Shut up. Why did the mere presence of this man turn her stupid?

“You think?” Lucas swept Cia with a once-over. “Would you?”


“Ha. The other benefits couldn’t possibly be good enough to warrant making coffee. You’re on your own.” Her eyes trailed over the sheaf of papers in her hand. “What’s all this?”

“A draft of a prenuptial agreement. Also, a contract laying out the terms of our marriage and divorce agreement.” Lucas scrutinized her over the rim of his mug as he took a sip. He swallowed, clearly savoring the sensation of coffee sliding down his throat. “And one for the sale of Manzanares.”

Taken aback, she laughed and thumbed through the papers. “No, really. What is it?”

He sat back in his chair without a word as she skimmed through the documents. He wasn’t kidding—legalese covered page after page.

Now completely off balance, she cocked a brow. “Are you sleeping with your lawyer? Is that how you got all this put together so fast?”

“Sure enough,” he said, easily. “Can’t put nothing past you.”

Great. So he’d no doubt ensured all the terms favored him. Why hadn’t she had her own documents drawn up last week? She’d had plenty of time, and it threw her for a loop to be so unprepared. Business was supposed to be her niche. It was the only real skill she brought to the equation when continuing her mother’s work. If passion was all it took, her mother would have single-handedly saved every woman in danger.

“Run down the highlights for me, Wheeler. What sort of lovely surprises do you have buried in here?”

It dawned on her then. He was on board. She’d talked Lucas Wheeler into marrying her. Elation flooded her stomach so hard, it cramped. Take that, Abuelo. Her grandfather thought he was so smart, locking up the money, and she’d figured out a way to get it after all.

“No surprises. We each retain ownership of our assets. It’s all there in black and white.” His phone beeped, but he ignored it in favor of giving her his full attention. “You were up front with me, and I appreciate that. No better way to start a partnership than with honesty. So I’ll direct your attention to page fifteen.”

He waited until she found the page, which took longer than it should have, but she had this spiky, keen awareness of him watching her, and it stiffened her fingers. “Fifteen. Got it.”

“I want you to change your name to Wheeler. It’s my only stipulation. And it’s nonnegotiable.”

“No.” She spit out the word, eyes still stumbling over the lines of his unreasonable demand. “That’s ridiculous. We’re going to be married for a short time, in name only.”

“Exactly. That means you have to do the name part.”

The logic settled into her gut and needled. Hard. She couldn’t do it, couldn’t give up the link with her parents and declare herself tied to this man every time she gave her name. It was completely irrational. Completely old-fashioned. Cia Wheeler. And appalling. “I can’t even hyphenate? No deal. You have to take out that stipulation.”

Instead of arguing, he unfolded his long frame from the chair and held out his hand. “Come with me. I’d like to show you something.”

Nothing short of a masked man with an Uzi could make her touch him. She stood without the offered hand and scouted around his pristine, well-organized office for something worth noting. “Show me what?”

“It’s not here. I have to drive you.”

“I don’t have all day to cruise around with you, Wheeler.” If his overwhelming masculinity disturbed her this much in a spacious office, how much more potent would it be in a tiny car?

“Then we should go.”

Without waiting for further argument, he led her out a back entrance to a sleek, winter-white, four-door Mercedes and opened the passenger door before she could do it. To make a point, obviously, that he called the shots.

She sank into the creamy leather and fumed. Lucas Wheeler was proving surprisingly difficult to maneuver, and a husband she couldn’t run rings around had not been part of the plan. According to all the society articles she’d read, he only cared about the next gorgeous, sophisticated woman and the next party, presumably because he wasn’t overly ambitious or even very bright.

Okay, the articles hadn’t said that. She’d made presumptions, perhaps without all the facts.

He started the car and pulled out of the lot. Once on the street, he gradually sped up to a snail’s pace. She sat on her hands so she couldn’t fiddle with a hem. When that failed, she bit alternate cheeks and breathed in new-car smell mixed with leather conditioner and whatever Lucas wore that evoked a sharp, clean pine forest.

Source: www.StudyNovels.com