Their kiss had left her wondering whether she could keep her hands—and her lips—to herself around him, and if she really wanted to.
It wasn't as though she was looking for a relationship—she'd decided that wasn't in the cards for her a long time ago. Yet there were always dangers, even in affairs destined to end sooner rather than later, especially when the other party worked in the same hospital.
And as if the whole going-to-his-ex's-wedding wasn't strange enough, there was the niggling sense Lorcan was concealing something.
When he'd told her about the wedding, Lorcan hadn't looked too troubled, but the skin around his eyes was tight, as it sometimes got when their research wasn't going the way they hoped. Clearly, despite his apparent sangfroid, he was worried about going to Ireland.
Or, perhaps, going to the wedding alone?
She didn't know which he was concerned about, or why, beyond the obvious fact it was his ex-wife's nuptials.
But who was she to pry? She had secrets too, like the fact her entire family had anger issues, which led to epic screaming matches and ugliness. Having grown up in it, she'd decided never to inflict that type of life on anyone else.
She could never trust herself not to snap and do something unforgivable.
Yet there was no need to worry about any of that now, she reminded herself sternly, as her relationship with Lorcan was simply one of convenience.
A very real concern, however, was what to wear to the wedding, which was only two weeks away. Besides the sheer extravagance of it being in a castle, Indra knew she couldn't let Lorcan down. If she was found lacking in any way, it would reflect poorly on him, and she wouldn't have that.
She needed more information, though, so she called him. When she told him what she needed, he was silent for a few long beats.
"Err…I haven't a clue how to answer any of your questions," he admitted. "I mean, I just plonk on a suit and I'm ready to go. The invite said 'formal.' Isn't that enough?"
Indra couldn't help huffing. How like a man! "Could you ask your mum, or your sister?"
Again, there was a momentary hesitation before he replied, "No. Sorry. Only boys in the family, and Mum's a slacks-and-cardigan type. She's probably wondering the same things you are."
Indra rolled her eyes. "Send me a picture of the invitation. If it's at a castle, there may be something online."
"Why don't I bring the invitation, and dinner, over to your place this evening?"
Her heart did a flip at the thought of being alone with him, but she kept her voice level. "Alright. But I'll cook."
After they'd agreed on a time and hung up, Indra did her best to tamp down her excitement.
Lorcan knew it was ridiculous to be so eager, but took the stairs up to Indra's third-floor flat two at a time anyway. She'd been on his mind constantly since she'd agreed to go to Galway—well, since the night they'd kissed, actually—but even knowing the attraction was one-sided, he couldn't get himself to care.
It had been years since he'd felt so alive.
Ironic that Mae, who'd caused the initial damage, was responsible for this rebirth of emotion.
Not that he had any expectations from his friendship with Indra. She was beautiful and popular—could have any and every man she wanted—so Lorcan knew he'd never be in the running.
She met him at the door with one of her heart-stopping smiles.
"Come through." She waved him inside. "I hope you're not too hungry. My last patient—a six-year-old—had a meltdown over doing his physio, so I was late getting home. Luckily, I had a meat pie in the freezer, but it's not ready yet."
"I can wait," he replied, looking around her flat, which was small, bright and cheerful. Fighting the impulse to pull her close, he held the invitation in his hand out to her. "Here you go."
Taking it, she went and curled up at one end of the couch, so Lorcan sank down on the other.
"Hmm," she said, and Lorcan couldn't stop staring at the way her fingers caressed the envelope. "Quality stationery and calligraphy."
"Mae always liked nice things," he said automatically, as Indra pulled out the invitation.
"I'm not surprised," she said absently. Then, before he could ask what she meant, she bolted upright and turned wide eyes his way. "Wait a minute. Lifestyle maven Maeve Jerico is your ex-wife?"
Unsurprised by her reaction, Lorcan nodded.
"But wasn't she married to some actor?"
Lorcan couldn't help smiling at the outrage in her tone. "I was her starter husband, and this next one will be number three. She wasn't famous when I met her."
Indra's expression gave him gooseflesh, and he wished—almost desperately—he could interpret it. Then it was gone and she shook her head. "You're full of surprises. What happened between you?"
The wave of shame and anger took him aback. He should have put it behind him after all these years, yet the pain still lingered.
He almost didn't answer, but something about her gaze drew the words from him. "Truthfully, I couldn't deal with her temper."
And that was the truth, but not all of it. Omitted was the way she manipulated every situation to her advantage and never took responsibility for the things she did. She'd played the part of a sweet, almost doting wife around others, but their home life had been hell.
But he didn't elaborate, and Indra didn't ask. Instead, she looked down at the invitation, frowning, for what seemed an eternity.
Then, she gave him a wry glance. "Maeve Jerico's wedding. So as not to embarrass you, I'm going to have to call in the big guns."
And although he had no idea what that meant, knowing she wanted to do him proud gave him a rush of pleasure.
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