The Redemption of Darius SterneBy: Carole Mortimer
The sexual tension between the two of them had been palpable downstairs in the restaurant earlier, and it was even deeper now that they had actually talked and then danced together.
‘Have dinner with me tomorrow night,’ Darius prompted abruptly as he turned to place a restraining hand on her arm before they could reach the table where her sister and brother-in-law were waiting for her.
‘I—What—? No!’ Miranda looked totally flustered by the invitation.
‘Why on earth not?’ He scowled darkly.
She gave an impatient shake of her head. ‘As I said, I’m grateful to you for inviting us up to your club, and—and everything else. It’s made my birthday even more special. I just—This—You and me—It isn’t going anywhere.’
‘I only invited you out to dinner, Miranda, not to become the mother of my children,’ he pointed out dryly.
The colour deepened in her cheeks. ‘And when was the last time you invited a woman out to dinner without the expectation of taking her to bed at the end of the evening?’ Her pointed chin rose challengingly as she looked up at him.
‘And what makes you so sure that isn’t going to happen?’ he purred.
Miranda wasn’t sure of anything in regard to her undeniable and unexpected attraction to this man—that was the problem!
‘WHO IS THAT?’ Andy exclaimed as she glanced towards the doorway of the exclusive restaurant and bar, Midas, in which she was currently celebrating with her sister and brother-in-law.
Her glass of champagne raised halfway to her lips, Andy openly stared across the elegant restaurant at the man standing just inside the doorway. Tall and grimly unsmiling, he removed his dark outer coat, before handing it off to the waiting maître d’.
Andy estimated him to be in his early to mid-thirties, and he was so dark and arrestingly handsome that Andy couldn’t have looked away if her life had depended on it.
Everything about the man was dark, she noted as she continued to watch him.
The elegant black suit and the shirt and tie he wore under it, the perfect tailoring emphasising rather than hiding the muscled perfection of his well over six feet height.
His tousled hair gleamed the colour of dark mahogany under the light of the overhead crystal chandeliers.
His complexion was olive.
As for his expression...
The longer she stared at him, the more Andy realised that grim didn’t even begin to describe the look on that hard and chiselled face. He had a high, intelligent forehead, glowering dark brows over narrowed eyes, blades for cheekbones, a sculptured and firmly unsmiling mouth, his jaw square and arrogant.
Overall the combined effect was best described as electrifying.
There really was no other word that quite described the man as he now glanced disinterestedly about the elegant restaurant, while at the same time continuing his conversation with the man accompanying him. A piercing glance, which now moved over and past Andy, and then slowly moved back again, before stopping.
Andy’s breath caught in her throat, her mind going completely blank as she found herself the focus of that piercing gaze.
For some reason Andy had expected that the man’s eyes would be as darkly arresting as the rest of him, but instead they were a clear and beautiful topaz in colour, with darker striations fanning out from the pitch-black pupils.
They were mesmerising eyes, which continued to hold Andy’s gaze captive even as he raised one questioningly dark brow at her obvious interest.
‘Aha!’ her sister murmured beside her as she saw the direction of Andy’s gaze and realised the reason for her earlier comment. ‘Absolutely gorgeous, isn’t he?’
‘Sorry?’ Andy was still held captive by that compelling gaze as she answered Kim distractedly, her heart pounding in her chest, her pulse racing.
‘The man you’re currently ogling, darling,’ her sister teased dryly. ‘Don’t you just want to rip his clothes off and—?’
‘Hello? Husband sitting right next to you,’ Colin reminded Kim ruefully.
‘That doesn’t stop me from window-shopping, my love,’ his wife replied pertly.
‘There’s window-shopping, and then there’s just completely out of your price range!’ Colin muttered teasingly.