He needed children for an advertising campaign. . .
All Cesar Machismo wants is to ensure the bambinos of the world experience the flavor explosion of his company’s newest baby-food, Thai Shrimp in Peanut Dressing. But when he goes to an orphanage looking for a new spokes-baby, he finds twins with eyes the color of pureed Cornish game hens. Mama Mia! He must take them home!
What he got was a ready-made family!
Content with her lot in life, Chastity Bliss slaves for her stepmother at the orphanage. This way she stays with her babies, though she can never acknowledge them. When Cesar adopts her twins, she follows as their nanny. What can she do? She has no choice, because though he doesn’t know it . . .
Cesar is their father!
This boldly daring 5th chapter is brought to you by the ever-so-clever, Carrie Lofty.
Chastity took one last sniff of her marker and eyed herself in the gilt-edged mirror. An artful array of red-gold locks were piled high atop her head, while an artful spray of white rosebuds nestled within the curls and whorls, artfully framing her heart-shaped face and wide, childlike eyes.
In all, very artful.
Not that she could take credit, for the hairdresser hired by the wedding planner had made her beautiful for the big day. Chastity would never be able to create something so lovely. No, her children were all the beauty she’d ever create—her perfect, lovely, red-gold-headed darlings with life-threatening food allergies.
She was doing this for their futures.
If marrying Cesar was what it took to make sure her babies would enjoy the material niceties that only a man could provide, that’s what she’d do. She had no choice! And if thinking about her honeymoon with Cesar gave her a sinful little thrill—particularly the part where she’d eat Italian ices and then see his strapping body with no clothes on—then it was best she got married. Only dirty whores thought like she was thinking, so the sanctity of marriage was a probably good thing for her, salvation-wise.
A knock startled her. She capped the magic marker and slipped it into her white silk clutch, then answered the door. “Delivery, signorina,” said a fresh-faced peasant lad.
Chastity accepted the package, then fretted about the tip. Who knew how much these foreign coins were worth? He smiled broadly when she gave him a huge handful of the strange money. But she had other things to think about, like special presents!
After tearing into the package, Chastity was briefly distracted by the bubble wrap. But then a note caught her eye. Cesar’s manly yet elegant hand had written, “Alla mia puttana amorale, che soddisfa me sessualmente almeno.”
She was really going to have to learn Italian.
Upon flipping the card over, she found another inscription that read, “In English it means: to my amoral whore, who at least satisfies me sexually. Wear this beneath your deceitful white dress. I’ll know it’s there against your skin.”
Chastity pulled out a silken, floor-length, fire-engine red negligee. “Oh,” she said to herself, for she was alone, without any people around. “I can’t wear this beneath my wedding gown! God will see!”
Maybe she wasn’t so alone after all.
But it did feel really nice along her fingertips. She bet it would feel even better against, well, other parts.
A clock on the mantel chimed. Ten minutes! She shrugged out of her robe and slipped the red negligee over her artfully piled hair. It skimmed along every womanly curve of her tiny yet voluptuous body, hugging her like Cesar would hug her. She shivered, then stepped into the giant white meringue of a wedding dress and pulled it up over the wanton red silk.
She felt very naughty.
Eschewing the need for one last sniff from her magic marker, Chastity left the dressing room and found Gladys waiting with Miracle and Marvel.
Oh, they were so adorable that she almost couldn’t look at them, like when Chastity stared into the sun until she got those funny black spots in her eyes. Mira wore a pure white gown, one she surely deserved because she was so pure and innocent, unlike Chastity. Marv wore a little white suit that made him look handsome like his father, except not in that robust, sexual way, because that would just be disturbing and really wrong.
Only the large medical ID placards they wore around their necks—now big enough to read from across a room—threatened to spoil the look, but that was for their own safety.
“You wook bootiful,” said Miracle, standing prettily.
“Sì, molto bello!” shouted Marvel, jumping and randomly running about.
Chastity sniffed. So beautiful, and so smart. Already her little man knew more Italian than she did. But they’d never know what a deceitful, wicked woman she really was. She felt like King Midas, but only if Midas were a painfully regular yet petite floor-scrubbing girl who’d borne the secret babies of an obscenely wealthy Italian entrepreneur, and instead of turning everything into gold, it was poop.
Terrible! She shouldn’t think poop. The appropriate name was Number Two.
See? She was useless and very, very dirty.
Tears threatened. She feared ruining her make-up, which would make her look more like a whore to Cesar. She thought about taking some of it off, but then the absurdly long stretch limo arrived. She had no choice but to head to the church.
Cesar paced in the cathedral’s anteroom like a caged beast—maybe a lion or a very large elk, the kind that had huge horns and did lots of rutting. Per la grazia, he wanted to get this over with! He was marrying a whore, and his body wanted her the way a man should want a whore—rough, often, and with very little respect. Oh, yes, he liked the sound of that.
But something gave him pause. He remembered that mermaid dress and her innocent, wide-eyed laughter. On that faraway night of hope, dreams, and standing-up sex, Chastity had been… precious.
No, she deserved none of his attempts at reason and human sympathy.
The priest entered. “Ready?”
“Father Apollo, good to see you.” Cesar extended his manly hand. “Glad you could make it from Greece.”
“And I brought some friends!” the abnormally handsome priest said, smiling.
Nico Lefkas, the unfeasibly tall hummus magnate, and his beautiful yet ordinary wife, Molly, entered the anteroom.
“Cesar! Good to see you,” said Nico, who had been Cesar’s roommate throughout prep school. They loved each other in that way only prep school roommates can love each other, with unfailing loyalty and secrets born of sexually experimental yacht parties.
Cesar and Nico embraced, slapping hard on each other’s broad, muscular backs. “And you, Molly,” said Cesar, clearing his throat. “Come bella! I’m glad you could attend on such short notice.”
Molly blushed. “We understand about…unconventional weddings. I’m just glad—”
“You received my supply of hummus for the reception, yes?” Nico asked, his arm still across Cesar’s shoulders.
“Certo,” said Cesar. “Grazie for your generosity, mio amico molto, molto, molto caro.”
Father Apollo, who’d just won Greece’s Hottest Priest for the fourth year in a row, cleared his throat. Cesar and Nico ended their embrace with one last manly slap.
The priest ushered Cesar into the cathedral, while Nico and Molly found space on a pew with their passel of perfect babies—not as perfect as Cesar’s bambinos, but they might do well as stunt doubles for Miracle and Marvel and their fickle digestive systems.
On either side of the aisle, peasants from the local village who’d been cleaned and scrubbed and dressed in his staff’s best cast-offs held baskets of flower petals on their arms, ready to bestow them like manna on his chosen bride. In the choir, Father Apollo’s musical prodigy Michael Grecopholotopolis readied his big band of talcum-powdered orphans, for they would play the wedding march and later, at the reception, the tunes for disco dancing.
Perfezionare. Like his life. If only his bride weren’t a whore.
The wedding march began. The cathedral doors opened. And Chastity entered. The light from outside framed her like an angelic halo, all fluffy toile and shimmering silks. She looked radiant and innocent and very, very sexy. Her flaming Titian locks reminded him of the bright red negligee he’d sent, and Cesar wondered if she wore it now, a layer of sin between her angelic exterior and her wanton, devilish body.
The peasants threw their flower petals, which sort of ruined his luscious mental picture.
Although he discreetly adjusted the trousers of his rather expensive tuxedo, Cesar noticed how Chastity’s eyes were drawn to the distinctive bulge of his desire. She blushed so hard that he could see her cheeks go pink beneath her gauzy veil.
He waited until Chastity stood beside him. She even smelled angelic, like cotton candy and baby birds. He lifted the sheer veil and found those sea-green eyes looking at him with a little fear, a little lust, and a little…dare he think it?
No. Certainly not love.
Father Apollo opened the ceremony with random words and stuff, but it was all Greek to Cesar. He couldn’t stop thinking about Chastity. He resisted tugging at the collar of his tuxedo, although the church felt unbearably warm.
“And now, do you have your vows prepared, Chastity?” the priest asked.
Maledetto! The vows! He’d forgotten to tell Chastity they were going to write their own vows. Cesar hated conformity of any kind, just like he hated sub-standard food products.
Chastity blanched, the color draining from her face like water from a colander. “Um, vows?”
“Yes,” said Father Apollo, his robes barely concealing the burly, built man beneath. “Personalized, well-considered, memorized vows that declare your love for your intended in an original and highly creative manner. Was I unclear? I know my English, sometimes—”
“No, you were clear,” said Cesar. “Well, Chastity? If you plan to honor me in marriage, I expect you to do this.”
Chastity looked like Miracle had just before going in to anaphylactic shock, so he wondered if he should stab her with that magic doctor pen thing. But no. She cleared her elegant throat, straightened her supple back, and said, “Yes, I’m ready.”
She turned to Cesar. “In the immortal words of the love anthem from the classic film An Officer and a Gentleman: ‘Love lift us up where we belong, where the eagles cry on a mountain high.’”
Cesar swallowed hard. He loved that song! He loved that movie—a story of triumph and improbable endings! Without thinking, he began to sing the remainder of the chorus. Michael Grecopholotopolis’s big band played the accompaniment, and Chastity twinned her voice with Cesar’s in a loving, melodic dance. “’Love lift us up where we belong, far from the world we know, up where the clear winds blow.’”
When the song drew to an end, Cesar found himself pressed against Chastity’s massively fluffy white dress, clutching her hands. Tears glittered in her priceless sea-green eyes. Oh, what a woman! What a love!
But then he remembered the truth. She was a deceptive, deceitful, lying, achingly tempting whore who was only good for sesso caldo. For a beautiful moment, she’d had him fooled. Again. No more.
“And you, Cesar,” said the priest. “Your vows?”
“Yes, my vows.” Cesar stepped back from the tempting lushness of Chastity’s lush yet trim figure. Her eyes dipped to check out the bulge in his—did she ever get tired of that? Anger flooded his veins like a really big wave. “I will also quote lyrics, mia angela sporca, from the popular American rap star Kanye West. ‘Now I ain’t sayin’ she a gold digger, but she ain’t messin’ wit no broke—’”
“Ah!” interjected Father Apollo. “Well, all right then. Shall we proceed? Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife…?”
And guess who’s up tomorrow? Meljean Brook!
Last 5 posts by bam
- Harlequin Presents: Zoe and the Tormented Tycoon by Kate Hewitt - May 22nd, 2015
- So Many Men by Dorie Graham - May 18th, 2015
- The Morning After by Dorie Graham - May 14th, 2015
- Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward - May 12th, 2015
- Marrying a Millionaire by Laura Martin - May 4th, 2015