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The Sicilian's Innocent Mistress Carole Mortimer 2022/8/5 17:02:22

‘Don’t look so worried, Darci,’ he assured her dryly. ‘I’m really not suggesting a clandestine weekend away together!’

‘I never suggested that you were,’ she came back irritably.

‘No?’ he countered, that dark brow rising mockingly.

‘No,’ she came back firmly, under no illusions whatsoever, after his coolness to her this evening, that Luc still desired her.

But she did want to know what he was up to. Why he needed a woman to accompany him to a party in Paris this weekend.

Unfortunately only Luc could tell her that—and another glance at his closed expression told her that he had no intention of doing so.

She shook her head. ‘I’m not sure I can get the weekend off—’

‘Even someone as dedicated to their job as you must be allowed to take holidays, Darci,’ he pointed out.

Well, of course she was allowed holiday time. And she probably could get a couple of days if she asked one of her colleagues to cover for her. But she still wasn’t sure she wanted to go to Paris with Luc.

Be honest, Darci, she reproved herself, you really don’t trust yourself to go to Paris with Luc!

‘I will, of course, pay all your expenses.’ Luc cut in on her tortuous thoughts. ‘All you have to do is look beautiful and say little.’

‘Like all your other women?’ she retorted sharply.

‘Exactly like all my other women,’ he accepted.

She looked at him searchingly. What was he up to? Whatever it was, Luc’s guarded features told her he wasn’t about to share it with her, she accepted heavily.

‘I’ll need to think about it,’ she told him woodenly.

‘Think about it all you like. But I will expect your answer by the end of this evening.’

Her eyes widened indignantly. ‘That’s hardly fair, Luc—’

‘I don’t recall your actions towards me so far as being fair,’ he reminded her.

Luc had a point. More than a point, when Darci recalled how almost her every word and move had until now been motivated by feelings of vengeance towards him.

‘Come on, Darci,’ Luc cajoled, as he could see that she was weakening. ‘Most women would be only too thrilled at the idea of an expenses-paid weekend in Paris,’ he tempted.

‘I’m not “most women”!’ Darci assured him snippily.

Luc was already well aware of that.

Darci’s obvious integrity, and the fact that she was different from any other woman he had been involved with—a doctor, and so obviously not connected with the movie and acting world he inhabited—were actually obstacles, he realised.

But on the positive side was the fact that Darci, unlike any other woman he could have invited, while acting as a shield against his family’s matchmaking machinations, also knew without a doubt that there was absolutely no substance to their relationship….

‘I SUPPOSE I should have realised we would be staying in a Gambrelli Hotel,’ Darci murmured ruefully once they were installed in the lift, with a porter carrying their bags, travelling up to the suite they would be occupying during this weekend in Paris.

Luc had been withdrawn and uncommunicative on the private jet which had flown them here, sitting in one of the six comfortable armchairs that had occupied the spacious cabin, a pair of rimless glasses perched on the end of his aristocratic nose as he went through some papers he had taken from his briefcase and laid out on the table in front of him.

Leaving Darci completely alone with her thoughts. Which had been extremely tumultuous, to say the least.

Being ushered onto the private jet, where her every need had been seen to by the male steward, had given her a glimpse into the world that Luc usually inhabited. A world that, despite her brother Grant’s rapidly increasing luxurious lifestyle, was still completely alien to her.

The deference that had been shown Luc when they’d arrived at the hotel, as a member of the family that owned the Gambrelli chain, had been a little overwhelming, too.

Luc looked up from the pile of messages that had been waiting for him on his arrival at the hotel, his frown lessening slightly as he saw the slight bewilderment in Darci’s expressive face. ‘It’s just a hotel, Darci,’ he dismissed easily.