The Tycoon's Rebel Bride(9)

By: Maya Banks

knew well that Alannis’s family would never allow her to travel to see an unmarried man


“I’ll look forward to your arrival then,” he continued. “I’ve arranged for a night at

the opera shortly after you arrive.” If all went well, he’d request a moment alone to

propose and then the two families could go ahead with the wedding plans.

Of course now he needed to apprise his brothers of his intentions.

He hung up the phone and stared at it for a long moment. He had no doubt

Chrysander would, in his newfound loving bliss, be reluctant to encourage Theron to

enter into a loveless marriage. Piers on the other hand would shrug and say it was

Theron’s life and if he wanted to mess it up, that was his prerogative.

In time he could grow to like Alannis very well. He liked her already and

respected her, which was more than he could say for a lot of the women of his

acquaintance. He knew better than to expect a woman to love him as deeply as Marley

loved his brother. But he’d like to think he could be friends with his future wife and enjoy

her companionship in and out of bed.

He frowned when he thought of Alannis naked and in his bed, beneath his body.

He glanced down at his groin as if expecting a response. If he was, he was disappointed.


Alannis…she came across as cold and extremely stiff. He supposed he couldn’t

blame her for that. She was most assuredly a virgin, and it would be up to him to coax the

passion from her. It was his duty as her husband.

With a sigh, he checked his watch, and to his irritation noticed that Isabella was

late. He drummed his fingers impatiently on his desk. Madeline had provided three

possible apartments, all in good areas and in close proximity to the Imperial Park Hotel.

She hadn’t as of yet provided a list of eligible men.

No matter. The first order of business was to see her settled. The sooner, the

better. Then he’d worry about marrying her off.

When he heard his door open, he looked up, startled. Then he frowned when he

saw Isabella stride inside. On cue, his intercom buzzed, and Madeline’s voice announced

somewhat dryly that Isabella was on her way in.

“Good morning,” Isabella sang out as she stopped in front of his desk.

He swallowed and then his gaze narrowed as he took in her attire. It wasn’t

exactly immodest, and as such he couldn’t offer a complaint. It covered her. Sort of.

His mouth went dry when she put her hands on his desk and leaned forward. Her

breasts spilled precariously close to the neckline of her T-shirt, and he could see the lacy

cups of her bra as they pushed the soft mounds upward.

He cursed under his breath and directed his gaze upward. “Good morning,


“Bella, please, unless you have an aversion to the name?”

He didn’t, though it somehow seemed more intimate, particularly when he took

the meaning of the Italian form of her name. Beautiful. That she was. Stunningly so.

Different from the usual sophisticated type of women he gravitated toward, but beautiful

nonetheless. There was something wild and unrestrained about her.

He ground his teeth together and shifted his position. Where his groin had

remained stoic when thinking of Alannis, it had flared to life, painfully so, as soon as

Isabella had walked into his office.

He was her guardian, someone to look after her welfare, and here he sat

fantasizing about her. Disgust filled him. Not only was it disrespectful to Isabella but it

was disrespectful to Alannis. No woman should have to put up with her soon-to-be fiancé

lusting after another woman.

“Bella,” he echoed, taking her invitation to use her nickname. It suited her. Light

and beautiful.

He rose from his seat and walked around the front of his desk. She eyed him

curiously, and he found himself asking her why.

She laughed. “You’re dressed so casually today. I’m so used to seeing you in

nothing but suits and ties.”

“When have you seen me?” he asked in surprise. He thought back to the times

when she would have seen him, and while he probably was wearing a suit, it was hardly a

basis for her supposition.

She flushed, and he watched in fascination as color stained her cheeks. She

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