Girl Behind the Scandalous Reputation

Girl Behind the Scandalous Reputation by Michelle Conder Read Free Book Online

Book: Girl Behind the Scandalous Reputation by Michelle Conder Read Free Book Online
Authors: Michelle Conder
her blonde hair spilling over the dark fabric like a silvery web.
    He knew when he got it back it would smell like something from his late mother’s garden, and made a mental note to have his housekeeper immediately launder it. Then he realised the direction of his thoughts and frowned.
    He was supposed to be focused on work. Not contemplating Lily and her hurt expression when he’d cut off her attempts to explain her situation earlier.
    He didn’t want to get caught up in her lies, and he had taken the view that the less she said the better for both of them. She had a way of getting under his skin, and for an insanely brief moment back in the bar, when her eyes had teared up, he’d wanted to reach out and tell her that everything would be all right. Which was ridiculous.
    It wasn’t his job to fix her situation. His job—if you could call it that—was to keep her out of trouble until Jordana’s wedding and find out any relevant information that might lead to her—or someone else’s—arrest.
    It was not to make friends with her, or to make empty promises. And it certainly wasn’t to kiss her as he had wanted to do. He shook his head. Maybe he really had taken leave of his senses getting involved with this. Stuart, the friend and colleaguewho had helped him find the loophole in the law that had placed her into his custody, had seemed to think so.
    ‘Are you sure you know what you’re doing, Chief?’ he’d asked, after the deal had been sealed.
    ‘When have you ever needed to ask me that?’
    His friend had raised an eyebrow at his surly tone and Tristan had known what was coming.
    ‘Never. But if she’s guilty and people question your involvement it could ruin your legal career. Not to mention drag your family name through the mud again.’
    ‘I know what I’m doing,’ he’d said. But he didn’t. Not really.
    What he
did
know was that he was still as strongly attracted to her as he had been six years ago. Not that he was going to do anything about it. He would never get involved with a drug-user.
    His mother had been one—although not a recreational user, like Lily and her ilk. His mother had taken a plethora of prescription meds for everything from dieting to depression, but the effect was the same: personality changes, mood swings, and eventually death when she had driven her car into a tree.
    She had never been an easy woman to love. A shop girl with her eye on the big prize, she had married his father for his title and, from what Tristan could tell, had spent most of their life together complaining on the one hand that he worked too hard and on the other that the Abbey was too old for her tastes. His father had done his best, but in the end it hadn’t been enough, and she’d left after a blazing row Tristan still wished he hadn’t overheard. His father had been gutted, and for a while lost to his children, and Tristan had vowed then that he would never fall that deeply under a woman’s spell.
    He expelled a harsh breath. He was thirty-two years old and in the prime of his life. He had an international law firm and a property portfolio that spanned four continents, good friends and enough money to last several lifetimes—even with the amount he gave away to charity. His personal life had becomea little mundane lately, it was true, but he didn’t really know what to do about that.
    Jordana thought it was because he chose unsuitable women most of the time, and if he did date someone ‘worthy’ he ended the relationship before it began. Which was true enough. Experience had taught him that after a certain time a woman started expecting more from a man. Started wanting to talk about love and commitment. And after one particularly virulent model had sold her story to the tabloids he had made sure his affairs remained short and sweet. Very sweet and very short.
    He knew he’d probably marry one day, because it was expected, but love wouldn’t play a part in his choice of a wife. When he was

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