Gabriels redemption, p.15
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       Gabriels Redemption, p.15

         Part #3 of Gabriels Inferno series by Sylvain Reynard
Page 15


  Pacciani grabbed Christa’s chin roughly, forcing her to look at him.

  “I’m responsible for you now. So you will stop. I’m trying to get a position in America and I don’t need Professor Picton making trouble. ”

  Christa was quiet for a moment as she examined his menacing expression.

  “Fine,” she pouted. “But I need the room tomorrow night. ”

  “Va bene. ”

  He released her chin and resumed stroking her long, dark hair. “What was his name?”


  “The man who made you like this. ”

  Her muscles tensed under his fingers. “I don’t know what you mean. ”

  “You know, tesoro. Was it your papa? Did he—”

  “No. ” She trained her eyes on his furiously. “He’s a good man. ”

  “Certo, cara. Certo.

  “All the time I’ve known you, you’ve had lovers but no suitors. You should be married. You should be having babies. Instead, you fuck old men for expensive gifts. ”

  “I don’t fuck you for your gifts. I fuck you because I like to fuck. ”

  He laughed.

  “Grazie. But still, there must always be gifts. ” He brought his lips to her forehead. “Why?”

  “I like nice things. That isn’t a crime. And I’m worth it. ”

  “You know what I think, tesoro?”

  “Stop calling me that. ” She pulled away.

  His hand wrapped around the back of her neck, holding her in place.

  “You don’t think you’re worth it, which is why you demand gifts. Sad, no?”

  “I don’t want your pity. ”

  “You have it, all the same. ”

  “Then you’re a fool. ”

  His grip on her tightened. “You fuck priests and old, married men because you’re afraid. You’re afraid of what might happen if you were to sleep with someone who was unattached. ”

  She struggled in his arms.

  “Since when did you become a psychiatrist? Don’t project your bullshit on me. At least I’m not fucking around on my wife. ”

  “Attenzione, Cristina. ” His tone was a warning. “So who is the man you fuck tomorrow night? A priest? A professor?”

  She regarded him for a moment, then traced her finger across his lower lip. “Who said it was a man?”

  Giuseppe gave her a ravenous look.

  “Then I expect you to share. ”

  Chapter Eleven

  Wake up, darling. ” Gabriel ran his thumb over Julia’s eyebrows. “You need to get ready. ”

  She buried her face in the pillow and mumbled something unintelligible.

  He chuckled, thinking about how adorable she looked.

  “Come on, you need to grab the shower before one of our neighbors occupies it. ”

  “You go first. ”

  “I’m already showered, shaved, and dressed, darling. ” He ran the back of his hand down her naked spine, taking pleasure in the tremor that resulted.

  “You kept me up too late,” she groaned.

  “If you don’t get moving, Katherine will be cross with us. ”

  “I’m not taking a shower. I can sleep longer. ”

  Gabriel rolled her over and ran his nose along her collarbone, inhaling her scent.

  “You smell like sex,” he whispered, flicking out his tongue to taste her skin. “And me. ”

  “That’s why I’m not taking a shower. We had incredible makeup sex, which I’d like to remember. ”

  It was all he could do not to pull the sheets off her and engage in wild, passionate (and scent-transferring) sex. But he quickly restrained his impulses.

  “You can’t deliver a lecture at Oxford smelling of sex. ”

  “Watch me. ”

  Gabriel looked at his wristwatch. Then he looked at his wife.

  Then he took off all his clothes and commenced in wild, passionate, scent-transferring (albeit quick) preconference sex.

  The Emersons were late departing for All Souls College. On the hurried walk over, Julia told Gabriel the story of Katherine and Old Hut.

  He was surprised. He knew Professor Hutton by reputation but had never met him. Apparently, he was a bit of a bastard.

  (One might wonder how much of a bastard Hutton had been, given the former nature of the professor making the judgment. )

  Gabriel was grateful for Professor Picton’s support and told her so over breakfast inside All Souls, expressing his hope that Christa would forgo the opportunity to make trouble for Julia at her lecture.

  “Applesauce,” said Katherine. “Julianne has the situation in hand and we’d all do well to let her see to it. ”

  Julia smiled bravely, fidgeting with the silver necklace Gabriel had given her back in Selinsgrove.

  As they entered St. Anne’s after breakfast, Gabriel wrapped an arm around Julia’s waist, hugging her.

  “You look lovely. And you’re going to be fine. ”

  She glanced down at her navy suit and plain navy pumps. Gabriel had wanted her to wear Prada or Chanel, but she was wary of flaunting their money. She’d rather people focused on her research than her clothes. So she’d purchased a simple jacket and skirt from Ann Taylor, with modestly high-heeled shoes from Nine West. Even so, given the way some of the other conferencegoers dressed (with the exception of Christa Peterson), she felt a bit overdone.

  Underneath her clothes, she knew she wore Gabriel’s scent along with the corset he’d bought for her, which bolstered her confidence considerably.

  “I’m going to get a coffee. What would you like?” He smiled and released her.

  “A bottle of water, please. I’d like to sit down, if you don’t mind. ”

  “Not at all. See you in there. ”

  Julia returned his smile and entered the lecture theater alone.

  Gabriel exchanged a few pleasantries with some colleagues before he approached the refreshment table. By the time he’d poured his drink and taken a bottle of water, everyone had exited.

  Or so he thought.

  “Hello, Professor. ”

  A sultry voice behind him arrested his attention. Gabriel turned to find Christa hovering nearby like a malevolent ghost.

  “What do you want?” His expression grew murderous.

  “You wanted to talk yesterday. So—talk. ”

  Gabriel glanced around the empty room, wondering if their voices would carry into the lecture theater.

  Christa stepped closer to him than was appropriate and closed her eyes, inhaling deeply. When she opened them, her eyes were hungry.

  “You smell like sex. ”

  “Don’t play games with me. I want the slander to stop. ”

  “That isn’t going to happen. ”

  “I’ll sue you. ”

  Something flitted across her face, but she quickly pulled her features into a relaxed smile.

  “For what? Telling the truth?”

  “There’s no truth to your character assassinations. You weren’t harassed back in Toronto. And Julia does her own research, as is obvious to anyone with half a brain. ”

  The sound of laughter echoed from the lecture theater. Gabriel turned in its direction.

  Christa lifted her voice to regain his attention.

  “You’re forgetting the part where you fucked one of your students and were placed on administrative leave. That’s a story worth telling. Not to mention the fact that Professor Singer had quite a bit to say about you. It’s a pity she didn’t take photographs. I would have liked one. ”

  She reached up to brush imaginary lint off the lapels of his navy blue suit.

  He caught her hand at the wrist and squeezed. Hard.

  “You’re playing with fire. ”

  She leaned even closer, bringing her mouth within inches of his. “Oh, I hope so, Professor. ”

  With disgust he released her, stepping back and wiping his hands as if they’d been contaminated. Wi
th another glance toward the theater, he decided to end their confrontation.

  “You keep your mouth shut. Or I’ll make your life a living hell. ”

  “There’s no reason to be unfriendly. The power to end this is in your hands. ” She gestured to his crotch, her lips turning up into an appreciative smile. “Actually, it’s a bit lower. ”

  He muttered an expletive and began to walk away, but she followed him.

  “Come to my hotel and tomorrow, you won’t have to worry about my talented mouth anymore. ” She placed her hand on his arm, dropping her voice to a seductive whisper. “I know you. I know what you like and I know what you want. We’ll fuck all night then go our separate ways. ”

  He pushed her hand away roughly.

  “No. ”

  “Then what happens next is on your conscience. ”

  Gabriel took a step in her direction. “You stay away from my wife, do you hear me?”

  “I’m at the Malmaison. It used to be a prison, which should appeal to you. ” She reached up to bring her lips to his ear. “I brought handcuffs. ”

  Gabriel was too busy pushing her away to realize that she’d dropped something into his suit pocket.

  With a smirk, she waved.

  “Tonight is your only chance. Come before midnight. ”

  She turned on her very high heels, swaying seductively as she walked. Then, almost as an afterthought, she paused and looked at him over her shoulder.

  “Give my best to your wife. ”

  Chapter Twelve

  A few minutes later, Gabriel scanned the crowd of the lecture theater, looking for Julia. His eyes widened as he took in the scene at the front of the room. Julia was being hugged. By someone large. By someone male.

  By someone—handsome.

  Gabriel took the stairs two at a time in order to reach the front of the hall. He watched as Julia pulled back from the man, her face happy, her kissable lips curved up into a smile.

  The man reluctantly withdrew his arms from her waist before saying something that caused her to laugh.

  Gabriel was ready to strangle the man, and then he was going to challenge him to a duel.

  As he approached, Julia’s eyes found his. The man turned in the direction of her gaze.

  Gabriel stopped short.

  “Angelfucker. ”


  Paul Norris squinted at his former dissertation supervisor, not quite sure he’d heard what he thought he’d heard. Certainly, he had his own favored descriptors for the Professor, few of which were complimentary.

  Studentfucker, Paul thought.

  “This conference keeps getting better and better,” Gabriel muttered, straightening himself to his full height of six feet two inches.

  “Professor Emerson. ” Paul subconsciously flexed his biceps and broadened his chest.

  “Paul. ” Gabriel moved to Julia’s side possessively, handing her the bottle of water.

  “Shake hands, gentlemen. ” She frowned, looking between her friend and her husband.

  The men followed her suggestion less than enthusiastically.

  “I didn’t know you were coming. ” Gabriel looked pointedly at Paul.

  “I wasn’t. One of the presenters backed out, so Professor Picton invited me. I’m giving the paper just before Julia’s. ”

  Julia smiled. “That’s great. Congratulations. ”

  Paul beamed in return.

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