His Ex's Well-Kept Secret

By: Joss Wood

Vaguely, Quinn noticed Cameron charming the attendant into selling him a few of the purple orchids. But Quinn’s attention lingered on the woman who had just freed her pink printed scarf from the handrail. Although huge sunglasses covered half her face, with her blond hair and full, pouty lips, she resembled the woman in the photo. About twenty other people got off that same plane, a disproportionately high number of them young women.

Concern for his brother made him wary. The woman’s closest travel companion appeared to be a slick-looking guy old enough to be her father. The man held out a hand to help her descend the steps. She was waif-thin and something about the way she carried herself seemed very deliberate. Like she was a woman used to being the center of attention. Quinn was missing something here.

“She’s tiny.” Cameron had returned to Quinn’s side. “I didn’t think to ask how tall she was.”

Quinn’s brain worked fast as he tried to refit the pieces that didn’t add up. And to do it before the future Mrs. McNeill made it past the customs agent.

The other women in front of her sped through the declarations process.

“So who is supposed to introduce the two of you?” Quinn’s bad feeling increased by the second. “Your matchmaker set up a formal introduction, I hope?” He should be going over his notes for his own meeting overseas tonight, not worrying about who would introduce his foolish brother to a con artist waiting to play him.

But how many times had Cameron stirred up trouble with one impulsive decision or another then simply walked away when things got out of hand, leaving someone else to take care of damage control?

“No one.” Cameron shrugged. “She just texted me what time to meet the plane.” He wiped nonexistent lint off his collar and rearranged the flowers, a glint of grim determination in his eyes.

“Cam, don’t do this.” Quinn didn’t understand rash people. How could he logically argue against this proposal when no logic had gone into his brother’s decision in the first place? “At least figure out who she really is before you drag her to the nearest justice of the peace.” They both watched as the woman tugged off her sunglasses to speak with the customs agent, her older travel companion still hovering protectively behind her.

“Sofia’s photo was real enough, though. She’s a knockout.” Cameron’s assessment sounded as dispassionate and detached as if he’d been admiring a painting for one of the new hotels.

Quinn, on the other hand, found it difficult to remain impassive about the woman. There was something striking about her. She had a quiet, delicate beauty and a self-assured air in her perfect posture and graceful walk. And to compound his frustrations with his brother, Quinn realized what he was feeling for Cameron’s future bride was blatant and undeniable physical attraction.

Cameron clapped a hand on his shoulder and moved toward the gate. “Admit it, Sofia is exactly as advertised.”

Before Quinn could argue, a pair of women approached the doors leading outside. They were clearly waiting for someone. Both wore badges that dangled from ribbons around their necks, and one hoisted a professional-looking camera.


Cameron held the door for them and followed them out.

And like a train wreck that Quinn couldn’t look away from, he watched as Cameron greeted the slender Ukrainian woman with a bouquet of flowers and—curse his eyes—a velvet box. He’d brought a ring? With his customary charm, Cameron bowed and passed Sofia the bouquet. Just in time for the woman with the camera to fix her lens on the tableaux.

Quinn rushed toward the scene—wanting to stop it and knowing it was too late. Had Cameron called a friend from the media? Had he wanted this thing filmed to be sure their grandfather heard about it? Whatever mess Cam was creating for himself, Quinn had the sinking feeling he’d be the one to dig him out of it.

Cold, dry, winter wind swept in through the door and blasted him in the face at the same time Cameron’s words hit his ears.

“Sofia, I’ve been waiting all day to meet my bride.”

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