Turning to him, she asked, “So, Monsieur le Duc, what is it that demands such privacy?”
He smiled, took her hand and ran his thumb down the back of her ring finger. “You wear no wedding band, Madame.”
Unnerved by his touch, she snatched her hand away. “What jewelry I wear does not concern you, Monsieur.”
“But you are addressed as madame.” He raised a brow in curiosity. “Am I to conclude you are a widow?”
“I do not believe that is any of your business.” She looked away in disdain.
Huffing a laugh, he said, “But it is part of your business, si? A good way to imply experience and skill in your art.”
Her gaze cut back to him. “What do you want, Monsieur?” she snapped.
Wry speculation twisted his lips. “I want to know how much it will cost me to partake of your art.”
Solange narrowed her eyes. His bluntness outraged her, and her fingers twitched with the urge to slap him. Her salon was not a place where men might find a temporary release, but where they could discover a woman who would be a long-time companion. Besides, no one ever requested her services, partly because she ran the salon, and partly because it was common knowledge that she belonged to Vernoux. Because this man was a foreigner, he most likely did not know of her arrangement with Vernoux, but he should have realized she was not for sale.
Raising her chin, she said, “I am insulted, Mon Seigneur. I do not sell myself like a common whore.”
As she began to sweep past him, he blocked her way. His eyes had gone hard and cold. “Is that because you are a common thief?”Return to Moon Shadow