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‘Princess Sofia de Loria of Iondorra…’
She scowled looking more like the youthful woman he had once known, and it struck him in his chest. He slowly exhaled the shock, but took great pleasure as those about them started to produce their smartphones and snap pictures of the two of them—some not even bothering to be discreet. He would not be her dirty little secret. Not this time. This time, he would make it impossible for her to walk away from him.
‘You must issue a denial,’ she said finally, as she tried to ignore the flashes punctuating the beginning of their exchange.
‘A denial of what, Your Highness? That we kissed? I believe that is quite undeniable at this point.’
‘That we are in a relationship,’ she hissed beneath her breath. ‘I can’t have the world thinking that…’
‘Thinking that you are involved with an illegitimate Greek commoner?’
‘I was going to say Greek millionaire playboy.’
‘Please,’ he scoffed. ‘It’s billionaire playboy to you.’
She artfully raised an eyebrow.
‘You can look at my financials if you doubt it,’ he replied, unable to keep the heady mixture of pride and arrogance from his voice. Everything he’d achieved, every grape, bottle, vineyard and investment, had been despite her machinations and through his own hard work. She could hardly claim the same.
‘I’m not here to debate what names the press call you, I’m here to get you to put a stop to the ones they’re calling me.’
He held back the smile that his lips itched to tease into. Instead, shaking his head and offering her a simple shoulder shrug, he said, ‘Óchi. No. I don’t think so.’
‘Why not?’ she demanded incredulously.
‘It doesn’t suite my purposes to do so.’
‘What do you want, Theo?’ Suspicion darkened her eyes to a midnight-blue. A colour he remembered from his past, and he thrust the thought aside.
‘I want,’ he said, unfurling his large frame from the sofa beneath him, closing the distance between them in order to see the moment she realised that she was helpless, that she had no other choice… ‘you to learn the consequences of your actions. I want you to learn that we mere mortals will not be as easily discarded as you seem to think.’
I want you to learn that you cannot destroy me and everything I hold dear and just walk away, he concluded silently.
‘I want you to pay for the way you set me up—’
He didn’t even register her interruption as the wave of indignation and fury pounded in his veins, competing with the heavy base of the club’s music.
‘I want what you once promised me, what you once begged me for. I want you to make a truth from your lies. I want you to wear my ring.’
His eyes narrowed as Sofia failed to move a muscle, blink even. This mask that she wore, this impossibly regal poise, was different to the young woman he remembered. But it was unacceptable. He didn’t want poised. He wanted furious. He wanted her to feel what he felt.
‘In fact,’ he pressed on, now standing, towering above her, cocking his head to one side in a way that showed only disrespect, ‘I don’t just want you to agree. You see, your name is now entwined with mine. No one of royal pedigree would attach themselves to you in marriage, no matter how desperate they are. No one would want my seconds, my cast-offs. No one would ever choose you again. It doesn’t matter how long you wait. Every time I cause a scandal—and trust me, agapi mou, I am more than willing to engage in as many I can find—every time I’m seen out with my next conquest, your name will be dragged down with me. Compared to whatever woman graces my bed, the speculation as to whether your poor, wounded little princess heart is breaking over my latest indiscretion will be on every single front page around the world.
‘You should be happy, Sofia. You are now tied to me as securely—if not more so—than you used to pretend you wanted to be. So no, I don’t want you to simply agree to be my wife. I want you to beg.’
Just like the way his mother had begged her employer to reconsider. Like the way she had been forced to beg her own family to take them in once again. Just like he had been forced to beg to buy the first piece of neglected land that he’d wanted to develop for his own grapes from his mother’s family. So that was what Sofia would have to do now.
VIRGIN PRINCESS'S MARRIAGE DEBT
‘I want what you once promised me…’ The Greek’s demanding proposal!
At an opulent Paris ball, Princess Sofia meets a man she never thought she’d see again—billionaire Theo Tersi. Theo’s certain she abandoned him years earlier, but in truth, heart-broken Sofia was forced to return to her royal duties. Now, as their chemistry reignites, Theo creates a scandal to finally claim Sofia’s hand—in marriage! But can their desire overcome his quest for passionate revenge?
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