Bound by the Millionaire's Ring

By: Dani Collins

When she lifted her face again, it was flushed, but her expression was one of resolve. “I’ll hand in my resignation by the end of the day.”

The floor seemed to lurch beneath his feet. Her antipathy ran that deep?

As he searched her gaze, unable to believe she was serious, her pupils expanded until her eyes were like black pansies, velvety. Yet disillusioned and empty.

For one heartbeat, the world around him faded. A quiet agony that lived inside him, one he ignored so completely he barely knew it existed, seared to life, flashing such acute pain through him that his breath stalled. Fire, hot and pointed, lit behind his breastbone.

He slammed the door on that dark, tangled, livid place, refusing to wonder how she had managed to touch it by doing nothing but trying to retreat from him.

Why would she even suggest it? The job she held, as someone still fresh from school and not yet twenty-four, was unprecedented. Nepotism had played a part, sure, but she brought a rare and valuable quality to the position: trustworthiness.

Ramon would not be the reason his sisters lost a precious ally.

He wasn’t a man who begged, however. Racetracks were not conquered by being nice. She already hated him so there was no point in trying to charm her. Meanwhile, that strange split second of confused feelings left him with the scent of danger in his nostrils. It fueled his need to control. To dominate. To conquer.

He came down on her with the same lack of mercy he showed anyone else who might threaten him or his family.

“Cariño, let me explain what will happen if you resign.” He moved to lean on her desk again.

She was standing now, blinking with wariness. She stiffened, but she didn’t fall back.

He caught a light scent off her skin, something natural and spicy with an intriguingly sweet undertone. Herbs and wildflowers? The base, primitive animal inside him longed to get closer and find out.

Perhaps he would get the chance, he thought darkly, as he continued.

“I know you’ve signed confidentiality agreements, but given your antagonism toward me, I don’t trust you not to take what you know about us to the highest bidder. I will make your life extremely difficult if you walk out of here. There won’t be other jobs available to you. Not at this level.”

A renewed flush of color swept across her cheekbones. “If that’s your way of trying to make me warm up to you, ‘hash-tag friendship fail.’”

“Prove your loyalty to our family. Do what we pay you very well to do.”

“Me.” She pointed at her sternum. “You want me to prove my loyalty to your family.”

“Yes. And quit editorializing on mine.” He ignored a stab of compunction. “You know nothing about my capacity for loyalty or anything else.”

“I know what I need to know,” she assured him bitterly. “But if you’re going to make threats against my career, fine. I’ll take the high road and show you what loyalty really is. I’ll stay because I care about your sisters and because my father would come out of retirement if I quit. His devotion to your family is that ingrained. I never told him that you slept with his wife or he might feel differently. And don’t say they were divorced!”

She jabbed her finger at him.

He narrowed his eyes, warning her she was standing on the line.

“It would gut him to know what you did and unlike you, I’m not someone who enjoys making other people miserable.”

“I said ‘difficult,’ hermosa. If you want me to make your life miserable, I can arrange that quite easily.”

“Job done, hermoso,” she said with a smile that went nowhere near her eyes. “Will you excuse me? I have a press conference to arrange.”

“Isidora,” he said gently, without moving. His eyes clashed with her gaze in a way that kept his muscles tight and his skin tingling with exaltation in the battle. “I care about my sisters and your father. That’s why I’m allowing you to continue with us, and not firing your ass for insubordination. Mind your manners, or you will discover exactly what kind of man I am.”


WITH FURY BURNING a hole in the pit of her stomach, Isidora did her job and sent out the notices that a press conference would be held in the media room of Sauveterre International’s Paris tower. The skyscraper in Madrid was its twin, built the same year on the same specifications. Until today, Ramon had worked out of that office, which was why she had not requested a transfer back to her home country, where she could be closer to her parents.

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