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The Sicilian's Innocent Mistress Carole Mortimer 2022/8/5 17:02:25

He gave a pained wince. ‘What is so ridiculous about it, Darci? Wolf and Cesare have both moved their centre of business to the U.K., so that Angel and Robin might continue with their respective jobs. Angel is now a research assistant to a government politician; Robin is her father’s assistant in their family publishing company.’

‘They’re both married,’ Darci replied. ‘People tend to make sacrifices like that when they’re married. But not when they’re conducting affairs,’ she finished firmly, as Luc would have spoken. ‘I’m sure you’ve never even thought about doing something like this before, just so that you can have an affair with someone!’

‘True,’ Luc acknowledged. ‘But we would be living together, not conducting an affair,’ he corrected.

‘It’s the same thing!’ Darci declared stubbornly.

‘No, it is not,’ Luc responded succinctly, standing up slowly. His mouth firmed with displeasure as Darci automatically took a step away from him. ‘Darci, I would be willing to move to London, to restrict to a minimum the amount of time I would need to go away on business, in order to be with you. What are you willing to give?’ he asked, moving stealthily forward to stand in front of her, his dark gaze searching her set features.

Darci stared up at him frowningly, not knowing what this conversation was about—only aware that Luc was offering her a glimpse of heaven!

Perhaps if he did move to London, and the two of them did set up home together somewhere, Luc might eventually fall in love with her…?

No, he wouldn’t, she answered herself almost instantly. Luc didn’t intend falling in love with any woman. Ever. He had made that more than plain when he had told her of how his parents’ love for each other had excluded Wolf and himself.

She shifted her gaze away from his and her shoulders slumped wearily. ‘Nothing,’ she told him in a whisper. ‘I’m not willing to give anything in order to live with you, Luc. In London or anywhere else,’ she said, so that there should be no misunderstanding between them.

He drew in a harsh breath. ‘That is your final word on the subject?’

She nodded stiffly, her gaze fixed on the rapid rise and fall of his chest beneath his snowy-white evening shirt. ‘My absolute, final word,’ she confirmed breathlessly, knowing that medically hearts didn’t really break—even if the pain in her chest told her otherwise! ‘Please believe that I do appreciate the—that I realise it can’t have been—Goodnight, Luc,’ she muttered shakily, before she brushed past him and almost ran across to the bedroom, closing the door firmly behind her.

Luc stood where she had left him for several long, painful minutes as he fought for control, each heavy beat of his heart seeming to wrench through his chest as he faced the bitterness of knowing he had lost Darci.

No, he hadn’t lost her—because Darci had never been his to lose!

He wouldn’t accept that.

He couldn’t accept that.

He wasn’t going to give up without a fight, Luc decided fiercely, narrowing his eyes determinedly as he strode purposefully towards the bedroom.

DARCI looked up fearfully from where she lay face-down on the bed as she heard the bedroom door open and then close. Her vision was too blurred by tears for her to be able to see any more than the silhouette of Luc’s tall imposing figure as he approached.

She knew that she wouldn’t be strong enough, that she loved Luc too much to withstand another onslaught on her emotions….

The bed gave slightly as he sat down beside her to reach out and turn her over, to draw her into his arms, burying his face in her hair. Darci’s own arms moved up instinctively about his shoulders and she clung on tight.

‘Please understand that I just can’t do this, Luc!’ she sobbed as she burrowed her face against the hardness of his chest. ‘I wish that I could—you’ve no idea how I wish that I could be one of those women who would be happy to take the affair, the living together, that you’re offering!’ she admitted emotionally. ‘But I can’t! You see, I’ve never—I haven’t ever—I’d probably be a terrible disappointment to you, anyway,’ she added with a sob.