Proud Revenge, Passionate Wedlock

By: Janette Kenny

Even wearing such a provocative gown, she looked poised and sure of herself. Surely every man would lust after her tonight.

“You are more alluring in that gown than I remember,” he said.

The flush streaking across her cheeks and coloring her throat reminded him of the day he’d bought this dress for her. She’d blushed and fussed and told him that it would be months before she could fit into this gown because she’d just discovered she was pregnant.

That day he’d started thinking of forever with this woman instead of an affair. That day he’d thought with his heart instead of his head, even though a part of him warned of the danger of caring too deeply for her.

He wanted her, and was certain he’d not fall that deeply under her spell. But he had.

He’d been terrified of loving her. And terrified of losing her.

In the end he’d done both.

He cut a sharp glance at his watch, blotting the provocative sight of her from his mind. Yet his body still hummed with awareness of her.

He gritted his teeth and tamped down the raw animal need coursing through him. She came back for closure?

Fine, he’d gladly help her slam the door on their past. But she was in for a rude shock, for when he was done with her, she’d have nothing. She’d gotten all she was going to get from his family.

No, that was a lie. He’d lived for the moment when the business dinner was concluded, when he and Allegra returned here tonight. When she upheld her agreement to be his wife in all ways. When he took her heart again. And when he dumped her as she had him, she’d know the pain of betrayal.

He let his gaze sweep up her, slowly this time, noting the tensing in her limbs and inviting swell of her bosom. The telling hip thrust was a primitive and provocative invitation for him to push her against the wall and take her now.

Sí, she was a temptress. He ruthlessly tamped down his urges and shifted to ease the ache of his arousal.

Tonight he’d indulge in what she offered.

Tonight she’d be his to command. To conquer.

“Where is your jewelry?” he asked, his deep voice startling her from admiring the refined gentleman standing before her.

Miguel had told her once that his Spanish ancestors had come to Mexico to conquer it. That one conquistador had seduced a Mayan princess yet settled here, joining two worlds, two cultures.

His grandfather had achieved great wealth. His father had capitalized on it to increase the fortune. But it was Miguel’s cunning and daring that propelled the family holdings well into the exalted group of billionaires.

He was a conquistador, his bearing proud and unflinching. His jawline was strong, the cheekbones high and pronounced. He had a straight aristocratic nose, and his dark mocha eyes glittered with a mesmerizing light that burned from within.

But the feature she’d loved most about Miguel was the shape of his mouth. The lower lip was full and curved just so. The upper one had a generous bow that arched as if hinting he was always amused.

Or mocking, as he seemed now.

Allegra stuffed a few essentials into an evening bag, annoyed his spicy scent wrapped around her like loving arms. It annoyed her that he’d brought up the subject of jewelry.

She turned her left hand so he could see her rings. She’d found tape in a cabinet in the loo and added enough to keep her rings from falling off her fingers.

“The gold chain did nothing for the gown,” she said, when his dark gaze fixed on hers again.

She’d left her jewelry at the hacienda. She didn’t miss the extravagant pieces that had passed down through his family, for the designs dripping with gems had never appealed to her. But she mourned the loss of those few items, especially the emerald suspended on a delicate gold chain, that he’d given her after she’d told him she was pregnant.

A sacred bond, he’d called it. Green gems held special meaning for the Mayan, so it was only fitting that they commemorate their union   with an emerald, and mark the conception of their firstborn daughter with one as well.

His thick eyebrows slanted, his gaze appraising, his stance domineering. “Perhaps the effect is better without adornments.”

“Whether it is or not, this will have to do.” She lifted her chin. “Are we ready then?”

“Sí. My car is in the garage.” He grasped her arm, his touch firm and warm. Commanding yet intimate.

She moved with him in silent synchronization, a woman clearly attune to her man’s slightest nuances. The months apart hadn’t changed that.

The sense of oneness they projected drew attention. They’d always made a striking couple, whether they consciously tried or not. They were just that in sync with each other’s moods and desires.

Now was no different. But the image they projected was a scam.

He was angry. Furiously so.

Well, she was annoyed, too. Nothing had changed. He still regarded her as an adornment on his arm.

Like everything else he owned, she’d been a possession. But was that why she’d left him? She hoped she’d find the answers here soon.

She proceeded him through the side door into the garage, expecting to find the luxury sedan that he favored for long road trips. A sports car sat in its place, as sleek and black as the jaguar that bore its name.