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The Sicilian's Innocent Mistress Carole Mortimer 2022/8/5 17:02:14

Was it possible that her coolness towards him on Thursday evening had been a deliberate ploy to engage his attention?

That her elusiveness when he’d asked her out had been just as deliberate?

As had her demand that he take her somewhere sinfully expensive?

Had she done those things with the intention of just as deliberately leaving him sitting alone in Garstang’s for half an hour before telephoning to let him know she wouldn’t be joining him after all?

Was it possible that she had never had any intention of keeping their date?

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It was possible—more than possible!—yes.

But Luc had no idea why.

Even less so after the way she had responded to him just now….

Although that response was obviously something Darci deeply regretted, and unfortunately it only seemed to have added fuel to whatever resentment she had already been feeling towards him.

But Luc couldn’t fathom why it was she felt that resentment. He knew that he had never met Darci before—he would certainly have remembered her if he had!

Neither could it have anything to do with her brother Grant; he and the other man had worked well together on the film Turning Point, and had already discussed collaborating on another project in several months’ time.

So what had caused Darci’s resentment?

‘Tell me, Darci,’ he purred, deceptively softly, ‘what have I done that has—upset you in this way?’

Darci gave him a startled look, realising that in her agitation—in her self-disgust at her own weakness towards this man!—she had probably revealed too much. The last thing she wanted to do was betray her friend’s confidence by revealing just how badly Luc had hurt Mellie six weeks ago.

‘Isn’t making love to me just now enough to be going on with?’ she came back indignantly.

‘No,’ he replied calmly. ‘Because your attitude dates back to before that,’ he added confidently.

Darci moistened dry lips, wishing she were in a more advantageous position than she was—that she at least had all her clothes on! ‘That’s nonsense, Luc—’

‘No, it isn’t,’ he contradicted smoothly, that dark gaze narrowed speculatively.

‘Of course it is,’ she defended. ‘You said you came here this evening out of concern because I was ill, and instead—’

‘You are no more ill than I am, Darci,’ he cut in hardly. ‘I can assure you, you are in robust health!’

Very robust health if her memory of her reaction to his hardened body pressed so intimately against hers was anything to go by!

And she was sure that it was. Her legs felt weak just at the thought of that hard, muscled body against hers, her cheeks hot as she recalled the touch of those sensuous lips and tongue against her breasts, the way she had opened herself to him as his hand intimately caressed her.

The way her inner thighs still ached from the force of her physical release…!

As Kerry had pointed out so bluntly three days ago, Darci had been far too busy for relationships these last ten years, only having allowed herself the occasional date with a colleague as a break from her rigid regime. Obviously all those years of abstinence had done Darci absolutely no good whatsoever if she could respond so wantonly to Luc Gambrelli, a man who had hurt and betrayed one of her best friends!

‘I have no idea what you’re talking about, Luc,’ she told him dismissively, stepping out of her fallen pyjama bottoms to move across the room. ‘I would like you to leave now, if you don’t mind,’ she added hardly, the crumpled lower garment a stark reminder of the fact that she had been almost completely naked in this man’s arms a few minutes ago, while he was still fully dressed—and looking slightly satanic with it!—in black shirt and trousers.

Luc drew in a harsh breath, knowing there was much more to Darci’s behaviour over the last few days than she obviously intended sharing with him.

Because he had no intention of just walking away from Darci this evening and never seeing her again; he intended getting to the bottom of her resentment towards him if he could. He was absolutely certain now that she had felt resentment towards him before he had even spoken to her on Thursday evening.