Wedding Vow of Revenge

By: Lucy Monroe

CHAPTER ONE


ANGELO GORDON’S blue eyes narrowed with interest.

“You’re sure of this information, amico mio?” he demanded, his American accent spiced with Sicilian overtones that denoted his reaction to the news more strongly than words could have.

Hawk nodded. “Positive. Baron Randall has been keeping tabs on Tara Peters since their affair ended two years ago.”

“How did you find out?”

“The owner of the security agency Randall has on retainer talks more than he should after a couple of whiskey sours.” Hawk didn’t make those kinds of mistakes, but didn’t mind taking advantage when someone else did.

“That’s convenient.”

“I thought so.”

“Okay. Give me the scoop and don’t leave anything out.”

Hawk tossed the file on Angelo’s desk and waited for the tall Sicilian-American to open it.

He pointed to the news story on top that showed his client’s enemy with his arm around a woman more than a decade his junior. “Randall and Miss Peters met four years ago at a fashion show in New York. He was there with another model, but left with Miss Peters. By all accounts, he swept the young Miss Peters off her feet and into his bed. She gave up modeling and started taking college courses. They were together for eighteen months and broke up when he became engaged to his current wife. Rumor suggests he asked Miss Peters to remain his mistress.”

“She refused.”

“Yes.”

“She was stronger than my mother.” Grudging respect laced Angelo’s voice. “Why is he having her watched?”

“According to my informant, Randall still wants her. He’s given instructions to scotch any possible romantic entanglements. So far, my colleague hasn’t had to make the effort.”

Angelo surged to his feet and turned to look out the window behind his desk. His brooding six-foot-two-inch frame blocked the light and Hawk’s view of upper Manhattan. “What the hell does he expect to accomplish? That’s what I want to know.”

“Obviously reentrance into her life.”

Angelo turned back, his patrician features creased with a frown of disbelief. “That doesn’t make any sense. She said no and apparently meant it.”

“Right. It makes one wonder how long Baron Randall expected his marriage to last in the first place. When he married, his wife’s father had been recently diagnosed with an inoperable heart condition.”

“But good living and exercise have given him a clean bill of health, or at least a new lease on life.”

Hawk smiled cynically. “Much to Randall’s dismay no doubt. The marriage has never been a happy one.”

For which Angelo could take some credit.

Tara wasn’t the only woman Randall had propositioned for the role of his mistress. Others had accepted and thanks to some judicious behind the scenes handling on both Hawk and Angelo’s part, the young Mrs. Randall knew it.

“According to my sources, she will be filing for divorce within the month.”

Angelo inclined his head in acknowledgment of information that would not have come as a surprise. “You think he wants to take up where he left off when he’s free?”

“I can see no other explanation for his behavior. Miss Peters is the only long-term relationship Baron Randall has had in more than a decade that did not profit him business wise. He cheated on her only when he was away from her. For an amoral womanizer like him, that is bloody significant.”

Hawk had never before seen Angelo Gordon wearing that particular expression. “You think he loves her?”


“Love?” Hawk flicked his hand in a dismissive gesture. “Not bloody likely, but I do think he’s obsessed by her. From what information I can gather, she is unique, if only in her ability to walk away from him. My instincts tell me it’s more than that, though. She was very career minded as a model. He was her first serious boyfriend.”

“You think she was a virgin when they met? How old is she?”

“Twenty-four and yes, I think Randall’s the only lover she’s ever had.”

“That does make her unique, especially in Randall’s jaded world.”

“There’s more.”

“What?”

“You aren’t going to believe this.” Hawk had had a hard time believing it himself. “It is simply too damn perfect.”

“And it is?”

“She graduated with her degree in business six months ago and has been in Primo Tech’s management training program for the past four of those months.”

Angelo had bought the hi-tech company in Portland, Oregon, three years ago. Just like all the other companies he bought and resuscitated, it was becoming a lead player in its industry. However, the success of his company was no doubt not nearly as interesting to him in that moment as the fact Tara Peters was employed there.

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