‘Which was how you were so sure you and Mellie hadn’t been involved,’ she deduced.
‘Exactly!’ His grim expression deepened as he moved to the fridge and took out a half-bottle of champagne. ‘Would you like some?’ he offered, as he poured the bubbly wine into a glass.
Darci had no idea why she had been laughing minutes ago. Luc’s aversion to marriage was obviously so strong he was even willing to use emotional blackmail over her vengeance towards him in order to have her accompany him to his mother’s birthday party and act as a beard!
Because he clearly considered her to be absolutely no threat to his emotions or his bachelor state!
‘Why not?’ She accepted the glass of bubbling champagne, taking a much-needed sip. ‘I wish you had explained the situation before bringing me here, Luc. I’m really not happy about deceiving your family in this way,’ she explained, as he looked at her questioningly.
He shrugged unconcernedly. ‘All you have to do is cling to my arm all evening and look beautiful—which you undoubtedly are—and smile and say little. What’s the problem?’
The problem was he wanted a woman on his arm this evening he knew wasn’t in love with him.
And Darci was very much in love with him—was becoming more so by the minute!
Besides, she really didn’t like the idea of practising such a deception on his family. Especially if that family turned out to be more perceptive concerning Darci’s feelings for Luc than he was. If that should be the case, then this whole charade might just completely backfire in Luc’s arrogantly handsome face!
‘I don’t like it, Luc,’ she told him frankly. ‘I would never have agreed to coming here if I had known you intended deceiving your family in this way.’
Luc had realised that. He had come to know Darci much better during the last week than she gave him credit for. But with his mother’s birthday party looming nearer every day, he had known he had to take some sort of step to prevent his family’s unwanted interference in his personal life. Unfortunately for Darci the situation between the two of them had presented the ideal opportunity for him to do just that.
‘It’s just one evening of your life, Darci,’ he dismissed unconcernedly. ‘And then the two of us won’t ever need to see each other again.’
‘And what happens the next time one of your family tries to matchmake?’ she reasoned impatiently.
He smiled at her confidently. ‘Just because the two of us don’t intend seeing each other again after this weekend, it doesn’t mean my family have to be made aware of the fact. I think a relationship between the two of us—purely fictional, of course—should be good for six months or so. After which I’m hoping my matchmaking mama will be so engrossed in being a grandmother to Wolf’s son or daughter that she will lose all interest in finding me a wife!’
He had it all worked out, didn’t he? Darci thought crossly.
Except, as she knew to her cost, the best-laid plans didn’t always work the way one expected….
‘A little overwhelming, isn’t it?’ The tall and beautiful Angel Gambrelli laughed sympathetically as Darci stared at the two men who stood together across the room, preparing drinks for them all.
Luc and his brother, Wolf.
They were both tall, both blond-haired—although Luc’s overlong hair was a deeper gold than his brother’s—and their aristocratically handsome faces very similar, as were the powerfully muscled bodies beneath their black evening suits and white shirts.
Having been introduced to Luc’s brother and his wife when they’d arrived at the suite a couple of minutes ago, Darci still couldn’t get over the sensory shock of having two such forcefully attractive men as the Gambrelli brothers together in the same room!
‘Believe me, it doesn’t get any easier, either,’ Angel continued conversationally as she looked at her husband with adoring eyes, her long dark hair loose down her spine, the red dress she wore not disguising the slight swell of her pregnancy. ‘And you haven’t even met Cesare yet!’ she added knowingly. ‘A tall, dark, brooding Sicilian,’ she warned with another sympathetic smile, before turning to thank her husband as he brought their drinks over.