A Ring for Vincenzo's Heir(10)

By: Jennie Lucas

“I’ll have my lawyers draw up a prenuptial agreement.”

“A pre-nup?” Her voice sounded surprised. “Why?”

He gave a grim smile. “I can hardly marry you without control.”

“Control of what?”

“Everything,” he said honestly.

He led her through the now empty cathedral, with only rapidly wilting wedding flowers and a few despondent janitors sweeping up. Her voice trembled as she asked, “What specifically would be in the pre-nup?”

“Standard things.” He shrugged. “Giving me final say on schooling and religion and where we will live. Things like that. I am based in New York but have homes all over. I am often required to travel while running SkyWorld Airways, sometimes for months at a time. I would not want to be away from my children.”

“Children? I’m not carrying twins.”

“Obviously, our child will need siblings.” She made a sound like a squeak, but he ignored her, continuing, “I expect you to travel with me whenever and wherever I wish.”

Her forehead furrowed. “But how would I hold down a job?”

“Money will no longer be an issue. As my wife, your only requirement will be to support me. You will be in society. You will learn to properly entertain powerful people to promote my company’s best interests. You may need comportment lessons.”


“And, of course,” he added casually, “in the event we ever divorce, the pre-nup will simplify that process. It will clearly spell out what happens if you cheat on me, or either of us decides to separate. You’ll know what amount of money you’ll be entitled to based on years—”

“Of service?”

He smiled blandly. “Of marriage, I was going to say. Naturally, I would automatically gain full custody of our children.”


“Don’t worry. You would still be allowed to visit them.”

“Big of you,” she murmured. As they walked down the cathedral steps to his waiting car, his bodyguards waiting beside the large SUV behind it, Scarlett abruptly stopped.

“Before we go to your doctor and have the paternity test, could you do me a favor?” She smiled prettily, showing a dimple in her left cheek, then waved helplessly at her bare feet on the sidewalk. “Could we stop at a shoe store?”

Like Cinderella, Vin thought. He was surprised how well she was taking everything. The way she was looking at him so helplessly, so prettily. She would be easy to mold and shape into the perfect wife.

“Of course,” he said almost tenderly. “I’m sorry. I should have thought of that before.” Picking her up in his arms, he carried her. In spite of being heavily pregnant, she seemed to weigh nothing at all. He gently set her into the waiting car, still bedecked with flowers.

The driver’s eyes were popping out of his head to see Vin had left the church carrying a redhead, when he’d gone in to marry a blonde. But he wisely said nothing and just started the car.

Vin climbed into the backseat beside her. “Any preference about the shoe store?”

He expected her to name a designer store, the sorts of luxury brands that Anne had constantly yammered about, but here again Scarlett surprised him.

“Any shoes good to run in,” she said demurely, her black eyelashes fluttering against her pale cheeks.

“You heard her,” he told his driver.

Ten minutes later, Scarlett was trying on running shoes at an enormous athletic store on Fifty-Seventh Street. She chose her favorite pair of running shoes, along with a pair of socks, exclaiming at Vin’s generosity all the while.

“Thank you,” she whispered, suddenly giving him a hug. For a moment, he closed his eyes. He could smell the peppermint of her breath and breathed in the cherry blossom scent of her hair. Then she abruptly pulled back. Staring up at him wide-eyed, she bit her lip. Vin could imagine the sensual caress of those full, plump lips.

Then she smiled, and her eyes crinkled. “I’ll wear the shoes starting now. Excuse me.”

Vin watched her walk toward the ladies’ restroom, past the displays of expensive athletic shoes and equipment. His eyes lingered appreciatively over the curve of her backside, the sway of her hips. Scarlett made even a plain black funeral dress look good.

What a wife she would make. And as for the honeymoon...he shuddered.

Determined to hurry them into the car, he turned toward the cashier. Normally his assistant would have dealt with such mundane details, but he’d left Ernest at the cathedral to handle the logistical problems of the ruined wedding—returning mailed gifts, organizing early rides to the airport for disgruntled guests, donating the expensively catered reception dinner to a local homeless shelter. So Vin himself went to pay for the shoes.

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