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Authors: Lynne Graham

One Night with His Wife

BOOK: One Night with His Wife
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The Night that Changed Everything…

Luc Sarrazin has finally found her. His beautiful wife, Star, who left with more than just his ring…Convinced that she committed fraud, he’s determined to recover his money, before demanding a divorce. But his wife has
two
very unexpected and very identical surprises.

Now he’ll make her an offer she can’t refuse. He’ll drop the charges against her in exchange for one last night in his bed—to quench the impossible desire he still feels for Star. But in the morning, Luc realises he cannot walk away from his children…or the consuming passion that one night wasn’t enough to satisfy.

“If you’ll spend the night with me, I’ll let you off the hook…”

“I b-beg your pardon?” Star stammered dizzily.

He gazed back at her steadily, not a muscle moving in his lean, strong face. “One night. Tonight. That’s the price.”

She felt as if the ground had suddenly fallen away beneath her feet. “You’re not serious…you can’t be!”

“Why shouldn’t I be serious?” Luc angled his well-shaped dark head back, a hard smile slanting his wide sensual mouth. “One night only…. After that, we never see each other again in this lifetime.”

Her stomach twisted at that clarified picture. “But you don’t want me—”

“Don’t I?” Luc moved a fluid step closer. “Just one more time—”

“You don’t want me. You never did! I’m not your type,” Star argued as if she was repeating a personal mantra, a fevered, disbelieving edge to her voice.

“Except in bed,” Luc added without hesitation.

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One Night with His Wife

Lynne
Graham

Table of Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

CHAPTER ONE

‘T
HE
account no longer exists…’ Star repeated that shattering announcement shakily under her breath as she walked back out of the bank.

In her hand, she still gripped the cheque she had tried unsuccessfully to cash. Beneath her shining fall of copper hair, her delicate features were stamped with shock, her aquamarine eyes bemused. She climbed back into Rory Martin’s elderly classic car.

‘Why were you so long?’ Rory asked as he drove off.

Twisting round in her seat to check that the twins were still fast asleep in their car seats, Star muttered, ‘I had to see the assistant manager—’

‘That’ll be because you’re a lady of substance now,’ Rory teased, referring to the money which Star had proudly paid into the bank only a few weeks earlier.

‘And he told me that the account no longer exists,’ Star confided abruptly.

At the traffic lights, Rory’s fair hair swivelled. ‘What are you talking about?’

‘Juno has closed the account—’

‘Your mother’s done what?’ Rory interrupted incredulously.

‘There must be something badly wrong, Rory.’

‘You’re telling me. How could your mother close your account?’ he demanded.

‘It was
her
account.’

At that revelation, Rory sent Star a bewildered glance. ‘Why didn’t you have a bank account in your own name?’ ‘Because until last month when I sold those canvases, I
wouldn’t have had anything to
put
in an account of my own,’ Star stressed defensively. ‘Juno was keeping me!’

Looking unimpressed by that argument, Rory pulled away from the traffic lights again. ‘It was still
your
money in that account, the proceeds of the first couple of pictures you sold—’

His persistence made Star bristle with annoyance. ‘Juno and I work on a “what’s mine is yours” basis, Rory. We’re family. We stick together. If she drew out that money, she must’ve needed it.’ Then a further cause for alarm assailed her. ‘Do you realise that it’s over two weeks since I even
spoke
to my mother? Every time I call, all I get is that wretched answering machine!’

‘I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s simply moved the account elsewhere and just forgotten to tell you about it,’ Rory suggested in a soothing tone. ‘Let’s stop worrying about it. This
is
my day off. Where do you want to go next?’

Still in a bemused state, Star slowly shook her head. ‘I can’t go shopping without money—’

‘So, I’ll give you a loan to tide you over,’ Rory slotted in with an easy shrug.

‘No, thanks,’ Star told him hurriedly, determined not to lean on him that way. ‘You’d better just take us home again. I need to phone around and try to get hold of Juno to find out what’s happening.’

‘Be sensible, Star. She’s hardly ever at home. Meanwhile, you
still
have to eat,’ Rory pointed out with all the practicality of a male whose considerable family fortune was built on that same fact of life.

However, Star was immovable. Half an hour later, Rory drew up in the cobbled courtyard of a dilapidated fortified house complete with a tower surrounded by rusting scaffolding. Star lived rent-free as caretaker at Highburn Castle. The owner lived abroad. A friend of Juno’s, he didn’t have the money to maintain his inheritance, or the interest to apply for the grants available to repair a building listed as being of historical significance.

Star detached the belts from the baby seats in the back of the car. Rory unlocked the sturdy rear door of the castle and transported the first twin inside. Venus sighed in her sleep but remained comatose. Mars loosed an anxious little snort and shifted position. Both Star and Rory stilled until her restive son settled again. Mars had yet to prove the perceived wisdom that a baby could sleep through anything.

‘They’re great kids.’ As they entered the big basement kitchen, Rory scrutinised the sleeping babies with the interest of a male who, as an only child, had had little contact with young children. ‘I can never get over how tiny they are. When you think how premature they were, they’re a right little pair of miracles!’

Having noticed the winking light on the answering machine which her mother had installed, Star gave him an abstracted nod. She switched on the tape and a familiar voice broke into speech.

‘Star, it’s me…I’ve got into some real hot water,’ Juno gasped breathlessly into the sudden silence greeting her message. ‘I haven’t got time to explain, but I have to go abroad in a hurry and I had to borrow your money to pay for the flights! I’m absolutely skint. If I’ve left you in a hole, I’m sorry, but maybe you could contact Luc and get him to pay his dues for you and the twins…
please
, darling—’

‘Who’s Luc?’ Rory demanded abruptly.

Star wasn’t looking at him. She had jerked violently at the sound of that name. Her stomach somersaulting, she turned a whiter shade of pale. With an unsteady hand, she stopped the tape to absorb what she had so far heard and forcibly repressed all thought of Luc Sarrazin…Luc, her estranged husband, and the unwitting father of the twins.

What on earth had happened to the art gallery Juno was about to open in London? Only six weeks ago, Juno had been so confident of success. For goodness’ sake, she had borrowed a small fortune to open that gallery! At the time, Star had been secretly astonished that
any
bank would give her mother such a large loan. Investing in Juno was a risky venture.
Twice before, her mother had set up businesses which had failed.

And now it seemed that once again everything had fallen through. Star sighed. Where Juno was concerned that was nothing new. There was nothing new in her sudden dramatic flight from trouble either. That was vintage Juno, Star reflected sadly. When things went wrong, Juno panicked.

But now she urged her daughter to approach Luc Sarrazin for child support, Star simply cringed. Her mother might be desperate to justify her bahaviour, but that particular suggestion had been
way
below the belt. Juno knew what a disaster her daughter’s short-lived marriage had been. Hadn’t it been partly
her
fault that Luc had felt constrained to marry Star in the first place?

‘Star…’ Rory said again more forcefully.

‘Shush! I need to hear the rest of this message.’ Star switched the tape back on.

‘I know you’re trying to tune me out because I’m not saying what you want to hear.
Yes
, I hate Luc because he’s a Sarrazin, but you made
babies
with him! He’s got no heart or imagination but he ought to be keeping his own kids.’ Juno paused. ‘You see, I don’t know how long it’ll take to sort this mess out, or even if I’ll be successful. But I promise you that
if
I am, I’m going to have the most wonderful surprise for you when I get back again!’ she forecast in a bright but not very confident tone. ‘Byee!’

‘Luc…so his name’s Luc,’ Rory continued in a sharp, flat tone unfamiliar to Star’s ears. ‘I’ve never understood why you won’t talk about the twins’ father, but now that I’ve finally got his name, maybe you could tell me who he is.’

‘My husband…well, sort of…’ Star’s voice just petered out again.

Rory’s jaw had dropped. He pushed a dismayed hand through his fair hair, making it stand on end. ‘You’re saying you’re married? But I thought—’

Star gave an awkward shrug. ‘Yes, I know what you thought, but I couldn’t see the point in contradicting you.’

‘You saw no point?’ His suntanned face was flushed, his hazel eyes bemused. ‘There’s a big difference between being a single mother and someone’s
wife
, Star!’

‘Is there? It wasn’t a proper marriage and it only lasted a few weeks. The twins were an accident…my accident,
my
mistake,’ Star stressed tautly. ‘It wasn’t something I wanted to talk about. It’s something I just want to forget.’

BOOK: One Night with His Wife
13.65Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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