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The Sicilian's Innocent Mistress Carole Mortimer 2022/8/5 17:02:20

Perhaps she shouldn’t have chosen to meet him in a restaurant at all—because all she wanted to do at this moment was apologise and then get as far away as possible from the mockingly scornful man Luc had become!

Her fingers shook slightly as she lifted her own wineglass. ‘To an apology given and accepted. I think that might be more appropriate…?’ she suggested as she looked at him from beneath lowered lashes.

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Luc returned her gaze wordlessly for several long, tension-filled seconds. ‘But premature, surely?’ he bit out.

Because she hadn’t yet apologised?

Or because Luc had no intention of accepting her apology?

But if that was the case, then why was he here?

To punish her, possibly.

And she deserved to be punished after setting herself up as his judge and jury—and then having the audacity to pass sentence on him, too!

But he, in his turn, had passed sentence on her….

She frowned across at him. ‘You know, your behaviour the last time we met wasn’t exactly gentlemanly,’ she reminded him hotly. ‘And don’t raise that arrogant eyebrow at me,’ she warned, as he did exactly that.

He looked surprised. ‘Which arrogant eyebrow?’

‘Your arrogant right eyebrow,’ she swung back impatiently, and she glared at that brow, her cheeks burning hotly just from mentioning what had happened between them before he’d left her so ignominiously.

Luc wasn’t sure whether to remain angry with Darci or to give in to the impulse he had to laugh as she displayed all the outraged indignation of a bantam hen just at the mention of what had occurred last time they’d met. But he was far from forgiving her yet for her assumptions about him, and definitely didn’t want to put things between them back on the same footing as they had been before—and any crack in his mocking line of defence was sure to do that.

He raised his arrogant right eyebrow even further as he looked across at her unemotionally. ‘You deserved what happened, you little hypocrite,’ he said evenly.

The colour in Darci’s cheeks flamed even brighter. ‘Perhaps I should just grovel and leave?’ she muttered between clenched teeth, and she reached down to pick up her bag.

‘I promise that I will give you reason to regret it if you should decide to leave me sitting alone here for a second time!’ Luc assured her uncompromisingly.

Darci straightened to look across at him uncertainly, knowing from the rigidness of his set jaw, the hard glitter of his eyes, that Luc wasn’t making an idle threat—that he was more than capable of causing a scene if she should decide to get up and leave.

But it was more than a little embarrassing to sit here knowing that he was completely aware of how aroused she had been that afternoon. His accusation that she was a hypocrite told her plainly that Luc knew exactly how close she had been to complete capitulation. That it was only Luc’s anger and contempt that had prevented the two of them from making love.

She breathed deeply. ‘I can’t believe that you really want to have dinner with me….’

His mouth twisted derisively. ‘Fishing for compliments, Darci?’

‘Not at all,’ she assured him hotly. ‘It’s pretty obvious that you don’t really want to be here.’

Luc relaxed back in his seat as he looked at her through narrowed lids. ‘If that were the case, Darci, then believe me, I wouldn’t be here,’ he replied. ‘Although I am curious, knowing how difficult it is, as to how you actually managed to book a table here this evening….’

Darci gave a rueful smile. ‘What’s the point in having a famous film director as a twin brother if you can’t use his name occasionally? I was pretty sure there wouldn’t be any fuss made about my slight variation on the truth once you arrived,’ she added with a grin.

‘If I arrived,’ Luc reminded her coolly.

She nodded. ‘If you arrived.’

‘And if I hadn’t done so?’ he taunted.

Darci shrugged. ‘Then I would probably have found myself thrown out into the street by eight-thirty!’

Luc found himself smiling in spite of himself—both at Darci’s ingenuity in securing the dinner table and her complete lack of illusion about it. ‘Does Grant know you used his name in this shameless way?’