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The Sicilian's Innocent Mistress Carole Mortimer 2022/8/5 17:02:26

‘Because you believed that loving someone, loving in the total way that your parents did, would somehow make you less? That it would control and possibly destroy you?’ Darci said quietly. ‘That it would certainly damage any children born into that relationship?’

Luc looked at her silently for several long seconds before slowly nodding. ‘Yes,’ he said finally, surprised at her astuteness after the little he had told her about his childhood. ‘But that isn’t true, is it, Darci?’ he realised, knowing that to see Darci big with his baby, to love and nurture their child together, would only expand and deepen the love he already felt for her.

Maybe that hadn’t been true of his parents’ marriage. But he had watched Cesare with his children this last week, and knew it to be true of his cousin’s marriage. And he knew from watching Wolf and Angel together this evening that the same would be true when their baby was born, too.

If he could just have Darci, if she would only agree to become his wife, he knew without a doubt that any children they had together would be included in their love. He wanted children with her. Desperately wanted that.

‘No, that would never be true of a child we had together, Luc,’ she assured him. ‘Our children will be an affirmation of our love for each other, Luc, not a threat to our own relationship,’ she told him shyly.

Luc became very still as he stared down at her, as he looked deep into those expressive green eyes and saw—as he saw…

He drew in a sharp breath, his hands tightening against her cheeks as he looked down at her wonderingly. ‘Darci, do you love me…?’ he breathed softly, hardly daring to believe it could be true.

‘I love you, Luc,’ she confirmed, her eyes starting to glow as her hands moved up to tightly clasp his arms. ‘I love you so much that I’m as terrified as you obviously are,’ she admitted. ‘Luc, do you think two people like us—two people who, for different reasons admittedly, have been avoiding love all their lives—could possibly find happiness, love together…?’

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Luc breathed deeply, his heart beating rapidly in his chest. ‘I think—I know—that we are perfect for each other!’ he declared fiercely.

Darci smiled. ‘So do I,’ she choked. ‘Oh, Luc, so do I!’ she cried joyously, and she moved to press her lips warmly against his.

Luc’s arms closed firmly around her as he returned that kiss, drinking from her, claiming her for his own. ‘I realised as I watched you this evening, as I proudly saw you charm all of my family, as well as totally enchanting me,’ he said, ‘that I can’t bear the thought of never seeing you again, never being with you again. You are the sun, the moon and the stars to me, Darci!’ He groaned as his mouth left hers to travel the length of her throat. ‘I will love you until my dying breath!’

Heaven, Darci acknowledged glowingly as she thought of all the years ahead of them—loving each other, having children together, then grandchildren, maybe even great-grandchildren if they were very lucky.

‘Kerry tried to warn me before Grant’s premiere that my little plan for revenge might backfire on me,’ Darci said some time later, cradled in Luc’s arms and looking up at him as the two of them lay on the bed together.

Luc smiled warmly. ‘I’m looking forward to meeting your flatmate,’ he told her. ‘To meeting both your flatmates.’

Darci grimaced. ‘Paying you back really was all my own idea.’

He laughed softly, indulgently. ‘Oh, I know that, you little firebrand!’ He dropped a light, forgiving kiss on her brow. ‘I intend thanking Mellie when I finally meet her, not chastising her. Without her intervention the two of us might never have spent enough time together to fall in love with each other.’

Darci reached up to smooth his frown away. ‘I prefer to think that we would,’ she replied. Some things are just meant to be. We’re one of those things,’ she added simply.

Luc turned on his side, facing her. ‘You really believe that, Darci?’ he pressed warmly.

‘With all my heart,’ she assured him with certainty. ‘I’ve been waiting my whole life for you, Luc. My whole life!’ she repeated fervently, her arms tightening about him as her lips parted to receive his kiss.