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"You're stunning," he whispered when he reached her side.
"Thank you." They stood together, ignoring the other people around them until a waiter paused beside them, offering glasses of champagne from his tray, which she declined. Several messages had been passed without a single word being spoken. The intensity between them was almost palpable.
"Let's get you something to drink that won't give you a headache."
He led her to the bar in the corner, where she accepted a glass of sparkling water. A hand slapped him on the back, and he reluctantly turned away from her. "Mike, good to see you, thanks for coming. How's business?"
Vincent saw that Mike was eyeing Darien, and she looked uncomfortable but she didn't interfere in their conversation. Finally, when he had no choice, Vincent made the introduction.
"Mike, I'd like you to meet Darien West," he said. Mike's leering look at her had Vincent positioning himself between them. The other man took his hint, but moved away a bit too slowly. Darien held back a smile, her bottom lip between her teeth.
Vincent leaned closer. "Don't bite your lip, let me." And he did, right there in front of all his guests. His mouth found hers, tugging her lip with his teeth before capturing her in a long-awaited kiss. When he pulled back, she kept his eye.
"An effective way of marking your territory," she whispered, her voice almost hesitant.
"I suppose you could view it as that. I saw it mainly as a chance to kiss you."
"Two things accomplished at once. No wonder you're such a productive business man! You multitask beautifully." She threw back her head, favoring him with one of her husky laughs.