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A REASON FOR MARRIAGE

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Can it be that you really don’t know—don’t see—how stunningly, incredibly gorgeous you are?" Sara shifted uncomfortably. "Could we get back to discussing a color scheme for your sitting room—?" "Let’s see." Simon chose to ignore her change of subject as he looked across at her consideringly. "Your hair is the color of midnight—black with a blue sheen—and your eyes—oh, God. I could talk about your eyes all night! They have such a beautiful color. Hot—" "Simon—" "I could happily drown in them," he continued remorselessly. "And your skin is as pale and unflawed as alabaster. And your mouth!" His voice darkened smokily. "Would you like me to tell you the things I have imagined those softly sensuous and pouting lips doing to me these past two days?" __________ After her disastrous relationship which ended in a horrible miscarriage, Sara McCall has decided to stay away from all relationships… Until Simon Hamilton shows up, and he’s just the type of man she should avoid. But when Simon hires Sara to decorate his penthouse, it’s too lucrative an opportunity to turn down…and one that shatters Sara's resolve to stay firmly out of his bedroom!

Chapter 1

Sara McCall rushed to the parking lot of the office building she was to decorate in a few days and hurried as fast as her heel shoes would allow her. As she got into her car and began to drive, she sincerely hoped that her new client wouldn't be too upset about her lateness. Her meeting with Howard Kendrick had taken so much of her time and that was something she had not planned for. She almost blamed Howard for it. The man simply couldn't make up his mind about what he wanted, and so she'd found herself making different suggestions to him. When he finally made his choice, she knew she was going to be late to meet up with her next client, but it was still her fault. She should have planned for the delay. Trying to drive carefully while she was in a hurry was frustrating as hell, and when she suddenly saw the traffic jam ahead of her, she groaned outwardly. Surely, she was destined to lose this new client, she thought. She was at the verge of giving up when she realized that she could take another route, as long as she turned around right now. Hopefully, this next road would be clear. Without thinking, she attempted to back out so she could join the next lane. It seemed like a good idea… until she heard a crash. She didn't just hear it, she felt it too and she knew at that moment that she was definitely going to be late now and there was nothing she could do to stop it. Not only that, but now she had another problem to deal with. Her feelings of anxiety were immediately replaced by anger as she stepped out to inspect her car and to confront the asshole who had hit her from behind. To her dismay, she saw that one of her taillights was broken and the culprit…. Well, whoever the hell he was, had gotten away with nothing but a scratch on his front bumper. Sara looked up angrily. Just in time to see the driver get out of his car, taking off his sunglasses as he approached her. It didn't take Sara a lot of time to notice that he was a very handsome man. His dark suit was tailored to fit perfectly across muscled shoulders and chest, lean waist and long, powerful legs. Fitness that he probably honed with early-morning runs in one of New York’s parks, she thought. He was a couple of inches over six feet, with dark, slightly over-long hair, and shrewd green eyes set in a swarthily handsome and chiseled face. "Are you alright, miss?" the man asked her in a deep and husky voice. Sara glared angrily at him, and was even more angry at herself for noticing so much about him in just a few seconds. "What kind of question is that?" she retorted, "How am I supposed to be alright? You just smashed into my car and broke my tail lights!" He frowned and raised an eyebrow, as if taken aback by her outburst and Sara scowled inwardly. He even had the nerve to act shocked, she thought. "I'm sorry," he said, "But I think you got that wrong. You smashed into me," Sara gasped, unable to hide her anger any more or even try to be nice. She stood upright and stared right in his face, her expression challenging, "Ermmm…. Excuse you, but you came out of nowhere," The man clearly wasn't going to take the blame either, "I did not. You suddenly moved backwards for no good reason!" "That was because I was in a hurry and was trying to avoid the traffic," she defended "Doesn't mean you should have done it," he insisted, "You were wrong," "I checked and there was no one behind me. You just came right behind me before I could get a chance to move. If you were paying attention, you would have seen what I was trying to do and stayed out of my way," They were starting to attract attention from other drivers around, and Sara was in no mood to give anyone a show in the middle of the road. The man glanced down at her, his eyes narrowing as they met hers and then roamed over her face framed by a tumbling mass of hair. "Lady," he began, "You hit me, and believe me, I should be the one upset but you don't see me acting out. Now if the problem is about fixing your car, I'd be glad to do so or pay for the damage, but I'm not going to apologize for something I didn't do. Especially when you have this kind of attitude," Sara was surprised. If there was anything this man had for sure…. Apart from his good looks and obvious wealth… It was audacity. Did he really think she needed money from him to fix her car? And did he just plainly tell her that he wasn't going to apologize to her? What an arrogant man he was! "First of all, you can keep your money. I don't need it," she told him, "And Secondly, please keep your lousy apology to yourself. You clearly lack the capacity to see how wrong you are and you are not even going to attempt to see reason due to your overinflated ego. Have a nice day!" Without giving him a chance to respond, she turned around and walked back to get into her car. She refused to cause more scenes than they already had, and she still had to call to inform her client that she would be late. It was just one of those bad days, she consoled herself as the phone began to ring. If they couldn't wait then they would have to reschedule the meeting. Barbara Kent was already upset by the time she got through to her, and not knowing when she'd get out of traffic, Sara asked for them to reschedule the meeting, which Barbara reluctantly agreed to. The woman could barely hide her irritation at the sudden change of plans, and Sara couldn't blame her. She blamed that man, she thought as she hung up. The green eyed asshole who thought so highly of himself that he couldn't even apologize for ruining her day.

Chapter 2

Okay, so maybe it was ruined already but he'd contributed a great deal to it and she needed someone to be mad at. Sara risked a look at her mirror knowing he was still behind her, and almost gasped to see him already watching her from inside his car. She stubbornly held his gaze for a few seconds before she looked away. Her meeting canceled, she would just go straight home, she decided. A soak in the tub seemed like such a good idea, and thankfully she'd never have to see that jerk again. __________ Sara McCall had never enjoyed cocktail parties, having been forced to attend far too many of them in the past…mostly by her brother, Scott McCall. She enjoyed those given by Senators even less. Most of the city’s rich and beautiful were filling to capacity the huge reception room at one of New York’s most prestigious hotels. The chatter was loud, the laughter even more so, and the jewels adorning the elegantly clad ladies’ wrists, throats and ears glittered and sparkled in the light

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