Mistress By Blackmail(6)

By: Caro LaFever



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.

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.”

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