Mistress By Blackmail(6)

By: Caro LaFever

Her eyes widened at the tone of his voice. “Definitely.”

“My brother is a lucky man.”

Something, a spark of shrewdness or cunning, flashed across her face. “Yes,” she said slowly. “He is lucky to have me.”

“So you have come to plead for your love.”

Her body stilled. A pause of breathless silence passed between them. Then she finally nodded. “That’s right. That’s exactly right.”

The knot in his throat grew, still he couldn’t help tightening it further. “You love Matteo.”

“Yes.” She walked to the edge of his desk, staring at him across the shiny surface. “And for the sake of this love, I’m asking you to call off the marriage.”

Her eyes were blue. The deep, vibrant blue of a Tuscany night sky. They were filled with emotion. Love. Something he long ago stopped believing in.

“No.” He stared right into her eyes. “Never.”

“Please,” she whispered. “This would make me very happy.”

“I will make you happy.” He stood with an abrupt jerk. “But in an entirely different way.”

Chapter 2

The Great Man was…well…great.

Darcy took in a deep breath and tried to suppress every quivering cell in her body. Every female cell. Yet this was impossibly hard to do. The man before her was the epitome of male perfection. She’d expected an older version of Matt. Rather lanky, rather messy, and definitely non-threatening in the sexual department. Instead, she confronted every woman’s dream.

Well, certainly hers.

A revelation in and of itself. She had blissfully assumed she was immune to desiring or dreaming. Never, in her entire life, had she gone gaga over a guy. Not once in her entire existence had she thought she’d die if a man didn’t want her. When other women went on and on about some bloke, she wondered what the big deal was about any of the male species.

Clearly her mum had left her another important gift.

The gift of not losing her head over a guy.

She’d kissed guys, naturally she had. She’d had sex. She’d figured she should find out what all the fuss was about. Prove she wasn’t scared, she wasn’t scarred. So she’d done it. Once. She’d been proud of herself. Proud she’d muddled through the incident without gagging or losing her control. The experience had been rather untidy, but not anything she couldn’t handle. And she’d been ultra-proud of herself for not suddenly thinking she’d fallen in love with the man.

But standing before her right now stood the contradiction to her smug conclusions about her immunity to lusting after a man.

Her entire body hummed. Sparked. Buzzed. Tingled.

He was tall, several inches over six feet.

Who would have known she yearned for tall?

He was broad. His shoulders pressed against the grey Italian-silk suit, filling it with muscles galore. The man must work out every day. Or maybe he got his exercise by pummeling his competitors and cracking the whip on his subordinates.

Why did all of those hard-earned muscles turn her on?

His dark-brown hair was clipped short, yet a hint of a curl made it wave around his classically handsome face and ears.

She had this horrible compulsion to reach out and wrap one of those curls around her finger. Reach up and nibble on one of those perfect male ears.

Then there was his face. Proud jut of a prominent nose. Strong edge of a jaw ending in a square, determined chin. Cheekbones carved by a master. Wide forehead and dark slashes of eyebrows that lifted at the end, giving him a faintly satirical look, even when he frowned.

As he was doing now.

Even the ominous frown could not deflect her fascination with him. She tried to pull her attention back to what she’d come for, but it was no use. His features wove into complete and utter male flawlessness.

She was dazzled.

Hopefully, she wasn’t drooling.

All purposes and plots were wiped from her head by the hazy, heated glow welling inside her. A glow of sexual lust she’d only read about in books or seen on TV. A glow she’d never thought to feel. A glow which threatened everything she’d decided about herself.

No. No. Not true.

No one ever beat her. This man wouldn’t either.

Forcing herself, she turned her focus away from his bountiful physical gifts. Forced herself to meet his eyes with a determined glare of her own. When she met his gaze, though, shock zipped through her body and along her spine, blasting her rising determination to bits. She’d expected another version of Matt’s soulful, brown, puppy eyes.