This scene was deleted from the original manuscript of
Sed stepped into the gondola and took Jessica’s hand to help her into flat-bottomed boat. He kissed her soft lips before sitting on the red-cushioned seat. She sat beside him and fastened her seatbelt, before he covered her shapely bare legs with his black leather duster.
“I’m not cold,” she said.
That was not why he’d covered her with his coat. She had to know that. Her coy smile told him she knew exactly what he had in mind. “When I’m through with you, you’ll be on fire, baby.”
“Oh yeah?” Her hand gripped his thigh and his cock stirred.
The gondolier, dressed in a black and white striped shirt with a red sash around his hips and a matching scarf at his throat, used a pole to push off from the dock. They headed down the shallow canal that ran through the center of the Venetian hotel’s shopping center. Sed only had about fifteen minutes to repay Jessica for her attention in the restaurant. He’d better get busy.
“Look at the ceiling!” She pointed at the graceful, domed ceiling, her head resting against his shoulder as she took in her surroundings. The ceiling had been painted to look like the sky, complete with wispy clouds. “And the buildings are all so colorful and elegant. It’s almost like we’re really in Italy. And there’s a bridge!”
“Cool,” he murmured, but for all the opulence in the place, the only thing present that could hold his attention was the woman in his arms.
He slid one hand beneath her skirt. She relaxed, allowing her legs to fall open and his fingers to find her slick, swollen flesh. He curled two fingers and slipped them into her silky pussy and rubbed his palm over her clit in slow circles. She pressed her face against his shoulder and whispered, “Don’t make me scream. There are people everywhere.”
He shoved his fingers deeper inside her, seeking that spot that would make her scream. Nothing would satisfy him more than making her lose control right there with spectators watching their romantic boat ride. Within seconds, Jessica’s back arched and her body tensed around his fingers as she found release.
“That was fast,” he whispered into her ear.
She grabbed him by the back of the head and kissed him hungrily. Her mouth moved to his ear. “God, I want you to fuck me right now. I so turned on, I can’t stand it.”
Sed’s cock sprang to instant attention. He glanced around. The place was far too crowded and well lit for him to penetrate her no matter how much he wanted to.
“I think it’s time we went back to the hotel,” he said, still stroking her clit in lazy circles with his palm.
“I really could use a bath.”
“And I need a cold shower.”
She grinned. “That’s not what you need, Sedric.” She tightened that glorious pussy of hers, squeezing his fingers inside her body.
At the memory of what that felt like when he was buried inside her, his eyes drifted closed, his mouth open. He was sure his cock was about bust the zipper right out of his pants. Beneath the duster that covered their laps, Sed unfastened the seatbelt and shifted uncomfortably. Yeah, they needed to get back to the hotel before permanent damage was done to his body.
“You know what I need, don’t you?” he murmured.
The boat passed under a bridge and their gondolier broke into song. Sed looked up at him. Did the guy have any idea what was going on in his little boat? The pudgy man had his eyes discretely averted while he sang in perfect Italian. Sed pulled his hand from Jessica’s body and wrapped his arm around her shoulders as they listened to the gondolier sing his romantic song. He had a surprisingly good voice.
“Hey, hey, I know this song,” Sed said. He joined the gondolier halfway through the chorus. “Ohhh sole. Ohhh sooooole mio. Stand front pâte. Stand front pâte.”
Jessica burst into delighted laughter. “I don’t think those are the right lyrics, sweetheart.”
“Wow,” the gondolier said, “you have an incredible voice. Do you sing opera?”
Sed grinned up at the guy who was standing behind them oaring the boat down the grand canal. “Opera? Eh, no.”
“Oh my God!” someone screamed from above. “Sed! Sed Lionheart! Hey. Hey. HEY! Look up here. Look at me. Sed! Yoohoo. Sed! Hey.”
“I think one of your fans has spotted you,” Jessica said.
“Sometimes, if you ignore them, they leave you alone,” he said.
There was a collective gasp followed by a loud splash. “Sed!”
“And sometimes they jump in a moat.”
“Cannonball!” someone yelled from above and there was a smattering of laughter.
The woman waded through the water toward their boat. The water was about thigh high. Her wet skirt tangled around her legs, but she had her sights set on Sed and she looked determined to catch up with them.
“Hey,” the gondolier said when she reached their boat, “you can’t just jump into the water like that. You’re going to get yourself killed.”
“Sed,” she whispered, her lips trembling. Her eyes filled with unexpected tears. Great, just great. Not only was she crazy, she was a crier. Nothing grated on Sed’s nerves more than useless tears. Psycho-teary-fan-chic grabbed the side of the boat, trying to haul herself into the vessel. It tilted precariously under her weight.
“Whoa!” the gondolier cried. He fell into the water, which tilted the boat even more.
Jessica still had her seatbelt on, but Sed wasn’t so lucky. Psycho-strong-fan-chic latched onto his shirt with both sets of talons. The next thing he knew, he was sitting in the canal, with water up to the center of his chest, and wrapped in a bone-crushing embrace.
“I love you,” Psycho-loony-fan-chic crooned. “I love you.”
Jessica unfastened her seatbelt looked over the edge of the gondola and laughed until tears leaked from both eyes. “I guess you got your cold shower after all.”
“I love you,” Psycho-oblivious-fan-chic continued to chant as she rubbed her face against Sed’s chest and gazed up at him with adulation. “I love you.”
“You think this is funny?” Sed asked Jessica.
Sed pulled Psycho-clingy-fan-chic’s arms from his torso and stood. He reached into the boat and grabbed Jessica around the waist. “You still think this is funny?”
Her eyes widened as he lifted her from the dry, security of the gondola into his arms. “You wouldn’t dare.”
He dropped her. Not on purpose. Psycho-angry-fan-chic had grabbed the back of Jessica’s shirt and pulled her out of his arms into the water.
Eyes wide, Jessica emitted a startled shriek as water sloshed up to her shoulders. She sat there in the water for several seconds and then burst out laughing again. Dear God, he loved this woman. He knelt beside her in the water, cupped her cheek with one hand, and claimed her smiling lips with a hungry kiss.
“No,” Psycho-livid-fan-chic cried. “No. No. You’re mine.” She wrapped both arms around Sed’s neck from behind and pulled until he had no choice but to break his kiss.
“Excuse me,” he said to Jessica. He turned to Psycho-hysterical-fan-chic. “You need to get lost. Like, immediately. Before I say something that will hurt your feelings.”
Normally, he’d just crush her like an empty beer can, but not with Jessica sitting right there. Looking all sexy and wet and… happy. And sexy. Would he get arrested for fucking her right there in the Grand Canal? Yeah, probably. Did he care? At the moment, no. Not at all.
“Security!” the gondolier called from the back of the gondola. He’d somehow managed to climb back onto the flat platform at the back of the boat.
“What is going on down there?” a guard, dressed in a Venetian police uniform, called from the promenade above.
“This woman needs to be escorted from the premises.” The gondolier indicated Psycho-distraught-fan-chic with the flip of his hand.
“And how am I supposed to get down there to get her?”
“She’s leaving quietly now,” Sed said. “She just got a little carried away.”
He met her eyes to try to get her to agree (he didn’t want to see a fan get into any real trouble on account of him) and the woman started to hyperventilate.
Jessica climbed to her feet and wrung water from her skirt. Sed wished her wet shirt were white. He glanced around at the crowd of gawking spectators. On second thought, he wished she were wearing a parka and ski pants.
“She can ride back with us,” Jessica said.
Psycho-astonished-fan-chic glanced at Jessica.
“If she promises not to take us for another swim.”
Psycho-placated-fan-chic nodded in agreement. Sed lifted the two women into the boat and they held it steady while he climbed in with them.
“Well, that’s not something you see every day,” the gondolier said, “even in this crazy town.”
So much for Sed’s romantic gondola ride with Jessica. She started shivering in the air conditioning and he wrapped his coat around her, grateful that it had avoided a dunk in the water.
“I’m ready for that bath now,” she said. “I need to warm up.”
“I know exactly how to warm you up, baby.”
“I’m cold, too, Sed,” Psycho-attentive-fan-chic said.
Jessica’s eyes narrowed. “I was nice enough to let you ride back with us. Don’t make me change my mind and have you thrown overboard.”
Sed grinned. He loved it when she was territorial. She was falling for him already. Just like he’d planned. Piece of cake.
When the gondola docked, Sed helped Psycho-simpering-fan-chic out of the boat and then took Jessica’s hand. Before he could help her up the steps, they were completely surrounded by an entire pack of psycho-fan-chics.