Xenakis's Convenient Bride

By: Dani Collins

They kissed. The passion between them hadn’t abated, staying strong between them right up to the evening before she delivered. He’d been a perfect gentleman since the birth, but she could feel how aroused he became, and stroked him.

He groaned. “I miss making love to you.”

“We’ll have to find other ways to appease ourselves, won’t we?” she teased. “Lucky for you, I’m an inventive woman.”

“I’m fairly innovative myself. Let’s see what we come up with.”

He pressed over her and she made a noise of indulgence, already sinking into the world of pleasure he gave her. The joy.

He was right. Something this perfect must have been fated. She never worried about it again.

* * * * *


Ariston Kavakos makes impoverished Keeley Turner a proposition: a month’s employment on his island, at his command. Soon her resistance to their sizzling chemistry weakens! But when there’s a consequence, Ariston makes one thing clear: Keeley will become his bride…

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‘You’re offering to buy my baby? Are you out of your mind?’

‘I’m giving you the opportunity to make a fresh start.’

‘Without my baby?’

‘A baby will tie you down. I can give this child everything it needs,’ Ariston said, deliberately allowing his gaze to drift around the dingy little room. ‘You cannot.’

‘Oh, but that’s where you’re wrong, Ariston,’ Keeley said, her hands clenching. ‘You might have all the houses and yachts and servants in the world, but you have a great big hole where your heart should be—and therefore you’re incapable of giving this child the thing it needs more than anything else!’

‘Which is?’


Ariston felt his body stiffen. He loved his brother and once he’d loved his mother, but he was aware of his limitations. No, he didn’t do the big showy emotion he suspected she was talking about and why should he, when he knew the brutal heartache it could cause? Yet something told him that trying to defend his own position was pointless. She would fight for this child, he realised. She would fight with all the strength she possessed, and that was going to complicate things. Did she imagine he was going to accept what she’d just told him and play no part in it? Politely dole out payments and have sporadic weekend meetings with his own flesh and blood? Or worse, no meetings at all. He met the green blaze of her eyes.

‘So you won’t give this baby up and neither will I,’ he said softly. ‘Which means that the only solution is for me to marry you.’

He saw the shock and horror on her face.

‘But I don’t want to marry you! It wouldn’t work, Ariston—on so many levels. You must realise that. Me, as the wife of an autocratic control freak who doesn’t even like me? I don’t think so.’

‘It wasn’t a question,’ he said silkily. ‘It was a statement. It’s not a case of if you will marry me, Keeley—just when.’

‘You’re mad,’ she breathed.

He shook his head. ‘Just determined to get what is rightfully mine. So why not consider what I’ve said, and sleep on it and I’ll return tomorrow at noon for your answer—when you’ve calmed down. But I’m warning you now, Keeley—that if you are wilful enough to try to refuse me, or if you make some foolish attempt to run away and escape…’ he paused and looked straight into her eyes ‘…I will find you and drag you through every court in the land to get what is rightfully mine.’

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