Darci stilled her restless movements to look searchingly up at Luc, easily seeing the heat in his gaze as it remained riveted on the creamy swell of her breasts, a nerve pulsing in his tightly clenched jaw.
Luc looked more uncomfortable than she felt!
But for a totally different reason, Darci realised, as she couldn’t help but notice the telltale signs of Luc’s arousal.
Which meant, despite all he had said when they’d had dinner at Garstang’s, and his indifference when they’d travelled from the U.K. earlier today, that Luc wasn’t immune to her after all.
Strangely, that realisation helped her to calm down and relax. In fact, she could feel her self-confidence returning by the second—so much so that she felt almost…empowered.
Luc, for all that he might not want to feel that way, was still as attracted to her as he had been the first night they’d met, when he had described to her in detail how he would like to undress her and make love to her!
‘Calm down, Luc,’ she chided him knowingly. ‘Or you’ll give your brother and his wife totally the wrong impression about us,’ she baited, knowing by the way his head snapped up and he turned to look at the other couple with slightly dazed eyes that, for the few minutes of their conversation, he had forgotten they weren’t alone. ‘And we wouldn’t want that, now, would we?’ she finished wryly.
Luc’s mouth tightened ominously. ‘Enjoy yourself while you can, Darci,’ he warned darkly. ‘But while you’re doing so, just remember that when we return here later this evening you will be completely alone with me!’
His threat sent a thrill of anticipation down Darci’s spine, rather than the trepidation she was sure Luc had meant her to feel!
‘DO I HEAR the sound of wedding bells…?’
Luc turned to glare at his brother as Wolf came to stand beside him on the edge of the dance floor where, following their mother’s sumptuous birthday party, a dozen or so couples amongst the fifty-odd guests were gyrating.
Darci and Cesare were one of those couples….
‘Not unless you have tinnitus,’ Luc came back with terse dismissal.
Wolf laughed softly. ‘The family all like your little Darci,’ he observed lightly.
‘She isn’t little.’ At least not in certain places, Luc thought with an inward groan, as he felt the unwanted aching throb of his body. He could picture those places. That minuscule black dress was leaving very little to the imagination! ‘Neither is she mine,’ he added with vigour.
‘No?’ Wolf took a sip of his wine as he glanced across to where Darci was dancing in Cesare’s assured arms. ‘Then why did you bring her here?’ He was looking curious when his gaze returned to Luc.
Luc grimaced. ‘Because if I hadn’t, either you, or Cesare—or worse, Mamma—would only have spent this evening introducing me to one eligible—marriageable—female after another!’ Luc could see half a dozen or so of them in the room even now. All beautiful and no doubt accomplished women who left him completely cold.
‘You have it all wrong there, little brother,’ Wolf corrected. ‘The matchmaking is completely the girls’ idea; Cesare and I know better.’
Luc scowled darkly. ‘Meaning?’
His brother sighed. ‘Meaning that I spent years trying to avoid the Gambrelli Curse of falling so deeply in love with a woman that to contemplate life without her was unthinkable. In fact, I was probably the biggest playboy in Europe—okay, I was the biggest playboy in Europe,’ he conceded dryly, at Luc’s scathing glance, giving one of those vulpine smiles that had helped in his being known to the world as Wolf Gambrelli. ‘But when it actually happened, there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it. It was the same for Cesare. Neither of us was actively looking for the women we were fated to love—in fact, the opposite!—but along they came anyway. And you know what, Luc…?’ He smiled again, with no hint of wolfishness at all. ‘Once I had stopped fighting the whole idea of loving, once I had accepted that my life had absolutely no meaning without Angel in it, I was only too happy to capitulate to fate.’