And here it is!
Here is a wallpaper Gene did for us.
Amazon Australia has adjusted the price to a much more reasonable $9.99, and it is safe to preorder now.
I walked over to Alessandro’s office. He leaned back in his chair, his feet on the table, a phone to his ear. I rapped my knuckles on the doorway. He winked at me.
“Love and kisses to Maya. Ciao!”
He hung up and grinned at me.
I had never heard him say that. Ciao was very informal, both a greeting and a goodbye, and it had originated from the Venetian dialect’s s-ciào vostro meaning “I am your slave.” The phrase wasn’t meant literally; it was used more as “I’m at your service” and it was mostly said to kids and younger people. Alessandro never used it.
“What’s the point of stereotypes if you can’t use them to your advantage?”
“I’m so glad to hear that.”
“Wahl called. He wants to interview the family. Kaylee, Luciana’s daughter, is my age. I need the Count.”
Alessandro’s entire persona changed. He took his feet off the table and sat straighter in his chair, throwing one long leg over the other. His pose acquired elegance. His expression turned suave. He looked worldly, slightly jaded, yet breathtaking handsome.
“Is this the Count you were looking for?” A light Italian accent overlayed his words like glossy polish.
“Yes. That’s the guy.”
“And what will this humble Count get if he comes with you?” His voice was like velvet.
“Satisfaction of a job well done?”
“I was thinking of something more substantial.”
“Once this is over, we go away for a weekend to the coast. I don’t care which, as long as there is clear blue water and hot weather. No meetings, no appointments, no phone.”
I knew what he was asking. Whether [REDACTED] survived or not, we would do this, because it was about us alone. “Done. Will you take a kiss as a down payment?”
“I’d be a fool not to.”
I walked over and leaned over him. My lips touched his. I started tentative and gentle, a tease rather than a promise, just a hint of things to come. His mouth opened. I caught his breath, and my tongue brushed his ever so slightly. His hand slid into my hair, and he kissed me back, hungry but savoring every moment. We kissed while the world stood still and when we finally came up for air, I had to stop myself from reaching for his clothes.
Count Sagredo gave me a dazzling smile. “I am at your service, tesoro mio.”