The Redemption of Darius Sterne(7)

By: Carole Mortimer

Andy’s own accident, just six months after their death, had meant that she would never dance in public again.

Andy determinedly shook off the sadness that realisation still gave her, even four years later. She had her studio, was slowly, sometimes too slowly, making a success of it. She also conveniently lived in the flat above the studio. It was so much more than a lot of people had.

‘I really wouldn’t worry about it, Kim; I’m never likely to so much as set eyes on Darius Sterne again, so it really isn’t an issue,’ she pointed out ruefully. ‘As you said, it’s nice to window-shop.’

‘You ladies are never going to believe what just happened to me in the Gents,’ a red-faced Colin announced as he arrived back at their table before plonking himself back down into his seat to look at them both expectantly.

His wife raised her eyebrows. ‘Do we want to know?’

‘Oh, yes.’ He nodded with certainty. ‘It was nothing like that, Kim!’ He frowned at his wife as her eyebrows had risen even higher. ‘Honestly, sometimes I wonder if your mind isn’t constantly in the gutter.’

‘I think we just had this conversation.’ Andy chuckled as she gave her sister a pointed glance. ‘Kim’s just been regaling me with lurid tales of the licentious behaviour of the Sterne twins,’ she explained at Colin’s questioning glance.

‘One of the Sterne twins,’ Kim defended. ‘I’m sure that Xander is every bit as deliciously gentlemanly and uncomplicated as he appears to be.’

Andy gave a disbelieving snort; Xander Sterne might not be as obviously brooding as his twin brother, but there was no way a man of his age and wealth, and with those Adonis good looks, could possibly have remained single if he was as gentlemanly and uncomplicated as Kim claimed he was.

Admittedly, with that much money, the Sterne brothers could no doubt pick and choose when it came to women. As it would no doubt be difficult for either of the brothers to ever know if a woman wanted them for themselves, or their billions. But even so, it was unusual for two brothers, aged in their early to mid-thirties, never to have married.

Or at least Andy assumed neither of them had ever married; she really knew very little about them. They could both be married for all she knew, but had left their wives and half a dozen children at home this evening.

If that was true, it made Darius Sterne’s earlier flirtation with her decidedly questionable.

Andy decided there and then to look the Sterne brothers up on the Internet as soon as she got home. With special emphasis on learning a lot more about Darius.

‘Do I take it from that remark that it’s Darius Sterne you’ve been gossiping about?’ Colin gave Kim an irritated glance. ‘You do realise that he’s one of my employers? That we wouldn’t even be here this evening if he wasn’t? Talk about biting—literally—the hand that feeds you!’ he added crossly.

Kim’s cheeks coloured guiltily. ‘I was only repeating what I’ve read in the newspapers and magazines.’

‘Those glossy magazines you read that rave about a couple’s marital bliss one month, and then unashamedly write about their break-up the next?’ her husband came back scathingly.

‘He has you there, Kim.’ Andy smiled.

Her sister adopted a look of hurt superiority. ‘You were going to tell us what just happened to you in the men’s room, Colin?’

‘Oh. Yes.’ His youthfully handsome face lit up excitedly again as he sat forward. ‘Anyway, I was just drying my hands, when who do you think walked in the door?’

Andy’s heart suddenly skipped a beat, her breath once again ceasing in her lungs, as she suddenly knew exactly who had entered the men’s room.

The same person who, just minutes after Colin, had also disappeared down that marble hallway in the direction of the loo.

‘Darius Sterne,’ Colin confirmed excitedly. ‘Not only that but he actually spoke to me. I’ve worked for the brothers for seven years now, seen them around the building of course, but I’ve never spoken to either one of them before tonight.’

Kim gave Andy a narrow-eyed glance before turning back to her husband. ‘What did he say?’

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