conservative Hindu family, Uma is his son’s nanny, a twenty-three-year-old
virgin, and a guileless ingenue to boot.
it’s the father of the adorable five-year-old in her charge. Once burned twice
shy, Zach is the captain of a pro water polo team and a wealthy entrepreneur
who can have any woman he wants. No strings attached.
dirty things he’d like to do to her, Uma astounds him by saying she wants that,
sensible, level-headed adults. They’ll just have a bit of fun and then go back
to normal, as if nothing happened. As if feelings weren’t already getting in the way.
downstairs to the kitchen. We keep a box of delicious artisanal chocolates in
one of the cabinets above the sink, and my intention is to treat myself to one
as a consolation prize for not having laid eyes on Uma since this morning.
light on, I open the box. A lonely champagne truffle stares at me from the
and I love these chocolates, I’ve been buying a box every week since Uma
discovered the shop on a quiet street behind the market square. We keep them
hidden not to tempt Sam, and help ourselves to one or two every night after
he’s gone to bed.
“Clearly, we’ve both sneaked in here with the same gluttonous intentions, but
there’s only one truffle left.”
at this particular juncture in my life.”
“That’s not very chivalrous of you, Zach.”
your way.” I arch an eyebrow. “Besides, chivalry was made redundant in the
next to your… King Kong weight. As a pro athlete, it would be sporting of you
to withdraw from the competition.”
how thin my veneer of gallantry is.”
put an end to it by showing mercy.
cocoa-powdered confection as if I were considering her proposition. “Nah. It’s
chocolate to this… fountain of flavor and well-being?”
door into the garden. I drop the box and run after her.
intimidating glare. “You’re going to pay for this.”
around, and runs to the other end of the garden. I follow, hot on her heels.
She doesn’t shriek, no doubt, so she won’t wake up Sam, whose window is open
silence. I’m faster, but she’s nimbler. Besides, I’ve no clue how I’m going to
make her “pay” for her theft, so I’m not really putting my heart and soul into
the pursuit. On our third round, Uma ducks under my arm and hightails it into
the house, across the kitchen, and toward the stairs.
up the steps. I grab her shoulders from behind, putting an end to her delusion
that she can outrun me. Giggling, she tries to break free. I wrap my arms
around her to hold her. She stops thrashing. I pull her into me, tightening my
hold. She stops laughing.
pressed against each other, panting.
her somewhere private where I can have my way with her surges up somewhere in
my gut, both shocking and tantalizing me. To resist it, I plant my feet firmly
into the step and refuse to move a single muscle in my body.
perniciously close to my face, making my struggle harder than it already is.
Her silky black hair is gathered into her usual bun that’s gotten messy from
all the running.
clearly not thinking straight right now.
Alix Nichols is an unapologetic caffeine addict and a longtime fan of Mr. Darcy, especially in his Colin Firth incarnation. She is a Kindle Scout and Dante Rossetti Award winning author of critically acclaimed romantic comedies.
At the age of six, she released her first rom com. It featured highly creative spelling on a dozen pages stitched together and bound in velvet paper. Decades later, she still loves the romance genre. Her spelling has improved (somewhat), and her books have topped the Amazon charts around the world. She lives in France with her family and their almost-human dog.