The Redemption of Darius Sterne(8)

By: Carole Mortimer

‘You’re never going to believe it!’ her husband assured her. ‘I can hardly believe it myself.’

‘What did he say, Colin?’ Kim bit out through gritted teeth.

‘Well, if you stopped interrupting me maybe I’d have chance to tell you,’ he teased, obviously enjoying himself now that he had their full attention.

‘Andy, you can bear witness to just how annoying my husband is being right now—because I am seriously going to strangle him if he doesn’t tell us what Darius said to him, in the next thirty seconds.’ Kim’s hazel-coloured eyes sparkled warningly.

Andy was too transfixed by Colin’s air of excitement to take her sister’s threat in the least seriously. Especially when she was sure that Kim had to be just as eager as she was to hear what Darius had said to Colin to make him look so excited.


DARIUS’S EXPRESSION WAS GRIM as he looked down into the Midas nightclub from the window in his executive office on the second floor.

The club was busy tonight, as it was every night, the glamorous and the famous all wishing to see or be seen as patrons of the fashionable and prestigious members-only Midas nightclub.

Everything about the club spoke of the same opulence as the restaurant on the ground floor; the walls up here were covered in gold silk paper, the dance floor the same gleaming black marble as the pillars supporting the second-floor gallery, where people could stand and talk or just observe the other patrons. The tables placed about the club were rounds of black marble, on gold pedestals, surrounded by comfortable black leather armchairs and sofas.

And Darius, hands in the pockets of his trousers, was able to stand and observe it all, from his aerie on the second floor.

The coloured lights swept across the dance floor full of bodies gyrating to the heavy beat of the loud music. The quietly efficient bar staff, dressed in their black uniforms, were serving champagne and cocktails and everything in between to the people standing about the bar, or sitting at the tables that edged the dance floor. There were curved, leather-seated booths further back in the nightclub, for those patrons wishing for a more private, intimate evening.

It was to one of those booths in particular that Darius’s gaze had kept drifting for the past half an hour as he stood at the window looking out.

It was a booth that continued to remain empty, despite the reserved sign sitting in the centre of the black marble tabletop.

Darius’s mouth tightened in irritation with his own feelings of disappointment. Despite her youth, and the delicacy of appearance, he had hoped that the green-eyed blonde would accept the challenge he had laid down by inviting her and her family up to the nightclub as his guests. That the interest he had seen in her eyes would at least make her curious enough to encourage her family to accept that invitation. Learning during his conversation with Colin Freeman that the other man actually worked for one of Darius’s companies had been something of a bonus, after he had all but stalked the man into the Gents.

Even so, the emptiness of that reserved booth now continued to mock him.

He had been a fool to expect anything else. So the beautiful blonde hadn’t been able to take her eyes off him earlier. So what? Wasn’t the mouse just as mesmerised by the cobra?

No doubt the reason for her interest earlier had been because she’d known exactly who he was, and she had heard those dark rumours about Darius Sterne and been fascinated by the danger he represented. A danger that was no doubt the complete opposite of her own safe little life. An arm’s-length danger that she felt comfortable viewing across a crowded restaurant, but didn’t have the courage to actually meet head-on. As she didn’t have the courage to meet Darius face to—

There was the merest prickling sensation of warning at Darius’s nape, a quiver of awareness down the length of his spine before he looked up and saw the green-eyed blonde standing at the entrance to the nightclub.

Her brother-in-law had referred to her as Andy when the two men had spoken earlier. It seemed far too masculine a name for a woman who looked so totally feminine.

Darius’s narrowed gaze remained fixed on her as her brother-in-law spoke briefly to Stephen, the security man Darius had warned to expect them, before the three of them then followed the security guard into the darkness of the club.

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