Bound by the Millionaire's Ring

By: Dani Collins

She desperately wanted to call her father with the news that Ramon was retiring. Her father had been a fan of all types of racing long before his client’s son had begun entering grand prix races at a mere nineteen years. After showing some talent for racing while learning evasive driving, Ramon had spent an inheritance from one of his grandparents on a car and team, much to the late Monsieur Sauveterre’s dismay. Ramon had won that first year and had won or placed in nearly every race since.

Some of Isidora’s most cherished memories involved catering to her father as he parked himself in front of the television for a twenty-four-hour endurance race, or biting her nails alongside him as cars zoomed through the narrow streets of Monaco. In the beginning, she hadn’t been so much a fan of racing as she was of her father’s passion and delight in having a companion while he watched.

Of course, by the time she was twelve, she had definitely been a fan of one particular driver, heart pitter-patting as Ramon rocketed through turns and occasionally spun out only to straighten and take over the lead once again.

Ramon’s winning streak, coupled with his Sauveterre name and the fact he represented both France and Spain, made him more than a darling in the racing world. It set him on a level beyond infamous. Demigod.

He had certainly dazzled her young heart.

But after That Day, which had actually been an early morning, when she had bumped in to Ramon leaving her mother’s house wearing rumpled clothes, a night’s stubble and a complete lack of remorse, she had stopped watching the races with her father. She had claimed she was too busy with university, and would go to her deathbed before she admitted she had watched alone, in dorm rooms, or plugged into her laptop, tucked away in a solitary corner of the library.

She hated Ramon Sauveterre, but she had always needed to know he survived to race another day. How could she be disappointed on his behalf that he was giving it up? She ought to be doing a happy dance that he wasn’t getting what he wanted for a change, the arrogant, heartless tyrant.

Her father would be even more devastated, but as the former VP of PR for Sauveterre International, he would understand. Even she had understood, before embarking on this profession, that when it came to publicity, Ramon stole the lion’s share of attention as a way to take the fall for his family, particularly his sisters.

That behavior had continued even as she’d taken over her father’s position. Since she had come aboard earlier this year, she had watched it happen—if somewhat mysteriously. Ramon had to be the source of the leaks, but he took care of them in his own way, never involving her and never charging into her office to demand why she wasn’t preventing his scandals from going viral.

Still, his escapades always seemed to hit the light at the right time to pull attention from his siblings. When Angelique had been called a two-timer because photos of her kissing not one, but two different princes had turned up, photos from one of Ramon’s “private” parties had surfaced. He had been half-naked and canoodling with a stripper on each knee. When Trella reentered society via the wedding of a family friend, causing a social-media riot, a tape of Ramon’s blue-streaked voice mails had taken over the talk-show circuit. The minute Cinnia’s twin pregnancy had become a target, an online feud had erupted between Ramon and a fellow driver.

So, in a way, she wasn’t surprised he was announcing his retirement when a secret as big as Trella’s pregnancy was hitting the airwaves. It just made Isidora...sad. And sheepish, for calling him faithless.

Not that she would admit that after he had threatened her job and future, the power-drunk bastard. Why did he have to be so hard on her? What had she ever done except like him a little too much?

She smoothed her hair, painted her lips a demure pink and told her throat to stop feeling so raw at the injustice.

She texted Ramon that she would wait for him at the elevator, but Etienne joined her first. He had been her father’s protégé and had taken her out a few times last year, breaking it off when their sex life hadn’t progressed as he had desired. She had gone to London to finish her degree and had been quite happy to never cross paths with him again.

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