Matteo moved closer to me. For some reason I backed away until I bumped into the wall, but Matteo followed and soon I was trapped between cold stone and his body. “Because there are rules in our world and breaking them has consequences.”
“You don’t seem like a stickler for rules.” I wasn’t sure why I was encouraging him. I didn’t want his attention. I wanted out of this fucked up world and its fucked up people. Getting involved in any way with someone like him would make that impossible.
Matteo smiled darkly. “I’m not.” He reached for my face and slowly raked his fingers through my hair. I shivered at the light touch. I didn’t even like Matteo, right? He was annoying and arrogant and never knew when to shut up.
He’s like you.
But my body wanted more. I grabbed his vest, my fingers crinkling the soft material. “Me neither. I don’t want my first kiss to happen with my husband.”
Matteo let out a quiet laugh and he was so close that I could feel it more than hear it. “This is a bad idea,” he murmured, his lips less than an inch from mine, his eyes dark and devoid of the usual playfulness.
My insides seemed to burn with need. “I don’t care.”
And then Matteo kissed me, lightly at first as if he wasn’t sure if I was being serious. I tugged at his vest, wanting him to stop being careful, and Matteo crushed his body to mine, his tongue slipping between my lips, tangling with mine, giving me no time to wonder what I was doing. He tasted of whiskey and something sweeter, like the most delicious whiskey truffle I could imagine. His body radiated heat and strength. His hand cupped the back of my neck as his mouth set my body alight with need.
God, no wonder Father didn’t want us to be around men. Now that I knew how good kissing felt, I never wanted to stop doing it.
There was a gasp, and Matteo and I pulled apart. I was still dazed when my eyes settled on my sister Lily who stood frozen in the hallway, probably on her way to her room. Her eyes were wide. “Sorry!” she blurted, then took a few hesitant steps in our direction. “Does this mean you’re going to marry?”
I snorted. “No, it doesn’t. I won’t marry him. This means nothing.”
Matteo shot me a look, and I almost felt bad for my rude words, but it was the truth. I had no intention of marrying a Made Men, no matter how good he could kiss, or how much he could make me laugh. The men in our world were killers and torturers. They weren’t good men, they weren’t even decent men. They were bad, rotten to the core. Nothing could change that. Maybe they occasionally managed to imitate normal guys, especially Matteo had that act down to a T, but in the end it was only a mask.
Matteo turned to Lily. “Don’t tell anyone what you saw, okay?”
I slipped away from him, needing to bring some distance between us. How could I have let him kiss me? Maybe I was lucky and he was more intoxicated than he let on. Maybe he wouldn’t remember a thing tomorrow morning.
“Okay,” Lily said with a shy smile.
Matteo gave me a knowing look before he walked past Lily and turned the corner. The moment he was gone, Lily rushed toward me. “You kissed him!”
“Shhh,” I said as we walked down the hall.
“Can I sleep in your room tonight? I told Mother I could.”
“How was it?” she asked in a hushed whisper. “The kiss I mean.”
At first I wanted to lie but then I opted for the truth. “Amazing.”
Lily giggled and followed me into my room. “So are you going to kiss him again?”
I wanted to, but I knew it would be a majorly bad idea. I didn’t want to give him any ideas. “No. I won’t ever kiss Matteo again.”
I should have known that it wouldn’t end that easily.
The next day, a couple of hours before my family had to leave for Chicago, Matteo caught me alone in front of my bedroom. He didn’t try to kiss me but he stood very close. It would have been easy to bridge the distance between us, to grab his shirt and pull him against me. Instead I put my guards in place and glared. “What do you want?”
Matteo clucked his tongue. “Last night when we were alone you didn’t give me the cold shoulder.”
“I’d hoped you were too drunk to remember.”
“Sorry to disappoint.” If he didn’t stop smiling that arrogant smile I’d wring his neck, or kiss him, I hadn’t decided yet. Choice number one was the better option, no doubt.
“It was a one time thing. It didn’t mean anything. I still don’t like you. I only did it because I wanted to do something forbidden.”
“There are plenty of other forbidden things we could do,” he murmured, stepping closer and enveloping me with his scent.