‘But ever since you tracked me down all you’ve been talking about is divorcing me. It was like it was a real mission with you…’
‘So that is what is worrying you. But naturally my priorities have changed,’ Luc countered without hesitation. ‘We have the twins to consider now. They need their mother just as much as their father. You and I both enjoyed less than idyllic childhoods. By staying together we support each other as parents and we can ensure that our children enjoy a different experience.’
Star’s heart was steadily sinking. She had put him on the spot again when he hadn’t been expecting it, but couldn’t he just have lied and pretended that she figured in this reconciliation as something more than the mother of his children? No, she was better off with that honesty, she decided miserably. Even she couldn’t romanticise deeper meanings into words and phrases like ‘priorities’ and ‘supporting each other as parents’.
Luc was determined to hang onto Venus and Mars. First he had softened her up with the threat of a custody battle, then he had tried to talk her back into a marriage he had previously been keen to escape. All for the benefit of the twins. But children and good intentions were not enough to hold a marriage together. Why on earth was Luc the logical being so illogical? Her head whirled. It was as if they had suddenly switched characters. She was supposed to be the one who chased idealistic windmills; he was supposed to be the one grounded in the solid rock of realistic expectations!
Star dropped her head and murmured heavily, ‘I think we should just take stock of our marriage at the end of the summer…and not make any hard and fast decisions before then.’
Luc threw back the sheet and sprang out of bed.
That got her attention all right. She watched him hauling on his boxer shorts and then snatching up the chinos lying on a nearby chair. His long, smooth brown back expressed hostility in violent waves. In the space of ten seconds the atmosphere had churned up and charged like dynamite ready to explode.
‘Luc?’ Star prompted apprehensively.
Luc swung back, dark eyes grim. ‘Explain exactly what you mean by that suggestion. I want to be sure I haven’t misunderstood.’
‘Well, we just see how we get on over the summer—’
‘You keep your options open until then?’ Raw incredulity edged his dark accented drawl.
Star nodded. That way she wouldn’t get her hopes up too much. That way if he discovered he couldn’t hack being married to her, she would be prepared and she wouldn’t be quite so hurt.
Studying a point slightly to one side of her, Luc breathed in very deep, so deep she could see his impressive chest expanding. ‘Rien à faire…nothing doing!’
She stiffened. ‘But—’
With a slashing motion of one powerful hand, Luc silenced her. ‘When you went to bed with me again, you knew that I believed you had agreed to my terms!’
Star quickly dropped her head again, wincing, wishing he wasn’t quite so clever. ‘I just wanted you so much…can’t you accept that?’
‘You’re my wife and you’re behaving like a wanton little slut!’
‘You don’t mean that,’ she told him, looking up hopefully but meeting hard, challenging eyes across the depth of the room and shrinking.
‘I heard you telling Rory you loved him last night,’ Luc ground out.
‘Oh…’ Her mind occupied with something which was to her way of thinking much more pressing, Star said, ‘Are you about to apologise for calling me a slut?’
‘Not on my deathbed!’ Luc roared, which seemed fairly comprehensive.
‘Fine…this dialogue is over until you say sorry.’ Beneath his arrested gaze, Star flopped back on the pillows and shut her eyes.
‘Rory was not on your mind that night in England…and he was a very distant memory not ten minutes ago, when you were having a hell of a good time under me!’
Star whispered frigidly, ‘And when you were having a hell of a good time over me. So that leaves us about equal.’
‘How can you be so crude?’ Luc had the nerve to sound genuinely shocked.
‘I just learnt it from you. But at least I have never in my life eavesdropped on someone else’s private phone call…’ It was a lie: on their wedding night she had listened to him call Gabrielle and say he was coming over. That recollection just choked her. ‘But I love Rory like a friend…OK?’