The Miami millionaire could have any woman--but Stephen Garrison intended to have newly returned Megan Simmons. She'd ended their sizzling affair years ago... leaving without explanation...leaving Stephen determined to seek his revenge.
But his plan to seduce his ex-lover was met with an unexpected discovery: she'd had his child. And now it was no longer enough to seduce Megan back into his bed. Stephen had decided marriage would be the ultimate payback.
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August 31, 2007
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Excerpt from Millionaire's Wedding Revenge by Anna DePalo
When Megan Simmons left Miami four years ago, she'd struggled every day to regain her equilibrium and put the past behind her. But her equilibrium had eluded her, and the past had dogged her every step.
Now, at the sound of the knock on her open office door, she glanced up from the documents on her desk and into the eyes of the man she'd once thought she'd never see again.
Her breath left her in a whoosh.
She put down the papers she was holding. "Your new partner is hard at work already, Conrad." His voice went through her like fine cognac. It always had. Particularly in bed.
This time, though, she immediately sensed the danger. Stephen's words held a note of cynical amusement.
Her eyes traveled to the second man at her door. Conrad Elkind's offer of partnership in the interior design firm she used to work for as an employee was the reason she was back in Miami.
"Good news, Megan," Conrad said heartily. "We've got an assignment to redesign part of the Garrison Grand. Stephen here was so impressed by the job you did on the Garrison, Inc. building four years ago that he requested you work on this new project."
Her eyes shot back to Stephen. From the look on his face, she knew this was no mere coincidence.
Stephen's lips twisted. "I asked Conrad not to let the cat out of the bag until we'd sealed the deal."
She felt the blood drain from her face. If she hadn't already been sitting down in a chair, she'd have collapsed into one.
When she'd moved back to Miami, she'd known she might run into Stephen, but she hadn't expected to be working for him within weeks of being back at her old firm.
Someday, in the not too distant future, she hoped to be a senior partner. Her firm would be Elkind, Ross, Gardner & Simmons. Now, however, Stephen loomed like an immovable obstacle in that path.
She composed herself and stood, even as her eyes shot daggers at the man who'd haunted her days and not too few of her nights.
"What an unexpected compliment," she announced as she came around her desk.
She was dressed in a sand-colored skirt suit paired with an emerald blouse that echoed the color of her eyes. She was glad now for the professional armor, though--in a nod to the hot, sunny weather--her feet were encased in strappy tan sandals.
The end of summer in Miami was still hot. The September sun radiated outside Elkind, Ross & Gardner's cool offices, and its rays filtered through the blinds on her office window, hitting her back.
Still, though her sandals lent another two inches to her five-foot-nine frame, the boost wasn't enough to counteract Stephen's intimidating presence. At six foot three, he loomed over her, radiating a charisma and sex appeal that were palpable.
He was the epitome of tall, dark and handsome, looked as if it would make military basic training seem no more rigorous than a stroll in the park.
She'd seen evidence of his effect on women four years ago. They'd swooned over him. She'd been stupid enough to swoon over him, too.
Even now, she felt a tingling that went all over. She wondered whether it was the cleft chin--a Garrison family trait--that did it for some women.
But unlike screen idol Cary Grant, Stephen was a living, breathing playboy nonpareil.
A quick glance at his left hand was enough for her to confirm he was still single.
Conrad glanced at his watch. "I've got a phone conference starting in five minutes, so I'm going to leave the two of you to talk and get reacquainted."
Getting reacquainted was the last thing she wanted to do with Stephen Garrison, ever, but she forced herself to nod. "Thanks, Conrad."
When the older partner had retreated, her gaze came back to Stephen, and of its own volition, her chin rose a fraction.
Then she caught herself. It was ridiculous for her to feel defensive. She had nothing to feel defensive about.
"Hello, Stephen. Won't you have a seat?" She turned to head back to her desk. "I'm sure we can help you with whatever it is you're looking for."
"That's what I'm counting on," he said silkily. She heard him close the office door, and she couldn't help but think of the sound as the opening bell in a boxing match.
She turned to face him. "I suppose it's too much to hope that your appearance here today is a mere coincidence."
"You guessed right," he drawled. "It's taken a while, but I plan to get the answers I'm looking for." "Why do I get the impression we're not talking about the Garrison Grand?"
"Four years ago, you left Miami without a backward glance."
"You mean I left you."
A muscle jumped in his jaw.
"No one leaves a Garrison, is that it?" she said, hands braced on hips. Hips that now had experienced childbirth.
Motherhood had instilled in her a newfound courage, changing her from the woman she'd been four years ago. She'd do anything to make sure her daughter had the future she deserved, including struggling with the demands of single parenthood.