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
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