The Twelve-Month Marriage Deal by Margaret Mayo

The Twelve-Month Marriage Deal by Margaret Mayo

Author:Margaret Mayo
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Fiction
Publisher: Harlequin Mills & Boon Ltd.

Chapter Eight

ELENA was wickedly angry that Vidal had ended their phone call so abruptly. I’ll be gone three days. Do what you like in my absence, but make sure you’re there when I get back.

Or something like that. He made it sound as though all she was good for was a bed partner. Damn the man. He had ruined every warm feeling in her body. He had cut her down to size as efficiently as if he had used a knife.

She had half a mind to go to LA and not come back. Why should she let him get away with it? He couldn’t dictate to her like this, could he? Who did he think he was? The trouble was he had her over a barrel and he knew it. Her mother’s health was at stake here. It was a case of grinning and bearing it and putting up with whatever he wanted to dish out. She had no other choice.

He was an overbearing, pompous swine and she hated him. She ought never to have succumbed to his advances. She ought never to have agreed to share his bed, insisting on separate rooms. Except that then he wouldn’t have gone ahead with the merger.

Everything came back to one thing.

She shared his bed and he helped her family.

That was it. Full stop. No getting out of it. She was stuck with him whether she liked his attitude or not. Twelve months sounded like a lifetime. A prison sentence.

She phoned Kate in LA, who assured her that everything was under control and there was no need for her to come home.

Then she visited her parents. ‘You look down, my darling,’ said her mother, eyeing her critically. ‘Is the marriage too much of an ordeal for you? I know we—’

‘It’s fine, Mamá.’ Not for the world would she let them know the anguish Vidal was putting her through. It would break their hearts. ‘Vidal’s gone away on business for a few days.’

‘But he is looking after you?’ enquired her father anxiously.

Elena nodded and pasted a smile on her lips. ‘He’s the perfect gentleman.’ She wasn’t about to tell her parents that he wasn’t a gentleman in bed. These were the sort of details they would not want to hear. They were under the impression that the marriage was in name only and would be horrified if they knew what their daughter got up to. If she and Vidal were in love it would be different, but under the circumstances…

‘Your father and I, we worry about you. We know you’re doing this for us, but Vidal’s a good man.’

‘Of course he is, Mamá, he wouldn’t have offered to help you otherwise. And guess what.’ She made herself sound excited. ‘He’s been approached by someone who wants a wedding planned. Which means I’ll have something to do while Vidal’s at work. I’m going to ring the guy when I get home.’

‘That’s wonderful news,’ said her mother with a wide smile.

And her father’s eyes filled with hope.


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