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Here’s my heartbreaker Falcon. He's going by the name of Tony for this special assignment...
After the game, they bought groceries at the old Roman marketplace. They waved their Napoli flags at a rowdy group of fans joining the throng of people celebrating on the avenue.
Angelina stopped to make way for the fans cheering the home team victory. She could not see Tony now that she’d left his side, and the dancing group closed in.
A sun-bronzed hand grabbed hers, pulling her along, further away from the laughing group. She had to jog to keep up with Tony while he forcefully parted the bodies surrounding them.
“I should have worn my sneakers!” She laughed.
They reached the end of the avenue where the crowd thinned. Angelina saw who held onto her wrist.
The silent man’s brown eyes warned her, before holding her close. He was not much taller than she was, but he was stocky. There was strength in the arm he put around her waist. There was no getting away from him as he dragged her across the busy street.
“Let go of me!”
The man’s grip loosened around her waist and he stumbled, jerking his head in her direction. Recovering quickly, he reined her back in, but not before she saw the wariness in his eyes. She almost tripped over her own feet as the crowd pushed them along.
“Tony!” Her screams blended in with the jovial shouts around her.
She tried to twist out of the man’s arms, but he held onto her so tight his arm was pressing into her ribcage. He didn’t look at her again, but nodded and smiled to the mob of fans that moved toward the town square.
“Somebody! Please, help me!”
A woman passed by, laughing and waving a flag in Angelina’s face.
They had reached the other side of the street. She was being abducted in the midst of a drunken celebration. Tears streamed down her face and she screamed again as everyone skipped past her and the silent man, laughing and singing.
She felt rather than saw Tony jump on the man’s back, dragging him down to the ground, and breaking his hold on her.
Angelina slumped down while Tony and her abductor wrestled in the middle of the street. While Tony pummeled the silent man in the face, she backed away on her elbows, never once looking away from his calm, calculating eyes.
He’s not going to stop.
Tony raised his fist, ready for the descent and the silent man rolled from underneath him with a groan.
Her abductor fell into the crowd, pushing the bodies in front of him out of the way.
“Stay here,” Tony ordered, and ran after the man.
She got to her feet but could not see either of them, only the blood streaks on the ground from her abductor’s beating.
The crowd closed in around her. There was a squeal of tires as a car pulled away from the curb.
Tony walked back through the crowd. The sweat on his brow was the only indication that he’d had some exercise. “He wasn’t alone. There was a car waiting for him. No license plate.”
She didn’t know what she had expected to hear, certainly not his matter-of-fact tone. When she looked into his eyes, his unspoken words hung between them. He was going to take you…
Angelina had the distinct impression that if the silent man had taken her, it would have been his last action on earth. She stared at her companion of several weeks, a fellow musician with beautiful long fingers that mastered the piano.
Killing hands. She hugged herself.
Tony murmured something and with a shake of his head, he opened her arms and lifted her against his chest.
A warrior’s chest. Better than a breastplate. His next words were so anticlimactic it took a moment for them to register in her mind.
“Are you all right?”
“Yes.” Angelina shook in his arms. He was her Roman soldier, and she was his battle prize. “Thank you for rescuing me. Again.”
She put her arms around his neck and did what she wanted to do. She kissed him.
He slanted his mouth over hers, and the crowd cheered.
Angelina didn’t know if they were cheering the kiss or her champion, and she didn’t care. She was more interested in what he was doing with his tongue and the way her body fit the hard body holding her up.
Neither she nor Tony said anything while she made a delicious slide down that body and her feet touched the ground.
The last of the crowd moved away towards the celebration in the square as if they witnessed a beating and a criminal’s escape every day in this town.
It was some moments before Tony let her go. By the time he did, she almost protested. He was scanning the street as if he could track the silent man’s getaway car.
Angelina took the time to compose herself. How she could feel so violated by her abductor and so completely aroused by her defender at the same time?
Tony picked up the bag of groceries he’d dropped to beat the silent man. “Let me get you home.”
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