Successful restaurateur Lucien Black’s blue-green eyes and unattainable attitude drive women wild. But his abandonment issues and criminal past have left him emotionally closed off. When a familiar face shows up for a job interview at his nightclub, the ache he has tried to forget tears at his heart—it’s the girl who once healed him…and then abandoned him.
perfectly into her own, and she’d planned to spend the rest of her life with him—until a mysterious man warned her away. Now, fourteen years later, she’s ready to endure the torture of Lucien’s indifference and having him as her boss…just to be near him. But when it seems that they might finally take up where they left off, a devastating secret buried in their past threatens to tear them apart again.L.A. Fiore’s story of smoldering love recaptures the tormented romance of Beautifully Damaged.
Lucien watched as Darcy struggled to get the printer working. Even from his distance he could hear the cursing, which made him smile. It had been a week since their relationship had taken a very pleasant turn. She was still just as feisty as he remembered and it wasn’t hard for him to recall why he had fallen for her in the first place. Their sparring was verbal foreplay and he fucking craved it. His eyes moved over her. Her body was nothing like the one he had known, with curves that his hands itched to touch. Her hair was up, though he preferred it down, and tendrils were falling out of the twist. He remembered vividly the sight of it spread out over his pillow.He had to admit that she was still just as interesting to him as she had been at fourteen. Despite everything, she was still his Darcy—sweet, witty, and guileless, except at the moment. She looked about ready to torch the printer, so he moved to help her. As he approached, she was actually staring into the paper tray, yelling at the creatures that lived inside it.
He chuckled, which must have taken her by surprise, because she leaped backward and landed on his foot.
“Fuck!” he cursed.
He looked down at her strappy sandals with heels high enough to stake a vampire and had a vision of those legs draped over his shoulders. Instantly, he was hard.
“I was going to offer to help you. The printer can be temperamental, but now I’m bleeding out from a stab wound.”
She didn’t miss a beat. “It probably didn’t even break the skin. What is it you guys say? Rub some dirt into it.”
He eyed her shoes. “Those things should be listed as lethal weapons.”
“Hardly. There are far cheaper ways to kill someone.” She bent to stare into the printer again and Lucien took the opportunity to check out the curve of her ass in the little black skirt she wore.
“Stop checking out my ass and help me.”
Not at all repentant for getting caught staring, he replied easily, “It’s a paper jam.”
He thought he was being helpful and when she straightened slowly, he entertained the notion that she was struggling with the need to throw herself into his arms in gratitude.
One look at her face, though, and he knew he wasn’t going to be copping a feel.
“Your powers of deduction are astounding. Seriously, you should give a seminar on mastering the obvious.”
He tried not to laugh, but he lost that battle. And she responded by flaying a layer of skin off him with her sharp tongue.
“I know it’s a paper jam, Sherlock, I just can’t find it.”
“It’s usually in the back,” Lucien said as he reached for the back of the printer, his arm brushing up against her on purpose. Darcy’s inhaled breath in response had his balls tightening. He dislodged the paper and pulled it free.
He turned to her with a smug smile, which she returned with uncanny accuracy before she said, “Thanks. I almost lost my cool.”
A slight smile touched her lips. “I should go restart my print job.”
“Probably, unless you can get the little men in the printer to do it.”
She laughed. “Not the baked goods, the little mischievous mystical creatures.”
“They live in my printer?”
“Maybe.” She started away, but stopped and turned to him.“Thanks.”
“Have dinner with me tonight.”
She eyed him through her lashes before she said, “You’re on.”
And then she turned and disappeared into her office.