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The Sicilian's Innocent Mistress Carole Mortimer 2022/8/5 17:02:21

‘And you?’ Luc pushed. ‘Are you also sorry?’

‘More than you can imagine,’ she confirmed. More than she ever wanted Luc to guess or know!

He might not have been involved with Mellie—might never have even met her!—but that didn’t change the fact that Luc really was a man who shunned all emotional involvement. It would be too awful if he were to guess how Darci really felt about him.

Luc looked across at her with assessing eyes. ‘How sorry are you, Darci?’ he pressed.

Darci gave him a sharp look, but she was unable to read anything from his closed expression and those hard, merciless eyes.

Yes, she had to say that was exactly how Luc’s eyes looked at this moment….

Luc’s mouth tightened as he saw the sudden wariness in Darci’s expression. ‘I wouldn’t expect any woman to be that sorry, Darci!’ he told her, with hard impatience at what she had obviously been thinking.

She had the grace to blush. ‘In that case, I’m sorry enough to buy you dinner at a sinfully expensive restaurant,’ she came back challengingly.

He grimaced. ‘Don’t be ridiculous, Darci. I’m going to pay for dinner.’

‘No arguments, Darci.’ He silenced her protests, the tone of his voice stern. ‘I never intended for you to pay the bill.’

Darci was a not-long qualified, very underpaid doctor, for goodness’ sake; of course Luc didn’t seriously expect her to buy him a dinner that would probably cost her a week’s wages!

‘But I do appreciate the offer,’ he added, as he easily saw that Darci’s feathers were still ruffled.

She drew in a deep breath. ‘In that case, I’m very, very sorry for the way I behaved towards you earlier this week.’

His mouth quirked humourlessly. ‘Even if you do think my own behaviour when we last met was reprehensible?’

She would never know—he would never allow her to know!—how close he had come, how nearly he had thrown all caution to the wind and taken what she had so blatantly offered that day.

But he had known even then that Darci wasn’t the sort of woman to have a meaningless affair. And that was all any of Luc’s relationships had been. What they would always be.

Let Wolf and Cesare suffer their totally besotted love for their wives. As his father had with his mother. And his Uncle Carlo with his wife. And their grandfather before them. Let them all be the ones to suffer that damned Gambrelli Curse. Luc intended remaining exactly as he was—single and heartache-free!

But just because he didn’t intend letting himself become emotionally involved with Darci that didn’t mean he couldn’t salvage something from this situation….

‘I don’t think your behaviour was reprehensible at all, Luc,’ she shot back at him reprovingly. ‘We both damn well know that it was!’

He shrugged unconcernedly. ‘You deserved exactly what you got.’

‘That’s hardly the point—’

‘The point is, Darci,’ he cut in menacingly, leaning across the table to add more weight to his words, ‘I may not be willing to let you buy me dinner, but you do owe me.’

She gave him a startled look. ‘Owe you…?’ she echoed warily.

He smiled derisively. ‘Do you think it possible to take your thoughts out of the bedroom for a few minutes…?’ he mocked.

Darci felt colour burning her cheeks. But what else was she supposed to think when Luc came out with phrases like she owed him?

He was rich as Croesus, as handsome as Apollo and one of the most successful film producers in the world. If she did indeed owe Luc, then what did she have to give him but herself…?

‘Go on,’ she invited guardedly.

‘I have to be in Paris this weekend—’

‘I am not going to Paris with you for the weekend!’ Darci protested indignantly.

He scowled across at her. ‘It’s usual to wait until you’re asked!’

‘Yes. Well. Why mention it if—if you didn’t intend asking me to go with you?’ she finished determinedly.

Although the mere thought of Luc inviting her to go to Paris with him for the weekend made her go weak at the knees!