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The Sicilian's Innocent Mistress Carole Mortimer 2022/8/5 17:02:11

A master of seduction? The man should come with a public health warning!

No wonder poor Mellie had fallen victim to Luc’s advances…

‘Until Saturday evening, then, Darci,’ he confirmed, releasing her hand as he straightened. ‘Is Garstang’s sinfully expensive enough for you?’

The exclusive restaurant wasn’t one that Darci had ever been to—a junior doctor’s pay didn’t exactly run to establishments that didn’t even list the prices on their menu!—but she had heard of it, of course, and Grant had been there several times, she knew.

‘It sounds perfect,’ she accepted.

‘No, I’ll meet you at the restaurant at eight o’clock,’ Darci told him firmly; having this man arrange to pick her up was not part of her plan at all.

Garstang’s exclusivity, and the fact that Luc Gambrelli was perfectly confident about being able to secure a booking in a top-class venue that was totally booked months in advance, made it the perfect venue for the humiliation Darci intended to inflict.

She could just picture him now, sitting at the table in the fashionably exclusive Garstang’s, looking oh-so-lethally attractive as he waited for her to arrive.

Until it finally dawned on him that Darci had no intention of turning up.

That the legendary lover Luc Gambrelli had been publicly stood up.

‘ARE you sure you don’t want to come to the party with Michael and me?’ Kerry paused at the door, on her way out to meet her fiancé for the evening.

‘Perfectly sure.’ Darci grinned at her flatmate reassuringly as she sat on the sofa wearing an old and comfortable pair of pyjamas and wrapped in her duvet. ‘I have the evening off, my favourite DVD—’ she held it up ‘—and a bowl of toffee popcorn; what more could I possibly need?’

‘Luc Gambrelli?’ Kerry suggested provokingly.

‘Forget it!’ Darci protested.

‘Doesn’t it bother you at all that you could actually be out with him this evening, instead of sitting at home alone eating popcorn and watching a film you’ve already seen a dozen times before?’ Kerry sounded incredulous.

‘Not in the least,’ Darci assured her smugly. ‘Just sitting here imagining Luc Gambrelli waiting at a table in Garstang’s for me to arrive is enough to make my evening.’

Kerry looked troubled. ‘You agreed that you would call the restaurant and let him know you weren’t going to turn up,’ she reminded her reprovingly.

Yes, as a concession to Kerry’s worrying the last two days Darci had agreed to do that. She just hadn’t said when she would do it!

Twenty, even twenty-five minutes past eight o’clock should do it, she had decided. Long enough for the egotistical Luc Gambrelli to be made to feel decidedly uncomfortable at the curious glances of the other diners and the restaurant staff that were sure to be directed his way as it became more and more obvious, as the minutes slowly ticked by, that his date for the evening wasn’t going to turn up.

‘Stop worrying, Kerry. I will call the restaurant and make my excuses,’ Darci promised.

‘Dammit, I forgot to tell you!’ Kerry exclaimed. ‘Mellie phoned earlier. She wanted to know how Grant’s premiere went on Thursday.’

Darci frowned. ‘She did?’

‘Stop looking so worried, Darce,’ her friend replied. ‘I wasn’t stupid enough to tell her what you’re up to.’

‘Good.’ Darci breathed her relief.

‘Although I probably should have done,’ Kerry continued. ‘I’m sure Mellie would be the first person to tell you to just let this go.’

‘I am letting it go,’ Darci rejoined. ‘Do stop worrying, Kerry! After tonight I don’t expect to hear from Luc Gambrelli ever again.’

Kerry raised her eyes heavenwards. ‘Let’s hope not.’

‘Just go, and let me enjoy my movie and my popcorn,’ Darci told her friend laughingly, as Kerry still hesitated in the doorway.

She heaved a genuine sigh of relief when her flatmate finally complied. Although Darci had a feeling that Kerry might be right when it came to how Mellie would feel about her interference where Luc Gambrelli was concerned…