Moonlight Sins (de Vincent 1) - Page 16

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“You should maybe breathe,” he said softly, low enough for only her to hear.

On reflex, she gulped in air just as the corners of her vision started to blur.

“That’s better.” And then louder, he said, “I’m Lucian Taylor de Vincent.”

Oh my holy hell, burn the world down, he was Lucian de Vincent?

How in the hell had she not recognized him last night? Then again, she couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen a picture of him in the tabloids and, of course, she wouldn’t have been expecting him of all people to stroll into a bar in basically a town that symbolized bumfuck. But it was him, the youngest brother—the one they called . . .

“Lucifer,” she blurted out before she could stop herself.

His brows rose about an inch and that smile spread, flashing straight, white teeth, and oh yeah, him smiling definitely amplified his hotness by about a million. “So, you’ve heard of me? Flattered,” he said, tone light, almost teasing.

Flattered?

Julia’s lips parted again, but what was burning up her throat was an entire truckload of curse words. The kind that would blister his ears right off him. She started to pull her hand free, seconds from unloading on him in the likes of which she doubted he’d ever experienced before.

Lucian held on to her hand. “I’m pleased to see you, Ms. Hughes. I do hope your flight to Louisiana was uneventful.”

Staring at him, she decided she was seconds from spending the rest of her life in jail for murder. Not cold-blooded murder. Oh hell no, this was going to be burning rage-induced murder. To make it all worse, suddenly, so many things made sense to her. Now she understood how he knew her last name, which meant he’d sought her out last night, in her state, a thousand miles away. A Thousand. He’d come there looking for her and for what?

She couldn’t even fucking process this.

Bitterness quickly wrapped itself around the anger as she realized she now could answer the whole “why her.” God, she wanted to laugh, except she might just end up screaming in his face.

And he was still holding her hand, refusing to allow her to pull her arm free. In stunned anger, she watched him lift her hand to his mouth. He kissed the top and then he turned her hand over, kissing her palm as he held her gaze.

Fury coursed through her as she glared back at him, mingling with the heat blasting her cheeks as she easily recalled what it felt like to be pressed against him. She clearly remembered how the hand that was holding hers now had felt between her legs, how—

A flick of wet warmth traveled up the center of her palm, shooting a wave of rolling warmth straight through every vein in her body. Had he—? Did his tongue—?

He winked as he lifted his mouth from her palm, holding her gaze.

He had.

Oh my God, a dozen emotions hit her. Insulted. Disgusted. Enraged. And because there was seriously something twisted and broken inside her stupid body, she felt the kernel of arousal stirring deep in her belly. She was turned on even as her brain was screaming abort, abort at her, yelling that she get up right this instant, punch him in the throat, and get back to the airport, hightailing her round butt back to Pennsylvania.

But she was locked in to that blue-green gaze—that kind of eyes, the kind of stare—that didn’t simply promise that kind of pleasure you only heard about, but threatened the kind you were likely not to recover from.

The kind she had a taste of last night.

Julia was so going to kill him.

A new, slightly terrifying thought occurred to her. Was this even a real job? Was she hired for something else? Because none of this—

A throat cleared, jarring her. As if a trance was broken, she yanked her hand free as her entire body flushed red.

Another man had entered the grandiose room. He looked to be the polar opposite of Lucian, roughly the same height but broader, dressed as if he were at a place of business instead of at home. An aura of absolute authority surrounded him as Lucian moved to the side and then dropped onto the couch beside her.

It wasn’t a very big couch.

His knee pressed against hers.

“I’m Devlin de Vincent,” the darker, older one said. “I apologize for my brother. He has the manners of an untrained dog.”

Her narrowed gaze shot to where Lucian was arrogantly sprawled on the couch beside her, thighs spread and one arm tossed lazily over the wooden trim. His grin kicked up a notch as he met her gaze with a heavy hooded one.

“And I feel like I need to apologize for something I know nothing about,” Devlin continued, the one the tabloids called Devil. “It appears that you two have already met?”

How in the hell did she respond to that? Why, yes. Your brother showed up at the local bar in a totally different state last night and ended the evening with his fingers between my legs? Oh, and I had no idea that Taylor was the middle name that had de Vincent attached at the end. Yeah, she didn’t think so. She was so thrown off guard by this, by all of this, that she couldn’t formulate basic sentences.

“We met briefly last night,” Lucian answered, surprising her. “We actually chatted about her career and decisions to take this job.”

Her nostrils flared as her hands curled into fists. That was partly true.

“Is that so?” There wasn’t a single part of Devlin that sounded like he believed him. “So that is where you disappeared to?”

It occurred to her then that Devlin had no clue what Lucian had done.

Lucian finally, thank God, stopped staring at her and looked toward his brother. “Did you think I’d let you hire someone without me checking them out?”

His brother’s lips thinned as he murmured, “Foolish of me.”

Julia sucked in a sharp breath as the reality of what was going on slammed into her with the force of a freight train. Lucian had searched her out to check her out, and not in the fun, flirty way. He’d known who she was, that she’d been hired to care for someone, if that was why she was actually here, and he chased her down in a bar, and he . . .

God, her stomach roiled.

Julia would never spread her horny wings and let herself fly again.

Nope. Nope. Nope.

Was last night some kind of test? To vet her ethically and morally, because if that was the case, she’d failed stunningly. But what the hell did that say about Lucian, for him to do something like this? None of that really mattered. Julia felt overexposed and set up, like she’d walked into some kind of twisted trap.

No.

No way.

She was so done with this.

“Excuse me,” she gritted out, because that was all she trusted herself to say. Spine going rigid, she stood and snatched up her purse. Without waiting for either of them to say a word, she walked out of the room without one look back.

Chapter 7

Lucian rose swiftly, already halfway across the room by the time Dev stood and demanded, “Is this going to be another mess I’m going to have to clean up?”

That was the wrong thing to say.

Twisting around, Lucian faced off with his brother. “Exactly what messes have you had to clean up, Dev? Because if I think back, it wasn’t you cleaning up the biggest messes, now was it?”

“That’s not what we’re talking about.”

“Of course not. When you’re ready to take that walk down memory lane, let me know, but right now, I need to find Ms. Hughes before she walks off the property and stumbles into a swamp.”

“She won’t make it out of the house,” he replied dryly.

That was true, but not the point. Lucian fully understood why Julia was so upset. He hadn’t expected her to smile and go along with everything asking no questions, although that would’ve made life easier. She probably felt tricked, and he could admit to himself that he had.

“Did you fuck her?” Dev asked.

Lucian’s right hand curled into a fist as he stared at his brother. A rush of anger slammed into him. “That’s really none of your business, but no, I didn’t.”

Doubt filled his steely gaze. “That would be like an addict leaving a full syringe behind.”

His lip curled up. “Well, maybe you don’t know me as well as you think you do.”

“That is also unlikely,” Dev replied, glancing at his watch with a disgusted sigh.


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout de Vincent Romance
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