‘I don’t think he’d be so keen to marry me if he wasn’t,’ Molly answered, striving to look more positive than she actually felt. The offer of a bribe not to marry Leandro had seriously dented her confidence. Was it possible that she was unsuitable as a wife for him?

Jez had agreed to act as a witness at the ceremony. Molly was glad to have her friend’s support as the limo ferried them through the traffic to the church. The photographer Molly had engaged for the occasion snapped her on the church steps with her bouquet of pink rose buds and her lucky horseshoe favour and told her that she had a lovely smile. Her heartbeat was pounding frantically fast at the base of throat when she walked down the aisle with a hand braced on Jez’s arm. Leandro, accompanied only by one other man, awaited her at the altar. Sheathed in a charcoal-grey pinstripe suit, which he’d teamed with an immaculate white shirt, he looked breathtakingly handsome.

Leandro, still recovering from the unexpected ordeal of having to pose or the photographer who had intercepted him outside, surveyed Molly, who looked every inch the blushing bride. Her green eyes were luminous pools in her delicate face, her pink mouth as lush as the roses she carried and as full of sensual appeal as the creamy swell of her rounded breasts above the neckline of her romantic dress. As she knelt down by his side it was a challenge for him to take his eyes from her and the tightness at his groin merely intensified.

Molly spoke her vows in a clear voice that betrayed nothing of the nervous butterflies in her tummy. She was fiercely aware of Leandro’s proximity. She allowed her gaze to linger on his hard, bronzed profile and felt her pulses leap when he turned lustrous dark eyes on her as they exchanged rings. He was her husband now, she thought with a rush of disbelief at the concept when the ceremony ended. He introduced her to his lawyer, who had acted as his witness, and it took her aback that he had not asked a friend to perform the office as she had.

Both witnesses declined the invitation to join them for lunch. Jez gave her an emotional hug as he knew they were flying straight out to Spain after their meal.

‘I can’t believe we’re married,’ Molly told Leandro chattily over the lunch, which was served in a hotel suite. Having been too nauseous to eat earlier in the day, she now made up for it with a healthy appetite.

In comparison, Leandro had felt married from the instant he’d walked into the church. He was already fighting off an oppressive sense of confinement, which had not been helped by his mother’s hysterical last-minute phone call pleading with him to change his mind while assuring him that he would live to regret making the biggest mistake of his life. Perhaps he had been too optimistic in expecting his family to see the sound good sense of his decision. After all, a pregnant bride met two of their expectations at once. He remained uneasily conscious, however, that when he looked at Molly her radiance and glorious curves grabbed him first and made her fertility status the very last thing on his mind.

‘I suppose I’d better get changed,’ she said, rising from the table.

‘No…keep the dress on, querida.’

Molly’s brows pleated. ‘For the flight?’

‘Why not?’ Dark golden eyes hot with hunger, Leandro closed a hand over hers to pull her close and savour the fresh lemony scent that he had come to associate with her presence. ‘I want to take it off you. You can change before we land.’

Colour turned her cheeks poppy-red. His sensual appraisal sent raw sexual awareness shooting through her in a responsive wave. Her nipples swelled and damp heat stirred between her thighs. He had taught her to want him and, although it annoyed her a great deal, she couldn’t yet keep a lid on her desire for his touch.

‘What was your last wedding like?’ Molly asked on the way to the airport, while gritting her teeth and refusing to look at him. The question had been hovering at the back of her mind all day and she had kicked it off her tongue a dozen times before finally sacrificing her pride and voicing it.

Leandro froze as if she had turned a gun on him. ‘I don’t think we should discuss that.’

Offended by his reticence, Molly sent him a glimmering look of suspicion. ‘Why not?’

Leandro breathed in deep. ‘It was different-a big society wedding.’

And that was it, one sentence and he fell silent. Nevertheless, he had said enough to satisfy her curiosity. Molly wished she hadn’t asked, for she was making all the tasteless comparisons he would have condemned. He had pushed out the boat without complaint for his first marriage, which really told her all she needed to know about how he viewed his second excursion into matrimony. But, then, hadn’t he already displayed his indifference to her feelings most effectively? He hadn’t once smiled or paid her a single compliment on the day when all women expected to feel special.

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