Mistress By Blackmail(7)

By: Caro LaFever

Instead, she confronted two silver-grey flashes. Like swords of old.

The eyes were glaring at her.

“M-m-make me happy?” Instant shame twisted inside. She never stuttered anymore.

The shame only fed the astonishing lust. Against her will, she still ogled the Roman god before her, trying to make sense of his words amongst all the rest of her rioting reactions. Marcus La Rocca stated he wanted to make her happy and yet he frowned at her as if she’d committed a cardinal sin? Confusion mingled with her shocking lust and embarrassment.

A man can be deadly. Her mother’s years-old warning whispered along her nerve endings.

All at once, the man shielded the stunning eyes with his thick lashes. When he glanced back at her, all the anger had disappeared. In its stead was steel determination. “Correct. The past is the past and we must move beyond it. I must remember what is important in this situation.”

“Making me happy is im-m-mportant?” Stuttering again. This had to stop. Darcy fumbled for her brain without success. The Great Man had scrambled her mind into a frenzied froth of desire and disorientation. Not a good combination given she was here to take a strong, principled stand against him.

“Certamente. This will be my primary purpose for the foreseeable future.” His mouth firmed as if he were making some grand commitment.

“But,” she blurted, “I don’t understand. Why would you care if I’m happy?”

“Matteo will no longer have time to cater to your needs.”

“My needs?” An unwanted thrill shivered across her skin.

“He will be too busy with the wedding preparations.”

His confident words about the wedding-that-wasn’t-going-to-happen immediately drained the sexual swamp and wiped away the old shame about her stuttering. Ice-cold reality slapped her awake.

No more lust.

No more stuttering.

No more distractions.

Focus, Darcy, Focus.

She needed to remember why she’d come here and not get caught in this male’s erotic allure. She needed to stop acting like a scared, cowed kid. She needed to remember she was here to bend this man to her will.

Why spend innumerable moments trying to understand what this man meant by talking about making her happy? This had nothing to do with her happiness and everything to do with Matt’s. That’s what she needed to keep her focus on.

Leaning across the desk, she tried to ignore the buzz in her blood as she got closer to him. “There isn’t going to be any wedding. I’m here to make you stop it.”

“Make me?” His tone iced with immediate disdain. “You?”

His blunt dismissal of her capabilities fired her blood in an entirely different way than lusting after him had. A swift surge of relief swept through her as her fighting spirit reappeared. Slamming her fists on her hips, she pierced him with another worthy glare. “I’ll do anything for Matt.”

“The best thing you could do for Matteo is leave him alone.”


“Then it will be I who makes you do it.”

This wasn’t going exactly how she’d expected. When she’d marched into this office, her hackles were already crackling at the scorn she’d received from this man’s PA. She’d lost any ability to play it sweet because she was so consumed with indignation.

Wheedling would have been better or pleading. Especially with this man.

The abrupt fury continued to grow, though, fed by her shock at the physical reaction he caused in her and the arrogant words he kept uttering.

The heat of battle flushed her skin. “Try. You’ll regret it.”

He leaned over his desk and she involuntarily stepped back. The mocking twist of his mouth should have stoked her anger. Instead, it made her heart flutter. When he planted his hands on the desk, his wide shoulders bunched beneath the silk and her heart went from fluttering to pounding. “Do not issue challenges, Ms. Moran. Not to me.”

The glare he gave her was fierce. Rather frightening, if she were a frightening type of girl. Which she was not. “It wasn’t a challenge. It was a warning.”

The air grew still, yet hummed with energy. She held her breath, waiting for the next clash of swords, the next swift strike she’d be ready to parry.