It was blinking, indicating a power failure through the night had disrupted the alarm mechanism. She fumbled for her watch, checked the time and uttered a muffled oath as she slid from the bed, then cursed out loud as she stubbed her toe on her way to the en suite. The icy blast of water ensured the quickest shower on record, and, dressed, she raced into the kitchen, dished out fresh food for the cat, snatched a container of orange juice from the refrigerator, gulped a mouthful, then she collected her bag and took the lift down to the underground car park. Seconds later she slid in behind the wheel of the Blooms and Bouquets van, inserted the key into the ignition…and nothing. During the ensuing minutes she coaxed, cajoled, promised, and still it remained as dead as a doornail.
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It was blinking, indicating a power failure through the night had disrupted the alarm mechanism. She fumbled for her watch, checked the time and uttered a muffled oath as she slid from the bed, then cursed out loud as she stubbed her toe on her way to the en suite. The icy blast of water ensured the quickest shower on record, and, dressed, she raced into the kitchen, dished out fresh food for the cat, snatched a container of orange juice from the refrigerator, gulped a mouthful, then she collected her bag and took the lift down to the underground car park.
Seconds later she slid in behind the wheel of the Blooms and Bouquets van, inserted the key into the ignition…and nothing. During the ensuing minutes she coaxed, cajoled, promised, and still it remained as dead as a doornail.
She restrained the urge to scream in frustration. Talk about having Friday the thirteenth on a Tuesday! What else could go wrong? Not exactly a suitable vehicle in which to transport flowers to the Double Bay florist shop she co-owned with her sister, Ana. Pie-carts were closing up after the long night, the council street-sweeping trucks whined along, clearing debris from the gutters, and fruit and vegetable vendors transported their supplies from the city markets.
Taxis carrying businessmen to catch the early flights interstate, petrol tankers beginning deliveries. It was a time of day Rebekah enjoyed, and she activated a popular radio station on the console and felt her spirits lift with the upbeat music.
Soon the sun would lift above the horizon, and the grey shadows would disperse, bestowing everything with light and colour. A sweeping glance was all it took at the markets to determine the best of the blooms were gone, and she figured her order, placed it, then turned the car towards Double Bay. It was six-thirty when she unlocked the outer door and she tripped the lights, filled the coffee percolator, then set to work. While the percolator took its time, she booted up the computer and downloaded email orders, then she checked the fax machine.
They were in for a busy day, and there was a need to adjust her order. She crossed to the phone, made the call, then she rang a mechanic to go check the van. Hot, sweet black coffee boosted her energy levels, and she was on her third and last cup for the day when Ana arrived.
Looking at her sister was akin to seeing a mirror image of herself…almost. They shared the same petite height, fine-boned features, slender curves and naturally blonde hair. Two years separated them in age, with Ana the eldest and twenty-seven.
Their natural personalities were similar, although Rebekah felt she held an edge when it came to determined resolve. It had also implanted an ingrained distrust of men.
Verbal abuse was bad enough; physical abuse was something else. Morning sickness? Petros is the ultimate manservant. Food, she needed food. It was almost midday, and the energy boost from juice, coffee and a cereal bar had clearly dissipated.
Then you can take a lunch break. It numbered as one of the ritziest places in town. Please let her voice give no hint to her inner turmoil. Jace arrived yesterday from the States.
Tall, broad shoulders, chiselled features, piercing dark grey eyes, and a mouth to die for. She had reason to know how it felt to have that mouth possess her own. Dancing with him had been a nightmare. Sensual heat spiked her blood and sent it racing through her veins. Sexual chemistry at its most base level. Yet Jace was there, standing close, almost caging her against the terrace railing as she turned to move away.
That had been her mistake, for it brought her much too close to him. The next instant his lips brushed her cheek, then slid to savour her mouth, and in a moment of sheer madness she angled her mouth to his own. His instant response was devastating. No one had kissed her quite like that. Exhilarated by the instinctive knowledge he would catch her…before she hit the ground. Who was the first to break contact? All she remembered was something inexplicable in those dark grey eyes, a stillness that held a waiting, watching quality as she went from shock to dismay in a few seconds flat.
Anger kicked in, and she slapped him…hard. Then she walked away, aware that he made no effort to stop her. She rejoined the wedding guests, and smiled until her facial muscles ached. Afterwards had come the rage…with herself for initiating something so foolish, and with him for indulging it. Now Jace Dimitriades was back in town, and Ana and Luc expected her to make up a foursome for dinner?
Are you going to tell me about it, or do I have to drag it out of you? Simply accept I decline your invitation. Kiss you? There was a telling silence. Rebekah glimpsed the mischievous challenge in those guileless blue eyes, and her lips curved into a slow smile. And drop you home again. It was almost seven when Rebekah slid from behind the wheel of her MG and allowed the uniformed attendant tend to valet parking.
For the umpteenth time she silently questioned her sanity. How had the past year affected Jace Dimitriades? Did he have a lover? Was he between relationships? Fool, she mentally derided as she entered the restaurant foyer. He probably had a mistress in each major city. The ambience spelt money…serious money.
The floral displays were real, not silk imitation. The carpet thick-piled and luxurious, the furniture expensive.
A pianist was seated at a baby grand, effortlessly providing muted background music, and the drinks stewards were groomed to the nth degree. Refined class, Rebekah conceded as a steward enquired if he could assist locating her friends. He succeeded with smooth efficiency, and she followed in his wake. Only to have the smile freeze as she saw it was Jace, not Luc, who had moved forward to greet her.
The contact was stunningly brief, but it robbed the breath from her throat for all of five seconds before anger hit. One dark eyebrow slanted, although his eyes held a watchful expression. Her attention was held, trapped, by the man standing within touching distance. Tall, so tall her eyes were on a level with the loop of his impeccably knotted silk tie, and his breadth of shoulder was impressive sheathed in exclusive tailoring.
No one man deserved to exude quite this degree of power…nor possess such riveting physical magnetism. Sexual alchemy at its zenith, she acknowledged shakily as she attempted to gain a measure of control over her rioting emotions. One look at him was all it took for her to remember how it felt to have that mouth close over her own with diabolical finesse. Exploring, coaxing…and staking a claim. She was suddenly aware of every breath she took, every heightened pulse-beat, and the way her heart seemed to thud against her ribcage.
It was crazy, insane to feel like this. In the name of heaven, get a grip. To allow him to see just how deeply he affected her was impossible. And that it was he, and not she, in command of the situation? She settled back in her chair and glanced towards Jace.
A Convenient Bridegroom
Start your review of A Convenient Bridegroom Write a review Shelves: every-one-is-annoying , hplandia , justsorta-huh , ow-who-aren-t-stopped-by-black-hole , read-only-with-vast-amts-of-wine , skillet-them-all-then-ask-for-mete , skillet-whack-me-please , society-moc , start-drinking-before-beginning , the-tropy-of-the-tropiest This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Complete with Mother of the Bride Godzilla, endless cups of coffee and so much orange juice I vicariously got heartburn, five showers, twenty maternal dictates for the h to go have a boudoir moment with her intended groom in the two week build up to the wedding, one footman per guest in attendance at each of the fifty person luncheon events - to pull the covers off the egg white omelets and peel the grapes, a Hellish Eternity of Endless Micro Management of the design of the Wedding Dress, Flowers, and after a delivery mix up of the Bridal Headpiece with the Appropriately Ostentatious But Tasteful Tiara, and a two hour debate over the angle of the lettering on the monogrammed guest toilet paper. In short, HB got to get all her wedding fantasies out in one go and she had herself an orgy.
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