That same defensiveness that had dictated her behaviour towards him on Thursday evening, when they’d first met?
But Luc felt less inclined to push for answers about the reasons for her defensiveness now. He knew that once he did, once Darci had told him exactly why it was she distrusted him, she would then ensure they didn’t see each other again.
And he wanted to see her again.
Wanted more than that.
He wanted to touch her again as he had last night!
But with Darci, he knew, it was going to be a question of waiting, of biding his time, of spending more evenings like this one getting to know her, before attempting to push their relationship onto the more intimate footing that he craved.
He stood up to join her as she loaded the dishwasher. ‘You didn’t answer my question as to why you became a doctor,’ he reminded her.
She barely glanced at him before resuming loading the dishes into the machine. ‘I always wanted to be a doctor,’ she said flatly.
Luc studied her bent head, his fingers itching to release her hair from its confining clip. He wanted to watch as that fiery thickness cascaded onto her shoulders and down the long length of her back.
It was an impulse he resisted by curling his hands into fists at his sides. ‘And do you always get what you want?’ he prompted.
Darci straightened to give Luc a long, assessing glance, knowing that at some time in the last few minutes the atmosphere had changed, becoming more intimate, more sexually charged. It was a situation that had to be dispelled as quickly as possible.
‘Don’t you?’ she challenged, with barely concealed sarcasm.
He easily returned her gaze. ‘Yes, but I would like to think not to anyone else’s detriment,’ he finally replied.
Not true in Mellie’s case, Darci reminded herself determinedly.
Although it was a reminder that was having less and less effect the more time she spent in Luc Gambrelli’s company. She suddenly realised that she hadn’t given Mellie, or the heartache this man had caused her friend, a single thought as she and Luc had cooked and eaten dinner together.
After telling herself earlier that she wasn’t in the least foolish, she now knew it would be the height of foolishness if she were to actually fall for Luc herself!
She straightened. ‘It’s getting late, Luc, and I have to go into the hospital early in the morning, so I think it’s time you left,’ she told him impatiently, knowing that her impatience was directed at herself rather than at him. Luc hadn’t done anything this evening that she could claim as being in the least deliberately provocative; all of this physical awareness, this intimacy, was coming directly from inside her.
Because she remembered so vividly the touch of his hands and lips the night before, had lain awake in her bed last night long after parting from Kerry, unable to sleep as she’d tried, and failed, to put thoughts of Luc Gambrelli’s lovemaking from her mind.
Luc watched the emotions chasing across Darci’s expressive face as she so obviously fought some sort of inner battle with herself.
Lord, he hoped so—he would hate to think he was going to suffer all the physical torture of enforced abstinence alone!
Because it was torture not to reach out and take Darci in his arms, to kiss her, touch her, as he so longed to do. As he knew that he couldn’t do if he intended being with her again. He knew instinctively that she would use any physical coercion on his part now as a reason not to see him again.
‘Of course,’ he accepted. ‘Perhaps you would have lunch with me on your next day off?’
He was rewarded by Darci’s startled look. ‘Lunch?’ she repeated.
He gave a wry smile. ‘It is a meal, usually partaken of at some time between midday and three o’clock—’
‘I know what lunch is, Luc,’ she cut in. ‘I just—I assumed you would be returning to Los Angeles some time during the next few days.’
‘Did you?’ he mused, his intention having been to go to Paris this week, rather than Los Angeles. Before he had met Darci, that was.
Before he had decided that capturing her, taking her to his bed, was the more urgent of the two….
But, no matter what did or didn’t happen between the two of them in the next few days, he really did have to be in Paris by next weekend. Unless he wanted to incur the wrath of his whole family!