All without telling him that she was a friend of Mellie’s, of course; it would be just too humiliating for Mellie if Luc Gambrelli were to realise she had really fallen for him in a big way.
Of course an even better set-down would have been if Mellie herself had accompanied Grant to the premiere. But that would have involved telling Grant of Mellie’s humiliation, and for Mellie’s sake, Darci was trying to avoid doing that.
‘I think you’re mad to go within twenty feet of all that lethal charm, darling,’ Kerry told her admiringly. ‘And of course, there’s always the possibility that it may just backfire on you,’ she added.
‘You mean, he really may not like redheads?’ Darci replied.
‘This redhead?’ Kerry looked at Darci consideringly before responding loyally, ‘Not a chance! You’re incredibly beautiful and very sexy. As proven by the amount of hearts you’ve left broken along the wayside in the last few years!’
If Darci had, then it hadn’t been deliberate. She had just been pretty single-minded about her career—to the point where relationships hadn’t featured too strongly in her life, and certainly none of a permanent nature. There simply hadn’t been the time for that, as well as her work.
‘So what did you mean about it backfiring…?’ she said slowly.
Kerry sighed. ‘Has it ever occurred to you that once you’ve actually met the man, you might just find Luc Gambrelli as devastatingly irresistible as every other female on the planet has? That instead of taking delight in coldly shunning him you might just end up falling for all that Mediterranean charm yourself?’ she warned wryly.
‘No chance,’ Darci assured her with certainty. ‘Sicilian playboys with more money than morals hold absolutely no appeal for me!’
‘Have you seen this Sicilian playboy?’ Kerry teased.
Well, of course Darci had seen photographs of Luc Gambrelli; the man appeared in the gossip columns of newspapers and magazines all the time as he escorted one beautiful actress or another.
He was more than six feet tall, with overlong hair the colour of burnished gold, and his tanned face was all hard, sculptured angles that were enough to make a woman’s pulse race just to look at him. Luc Gambrelli wasn’t only one of the most elusive bachelors in the world, he was also one of the most arrogantly attractive.
Nevertheless, Luc Gambrelli, the multimillionaire Sicilian who changed his women as often as he changed the black silk sheets on his bed, was about to meet the one woman who had no intention of falling for his devastating charm or succumbing to his irresistible seduction.
He was about to meet the totally impervious and vengeful Darci….
‘DID you see much of Mellie while you were in Los Angeles?’ Darci prompted her brother lightly.
‘Mellie?’ Grant repeated, as he turned from surveying the crowded reception room at the glittering post-premiere party.
Darci gave him a coy smile. ‘Yes, you know—Mellie. Old schoolfriend of mine. We all shared a flat together a few years ago.’
‘Very funny,’ her brother drawled. ‘I just wondered at your interest, that’s all.’
Darci’s interest was in knowing whether or not Grant knew of Mellie’s ill-fated involvement with Luc Gambrelli!
‘Perhaps the exulted film director Grant Wilde is far too superior now to remember his old friends…?’ she continued to tease her brother.
‘Very funny!’ Grant came back. ‘And, yes, I did see Mellie a couple of times,’ he confirmed. ‘But I—Oh—hi there.’ He turned to greet someone smilingly.
‘Would you care to introduce me to your beautiful partner for the evening, Grant…?’ Luc Gambrelli asked huskily, strolling over to join the young movie director and the entrancingly lovely woman who stood at his side, drinking a glass of the champagne that was flowing freely now that the after-party was in full swing.
The premiere had been a success as far as the critics invited to the party were concerned, although the newspapers tomorrow morning would probably be more revealing.
Luc had been aware of the striking redhead at Grant Wilde’s side earlier this evening the moment she entered the theatre on the other man’s arm. She was far too beautiful to be overlooked, even amongst this glittering crowd of celebrities. Her long red hair was like that of a woman in a pre-Raphaelite painting, her eyes a clear lucent green, her complexion creamy smooth, with a tiny smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose, her lips a full sensual pout—and as for that body, shown to advantage in a clinging green gown!