Sale or Return Bride(8)

By: Sarah Morgan

Alesia felt her stomach lurch. Somehow she’d managed to avoid thinking about the deeper implications of this marriage. That they would have to become physically intimate. But then she remembered everything she’d read about Sebastien Fiorukis. If reports were correct, then he had at least three mistresses on the go at once. Given his complete lack of interest in commitment, he was hardly likely to weld himself to her bed, was he? He’d be a wandering husband and that suited her perfectly. As long as he deposited the right amount of money in her account every month, she’d be more than happy never to lay eyes on the man.

She swayed slightly and, if it hadn’t been for her grandfather urging her forward down the steps, she would have backed into the helicopter and begged the pilot to take them back to the mainland.

As it was she was forced to take those few steps on to the Tarmac, forced to blink in the dazzling sunlight, dimly aware of a powerful figure watching her from a safe distance.

The situation suddenly overwhelmed her and she would have paused again had her grandfather not pushed her hard. Unprepared for the unexpected force of that push and unused to wearing such ridiculously high heels, she would have lost her balance had strong arms not reached out and steadied her.

Shocked and embarrassed, Alesia gasped out her thanks, her fingers curling into rock-hard biceps as she tried to regain her balance. A dark male face swam in front of her and for a brief moment she collided with night-black eyes. A strange sensation curled deep in her pelvis and she felt the colour seep into her cheeks.

‘Miss Philipos?’

It took a moment for Alesia to realize that he was addressing her because the name was so unfamiliar.

‘Stand up, girl!’ Her grandfather’s impatient tones cut through her thoughts. ‘A man can’t stand a woman who clings. And for goodness’ sake speak when you’re spoken to! What was the point of that expensive education if you can’t even string a sentence together?’

Her face hot with embarrassment and humiliation, Alesia regained her balance and cast an agonized glance at her rescuer. ‘I’m sorry, I—’

‘No apology is needed.’ Sebastien spoke in cool, measured tones but the expression in his eyes as he studied her grandfather made her shiver.

These two men were sworn enemies—

‘Clumsy—’ Her grandfather shot her an impatient look and then turned to his host. ‘Believe it or not, my granddaughter can walk when she applies her mind to the task. But like most women she’s empty-headed.’

Alesia dipped her head rather than risk displaying the flash of anger that she knew must be visible in her eyes. Only by focusing on thoughts of her beloved mother did she prevent herself from stalking back to the helicopter and demanding return passage to the mainland.

She had to forget how much she hated her grandfather.

She had to forget how much she loathed the whole Fiorukis family.

She had to forget all of it.

The only thing that mattered was getting Sebastien Fiorukis to marry her.

No matter what happened, she would save her mother.


SHEwas stunning.

Sebastien watched the silken blonde hair fall forward, obscuring her features, but not before he’d caught a glimpse of eyes the colour of violets in a perfect heart-shaped face. His gaze fixed on her smooth, creamy skin and then drifted down to her lush pink mouth. Her face alone was amazing, but combined with the body…

His eyes drifted lower. Obvious, he thought to himself scathingly, as he scanned the obscenely short dress that revealed tantalizingly long legs and fabulously generous breasts. Nothing was left to the imagination. Clearly the Philipos heiress had no reservations about displaying exactly what was on offer, he mused as his eyes settled on the temptingly full curves of her cleavage. But then she was selling herself for a ridiculously high price, he reminded himself cynically, so perhaps it was understandable that she felt he should be able to view the goods.

And view them he did.

Lust, basic and primitive, slammed through him, astonishing him by its very force. He was a man who had been fed a diet of beautiful women since he was a teenager and these days it took a lot to hold his attention.

But this girl was definitely holding his attention…

Suddenly the deal on the table before him took on new dimensions. Whatever Dimitrios Philipos had in mind, marrying his granddaughter could hardly be considered a hardship. Whatever else might be wrong with her, she certainly wasn’t ugly and he certainly wouldn’t have a problem being confined to bed with her on the occasions when it suited him.

Accustomed to being on the receiving end of non-stop female admiration and flirtation and confident of her response to him, Sebastien relaxed and waited for her to notice him in the way he’d definitely been noticing her.