A Breathless Bride

A Breathless Bride by Fiona Brand Read Free Book Online

Book: A Breathless Bride by Fiona Brand Read Free Book Online
Authors: Fiona Brand
family, most specifically her mother, from him. It was a sobering moment. “Don’t worry,” he said quietly. “I won’t tell her.”
    Sienna stifled a surge of relief and just had time to send Constantine a grateful glance before Margaret Ambrosi stepped into the room, closely followed by Carla.
    “What’s going on?” her mother demanded in the cool, clear tone that had gotten her through thirty years with a husband who had given her more heartache than joy. “And don’t try to fob me off, because I know something’s wrong.”
    “Mrs. Ambrosi.” Constantine used a tone that was far gentler than any Sienna could ever remember him using with her. “My condolences. Sienna and I were just discussing the details of a business deal your husband initiated a few months ago.”
    Carla’s jaw was set. “I don’t believe Dad would have transacted anything without—”
    Margaret Ambrosi’s hand stayed her. “So that’s why Roberto made the trip to Europe. I should have known.”
    Carla frowned. “He went to Paris and Frankfurt. He didn’t go near the Mediterranean.”
    An emotion close to anger momentarily replaced the exhaustion etched on her mother’s face.
    “Roberto left a day earlier because he wanted to stop off at Medinos first. He said he wanted to visit the site of the old pearl facility and find his grandparents’ graves. If anything should have warned me he was up to something that should have been it. Roberto didn’t have a sentimental bone in his body. He went to Medinos on business.”
    “That’s correct,” Constantine said in the same gentle tone, and despite the antagonism and the towering issue of the debt, Sienna could have hugged him.
    One of the qualities that had made her fall so hard for Constantine two years ago had been the way he was with his family. Put simply, he loved and protected them with the kind of fierce loyalty that still had the power to send a shiver down her spine. After years of coping with a father who had always put himself first, the prospect of being included in Constantine’s family circle, of being the focus of that fierce protective instinct, had been utterly seductive.
    That had been the prime reason she had frozen inside when she had found out that her father had done an under-the-table deal with Roberto Atraeus. She hadn’t been able to discuss it; she had been afraid to even think about it. She had known how Constantine would react and when the details of the loan had surfaced, the very thing she had feared most had happened. He had shut her out.
    She blinked, snapping herself out of a memory that still had the power to hurt.
    Constantine checked his watch. “If you’ll excuse me, I have another appointment. Once again, my apologies for intruding on your grief.”
    His cool gray eyes connected with hers, the message clear. They hadn’t finished their discussion.
    “I’ll see you out.” Shoving the loan documents out of sight in a drawer, she followed Constantine out into the bare hallway. As much as she didn’t want to spend any more time with him, she did want to get him out of the house and away from her mother before she realized there was a problem.
    The bright sunlight shafting through the open front door was glaring after the dim coolness of the study.
    “Watch your step.”
    Constantine’s hand cupped her elbow, the gesture nothing more than courtesy, but enough to reignite the humming awareness and the antagonism that had been so useful in getting her through the last hour and a half.
    Pulse pounding, she lengthened her stride, moving away from the tingling heat of his touch and her growing conviction that Constantine wasn’t entirely unhappy with the power he now wielded over Ambrosi Pearls, and her. That behind the business-speak simmered a very personal agenda.
    Her stomach tightened at the thought, her mouth going dry as the taut moments in his car replayed themselves. Barely two hours ago Constantine Atraeus, the man, hadn’t

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