Moonlight Sins (de Vincent 1) - Page 30

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“Hmm.” The sound was absolutely dismissive. He walked toward Madeline, and Julia resisted the urge to bum-rush him. Luckily he stopped a few feet from the woman. “I remember the first time she ran away. She was six years old. Ran off with that cousin of hers.” His lip curled in distaste. “Had her mother in hysterics and her . . . her father worried something terrible had happened to her. The boys found the two of them squirreled away a few miles off the property playing some game.”

“Children do that,” she replied.

“Not these children.” His gaze lifted from Madeline to Julia. “Not those types of games.”

She frowned. “I’m not sure what you’re referencing—”

“Of course not. Just be careful, Julia. Madeline has a way about her.” He rocked back on his heels. “Gets under your skin.” He glanced at the open door as the sound of approaching steps was heard. “Just ask her brothers. Especially her twin.”

A few seconds later, Lucian appeared in the doorway. He took one look at the occupants in his sister’s room and his hands closed into fists. “Why are you here?”

Julia wasn’t sure which one he was talking to.

Senator de Vincent answered. “Introducing myself to the lovely Julia and visiting my niece while awaiting Devlin’s return.”

Lucian focused on Julia and not a single thing about his expression said he looked like he believed what his uncle had claimed. “Is everything okay?”

Pressing her lips together, Julia nodded while the senator turned to Lucian. “Of course,” he answered. “Why wouldn’t it be?”

“Is that a serious question?” he asked.

“Don’t be silly.” The senator clapped a hand on Lucian’s shoulder as he strolled toward the door. Stopping, he inclined his head toward Julia. “It was lovely meeting you.”

There was no way in hell Julia was going to say the same thing. The senator seemed to know that, because that smirk of his kicked up a notch, and then he was gone.

Lucian stared at the empty doorway for a moment and then faced Julia. “What did he want?”

“What he said.” Julia glanced back at Madeline. She was still staring at the painting. “He was checking on her.”

Lucian snorted. “Did he say anything to you?”

Not wanting to antagonize what was already obviously a strained relationship, she shook her head. Besides, she wasn’t even sure what the senator had been talking about. She did want to know if there was truly a history of Madeline running away, but she was wise enough to know now wasn’t the same time to ask. “He’s not as friendly as you and Gabe.”

Lucian inclined his head. “I’m kind of glad to hear that.”

“Me, too.”

“How are you feeling? I would’ve checked in on your earlier, but haven’t had the chance.”

“I’m okay.” She felt her cheeks flush for some dumb reason and she quickly looked away. “My head barely even hurts.”

“Guess you have a thick skull?” he teased.

“My parents would agree with that statement.” Compelled by some kind of dark magic, she found herself staring at him again.

God, he was so beautiful it made her heart wince. Part of her still couldn’t believe what had happened between them. Days later and it didn’t seem real. More like some kind of heated dream, but the memory of how all that hardness felt pressed against her back was nearly impossible to repress.

“You’re looking a little flushed, Ms. Hughes.”

She was feeling a little flushed. “Julia. You can call me Julia.”

He simply smiled.

Julia cleared her throat. Since he was here and hadn’t yelled at her yet, she decided to ask him about the painting. “That painting over there. Did Madeline do that?”

Lucian turned at the waist to look at the painting and was silent for a moment. “Yeah, that’s one of hers.”

“She used to paint a lot?”

He nodded.

“It’s beautiful . . . and a bit morbid.”

A slight grin tipped up the corners of his lips. “Maddie could have morbid tastes when it came to painting.”

Julia got a little hung up on the way his shirt stretched over his shoulder and upper arm as he lifted a hand, dragging his fingers through his hair. “So, I was thinking—”

“About me?” He dropped his hand.

“No.” That was a lie. “Sometimes people in Madeline’s state may not be able to verbally communicate, but can through other means.”

Interest piqued in his expression. “What do you mean?”

“There’s been examples of people with certain disorders able to communicate through more creative methods, like music and art. That kind of stuff.” She tucked a loose strand of hair back, hiding the wince when her fingers brushed the raw spot behind her ear. “Since she enjoyed painting before, she may still be able to do that.”

His gaze shot to where his sister rested. “Do you think that will work?”

“Well, it’s not exactly a science or something that works for everyone, but she’s able to lift her hands and she has been staring at that painting a lot. And her painting, if she can do it, may not tell us anything about where she’s been or anything like that, but I don’t think it could hurt, especially getting her back into the habit of doing things she used to enjoy. And who knows? It could lead to her being able to do other things.”

He studied Julia for a moment. “I agree. It couldn’t hurt. I can get the supplies necessary by the end of the day.”

Pleased that he didn’t shoot down her idea, she smiled. “Perfect.”

“There’s just one other thing. You shouldn’t be out of bed.”

Julia’s shoulders tensed. “I know, but I feel fine and I haven’t really done anything.”

“You’re not supposed to be out of bed.”

“And I just wanted to check on Madeline.”

“I appreciate that, but you’ve done that. Time to get back to bed.” Pausing, he stepped toward her. “Or I will carry you back to bed.”

Julia got her butt back to bed.

Because she knew that wasn’t an idle warning. He would do just that.

Like the doctor had ordered and the brothers attempted to enforce, Julia remained in her room the rest of the day. Well, she did sneak out in the evening to check Madeline over, but other than that, she stayed put.

Part of her expected one or both of the brothers to appear after Livie brought up dinner to her, but neither did. She wondered if they were even home, and if they weren’t, did that mean she was in this huge house all alone with the exception of Madeline?

That was kind of creepy.

But that wasn’t what was keeping her awake. Her body was hot, too hot, and she was . . . she was thrumming with need. Even though what she’d done with Lucian had been the first real action she’d seen in years, she still had desires.

Desires she indulged on a weekly basis.

Sometimes more.

This was different, though. More intense. Probably because, for some damn reason, she’d spent the better part of the evening thinking about Lucian—about Lucian and the brief moments in her apartment. It had started when he found her in Madeline’s room and she hadn’t been able to shake the feeling of his hot breath along her neck or the way he knew how to touch her.

Julia was aroused, and the room was dark and quiet as she bit down on her lower lip and rolled onto her back. Giving in, she stopped thinking.

Closing her eyes and pressing her lips together, she slipped her hand under the band of her pajama bottoms. Her fingers slid over damp, aching flesh, and her breath caught. Feeling oddly wicked, she thrust a finger inside.

A raspy moan parted her lips as her hips lifted. She didn’t play. Oh no, her body was so keyed up right at that moment that if Lucian appeared, she’d let him . . .

She’d let him do whatever he wanted.

Her movements caused the thin strips of her top to slip down her arm and then lower. The tip of her breast appeared, the nipple puckered and tight. Lucian had done amazing things with his fingers, between her thighs and on her breasts.

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout de Vincent Romance