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Authors: Lynne Graham

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BOOK: One Night with His Wife
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Emilie sighed. ‘I tried to be a matchmaker and I encouraged you to love Luc. But you were far too young, and Luc was too upset by Roland’s illness to concentrate on his own feelings. I should have waited at least another year. I’m a terrible old plotter and planner, Star.’

‘No, you’re not,’ Star told her.

‘The main reason I gave Juno all that money was…oh, this is dreadful to have to confess,’ the older woman whispered guiltily. ‘Star, I
knew
there was a fair chance that the art gallery would fail, and I was praying that if it did it would bring you and Luc and the children together. You have no idea how wretched he was after you left him.’

Star’s ears pricked up. Shaken though she was at what
Emilie had revealed, her reference to Luc being wretched superceded all other things. ‘Wretched?’

‘And not being able to tell him where you were seemed so cruel, but I had given you my promise and you had been badly hurt. However, Luc was dreadfully unhappy as well.’

‘Was he? He was worried, of course. I was very childish, not getting back in touch—’

‘Star…’ Luc intervened from several feet away. ‘We get to open the dancing with a waltz.’

‘Dancing too?’ Star gasped, jumping up and then freezing. ‘How do you waltz?’

‘You can pick it up.’

‘In front of three hundred people?’ she yelped. ‘Can you jive?’

‘No—’

‘Fancy picking that up in front of three hundred people?’

‘You do have a way of making a point,
ma femme.
’ Luc framed her face and kissed her softly, tenderly on her surprised lips. ‘I want everybody to go home so that I can be alone with you.’

‘Party pooper,’ she teased, a shiver of such powerful physical awareness gripping her she blushed. ‘OK…I’ll try to waltz, but we go slow.’

They drifted round the magnificent ballroom, so enveloped in each other that Star never even noticed what her feet were doing. And when they finally came off the floor, a long while later, Rory appeared with an attractive blonde by his side and apologised for his late arrival. Star was really delighted that Luc had thought to invite him.

* * *

Late evening, with only family members remaining, Star and Luc went upstairs. She snuggled up against him and whispered happily and without even thinking about it, ‘I
still
love you so much…’

Luc stopped dead outside their bedroom door. ‘No, you don’t,’ he countered. ‘I’m still working on that.’

‘What are you talking about?’ she demanded.

A faint furrow drew his ebony brows together. ‘You said
still
…are you saying you never stopped loving me?’

‘Didn’t I tell you I was going to love you all my life?’

‘But then you ran away,’ Luc pointed out flatly. ‘Stayed away. I had to make threats to get you back, and you didn’t exactly grab at the chance to stay married to me—not that I can blame you for that, but—’

‘Oh, Luc, I have done a number on you…’ Star said guiltily as she opened the bedroom door, thinking that the corridor wasn’t the best place to be staging such a personal dialogue. ‘I was just trying to be cautious for both our sakes, and I was scared of being hurt again.’

‘I don’t need to hear you saying you love me again until you can
really
mean it…’

‘I mean it now.’

‘But how can you?’ His dark eyes were very strained. ‘I messed up everything eighteen months ago. I didn’t even know what was going on in my
own
mind, never mind yours! I drove you away. If I had set out to make a hash of our marriage I couldn’t have done better than I have done so far.’

‘But you’re doing just great…’ Star protested.

‘I have been trying,’ Luc acknowledged—rather touchingly, she felt. ‘I took your love for granted when I had it. I liked having you loving me. You were spot-on when you said that. But even when you had gone, and I was bloody miserable, I still didn’t grasp
why
! I just thought I was worried about you.’

‘I’m here now, and I still love you very, very much,’ Star repeated soothingly.

‘I had this nightmare last night…and that’s how I realised…
finally…
that I love you,’ Luc delivered jerkily, a dark rise of colour highlighting his cheekbones.

Star was a little confused. ‘A nightmare?’

Luc shrugged, studied his feet. ‘It was stupid. I dreamt that Bruno and Juno would take you away. Juno never took to
me, so there was no reason why
he
should—and, believe me, if your father wanted you to vanish, he’s got the power to do it. It made me feel…sick, knowing that—’

‘Oh, Luc.’ Star sighed painfully, decided never, ever to tell him that there had been the smallest risk or chance of her vanishing in case he hated her mother for ever.

‘So when you got into their car outside the church…and then I saw that the twins were gone too…that’s the moment I registered that I loved you…when I thought I had lost the lot of you—my whole family!’ he grated, lifting his arrogant dark head and studying her with such powerful emotion that her heart tipped over inside her. ‘And I hadn’t even
told
you how I felt.’

‘Are you sure it wasn’t just panic?’

Luc loosed a reluctant laugh at that question. Casting off his jacket, he closed his arms slowly round her. ‘I’ve been in love with you for a very long time—’

‘You can tell me anything,’ Star encouraged.

He swept her onto the bed and pulled her close. ‘First, I lost interest in Gabrielle. Then I just liked you…you fascinated me, and I suppose that’s where I should have grasped that I was feeling something I’d never felt before. But I
didn’t
grasp it. You have no idea how devastated I was when you left me. It was like the light went out of my life. So I just blamed you for making me feel that bad.’

‘Typical…’ she said, softly kissing the corner of his beautiful mouth, cherishing that phrase about her being a ‘light’.

‘And everything with you was
always
devastating.’

‘The enemy tank syndrome?’

‘Thinking the kids were some other man’s, thinking I’d lost your love, not even knowing why I wanted you to still love me and then feeling really bitter—’

‘I told you love was messy.’

‘Then I seized on the twins as an excuse to hang onto you, so I didn’t have to work out how I really felt.’ Star removed his tie and began unbuttoning his shirt.

‘I’m never going to say all this again,’ Luc warned her very seriously, and she smiled against his warm, muscular chest, knowing she would plague the life out of him for any tiny detail he overlooked.

‘I planned to make you fall in love with me again,’ he explained.

‘Nothing like not noticing what you’ve already got. So that’s why I qualified for the honeymoon,’ she gathered with amusement.

‘I got the honeymoon too, and it felt incredibly self-indulgent,’ Luc confided, and lifted her head to steal a passionate kiss. And things just got out of hand, much the way they usually did when they got that close. It was quite a while before they got talking again and, they were sealed together like twin magnets when they did.

‘I thought you’d got over me and fallen for Rory,’ Luc relived with a shudder of still sensitised recollection. ‘I felt threatened, which is why I laid in with all the threats about going to court over the twins.’

‘It was a loving friendship, Luc.’

Brilliant dark eyes assailed hers. ‘Now you are really and truly and for ever married to me, you’re not allowed loving friendships with other men. In all the time we were separated there wasn’t
one
other woman in my life.’

‘Seriously?’ A sudden delighted smile curved her lips, and then she laughed with no tact whatsoever. ‘No wonder you wanted one last night with me…oh, Luc, there wasn’t anyone else for me either!’

‘But you were thinking about it with Rory.’

Star gave him a loving look, recognising in that raw edge to his dark drawl that he was sometimes too clever for his own good. ‘I honestly didn’t think you wanted me or cared about me at all—’

‘I adore you, and I am never letting you go,’ Luc swore, with all the fervour a woman in love could ever have wished to receive. ‘It took me a very long time to get there, but now
that I have I know exactly what I want most out of life and that is you.’

Star heaved an ecstatic sigh.

‘I just wish I hadn’t missed out on you being pregnant…’

Luc admitted ruefully.

‘You missed nothing. I was like a small balloon.’

‘You
couldn’t
look like a small balloon.’

‘Just you wait and see—’

‘You mean you’d consider extending the family again?’ Luc tensed. ‘Are you sure it would be safe for you?’

‘Don’t be silly.’ Star smiled at his concern. ‘Since you’re such a great father, your talents should be fully stretched, so I will definitely think about having another baby some time.’

‘We’ll talk it over with a doctor first,’ Luc asserted with natural caution.

* * *

Just ten months later, Star became a mother again. Being Star, she hadn’t planned the event, but was incredibly pleased and excited when she found out. Luc spent most of her pregnancy worrying and made her consult several doctors. Star only worried about Luc and enjoyed a perfectly healthy, happy nine months. She give birth to another little boy.

At the chirstening, Bruno admitted covertly to Luc that he was rather grateful they had not taken Juno up on her suggestion that this latest grandson be called Moon. Star’s mother lamented that men were so old-fashioned about names and sighed to hear Venus now being called Vivi for short. She was really very shocked when Luc named his second son Orion, and Star’s father just burst out laughing.

After putting Vivi and Mars, who were now lively toddlers, to bed that same evening, Star and Luc couldn’t resist looking in again at Orion, snuggled in his four-poster cot like a little prince.

‘Our genes mingled this time.’ Star sighed with satisfaction, for their youngest son had Luc’s dark hair and her eyes. ‘It’s like a sign, isn’t it?’

Luc laughed and folded her into his arms. ‘I don’t need a sign to know that I am very, very happy with you.’

‘I know. You were shaping up to be a pretty miserable guy before I came along.’ Star gazed up into his stunning dark eyes and felt gloriously dizzy.

‘I love you…’ he murmured softly.

She curved even closer, reasoning that she needed the support, and whispered the same words back in between kisses. It was a long time before they made it down to dinner that evening.

Harlequin Medical Romances are stories about dedicated (and delectable) professionals who navigate the high stakes of falling in love in the pressured world of medicine.
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ISBN-13: 9781460336021

ONE NIGHT WITH HIS WIFE

Copyright © 1999 by Lynne Graham

All rights reserved. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of publisher, Harlequin Enterprises Limited, 225 Duncan Mill Road, Don Mills, Ontario, Canada M3B 3K9.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental. This edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher. Trademarks indicated with ® are registered are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office and in other countries.

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BOOK: One Night with His Wife
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