Wedding Vow of Revenge

By: Lucy Monroe



“You wanted to discuss my report?” she asked after the waiter left.

“First, I think I should like to know a little more about you, Tara.”

“I’m sure all the pertinent information is in my employee record.”

“Perhaps I prefer to hear it firsthand.”

“I was under the impression this was supposed to be a business dinner.” She kept her tone light, not wanting to offend her boss, but not so light he wouldn’t take the comment to heart.

His midnight gaze caressed her with tactile force and it was all she could do not to shiver. “My closest friends started as business associates.”

“You don’t strike me as a man with a lot of close friends.” She’d meant the words to come out worldly and sophisticated, but instead her voice was two octaves lower than normal and sounded flirtatious, darn it.

“You’re very perceptive.” He cocked his head slightly, his expression challenging her. “That does not mean you could not become one of them.”

“You’re very bold.”

“I didn’t get where I am hesitating to go after what I want.”

“If you want my business expertise, you can have it. If you’re looking for a personal relationship with an employee, I decline.” She couldn’t be more direct than that, but then this man apparently needed blunt.

He nodded, his expression showing no offence. “I can respect that.” Then he smiled. “That does not mean I won’t try to change your mind.”


“I would prefer if you didn’t.”

“I would prefer you did not treat me like a pariah simply because I own the company you work for.”

“Wanting to stick to business is hardly treating you like an outcast.”

“And denying me the possibility of friendship?”

“You don’t need my friendship.”

“You are wrong.” And the intensity in his expression said he was telling her the truth, but how could that be?

Unless his definition of friendship and hers were not quite the same thing. Maybe he was between girlfriends at the moment.

“I have no interest in becoming a business tycoon’s pillow friend.”





CHAPTER TWO




“DO YOU judge every man you meet by Baron Randall’s standards?”

She should not be surprised he knew about her past. Half the modern world had read the tabloid stories. Or at least it seemed that way sometimes. It was a good thing she’d learned early on in her modeling career that someone asking an awkward or painful question did not equate to an obligation on her part to answer it.

“That’s really none of your business, Mr. Gordon.”

“Angelo.”

She barely refrained from rolling her eyes. “Angelo. I work for you and to my knowledge a personal relationship with my employer is not a requirement on my job description.”

His amused but piercing gaze did things to her insides she desperately wished it didn’t. “You are not only forthright, but you’re damn certain of yourself.”

“Yes.” He wasn’t the only person who knew what he wanted and went for it. Rather she knew what she didn’t want—a repeat of her disastrous affair with a ruthless business tycoon.

Despite the fact that Angelo made a pointed effort to restrain his conversation to her business report over dinner, Tara found herself unwillingly enthralled by the man himself. He was intense, dynamic and smart. Smarter than any person she’d ever met and yet, he didn’t dismiss her opinions if they differed from his. She appreciated that more than he could know, truly enjoying the evidence that he respected her even if she wasn’t quite in his league.

That was something she’d always felt was in doubt in her relationship with Baron.

She hadn’t been sure how Angelo would take her not-so-gentle refusal to get personal, but he’d responded with a professionalism and maturity she couldn’t help admiring. She’d known men a lot older than him that reverted to spoiled little boys when thwarted in their pursuit of a woman.

For that reason, she found herself relaxing as the evening progressed, less concerned when their conversation took temporary by-ways not related wholly to human resource management.

They’d spent an hour over dinner before she even realized it.

The waiter asked if they wanted dessert and Angelo looked at her. “Do you have a sweet tooth? I’ve had their raspberry crème brûlée and it is some of the best I’ve tasted anywhere.”

“Crème brûlée is my favorite,” she admitted, her mouth watering at the prospect of indulging in the treat.

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