nuns’ poor diet.
In the end she’d picked the best cotton dress she owned, a simple gold-coloured shift, and decided to ignore the fact that it was a cool, wet day. The last thing she wanted was to look like some kind of pathetic waif when she faced the man again.
A middle-aged woman opened the front door and looked questioningly at her. ‘Yes?’
‘I’m Sister Chloe, and I’ve come to see Mr Rocca about the—’
The woman raised her eyebrows.
She wished the ground would open up and swallow her. ‘No, sorry, of course not. That is, I used to be a sister – well, a nun – but of course I’m not any more, which is why I’m wearing this dress. I …’
She was spared further embarrassment by the appearance of Carlos himself. ‘It’s all right, Mrs Clarke, I was expecting the young lady. She really was a nun once,’ he added. ‘I accept that’s rather difficult to believe today, but I promise you it’s true.’
As Chloe walked into the house, she wondered if the dress had been such a good idea after all. His eyes had lingered on her for a very long time while he was talking to his housekeeper, and even now she was certain that he was watching her closely as he followed her down the entrance hall.
After he’d shown her into a small, beautifully furnished drawing room, he sat down on a white leather armchair and looked approvingly at her. ‘A great improvement,’ he murmured. ‘Although there was something very seductive about the black veil.’
‘Our branch organiser said that you’d asked to talk to me about the charity,’ said Chloe, trying to ignore the way he was studying her. ‘She said that you needed to have more
information before deciding whether to support us or not. I admit I find that a little strange, considering the fact that you gave us a large donation in Rio, but perhaps you’re going to tell me that the people I’m working with now are corrupt too.’
‘I take it from that remark that you did the research I suggested?’
‘And discovered that I was right?’
‘If you hadn’t been right, I’d still be there, completing my novitiate.’ It was difficult to keep the bitterness out of her voice.
Carlos’s eyes narrowed. ‘I hope you’re not blaming me for the corruption you uncovered?’
‘No, that would be very unreasonable of me.’
He nodded. ‘It would, but I think that you do. Tell me, do you really miss being a nun?’
‘Of course I do. It was my life! Now it’s all been taken away from me, and I don’t know what to do.’
‘A charity worker is a very worthy thing to be.’
Chloe was certain she could detect a note of mockery in his voice. ‘You make that sound like an insult.’
‘Then I apologise. It’s only that you seem to me to be a girl who is running away from herself, trying to conceal the truth from everyone. Why is this? Are you ashamed of what you’re really like?’
‘Of course not! Why should I be?’
‘That is what intrigues me. I’ll ring for some tea, and then we’ll talk a little more.’
Chloe watched him get up and pull on a tasselled cord that hung next to the fireplace. He was wearing a dark suit with a white shirt and a blue-and-maroon tie. He looked exactly like the intelligent, sophisticated industrialist he was known to be in his own country, and yet there was
something wrong. Beneath the smooth veneer, she sensed something primitive; something dangerous, that could occasionally be glimpsed in the depths of his eyes. It was this that she had remembered, and to her shame, something inside her responded to it.
After Mrs Clarke had brought in a tray of tea and biscuits, Carlos gestured for Chloe to pour. ‘You’re right in thinking that I have all the information I need on your charity,’ he remarked as she tried to keep the hand holding the teapot steady. ‘I really wanted to see you again.’
Chloe looked directly at him. ‘Why?’
‘You interest me. I believe that we have more in common than you may think.’
‘I doubt it,’ she said hastily. ‘We’re from different worlds. You think I’m amusing and strange, that’s all. You probably believe that everyone should want to live like you, but that’s just vanity, I’m afraid.’
As soon as she’d spoken she knew that she’d gone too far. She’d insulted a possible patron, but it was too late to call the words back. Glancing at him, she was unable to tell his reaction because the expression on his face was completely neutral, almost indifferent.
‘Are you afraid to find out if what I’m saying is true?’ he enquired softly.
‘I know it isn’t true.’
‘Then come out to dinner with me. We’ll go for a meal, and talk some more. It may surprise you to know that I too believe in discipline and rules; it’s simply a different kind of discipline from the one you originally chose to follow.’
‘I don’t think I want to come out to dinner with you,’ said Chloe, knowing full well that she did.
‘But you want me to give generously to your charity, don’t you? Surely one harmless dinner isn’t too high a price to pay?’