The Reluctant Duke

The Reluctant Duke by Carole Mortimer Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: The Reluctant Duke by Carole Mortimer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Carole Mortimer
he would feel if those same elegant hands were trailing caressingly over every inch of his naked body.
    Hell
.
    An apt description of the constant state of arousal he seemed to find himself in when in this particular woman’s company!
    Lucan straightened abruptly. ‘I’ll go and bring our things in from the car.’ And he hoped that the icy-cold wind outside would not only dampen his arousal but also clear his head of the erotic images currently going round and round in his mind!
    Lexie watched from beneath sooty lashes as Lucan strode out of the kitchen towards the front of the house, waiting until she heard the soft thud of the door closing behind him before she leant weakly back against one of the kitchen cabinets and closed her eyes.
    She really wasn’t very good at this. They had only been at Mulberry Hall a matter of minutes, and she had already slipped up twice by knowing where the kitchen was and everything in it.
    Perhaps it was as well that she had never actually stayed here in the past; at least the bedrooms and other rooms upstairs would be a complete mystery to her!
    Although, just thinking about the bedrooms upstairs was enough to remind her of how she had longed earlier to feel Lucan’s mouth on and against hers.
    She shouldn’t be attracted to Lucan—no, not shouldn’t. She
couldn’t
be attracted to him!
    Lucan was a St Claire. Not just
a
St Claire, but the head of the St Claire family. The same family who had hurt and rejected her beloved Nanna Sian all those years ago, andthen again eight years ago, by making it obvious they didn’t even want her to attend Grandpa Alex’s funeral.
    Lexie felt her spine straighten with fresh resolve. She disliked all of the St Claire family intensely for the way they had treated her beloved grandmother, and that included Lucan. Most especially the cold and arrogant Lucan!
    Except there had been nothing cold about Lucan earlier when he looked down at her so intently. When Lexie had gazed up into those intense dark eyes and felt as if she were balancing on the edge of a volcano, knowing that the heat would intensify, burn, engulf her completely, if she allowed herself to fall into those fathomless depths.
    Even now her breasts felt tight, sensitised, the nipples hard and aching against the soft material of her bra, and she felt a warmth between her thighs, a burning. What would it be like, she wondered, to have that firm and sculptured mouth closing over the tips of her breasts as Lucan suckled her deep into the moist heat of his mouth?
    ‘Brr, it’s damned cold out there—Sorry, I thought you were Lucan!’ the man who had just entered through the back door of the kitchen grimaced in apology as he turned and saw Lexie.
    It wasn’t too difficult to guess that the tall and sandy-haired man aged in his mid-thirties was John Barton, the caretaker of Mulberry Hall—the man with a faint Scottish accent she had spoken to on the telephone earlier today.
    A man Lexie didn’t recognise, and so—thankfully—wouldn’t recognise her, either!
    ‘An easy mistake when we look so much alike,’ she came back teasingly as she watched him place the box he was carrying on top of one of the kitchen units.
    He gave a boyishly endearing grin as he straightened, his eyes a warm and friendly blue as he bundled down into the collar of his thick overcoat. ‘Lucan didn’t mention he wasbringing someone with him.’ He eyed her speculatively. ‘I’m John Barton, the caretaker,’ he introduced himself, and held out his hand in greeting.
    Lexie briefly shook that firm and capable hand. ‘Lexie,’ she supplied economically. Deliberately so. The fewer people who knew that it was Lexie
Hamilton
who had accompanied Lucan to Mulberry Hall, the safer she would feel. ‘I’m Mr St Claire’s PA,’ she said lightly. ‘Temporarily,’ she added firmly.
    And unnecessarily.
    Except Lexie somehow needed to reassure herself of that fact after the thoughts she had just been having about

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