The Tycoon's Rebel Bride(8)

By: Maya Banks

onto a plane for Europe as soon as possible.”

“Okay, so spill,” Sadie said eagerly. “What’s your plan?”

Isabella grimaced. “I’m not altogether sure. I had planned to go to Europe and be

an all-around nuisance to him there. Now all of a sudden he’s here in New York so I’m

having to scramble with the change of plans. The good news is we’re having lunch

tomorrow when we go apartment hunting. I guess I’ll see where things go from there.”

“How did he react when he saw you?” Sadie asked. “It’s been what, four years

since he got a good look at you?”

“Ugh. Yes. Thank goodness I’ve finally blossomed.”

“So? Did he appreciate your womanly charms?” Sadie asked with a wide grin.

“I’m sure he noticed, but I think it was a cross between interest and being

appalled. You have to understand that Theron is very, uhm, traditional.” She sighed and

leaned back against the couch. “But if I had shown up dressed like a good, modest Greek

girl, he wouldn’t have given me a second glance. I would have been relegated to little

sister status, just as Chrysander has done, and there would be no changing it.”

“Ah, so better to throw out the challenge from the outset,” Sadie acknowledged.

“Exactly,” Isabella murmured. “If he never sees me as a nonthreatening entity,

then it will be damn hard for him to turn a blind eye to me.”

Sadie laughed and clasped Isabella’s hands in hers. “I’m so glad to see you again,

Bella. It has been too long and I’ve missed you.”

“Yes, it has. Now enough about me. I want to hear all about you and your

Broadway career. Tell me, have you landed any roles?”

Sadie twisted her lips into a rueful expression. “I’m afraid the parts have been few

and far between, but I haven’t given up. I have an audition next week as a matter of fact.”

Isabella frowned. “Are you making it okay, Sadie?”

“I have a job. Not many hours. Just a couple of nights a week. The money is

fantastic and I get to look drop-dead gorgeous,” Sadie said cheekily. “It’ll do until I get

my big break.”

Isabella viewed her friend with suspicion. “What is this job?”


Sadie grinned slyly, her eyes bright with mischief. “It’s a gentleman’s club. Very

posh and exclusive.”

Isabella’s mouth dropped open. “You’re working as a stripper?”

“I don’t always strip,” Sadie said dryly. “It’s not required per se. But I get better

tips when I do,” she added with a bigger grin.

Isabella stared for a long moment and then burst out laughing. “Maybe I should

take lessons from you. Theron would have to notice me if I did a striptease in front of


Sadie joined in her laughter until the two of them were wiping tears. “If he didn’t

notice you, hon, then the man is dead.”

Impulsively, Isabella leaned up and hugged Sadie. “I’m so glad I’m here. I’ve

missed you. I have such a good feeling about being here in New York. Like maybe this

will actually work and I can make Theron fall in love with me.”

Sadie returned Isabella’s hug and then pulled away, a gentle smile on her face. “I

have every faith that Theron will fall hopelessly in love with you. But if he doesn’t?

You’re young and beautiful, Bella. You could have your choice of men.”

“I only want Theron,” she said softly. “I’ve loved him for so long.”

“Well then, we need to think of a way to catch him, don’t we?” Sadie said with a



“A lannis,” Theron greeted her smoothly. “I trust things are well with you?”

He listened as she uttered a polite greeting, somewhat distant and reserved, but

then he expected nothing less. Alannis was steeped in propriety and would never offer a

more effusive greeting. It simply wasn’t her style.

“I’ve made arrangements for the Anetakis jet to fly you from Greece to New York

a week from now. Will your mother be traveling with you?”

It was a senseless question, meant to be more polite than inquisitive since he

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