She tilted her head to the side, deliberately allowing her hair to slide over her bare shoulder.
Madison hadn’t spent years in front of a camera without learning a few tricks. “I see your arrogance hasn’t changed.”
Luc sucked in a slow, deep breath, the dark eyes predictably lowering to the gentle swell of her breasts before returning to meet her faintly mocking gaze.
“Perhaps not, but I have,” he said, his voice low with sensual invitation. “I promise this time will be different.”
“Changed how?” She deliberately glanced down at his bare fingers. “You clearly still avoid commitment like the plague. Unless there’s a little woman at home you haven’t mentioned?”
He arched a brow, nodding toward fingers that were bare of rings. “Isn’t there a saying about people who live in glass houses?”
She shrugged. “I intend to marry and start a family once my business has gained a firm footing.”
“So do I.”
Madison blinked, caught off guard by his swift retort. The thought of him married with a pack of children was…
“You?” She tried to laugh off the unexpected pain.
“Why not me?” he murmured, reaching up to brush her hair back over her shoulder, his touch heart-stoppingly gentle. “Of course, first I need to find my Cinderella.”
For a crazed minute, Madison allowed herself to become lost in the dark promise of his eyes. How many years had she spent fantasizing that she could be the woman to earn this man’s love? That she alone could mold him from a ruthless playboy to a man dedicated to one woman.
Even after he’d walked out of the trailer, leaving her completely humiliated, she’d harbored a secret hope he would change his mind and return.
She gave a sharp shake of her head.
Christ. She was an idiot.
This was no fairytale. She was here for a purpose and clearly the sooner she got it finished, the better.
Before she did something truly stupid.
She forced her lips into an inviting smile, grimly assuring herself that the streaks of lightning searing through her body as his fingers skimmed down the line of her body were nothing more than lust.
Something she could use to her advantage.
“You don’t believe me?”
She reached up to brush a piece of lint from the lapel of his jacket, allowing her fingers to linger against the strong width of his chest.
“I was actually thinking that it would be a sin against nature to tame the Dark Angel with minivans and dirty diapers.”
His eyes narrowed at her abrupt shift from bitter ex-lover to femme fatale.
“You were just complaining that I—”
Madison pressed a hasty finger to his lips. Crap. It’d all seemed so easy when she was plotting her strategy in the comfort of her New York apartment.
“Like any young girl I dreamed of taming the bad boy, and I was hurt when you walked away,” she said, not having to fake the edge to her voice.
He studied her with a puzzled gaze. “And now?”
Her hand pressed over his heart, feeling the steady beat increase as she stepped close enough to whisper directly in his ear.
“For tonight, I just want you to be bad.”
His breath hissed between his clenched teeth, his hands gripping her slender waist. “You’re sure?”
“You were right.” She nipped the lobe of his ear. “There’s always been an attraction between us, and I’m no longer that girl looking for Prince Charming. Why shouldn’t we have some fun?”
She felt him stiffen at her teasing words. Had she managed to wound him? No, that would be ridiculous.
As if to prove his point, Luc nuzzled his lips along her jaw. “I’ll have my car—”
“No need,” she interrupted. “I have a room.”
Luc pulled back, his surprise deepening. “You’re staying at the hotel?”
“Yes.” She’d checked as soon as she’d been sure that Luc was attending the party. There was no way she was completing the last act of her revenge in Kristen’s house. “Shall we?”
The dark gaze ran a slow, heated path down the length of her body before a smile of anticipation curled his lips.
“Lead the way.”
Luc stepped into the luxurious suite, barely paying attention to the muted ivory and tan furnishings and spectacular view from the wall of windows. He was utterly consumed with the driving need to get this woman into the closest bed.
Okay, that wasn’t entirely true.
There was a very small part of his mind that was brooding on Madison’s abrupt capitulation.
His less than admirable past meant that he was a man who understood every nuance of the fairer sex.
He knew when a glance was more than a glance. When a female was susceptible to his touch. When to advance and when to retreat.
It was a familiar dance that he’d recognized the moment Madison had stepped onto the balcony.
He understood her need to punish him for his past sins. It only added a spice to their flirtation. And he fully intended to earn her forgiveness. Even if it meant following her back to New York.
He’d walked away from her once.
It wasn’t going to happen again.
But just when he was about to suggest they return to the charity event so he could at least hold her in his arms and sweep her around the dance floor, she’d given him a smile that didn’t quite reach her stunning hazel eyes, and practically dragged him to her conveniently located hotel suite.
He wasn’t complaining, he acknowledged, his gaze glued to the tempting sway of her ass as she led him directly to the bedroom.
His entire body was vibrating with an anticipation he hadn’t felt for years.
Not since the last time he’d been headed toward Madison Philips’ bed.
Still, there was a tiny voice in the back of his mind whispering that there was more going on here than just a chance encounter.
Entering the bedroom, Madison pressed a switch on the wall, flooding the room with a low, golden glow.
Luc was abruptly reminded of that night eight years ago.
Oh, not their surroundings. Hell, it still made him furious to think of the wreck of a trailer where Madison’s worthless mother had dumped her. Now her beauty was suitably emphasized by the elegant ivory and black room that was dominated by a king-sized bed set in the middle of the floor.
But there was the same fragile tension humming around her that reminded him of their first night together as she turned and tossed her purse onto a small, glass table.
He reached up to tug off his bowtie, shrugging out of his jacket as he studied her with a searching gaze.
“You’re sure this is what you want, Madison?”
With a practiced smile she lifted her hand toward the zipper hidden on the side of her gown.
“Why wouldn’t I be sure?” she demanded, slowly tugging down the zipper.
He kicked off his Italian leather shoes, easily dealing with his cuff links so he could remove his silk shirt. Then he forgot how to breathe as the black silk gown slithered down the length of her body to pool at her feet.
He forgot how to breathe as his gaze slid down the slender curves, revealing she wore nothing beneath the gown.
It was a repeat of their first night together.
Her creamy skin shimmering in the low glow of the lamp. The tightly trimmed curls just above her pussy. And the spike heels that made her legs appear as if they were designed to wrap around a man’s waist.
But there was a new maturity in the sleek muscles and the proud set of her shoulders.
She’d been a pretty when she was young. Now she was drop-dead, gut-wrenching gorgeous.
Compelled by an invisible force, he moved forward, the nagging suspicion there was something odd about Madison’s behavior increasingly difficult to remember. Halting directly in front of her, he studied her with a fascinated gaze.
“I left you with regrets last time.” He slowly leaned forward, allowing his lips to softly touch the base of her throat. The kiss was feather-light, more of a promise than an actual caress. As much as he wanted this woman, he wasn’t going to press for more until she’d given him the signal she was ready and willing. “This time I intend to make sure you’re utterly…” His lips skimmed to the hollow just below her ear. She gave a soft moan that sounded as if it’d been wrenched from her throat against her will. “Completely…” He nibbled kisses along the line of her jaw before using the tip of his tongue to trace the lush curve of her lower lip. “And so thoroughly satisfied, that it will wipe away all memory of our first time together.”
Her lips parted on a tiny gasp, a flush of desire staining her prominent cheekbones, but frustratingly she hid her expressive eyes beneath the thick tangle of her lowered lashes.
“That’s the plan,” she murmured.
He frowned at her strange response.
“Look at me, Madison,” he said, his voice an unmistakable command. Slowly her lashes lifted to reveal the hazel beauty of her eyes. His fingers threaded through the silken strands of her hair, holding her a willing captive as he studied her guarded face. “I might have walked away that night, but I never forgot you.” His thumb brushed her heated cheek. “Your skin was as silky smooth as satin, your hair looked like finest sable spread across the pillow, and your lips…Christ, they could bring a man to his knees.” His cock twitched, begging to be taken between those sweet lips. “Literally.”