Ten minutes into the flight, Luc rose from his seat. ‘Look at me, Star—’
‘I don’t want to look at you right now,’ she admitted tightly, and lifted her magazine higher.
Luc snatched it out of her hands with a suddenness that shook her into looking up.
‘Stand up,’ he told her, dark eyes glittering with anger. ‘We’ll talk in private.’
‘D’accord…’ Without warning, Luc simply bent down, scooped her out of her seat and carried her down the plane. ‘We are not going to fight in front of the children.’
‘Put me down this minute…’ she hissed furiously.
Luc dumped her down into another seat and lounged back across the aisle from her.
‘We’re flying home to a very big party.’
That startling announcement took the wind from Star’s angry sails. ‘What are you talking about?’
‘Being such a romantic guy,’ Luc drawled with withering derision, ‘I decided to stage the wedding reception we never had as a surprise. Three hundred guests will be waiting to greet us, including your mother and her seriously rich new husband, Bruno Vence. Be warned, Bruno is very small, and he has hair and eyes that are an exact match of yours. And now for the best bit of all. Your wedding dress is waiting for you in the main sleeping compartment.’
‘My…my what?’ Star gasped, already sufficiently thrown by the announcement of the reception and utterly bewildered by the apparent fact that he seemed to know more about Juno’s husband than she did.
‘You never had the wedding you wanted. Since that was my fault, I have arranged for a church blessing, and this time you get to wear a wedding dress.’
‘I can’t…I just can’t.’
Luc lowered his arrogant dark head. Shimmering dark eyes alight with outrage locked onto hers. ‘Oh, yes, you will!’ he growled. ‘You will not embarrass me in front of three hundred people. So ship out, dress up and join the grown-ups. Being in a bad, bad sulky mood is not an excuse for your behaviour since you got up this morning!’
‘How about…Gabrielle?’ Star whispered raggedly.
Luc stared at her, a pleat forming between his winged ebony brows. ‘I don’t see the connection.’
‘I’ll show you…wait a minute.’ Star hurried back to her original seat to lift her bag and dig out the magazine cover she had brought from the villa as evidence. Her hands shook. Now the moment had come, she didn’t want to confront Luc. Her head was spinning. He had organised these wonderful, wonderful events for her as a surprise, she was now appreciating in shock. They were to have a church blessing and she was to wear a wedding dress and finally be officially introduced to loads of relatives and guests as his wife. And if it hadn’t been for the magazine cover she was crumpling between her hands, right now she would have been ecstatically happy.
Luc was poised exactly where she had left him. His darkly handsome face still as glass, he watched her approach. It was a long time since she had seen Luc wear that chilling expression and her skin crawled with foreboding; he had his defences back up. He was guilty; he had to be guilty. He was just waiting to see how much she knew.
In silence, Star extended the magazine cover.
‘High drama,’ Luc breathed with licking scorn. ‘But I don’t read this sort of rubbish.’
‘It’s something you’ve written on the cover…’
Luc perused his own handwriting. His hard jawline squared. ‘So?’
That undeniably aggressive demand for further clarification wasn’t quite the reaction Star had expected. ‘Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it?’ she said shakily.
‘On the basis of two words and a date I scribbled down the last weekend I spent in Corsica, you decided…what?’
Having to spell it all out somehow made it even more humiliating. A burst of anger pierced the fog of pain and despair which had enveloped Star throughout the morning. ‘You’re still sleeping with her…you never got rid of her…all this time that we’ve been married, she’s continued to be your mistress!’ she condemned rawly.