The Counterfeit Bride(9)

By: Liberty Blake


Movement on the street drew Theron’s attention. He leaned forward, but still remained out of shutter range. The paparazzi did not swarm on the people walking down the street, they still mulled around the entrance. It must not be the young woman from the church.

Theron checked the gold Rolex on his wrist, an engagement gift from Cassiopeia. A bit ostentatious for his taste, but she had been so exuberant when she presented it to him he had to wear the damn thing. It felt like a slave bracelet rather than a fine time piece.

The intruder was late. Theron started to turn away from the window, but his blood heated. She was out there. He could feel her presence. He looked more closely at two couples walking down the street toward the embassy. Two large men dressed in suits flanked a small sprite, while an Amazon in a trouser suit led the way. The little one danced down the street in a yellow dress that flared with her movements. A big straw hat hid her face from view and not a wisp of golden-red hair showed. She teetered on very high, very thin heels, like a child dressing in her mother’s clothes. Theron knew by the sudden rush of his blood that the little sprite was the pyrotechnia mikros.

Theron was glad she had shown up. It would save him the trouble of finding her to wring her neck. Whatever the scheme she and her cohorts were working, she must be made to see how important the merger was. She had to publicly renounce the ludicrous statements she had made that morning in church. He would assure her that no charges would be brought. He would not allow her to spend time in a Greek prison. Locked in his bedroom, yes. Prison, no.

Costas had been the one to insist on this farce of a wedding before he would sign the merger. He wanted an heir of his bloodline to inherit the island and the company. Costas would not foist a false bride on him. Blood ties were too important to a man like Dolmides.

It was really too bad the little firecracker was a con woman. He would far rather spend the honeymoon with her exploding in his arms than with the overdone confection he was being forced to marry.

The group disappeared from his sight as the marines at the gate allowed the group to enter the embassy. Soon the matter would be settled and he would have to get back to the business of getting married. Perhaps he should pay her to continue the charade; there still might be a chance his legal team could find a way to push forward the merger without the handicap of marriage being involved.

His thoughts were interrupted when the door in back of him opened.

“Thank you, sir. Y’all been so kind to help us. I am sure an important man such as yourself has more pressing matters to do than to show li’l ole me around.”

Theron turned to find the imposter gushing at a man. A man who was not him.

“I can’t believe that the personal assistant to the Ambassador himself has taken time out of his busy day to help us. It is so refreshing to meet a gentleman like you.” The little flirt lowered her eyes and peered at the man through long, lustrous lashes. The PA reminded Theron of a worm; a slimy, balding worm. The woman’s true colors showed as she flirted with the low level employee. She would have done better to save the flirtatiousness for him and not waste it on the worm. She could not be very intelligent.

“Yes, Harris, it is amazing how you can find time to conduct guided tours,” the Ambassador snapped.

“Anything to help our citizens, Mr. Ambassador,” the blushing PA said with a cheeky grin. The shock on Adam Shift’s face was clear to see, and confirmed the usually sober Michael Harris had never spoken to the Ambassador in such a manner before.

The sprite turned to the Ambassador with a smile that dazzled. “You are the Ambassador. Please forgive me, sir. I never would have guessed you were the Ambassador. I always thought Ambassadors were stodgy old men. I didn’t think the President would trust such a virile young man in such an important position.” Theron watched in amazement as the alleged Cassiopeia batted her thick eyelashes at the middle aged Ambassador. She apparently liked her men short and hair challenged. “You must be really smart to have such an important position at such a young age.” Adam Shift suddenly stood an inch taller as he sucked in his paunch.

Theron couldn’t blame the Ambassador for his response; he himself had been exposed to the power of those violet eyes just that morning, but she wasn’t going to draw him in now. The woman had to learn that scam artists, no matter how attractively they were packaged, could not win with a man of superior intellect.

She turned her glowing eyes from the Ambassador to Theron. He buttoned his suit jacket with a casual air, in the hope no one noticed his constricted appendage pressing against his zipper. Even though he knew she was playing a game to blackmail money out of him and the Dolmides, he could not deny his physical attraction to her. It was a very good thing he was an ethical man, or else he would give into her sexual advances and still ensure she never received a penny for her efforts.