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The Sicilian's Innocent Mistress Carole Mortimer 2022/8/5 17:02:13

It had been almost a relief when James, the ma?tre d’ had approached his table with the message that Darci had telephoned and was unable to join him after all because she wasn’t well.

Because Luc hadn’t been fooled for a minute by the telephone message. In fact, he was sure that James hadn’t been, either. The surprised look in the other man’s eyes had been in complete contrast to his politely bland expression! Luc knew that if Darci had really been ill, she would have telephoned the restaurant much earlier than she had to inform him she wasn’t able to join him.

Which meant she had to have deliberately left him waiting at the table in Garstang’s.

The question was, why had she?

Luc had been a little taken aback two evenings ago when Darci had made it a condition of their date that he take her somewhere sinfully expensive if he wanted her to meet him at all. The fact that she then hadn’t even bothered to turn up had intrigued him enough for him to take the unprecedented step of contacting Grant in order to ask for his sister’s address.

Grant’s surprise that his sister and Luc were actually supposed to be out on a date together this evening had been even more interesting, and posed the question why hadn’t Darci informed her twin on Thursday evening that she had agreed to have dinner with Luc tonight?

Luc had a lot of questions where Darci Wilde was concerned.

Questions, one way or another, he was determined to have answers to…

‘DRINK some of this. It will make you feel better.’

Darci, sitting cross-legged on the sofa, turned frowningly to take the glass of orange juice from Luc’s long tapered fingers, feeling like a fraud at his unexpected display of kindness.

Who would have thought that the heartless Luc Gambrelli, after having been informed Darci wasn’t well, would actually come here like this and offer to care for her until Kerry returned later this evening?

Darci certainly hadn’t.

It didn’t exactly fit in with her image of him as a selfish playboy, did it? she acknowledged, a troubled frown creasing her brow as she sipped the cold juice.

‘I also brought you this,’ Luc murmured, before placing something against her forehead.

That ‘something’ was several ice cubes wrapped in cling film which, once placed against Darci’s forehead, made her arch up in surprise. Her back stiffened as the intense cold was almost painful against her overheated skin.

‘Good grief!’ she gasped breathlessly, and she struggled to sit up—the action made harder because of the way she was sitting cross-legged. Her awkwardness dislodged the makeshift ice-pack and caused the cling film to burst open and scatter the ice cubes.

Most of them down the front of Darci’s pyjama jacket!

‘Oh, dear,’ Luc said ruefully as Darci, her entangled legs making it difficult for her to stand up, flapped the pyjama jacket in an effort to stop the icy cubes coming into contact with her flesh. The movement gave Luc, as he stood behind the sofa, tantalising glimpses of her bared breasts…

They were firm and uptilting, their nipples rose-pink, hard and enticing, causing his own flesh to burn, to stiffen, as his body responded.

Luc took a step around the sofa. ‘Would you like me to—?’

‘Don’t even think about it!’ Darci cut in warningly as she finally managed to stand up, allowing half a dozen ice cubes to fall onto the carpeted floor as she backed away from him. ‘You did that on purpose!’ she accused furiously, her cheeks flushed, her green eyes sparkling.

Much as they would look when she was sexually rather than emotionally aroused…

‘I was merely trying to help, Darci,’ he contradicted. Her pyjama jacket was damp in several places now, the wetness of the material clinging to her luscious curves…

‘By almost giving me a heart attack?’ she scorned. ‘I don’t think so!’

Luc didn’t think so, either, having considered, as he took the ice cubes out of the freezer to put into her drink, that perhaps a cold awakening was the least Darci deserved for what he was now convinced had been a deliberate ploy on her part to stand him up this evening.

Since arriving at her apartment, Luc had noted the look of absolute horror on Darci’s face when she’d opened the door and found him standing there, had taken in at a glance the almost empty bowl of popcorn in the sitting-room and the fact that the DVD player was on ‘Pause’, and had become convinced that Darci was no more ill than he was! Before he’d arrived she had obviously been lying on the sofa indulging herself by watching a movie and eating popcorn. Toffee popcorn, he had noted irrelevantly.