The Tycoon's Rebel Bride(10)

By: Maya Banks

ducked away, her hair sliding over her shoulder.

“Pictures,” she mumbled. “There are always pictures of you in the papers.”

“And you get these papers all the way out in California?” he asked.


“Yes. I like to keep up with the people looking after my financial well-being,” she

said evenly.

“As you should,” he said approvingly. “Are you ready to go? I have a list of

potential apartments. I took the liberty of scaling down the possibilities to a few more

suitable to a young woman living alone.”

And then he realized he’d made a huge assumption. There was certainly no reason

to believe that a woman as beautiful and vibrant as Isabella would be living alone. He

refused to retract the statement or ask her if she was currently involved with anyone. But

he’d need to know because if she was involved, seriously, then he could forego the whole

process of introducing her to prospective husbands.

“I’m ready if you are,” she said as she smiled warmly at him.

As they walked from the building that housed the Anetakis headquarters, Theron

put his hand to the small of Isabella’s back. She felt the touch through her shirt. It seared

her skin, and she was sure that if she could look, there would be a visible print from his

fingers, burned into her flesh.

After loving him from afar for so many years, she’d been prepared for

disappointment, that maybe the man he’d become wouldn’t live up to the dream. She’d

been so far removed from the truth that reality overwhelmed her. He was more, so much

more than she could have imagined. Her feelings hadn’t gone away when she’d seen him

again. They’d cemented.

She sat next to him in the back of the limousine. In addition to the driver, Henry,

there was one additional member of his security detail that rode up front. When they

pulled up in front of the first apartment building, she noticed that another smaller car

pulled in behind them, and two men got out and cautiously scanned the area.

“I don’t remember the security being this tight the last time I visited,” she

murmured as they walked toward the entrance.

Theron stiffened. “It’s a necessary evil.”

She waited for him to say more but he didn’t volunteer further information.

Three hours later, they’d toured the apartments on his list with him vetoing the

first two before she could even offer an opinion. He was tight-lipped about the third but

offered her the choice between it and the last on their list.

She stifled her laughter and solemnly informed him that she liked the fourth. He

nodded his approval and set about securing it for her.

“Will you have your things shipped to the apartment?” he asked as they walked

back to the limousine.

She shook her head. “I plan to shop for everything I need here and have it

delivered. It will be quite fun!”

He growled something under his breath but when she turned to him in question,

he pressed his lips together.

“I’ll arrange for someone to take you shopping,” he said grudgingly.

She raised an eyebrow. “I assure you, I have no need of a babysitter, Theron.

Chrysander saddled me with one four years ago, and I had no more need of it then than I

do now.”

“You will not roam all over the city by yourself,” he said resolutely.

She shrugged and offered a faint smile. “You could always go with me.”

He gave her a startled look.


“No? You seem the logical choice given I don’t know anyone else here.” She

purposely kept silent about Sadie. There was no reason for Theron to know about her,

and he wouldn’t approve if he knew she worked in a strip club. And find out he would,

because the instant she let him know of someone she was spending time with, he’d

perform an extensive background check and then forbid her to associate with Sadie any


Not that she’d listen, but she intended for their relationship to get off to the best

possible start. Lust was fine for now, but she wanted to make him fall in love with her.

She wanted him to need her.

“You’re right, of course,” he said with a grimace. “I forget you’ve lived in

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