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The Sicilian's Innocent Mistress Carole Mortimer 2022/8/5 17:02:09

‘Do you really think Luc Gambrelli would be petty enough to take his disappointment out on Grant?’ Darci said disbelievingly.

‘He might,’ Kerry returned.

Darci laughed as she bent down to hug the other woman. ‘You always were the worrier amongst us!’ she told Kerry affectionately, knowing that if it weren’t for her friend’s caution in earlier years she would have got into many more scrapes than she had, her own nature—part of being a redhead, perhaps?—having been much more impetuous.

And Darci had no intention of backing off from Luc Gambrelli. Not after what he had done to Mellie…

‘You do realise that Luc Gambrelli will probably be with someone tomorrow evening…?’ Kerry persisted.

‘That’s where you’re wrong,’ Darci announced with satisfaction. ‘Grant told me that Luc Gambrelli is escorting the female lead, Jackie Tunbridge. She’s new to all this, and a little nervous, and apparently Luc Gambrelli has been a little more circumspect in who he takes where recently.’ She paused to consider for a moment, then continued, ‘Grant says it’s because he doesn’t want to get caught in the marital trap, like his brother and his cousin. Count Wolf Gambrelli and Cesare Gambrelli,’ she explained, as Kerry looked totally blank.

‘Luc Gambrelli is related to those two?’ Kerry gasped after a few seconds.

Darci nodded. ‘His brother is the Count, no less,’ she confirmed, still searching through her wardrobe for exactly the right dress to wear tomorrow evening. ‘It’s no good,’ she conceded, as she turned back into the bedroom decisively. ‘I’ll have to go out tomorrow and look for something new.’

‘But you hate shopping for new clothes,’ her friend reminded her.

Darci scowled. ‘For the chance to put the oh-I-think-I’m-so-wonderful Luc Gambrelli firmly in his place I’ll make an exception! Kerry, I know you don’t think this is a good idea,’ she said, as Kerry carried on looking doubtful. ‘But the man really can’t be allowed to just cold-heartedly break the heart of one of my very best friends without some sort of retaliation!’

Kerry, Mellie and Darci had been at school together, and then had stuck with each other while taking further education courses in London: Kerry had taken a degree in History, Mellie had gone to drama school and Darci had chosen Medicine. Grant, having known Darci’s old friends well, and having attended university, too, had joined them in sharing a house during those years of studying.

The passing years had forged a bond between the four of them that was as close, if not closer, than family; if one of them was hurt, the others felt it, too.

And then, six weeks ago, Mellie’s tender heart had been broken by the heartless Luc Gambrelli!

After university Grant had gone to Los Angeles, and the three women had taken another apartment together in London. Then, six months ago, Mellie—after some mild success on the London stage—had gone to Los Angeles, too, in order to look for acting roles.

Which was how she had met and fallen in love with the famous film producer Luc Gambrelli.

The two had got together at a party—Luc Gambrelli apparently dazzling Mellie completely when he’d assured her that she was perfect for a part in the film he was shortly going to put into production.

Kerry and Darci had followed the Italian film producer’s seduction of Mellie via their friend’s frequent telephone calls and e-mails, and she’d waxed lyrical about how wonderful he was, how he had swept her off her feet, pursuing her relentlessly as he showered her with flowers and gifts until his conquest was secure and Mellie was head-over-heels in love with him and more than eager to share his bed. An experience Mellie had related to her two friends in erotic detail.

After which the heartless pig had just disappeared out of Mellie’s life, as had the prospective part in his film, leaving her broken-hearted as she realised she had fallen for the oldest trick in the book when it came to acting—the casting couch. Or, in this case, Luc Gambrelli’s silk-sheeted bed!

If all Darci managed to do tomorrow evening was get Grant to introduce her to Luc Gambrelli, and then she succeeded in giving the man the knock to his super-ego that he so richly deserved, she would be happy.