Luc continued to caress the lean beauty of her foot, knowing by the sudden unevenness of Darci’s breathing that she was as disturbed by his touch as he was by the feel of her silky skin against his fingertips.
How or why this had happened to him had ceased to be important, Luc realised ruefully. Darci was all that was important now. And, no matter how she protested, he couldn’t let her just walk out of his life!
But knowing that Darci wanted him physically, that she responded to his kisses and caresses, did not mean that she felt anything else for him but desire. And even that desire could not persuade her into going to bed with him….
He looked up at her, his dark gaze intense on the pale beauty of her face in the moonlight. ‘Can you deny that you like my hands on your body, Darci?’ he probed.
She swallowed hard, green eyes haunted. ‘I haven’t tried to deny it, Luc.’ She sighed. ‘I’ve simply told you that I won’t have an affair with you.’
‘Yes, I believe you have made it very clear that you do not have any room in your life for “a rich Sicilian playboy who might have decided he wants to hop in and out of your bed whenever he happens to be in London”!’ Luc acknowledged hardly.
The fact that Luc remembered what she had said earlier told Darci that her remark must have hit a raw nerve. But why should it have done? She was no more conversant with affairs than she was with relationships, but wasn’t the behaviour Luc had just described exactly what his relationships involved?
‘What if I were to offer you more than an affair, Darci?’ he said abruptly.
She became suddenly still, her expression wary. ‘Such as…?’ she prompted guardedly.
Luc gave a self-derisive smile as he shrugged. ‘What is the next progression on from an affair, Darci?’
Darci looked at him frowningly, trying to read something—anything!—from his expression, and failing utterly. Luc’s face was an unreadable mask, only the dark glitter of his eyes betraying any emotion at all. And she had no idea what that emotion was!
She moistened dry lips. ‘You’re suggesting I move in with you while the attraction lasts?’ She shook her head. ‘That would no more work than an affair, when you live in Los Angeles and I live in London,’ she reasoned.
Really, why didn’t he just give this up and stop causing her any more heartache? she wondered tremblingly.
His eyes narrowed. ‘You would not consider transferring your place of work to Los Angeles?’
‘No, I would not,’ she dismissed tersely, turning to swing her legs to the floor before standing up and moving impatiently away from those caressing fingers. ‘Any more than you would consider transferring your place of work to London,’ she added, as she moved away to pace restlessly.
Luc watched her movements, admiring the lean strength of her body, the way that luxurious red hair moved silkily down the length of her spine. ‘Why don’t you try asking me?’ he suggested.
She stopped her pacing to stare across at him suspiciously. ‘What game are you playing now, Luc?’
He gave a rueful smile. ‘No game, Darci. Ask me.’ His smile faded as he pressed her determinedly.
‘Just so that you can say no?’ she replied, shaking her head. ‘I don’t think so, Luc—’
‘Ask me, damn you!’ he bit out impatiently.
He hadn’t expected this to be so difficult, Luc admitted frustratedly. Perhaps if he knew how Darci felt about him he might feel more relaxed about the outcome of this conversation. But as he had absolutely no idea of her feelings, other than the desire that exploded between them every time they were together, he didn’t feel he had any choice but to step cautiously.
‘Okay, Luc.’ She sighed. ‘I’m asking.’
‘What exactly are you asking?’ he came back.
‘Would you move the base of your work to London so that the two of us can live together?’
Her face froze as she stared at him. ‘Yes…?’ she finally repeated faintly.
Luc gave a mocking inclination of his head. ‘Yes,’ he confirmed dryly.
‘But—I—You—Don’t be ridiculous!’ she cried.