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The Sicilian's Innocent Mistress Carole Mortimer 2022/8/5 17:02:24

‘I will explain everything to my family,’ Luc reassured her.

Explain what? Darci wondered. That she was just another woman, like all the other women he had ever been involved with? That she meant no more to him than any of them had?

What did it matter what explanation Luc gave his family about her? After tonight, Darci knew she wouldn’t see them—or Luc—ever again!

‘Go up to bed, Darci,’ Luc encouraged gently. ‘I will join you shortly.’

She frowned at how intimate that sounded. ‘I’ll leave some blankets and pillows in the sitting-room for you,’ she told him wearily.

Luc gave a teasing smile. ‘You still want me to sleep on the couch…?’

‘I do,’ she assured him firmly; she needed to be alone right now, completely alone, in order to sort out the jumbled messages in her brain.

Her body was telling her that she still wanted Luc, that it would be oh-so-easy to have this one night with him. But her head was telling her that once would never be enough, and that even if Luc were to offer her a little more than that—an affair until his interest in her waned—she would only be opening herself up to indescribable pain if she gave in to that temptation.

Luc’s smile faded at her adamant tone. He knew that he wasn’t mistaken in his belief that only minutes ago Darci had wanted him as fully as he had wanted her.

That fierce need, that complete lack of control, was something that had never happened to Luc before….

He drew in a ragged breath. ‘Darci, I think that you and I need to talk—’

‘I can’t imagine what about,’ she dismissed briskly. ‘Besides, I really do have a headache now,’ she informed him flatly.

‘I thought it was only married ladies who developed headaches at bedtime?’ he replied.

‘That’s a generalisation I very much doubt is true of Robin or Angel,’ she came back tartly.

No, Luc was sure that it wasn’t. He had absolutely no doubts as to the compatibility of his brother and cousin with their wives. ‘Darci—’

‘You really should get back to the party now, Luc,’ Darci told him firmly.

Yes, he knew he should. But he also knew that he and Darci needed to talk. Had to talk. Tonight.

Darci had withdrawn from him in the last few minutes, had developed a wariness towards him that Luc simply couldn’t allow to continue.

His mouth tightened determinedly. ‘I will join you in a few minutes,’ he stated evenly.

She nodded abruptly. ‘Try not to disturb me if I’m asleep, hmm?’

Luc’s eyes narrowed as he acknowledged that Darci had the ability to disturb him even when he was asleep!

He had thought of little and certainly no one else since he’d met her ten days ago, he realised now. He was able to feel the creamy warmth of her skin beneath his fingers, taste her silken flesh, even when they were apart.

‘You’re a junior doctor, Darci—you must be used to going without sleep,’ he came back purposefully.

Darci eyed him warily, not completely sure how she was going to deal with this situation. Luc certainly wasn’t going to believe, after her total loss of control on the terrace, that she didn’t want him!

She shook her head. ‘It’s because I’m a junior doctor that I need to get all the sleep I can when I have the opportunity.’

That warm brown gaze roamed slowly over her flushed face, lingering on her kiss-swollen lips before once again moving up to capture her startled green eyes with his. ‘Tonight isn’t going to be one of those opportunities,’ he assured her.

‘The two of us going to bed together wasn’t part of our bargain, Luc,’ Darci told him.

He shrugged broad shoulders. ‘Our original bargain, as you call it, is at an end.’

‘Just like that?’ Darci challenged indignantly. ‘Because you’ve decided that it is?’

Luc’s mouth quirked wryly as he easily guessed her intent. ‘Darci, I believe you are deliberately trying to provoke yet another argument between the two of us.’

‘I’m not trying to do anything—we are having an argument!’ she assured him heatedly. ‘You seem to be under the delusion that a few kisses on a hotel terrace while I was seduced by the romance of Paris by moonlight entitles you to share my bed tonight—’