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Luc leaned back in his chair and gave Hayden an assessing stare. "What's the matter, Hayden? You've barely touched your dinner. Is the salmon not to your liking? I'll have the server return it to the kitchen."
Hayden moved a stalk of asparagus across her plate, her appetite long gone. She put her fork down and pushed her dish away, giving up all pretense of eating. "The food is fine. I guess I'm not as hungry as I thought."
Luc raised a dark blond brow. "Are you sure? You haven't eaten enough to sustain a bird. You know what happens if you don't eat properly."
As a Type 1 diabetic, she was diligent about her diet, but she couldn't force herself to eat when she wasn't hungry. "The soup was plenty. Besides I had a large lunch." She offered him a small smile. "Really, I'm fine."
A slate-gray gaze roamed her face, seeming not to miss a single nuance. Luc had a way of looking at her that made Hayden squirm in her seat, just as she was doing now. Damn if her panties didn't get wet whenever he turned that penetrating stare on her. "Perhaps you'd like to leave? We can have coffee at my place."
She grinned. "Only coffee? When was the last time we went to your penthouse for just coffee?"
He threw back his head and released a throaty laugh, a wonderfully rich sound that made her heart do flip-flops. "What can I say? I can't help myself whenever I'm around you. And perhaps one day I can convince you to make our relationship more permanent."
Hayden turned her head away, unable to meet his gaze anymore. This was the one topic between them that was a constant bone of contention. They'd only officially been dating for four months and already, Luc had brought up the subject of marriage more than once. Her best friends Shayna and Julia thought she was crazy for not jumping at the chance to be Mrs. Lucien Montgomery-Lambert IIIafter all, not only was Luc filthy rich, he was drop-dead gorgeous.
" She couldn't finish her statement. Maybe her friends were right about her being a fool for not taking the opportunity presented to her.
"I've heard all the arguments before, your biggest concerning the amount of time we've been dating. We've been friends longer though, and it doesn't matter if we dated a week or even ten years, I'd still feel the same. Furthermore I believe my feelings are reciprocated."
Hayden nibbled on the inside of her bottom lip, still not making eye contact. If she told him what was really holding her back, it would only hurt him. She did have strong feelings for him, but how could she explain what was going on inside her mind when she barely understood it herself? "Luc, any woman would be lucky to have you as a husband, but I'm just not ready to take that step. Please try and understand."
Luc reached across the table and grasped her hand. "Look at me, Hayden." Despite the softly spoken words there was no doubt in her mind it was a command. He could be autocratic when he wanted to.
With a sigh she raised her lids to meet his stony gaze.
"It's him, isn't it? You're still not over him, are you?"