Wedding Vow of Revenge

By: Lucy Monroe

“It’s fate.”

Hawk’s laugh was every bit as skeptical as Angelo’s. “That is one way of looking at it.”

Angelo sat at his desk after Hawk left, perusing the file on Tara Peters. Hawk had included still shots from several of her fashion shows. They showed a woman of ethereal beauty, shrouded by innocence, but wearing clothing that would tempt a saint to sin. On her tall, model slim body, that nevertheless had curves in all the right places, they were more than a temptation…they were downright provocation.

Her dark brown eyes in the perfectly proportioned oval face, surrounded by a cascade of silky chestnut hair intrigued him…even knowing she had once been Baron Randall’s.

He flipped through the photos until he came to those included with the tabloid articles that had sensationalized her breakup with Randall. The difference between the two sets of pictures wrenched at something inside Angelo he thought long dead. Those same chocolate-dark eyes now reflected the pain of betrayal and lost innocence.

Just like his mother’s had.

He needed to assimilate this piece of information and decide how best to act on it. He didn’t have much time, either. If for no other reason than that Baron Randall would go looking for Tara Peters the minute his wife filed the divorce petition.

That gave Angelo a month, maybe less to act on his newfound knowledge of Randall’s unexpected weakness.

The man who had stolen his company and destroyed his mother deserved to be ruined on every level and Angelo was going to make damn sure that happened.

Tara Peters laughed at the other junior execs around her, at least the female ones. They were primping for the arrival of Angelo Gordon like he was a rock star or something.

“Aren’t you even going to put on lipstick?” Danette Michaels demanded with her usual forthrightness after glossing her own lips and putting her compact mirror away in her desk drawer. “He’s supposed to do a tour of this floor sometime today.”

“No lipstick.” Tara had spent years wearing just the right makeup, dressing with flair, and flaunting the assets that had made her a top model at the age of twenty.

They had also brought her to the notice of Baron Randall and for that alone, she would spend the rest of her life devoid of makeup and dressing in conservative business attire.

Never again.

She straightened the papers on her desk. “My only interest in impressing Mr. Gordon is with my work and I don’t need lipstick to do it.”

Danette rolled her eyes. “You are such an all work and no play kind of girl. Did you ever hear that makes you boring and can give you ulcers before you’re thirty?”

Coming from a woman who had her first serious boyfriend at the age of twenty-one, that was pretty funny.

“My twenty-four-year-old stomach is just fine, thank you and better boring than stomped on I always say.”

“Not every man in the world is like that jerk, Baron Randall.”

Like most people, Danette had read the tabloid accounts of Tara getting dumped by Baron so he could marry his oil heiress. However, unlike most people, the younger woman had not let the stories color her view of Tara. She thought Baron was a world class pig and that her friend was better off without him.

Tara agreed. Now.

But two years ago, she’d felt like she would die from the pain and humiliation of the all too public breakup.

“Of course they aren’t,” she said, trying to stave off another lecture about getting back on the horse so she wouldn’t forget how to ride. Between Danette and her mother, she’d heard it about a thousand times too many. “But right now I’m not interested in finding out. I don’t have time for a man in my life and honestly, I don’t see how you can, either.”

Danette shrugged, her amber cat eyes twinkling.

“Some of us are better at multitasking than others,” she said with a grin. “Anyway, even if your career is all you care about, you should want to make a good impression on Angelo Gordon. He owns this company and several like it.”

“I do want to impress him…with my business acumen.”

“He’s already impressed, Tara.”

Tara spun in her chair to face her manager, surprised Mr. Curtiss was here instead of in the schmoozing session with the upper managers and the company owner.

“Mr. Gordon wants to speak to you privately.”

Tension stiffened her spine as the words reminded her of a similar conversation she’d had with her modeling agent. The woman had told her that Baron Randall wanted to meet her. Tara, naïve idiot that she had been four years ago, had been both flattered and impressed.

“Why alone?”

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