Moonlight Sins (de Vincent 1) - Page 19

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“That is understandable.” Devlin sat in the chair to her right, crossing one leg over the other.

She realized then that his eyes were the same color as Lucian’s, and just as intense, if not more. It was a different kind of intensity, though, one where she felt as if Devlin could see right through her skin, ripping through niceties, and exposing her deepest, darkest secrets.

“I assume you understand why we didn’t use our name,” Dev said, and she swore she heard the one next to her snort softly. “We value privacy very highly and we have to be so careful when hiring staff and allowing people into our home.”

Julia could understand that. After all, they were the freaking de Vincents, so she nodded. Still didn’t mean what Lucian had done was justifiable. To her, it was legit insane.

“Hopefully that doesn’t change your acceptance of our offer,” Dev said.

“We’ve already covered that,” Lucian answered for her, causing her jaw to lock down. “She’s one million percent on board. Leaving now won’t be so easy.”

Devlin’s gaze slid from her to his brother. The slash of his mouth tightened. “What my brother meant by that is you’ve already come all the way here. From Pennsylvania, correct?”

“Yes.” That was so not what Lucian meant. “It doesn’t change anything. I took the job. I’m not going anywhere.”

“That pleases me greatly to hear,” Lucian murmured.

Dev closed his eyes for about five full seconds before reopening them.

She decided the best possible course was to ignore him. “So, I am guessing the patient is not Mr. Besson’s daughter?”

“It’s our sister,” Lucian answered, and her gaze shot to his. His sister? “You will be caring for Madeline de Vincent.”

From the very second she was in that car and realized that she’d be working for the de Vincents, she couldn’t figure out who she’d be possibly caring for. The sister had never been an option, because she remembered all the drama from about a decade ago. Every news station had covered it incessantly for months.

Julia glanced between the two brothers. “I thought . . . I thought your sister disappeared about a decade ago?”

“You know about our sister?” Dev asked, sounding about as happy as Livie did when they asked her to stay late for one reason or another.

Julia nodded. “It was all over the place. She just vanished the same night . . .” She trailed off and the pink tip of her tongue darted out, wetting her lips.

Oh hell.

Arousal was like a punch in Lucian’s gut. He had to look away, because this was ridiculous. She was talking about some serious, unsexy shit, and here he was, getting hard.

Her nervous gaze darted over to him, and he knew what she was thinking but not saying. So he said it while his brother went characteristically silent. “Our sister disappeared the same night our mother . . . died.”

“It is imperative that no one outside the immediate family is aware that she is home,” Dev said then. “She is in a very . . . fragile state. Media attention would only complicate things.”

She lowered her gaze as she seemed to draw in a deep breath. “I understand. You have nothing to worry about. Patient privacy is of the utmost importance, whether you were Billy Bob off the street or a de Vincent.”

“Billy Bob?” Lucian chuckled, and her eyes narrowed a fraction of an inch.

Dev’s jaw tightened. “I am glad to hear that.”

“Do you have an idea of where she may have been or what she might have been doing?” Julia asked.

“Why would you need to know that?” Dev asked.

Lucian opened his mouth to tell his brother to watch it, but Julia beat him to it. Her chin tipped up and she held his gaze. “I get that discretion is a big deal for you. Totally understand that, but there are going to be things I need to know to be able to effectively do my job.”

Dev folded his hands around his knees. His knuckles were turning white.

The corner of Lucian’s mouth curved up. Good to know she wouldn’t be easily pushed around by Dev. That would prove . . . entertaining.

“You will have to be open and honest with me,” she continued, undaunted by Dev. “If not, I’ll be going in blind and that’s not going to help anyone. Knowing these things could possibly help with her treatment. If she was without food or basic nutrients, for example. The type of conditions she may have lived in would also help guide me in what would be needed.”

“She appears to have been well cared for,” Lucian answered, earning a sharp look from Dev. He also had Julia’s attention again, so win for him. “She is thinner than I remember, but that was ten years ago. She’s also taller than I remember, but she . . . she appears healthy.”

“Okay. And you’ve had her checked over by another physician?” When Lucian nodded, her brows puckered together. “Did she just show up at your front door?”

“No,” he answered as pressure walloped him in the chest again. “Gabe—Gabriel—our other brother found her floating facedown in the pool.”

“Oh my God.” She blinked several times as a bit of the rosiness faded from her cheeks. “Was their water in her lungs or—”

“She was breathing when Gabe pulled her out. Our doctor said she did not appear to have suffered any damage to her lungs.” Lucian exhaled heavily. “We don’t know how she ended up in the pool and we don’t know how long she was in it.”

Julia appeared to mull that over and then she nodded curtly. “I think the best thing is for me to see her at this point.”

“Doctor Flores will be coming over shortly to meet with you and go over Madeline’s medical records.” Dev unfolded his hands and then rose. “I will take you to her room. And Lucian,” he added, “I need you to wait for me in my office. There’s something important we need to discuss.”

Lucian smirked as he dipped his chin. “Of course.”

Julia rose, picking up the purse that was large enough to stash a baby in it. Maybe even a toddler. Thank God she hadn’t hit him with it. Would’ve left a bruise.

She glanced over at him and a small frown marred her features. She didn’t say anything, just nodded and then hurried to join Dev where he waited for her in the archway. Lucian wasn’t frowning at all as he watched her lovely ass sway side to side.

As Julia passed under the archway, Dev placed his hand on the small of her back. She didn’t even seem to react to the polite gesture, unlike earlier when Lucian had done the same.

Dev looked over his shoulder at Lucian, raising a challenging eyebrow.

A muscle flexed along Lucian’s jaw as he held himself in place, denying the sudden primal need to remove Dev’s hand very forcibly. Very painfully. Like snapping some bones painfully, and Jesus, that was a bit concerning.

Because that kind of raw reaction was excessive, but then again, Lucian was excessive in all things.

A huge part of him knew he should’ve squelched the building interest last night and he really shouldn’t be entertaining it now. Julia was here for his sister and if he kept after her, things could get messy.

And his sister meant the world to him. They were inseparable until that night. After all, they were fraternal twins. When she disappeared, it had killed him, and when she reappeared in this state, it had killed him all over again. Dev had almost been right earlier when he claimed she was the only other thing he cared about. He should focus on something—someone—else. There were plenty of options available.

But that would be the smart thing to do.

That also meant that would not be what he would do.

Rising from the couch, he left the room and found Richard near the entryway. “Got a job for you.”

“Yes?” he replied.

A slow grin appeared. “Move Ms. Hughes’s belongings to the second floor.”

His expression was remarkably bland as he asked dryly, “Is there a particular room you have in mind?”

“Yes.” That grin spread to a smile as he started backing up, heading for the stairs. “Move her to the corner room.”

Chapter 8

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout de Vincent Romance