Wedding Vow of Revenge

By: Lucy Monroe

If her manager thought that an odd question, he didn’t let it show. “He’s impressed with your report on workplace effectiveness. He wants to discuss it with you.”

Relaxing, she smiled. Business. It was just about business, nothing like that other time when the introduction had been a prelude to seduction.

“That’s great, Tara,” Danette said, “I heard the guy is a genius. If he appreciates your brains already, I guess it’s true.”

“Does he want to see me right now?” she asked, feeling a little light-headed.

Sure, she’d daydreamed about the owner of the company being so impressed with her recommendations he wanted to talk to her. What junior executive didn’t? But that kind of stuff didn’t happen in the real world.

Her manager looked at his watch and frowned. “Five minutes ago, actually. I got waylaid by a phone call on my way to tell you.”

Tara Peters walked into Angelo’s temporary office with her back straight and a credible expression of confidence. The only giveaway to her nervousness at being summoned by the owner of the company was the tight clenching of her fingers into small fists at her sides.

Her bone structure was delicate for a woman of her height, which no doubt explained her success as a cat-walk model.

Yet, she looked very different from the still shots of her fashion shows that Hawk had included in the Tara Peters file. Nor did she resemble the pictures that had accompanied the tabloid articles after her breakup with Randall.

All the photos had shown a stunning woman who made the most of her beauty, but no one would accuse this Tara Peters of trading on her beauty to succeed in her job.

She had confined the glorious length of her signature chestnut hair in a tight French braid that fell down her back. She wore no makeup and the small ovals of her nails were unpolished, but buffed. The navy-blue slacks and blazer she wore disguised her figure very well.

He hadn’t been sure what to expect, but her current no-nonsense, almost androgynous attire fit Hawk’s report on her behavior since Baron Randall married another woman.

Tara didn’t date and appeared uninterested in attracting men. Was she still hung up on the monster? The thought did not sit well with Angelo and his usually impassive face creased in a frown before he realized it.

“Mr. Gordon?” The voice was questioning, but not hesitant and he liked that.

He admired strength because weakness…of any kind…cost far too much.

He looked up and met her faintly quizzical brown eyes. “Miss Peters. Please take a seat.”

She moved across the room and slid gracefully into a chair opposite his desk. His opinion changed on the suit. The jacket dipped in at her waist. Her movement had revealed curves that were neither pronounced nor were they so slight her blouse could disguise them completely. The way the clothes tried to hide, but could not help hinting at her femininity made him want to strip them off and see the beautiful body beneath.

It did not help that pictures from her file of her clad in bikinis and other almost-there outfits flashed in his mind’s eye.

Desire vibrated through him with shocking swiftness and urgency, making him glad for the concealment of his desk. He hadn’t responded with this level of physical intensity to the mere sight of a woman since puberty.

He forced his mind through the mental exercises he had learned in the Aikido training he had started as a young boy. He continued to train, using it as a way to keep his body fit and mind focused. Normally it worked without him even having to think about.

This time, he had to wait for the stunning response of his body to subside breath by breath before he could begin to concentrate on his agenda. “I’ve been reading your report on workplace effectiveness. You’ve drawn several interesting conclusions and made an equal number of suggestions that are worthy of note.”

Her eyes lit with pleasure and she smiled, her feminine fragrance teasing his nostrils as she leaned forward. “There’s a wealth of data to be analyzed and interpreted from recent studies on the subject, much of which has been ignored by current management theory.”

He nodded. Whatever else Miss Peters was, she had shown herself to be a natural in her chosen field. “I particularly found your suggestions regarding vacation time of interest.”

“Several studies have shown that employees who put in less overtime, take their vacation yearly and don’t consistently work through their lunch hours are actually more productive than their counterparts who work the longer hours and never take any time off.” She smiled. “Healthier, too. They have fewer heart attacks and are less likely to develop ulcers.”

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