VITTORIO'S RUNAWAY BRIDE (The Vittorio Series) (7 page)

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“Go away,” she said dully.
“I’m obviously not what you want or need.
I don’t know why you even came here, Logan.
All you had to do was sign the divorce papers and you would have been free to m-marry

Is that what you think, Shelby?
You think I have some other woman in mind to replace you with?”
Logan frowned at the almost imperceptible nod of her head.
“If that was true then I would have signed the papers.”

She looked up at him in utter confusion.
“I don’t understand you at all.
You go to all the trouble to find me and say you don’t want a divorce and then you tell me it was a mistake to marry me because I’m too young for you.”

Logan muttered a string of expletives in Italian before dropping down beside her on the bed.  “This is not how I envisioned our reunion; both of us saying things we do not mean.”
He caught sight of her bloodied hands and grimaced.
“Let me take care of your wounds first…then we shall start over.”

Chapter 4

Shelby’s gaze fell longingly on the dark head that was bent over her hand.
Logan was so intent on cleansing her wounds as gently as possible he hadn’t looked up from his careful ministrations for several minutes.  She didn’t mind.  It gave her a few precious moments to feast on the pure perfection of him.
The white button down shirt he’d worn strained across his broad shoulders, shaping itself to the contours of his back muscles and making her ache to reach out and run her fingers over the taut sinews.

He’d carried her to the kitchen after procuring the first aid kit from the bathroom and was facing her now; their chairs so close together, her legs were nestled between his.
Every now and then Logan would lean forward and the warmth of his thighs brushed the outside of her legs, sending a jolt of electricity coursing through her body.

Shelby’s eyes migrated to his big hands, watching in fascination as his dexterous fingers removed every minuscule particle of sand with painstaking tenderness.
When that was done, he swabbed each hand with disinfectant and applied an antibacterial cream then carefully bandaged them.
She’d changed into a robe to make it easier for him to tend to her, and Shelby’s breath caught in her throat when he scooted his chair back then knelt down in front of her and parted the material so he could inspect the damage to her knees.
For one heart stopping moment his hand lingered on her thigh and she had to resist the urge to clamp her legs together to ease the painful ache he aroused in her.

Logan cleared his throat and reached for the first aid kit.
“It is lucky you were wearing jeans.  There are only minor scraps on your knees.”
With no sand to remove, he was done applying the cream and bandages in matter of minutes and moved on to her ankle.
“I think I should take you to see a doctor,” he said with a grimace.
“It is probably just a bad sprain, but I want to make sure you do not have any fractured bones.”

“That’s not necessary, Logan.
All I need is a cold pack and a bandage and maybe keep it elevated for awhile.”

Logan eyed the tiny foot that was propped against his thigh as he lightly grazed her bruised skin with his fingertips.
“I will not take any chances.
There could be permanent damage if it is not tended to properly.”

Shelby sighed in exasperation.
“I’m sure it’s not as bad as it looks.
At any rate, it’s too late in the day to make an appointment with a doctor and I’m too tired to spend God knows how many hours in the emergency room waiting to be seen.”

He gently lowered her foot to the floor then stood up, his expression unyielding.
“You will see a doctor.”

Shelby crossed her arms, glowering at him.
“You never used to be such a bully,” she huffed.

“And you,
mia bella
, never used to challenge my every word.”

“I…” she lowered her eyes, ashamed that she was once again acting like a petulant child.
“I’m sorry.
You’re right.  I should have a doctor examine it.”

He reached out and caressed the side of her face.
“I will see to everything,

Shelby choked back the tears that were threatening to spill.
Logan had called her his


She didn’t bother to ask how Logan managed to wheedle an appointment so late in the day at a doctor’s office where she wasn’t even an established patient.
He could be very persuasive when he wanted to be, and getting her in to see a doctor on such short notice proved to be no exception.
And even though there had been no fractured bones, Shelby was glad he’d taken her in because the throbbing pain in her ankle had gotten considerably worse by the time they got there.

The doctor carefully examined her foot, exchanging an amused glance with Shelby when Logan demanded that he double check for broken bones.
After diagnosing a badly sprained ankle and bandaging it up, he gave Logan instructions on how to tend her injury then wrote out a prescription for painkillers and sent them on their way.
She waited in the car while he ran in to fill the prescription, obediently taking one of the pills as soon as he returned and had nearly nodded off by the time they got back to the cottage.

Shelby burrowed her face in Logan’s neck as he carried her inside, offering a groggy smile when he lowered her onto the bed and started to undress her.
His face was a mask of granite as he peeled off her jeans and t-shirt.
He even managed get her bra off with only a minor twitch in his jaws, but when he reached to remove her panties, his hands faltered.
Shelby, who was starting to feel a little loopy from the painkillers, let out a little giggle.

Logan withdrew his hands with a grunt and hastily pulled the covers up to her neck.
Apparently, she found it highly amusing that he stopped at taking off her panties because she was sporting a broad grin and doing nothing to hide the laughter in her eyes.
The desire he’d felt only moments ago was shoved aside by a far greater emotion as his heart swelled with love for his beautiful bride.
For the first time in months, the dull ache in his chest was absent and Logan was able to draw in a breath that didn’t hitch in his throat.

He arched a brow.
“Would you like to explain what is so funny,

“You are,” she quipped.
“I don’t recall you ever having a problem undressing me before.”

“Do not tempt me Shelby.  You are in no condition to endure the things I want to do to you right now.”
He leaned down and pressed a soft kiss to her lips.
“Be a good girl and go to sleep.”

Shelby reached up and touched his cheek.
“I’m sorry for being so much trouble.
Will…will you come back tomorrow?”

“Come back?”
He straightened up, a slight frown forming on his face.
“I am
leaving you alone.
I will stay in the spare bedroom and keep the door open in case you need me.”

Shelby giggled again.
“That could be a problem since I don’t have a spare bedroom.”

“What about the room next to yours?”

“I turned it into an art studio.”

“Then I will spend the night on the sofa.”

“Oh, Logan,” she laughed, “your feet will hang over the edge and you won’t get a minute of sleep!”

“I am not leaving,” he said obstinately.
“If I have to sleep on the floor, then I will do so.”

“Don’t be silly.
If you insist on staying here, you can sleep with me.”

Madre di Dio
,” he muttered, “I am not made of stone.
Do you think I could lie in the same bed and not touch you?”

Shelby’s hazy mind pondered that for a moment.
“Would it help if I wore a nightgown?”

Logan groaned.

, I want to hold you.
With or without a nightgown, it would still be torture I if could not sleep with you in my arms.”

“Okay,” she said with a bright smile.


He couldn’t believe she had given in so easily, but when Shelby threw back the covers and told him to hop in, Logan realized it had to be the medication talking.
Maybe it was wrong to take advantage of the situation, but as his eyes swept over the gentle curve of her hips up to the fullness of her mouth watering breasts, he knew there wasn’t a chance in hell he would turn down her invitation.
Logan turned off the light and wasted no time stripping off his clothes and climbing into bed with her.

Shelby curled into his warmth, letting out a contented sigh when his strong arms pulled her even closer.
This was where she belonged.
With her head nestled on his shoulder, she could hear the strong, rapid beat of his heart and her own heart quickened in response.
She inhaled slowly, breathing in his masculine scent and filled her lungs with it.
Her hand moved tentatively across his chest and then more boldly as his bare flesh shuddered beneath the feathery touch of her finger tips.

Cara mia
,” he whispered hoarsely, “you are killing me.”

Shelby tilted her head back and nibbled along his jaw line, a heady sense of triumph surging through her when a low, needy moan vibrated in Logan’s chest as his mouth hungrily turned to hers.
The dull pain in her ankle forgotten, she matched his ardent kisses with a fierceness of her own, devouring him, arching herself into him with wanton abandon until at last Logan’s damnable control broke.

He made a grunting sound deep in his throat that was more animalistic than human, then stripped her panties off and rolled on top of her, pinning her arms above her head.
It was intensely erotic being helplessly trapped beneath his muscular body, captivated by the sexual desire in his eyes as he drove himself into her.

Shelby wound her legs around his waist as a second powerful thrust followed the first, her body humming like a live wire as
Logan’s slick heat filled her over and over until the heavy coiling in her abdomen was so taut she thought she would explode.
was the passion she had longed to unleash in her husband, the passion she had longed to set free in herself.
Shelby writhed beneath him, welcoming the merciless hammering, even as her feverish body ached to be released from this exquisite torture.

Her heart slammed into her ribs as his mouth descended on hers.  
This is what it must feel like to get broadsided by a two ton pick-up
, she thought inanely.
It was Logan’s searing kiss that finally sent her tumbling over the edge.
One devastating, bone melting kiss, and the muscles in her abdomen clenched then spasmed, the waves of pleasure thundering through her like an avalanche.

Shelby had never felt so deliciously ravaged, or so intensely aware of her own sensuality and the power she possessed to drive Logan wild.
She enticed him with her kisses, attacking his mouth with the ferocious appetite of a woman who had been deprived of his taste for far too long.
It was intoxicating, the sounds she was able to coax from him; primal grunts and throaty moans that excited her and made her pulse race.
Shelby arched her back and tilted her hips, driving him even deeper and shattering what little was left of his self restraint.

Mio bello
,” he ground out with a violent shudder.

Logan buried his face in her neck, his breath billowing in and out as the tremors continued to make mincemeat of every muscle in his body.
His mind wasn’t faring much better, and it was quite some time before the fog began to lift and he was able to pull his disjointed thoughts together.
From the first time he’d made love to Shelby, he believed no woman could ever bring him more pleasure or satisfy his sexual needs the way she did.  But now he realized just how wrong he’d been.

Logan pressed his lips to her neck and kissed his way back to her mouth, possessing it with all the love and tenderness in his heart.
This woman, the one who had gone wild in his arms and taken him to heights he’d never known before, she was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.
Until that moment, Logan thought he couldn’t have been more in love with his wife than on the day he married her, but the depths of his feelings now went beyond that, beyond anything he could ever have imagined.
Even now, after she had drained him of every ounce of energy, Logan could feel the stirrings of renewed desire.

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