The Wedding Charade
Mills & Boon Modern
Series: The Sabbatini Brothers
The youngest of the Sabbatini brothers, Nic doesn’t suffer fools, or respond well to ultimatums—especially those in his grandfather’s will! But when the stunning, willful Jade breezes into his office and announces their upcoming nuptials to the world’s media, Nic might have finally met his match.
He’s turned Jade down once before. But this time?
An Excerpt from The Wedding Charade
‘There’s a Jade Sommerville here to see you, Signor Sabbatini,’ Nic’s secretary, Gina, informed him as she brought in his morning coffee. ‘She said she’s not going to leave the building until you agree to speak to her.’
Nic continued to look through the prime real estate properties listed on his computer screen. ‘Tell her to make an appointment like everyone else,’ he said, smiling to himself as he thought of Jade pacing the floor in Reception.It was just the sort of thing she would do: fly in to Rome on an impulse, demand her way no matter what, throwing her light weight around as if she had an inborn right to everything she wanted right when she wanted it.
‘I think she really means it,’ Gina said. ‘In fact, I think—’
The door opened with a thud as it banged against the wall. ‘Please leave us, Gina,’ Jade said with a plastic-looking smile. ‘Nic and I have some private business to discuss.’
Gina looked worriedly at Nic. ‘It’s all right, Gina,’ he said. ‘This won’t take long. Hold my calls and make sure we are not interrupted under any circumstances.’
‘Sì, Signor Sabbatini,’ Gina said and left, closing the door with a soft click behind her.
Nic leaned back in his chair and surveyed the black-haired virago in front of him. Her green eyes were flashing with sparks of fury, the normally alabaster skin of her cheeks cherry-red. Her small hands were clenched into tight fists by her sides and her breasts—which he had secretly admired ever since she was sixteen—were heaving with every enraged breath she took. ‘So, what brings you to my neck of the woods, Jade?’ he asked with an indolent smile.
Her cat’s eyes narrowed. ‘You bastard!’ she spat. ‘I bet you put him up to it, didn’t you? It’s just the sort of underhand thing you would do.’
Nic raised a brow. ‘I have no idea what you are talking about. Put whom up to what?’
She came over to stand in front of his desk, her hands slamming down on the leather top as she eyeballed him. ‘My father is stopping my allowance,’ she said. ‘He’s dissolved my trust fund. He’s not giving me another penny. And it’s all your fault.’
Nic allowed himself the luxury of the delectable view for a moment. Jade’s creamy cleavage was about as close as it had ever been, apart from the night of her sixteenth birthday party. His nostrils flared as he caught a waft of the exotic fragrance she was wearing. It was an intriguing combination of jasmine and orange blossom and something else he couldn’t put a name to, but it definitely suited her. He brought his gaze back to the fireworks show in hers. ‘I might be guilty of many sins, Jade, but that is not one you can pin on me,’ he said. ‘I haven’t spoken to your father in years.’
‘I don’t believe you,’ she said, straightening from the desk.
She folded her arms across her body but if anything it gave him an even better view of those gorgeous breasts. He felt a stirring in his groin, the same rush of blood he always felt when around her. It annoyed him more than anything. He wasn’t opposed to the odd one-night stand, but something about Jade made him wary of bedding her even for the short time it would take to do the deed. She oozed sensuality, but then she was known for her sleep-around ways. Only recently there had been a report in the press about her scandalous behaviour. She had allegedly lured a married man away from his wife and young family. Nic wondered how many men had enjoyed the experience of possessing her—or had she possessed them? She was a witch, after all: a little she-devil who liked nothing more than a full-on scene.
‘Well?’ she said, unfolding her arms and planting them on her slim hips in a combative manner. ‘Aren’t you going to say something?’
Nic picked up a gold pen off his desk and clicked it a couple of times. ‘What do you want me to say?’
She blew out a breath of fury. ‘Are you deliberately being obtuse? You know what we have to do. You’ve known it for months and months. Now we’ve only got one month to make up our minds, otherwise the money will be lost.’
Nic felt an all too familiar spanner of anger tighten each vertebrae of his spine at the way his late grandfather had written his will. He had spent the last few months looking for a way out of it. He had consulted legal experts but to no avail. The old man’s will was iron-clad. If Nic didn’t marry Jade Sommerville by May the first, a third of the Sabbatini assets would be gone for ever. But a month was a month and he wasn’t going to allow Jade to manipulate him into doing things her way. If he had to marry her—and it was very likely he would—he would do so on his terms and his terms only.
‘SO,’ he said, drawling the word out as he swung his chair from side to side, his pen still clicking on-off, on-off. ‘You want me to be your husband, do you, Jade?’
She glared at him like a wildcat. ‘Technically, no,’ she said. ‘But I want that money. It was left to me and I don’t care if I have to jump through hoops to get it, and no one can stop me.’
Nic smiled lazily. ‘As far as I see it, cara, I am the one who can stop you.’
She strode back to the desk but, instead of standing in front of it, she came behind to where he was sitting. She grasped the top of the chair next to his left shoulder and swung him round to face her. She stood in between the intimate bracket of his open thighs, her warm vanilla-scented breath breezing over his face as she jabbed him in the chest with a French-manicured finger. Nic had never felt so turned on in his life.
‘You. Will. Marry. Me. NicSabbatini.’ She bit out each word as if she were spitting bullets.
He curled a lip as he held the green lightning of her gaze. ‘Or else?’ he said.