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Bought for Revenge, Bedded for Pleasure
The billionaire's bedroom bargain...Jack Maguire was turned away from his father's house and has never forgotten that day--or how much he wanted his stepsister, Sally. Now a billionaire tycoon, by a twist of fate Jack's inherited his father's property--and has an opportunity to get revenge.... Jack has a bargain to make with Sally, who has grown into a beautiful, desirable woman. She can keep her beloved house...if she will be his mistress on weekends!
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May 31, 2008
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Excerpt from Bought for Revenge, Bedded for Pleasure by Emma Darcy
Sally stared at the coffin which held her father. It was still difficult to believe he was dead, that a sudden fatal heart attack could steal his life away. No warning. Never a day's illness that she knew of. He'd always radiated such a powerful life force, the shock of its being ended so abruptly was still numbing any sense of grief. Which was just as well since her mother had instructed her and Jane to maintain absolute dignity during this funeral service.
They were on public show.
They had to do their father proud.
Sir Leonard Maguire was being honoured today.
There'd been television crews outside the cathedral, shooting their arrival, not to mention all the powerful people who'd come to pay their last respects: politicians, captains of industry, the horseracing fraternity. She could hear them taking their places behind her, shuffling into the pews, greeting each other in muffled tones.
On the other side of the aisle were the major figures in her father's work force--his other family--who had shared his dreams of a transport empire and been closely involved in carrying out his grand plans. He'd spent much more time with them than with us, Sally thought. They were probably devastated by his death, not only grieving for their leader but wondering what would come next. Who would fill the huge shoes of the man who was no longer with them?
She had no grasp of her father's business. Neither did Jane who was studying to become a nurse. Her mother had dedicated her life to being the perfect wife, certainly the CEO of their home, but not interested in anything beyond maintaining the social status that was all important to her. They'd been cocooned in the protection of great wealth, but none of them knew what would happen now. They were floating in a vacuum.
Maybe her father had provided the answers in his will. Tomorrow they had to go to the solicitor's office to hear it read. Her mother was upset--furious--that Victor Newell, who'd been her father's legal advisor for many years, had refused to come to them in the privacy and comfort of their own home. It meant another trip to the city, another brave front to be put on in public.
Regardless of being subjected to her mother's intense displeasure over the telephone, the solicitor had not budged from his edict, stating he was following Sir Leonard's instructions. No argument prevailed against that. Not even her mother could break her father's iron grip on the people he had employed.
But he'd lost his grip on life. No, he'd had it taken from him. Probably the only thing that had ever been taken from him. Except...
The memory of Jack Maguire flashed into her mind. Despite what her parents had told her, she didn't really believe his mother had taken him from the man who now lay in this coffin. Her father had chosen to let him go. She couldn't imagine anything else, especially since he'd chosen not to have him back. It was the only reasonable answer to why Jack Maguire had not become part of their lives.
Too late now for the scales to be balanced, she thought sadly.
He'd made such a strong impact on her at their one and only meeting, she'd often wondered how he'd dealt with his father's rejection. It would surely have bitten deep. Though that personal blow had not stopped him from becoming a successful business entrepreneur in his own right. Maybe it had spurred him on to make a name for himself.
She'd read about him in the newspapers from time to time, fixing deals that were highly profitable. Photographs of him never showed him smiling, not even when he was pictured with beautiful women at A-list parties. His eyes were always cold. She'd imagined it was because his heart was cold, no family to warm it.
No chance left of its ever being warmed by acceptance or approval from his father. The media had given enormous coverage to Sir Leonard Maguire's life and death in the past few days so he would certainly know about it. Jack had been mentioned as the estranged son. Such a cold phrase. It had made her feel bad again about being a much-indulged adopted daughter.
The organ music droned to a halt. Sally glanced at her watch. It was time for the funeral service to begin.
The Bishop of Sydney would emerge from the vestry any moment now, ready to conduct the ceremony. The congregation hushed. The footsteps of a latecomer walking down the aisle were clearly audible, not hurrying, measured at a dignified pace. Whoever it was seemed to have an unsettling presence, giving rise to a rush of whispering. The footsteps kept coming, right up to the front pew.
Was it the bishop, making some kind of ceremonial arrival? Out of the corner of her eye, Sally saw her mother's head turn slightly--licence enough to take a sideways glance without being reprimanded since her mother was doing the same thing.