A lot of people turned to stare at her in her wedding dress at the airport. Molly ignored them, but she could feel how much Leandro disliked the scrutiny. His lean, dark features settled into grim lines and his silences got more extended. It didn’t help when his security team weren’t quick enough to prevent a photographer from stepping into their path and taking a flash photo of them.
‘You should have let me get changed,’ Molly told Leandro while he bit back a curse after having been snapped by a paparazzo.
‘I thought you were enjoying the attention, querida,’ Leandro drawled with silken derision. ‘You did dress to attract it and hire a photographer to record the occasion.’
Molly breathed in so deep and long to control her temper that she was vaguely surprised that she didn’t burst with the effort of holding her ire in. She did not require his dislike of public attention to warn her that the VIP lounge was not the place to start an argument with a guy who wouldn’t go down without a very aggressive fight. Biding her time, she clenched her small white teeth together until they had boarded his private jet. Even while she was appreciating the sheer luxurious comfort of the cabin, she was already wondering how soundproofed it would be as she didn’t fancy their row providing entertainment for the air crew.
Layers of white organza foaming all around her, she settled into a leather seat and did up the belt.
‘Possibly asking you to keep the dress on wasn’t a good idea,’ Leandro conceded soon after take-off.
‘Oh, well, at least you didn’t ask me to put a paper bag over my head and pretend I didn’t know you back at the airport!’ Molly snapped back.
An imperious ebony brow climbed. ‘What is the meaning of that strange comment?’
‘That when you criticise me for hiring a photographer, you expose just how unreal your expectations are!’ Molly extended, jerking open her seat belt to plunge upright again. ‘This is supposed to be my wedding day. Unlike you, I haven’t been there and done it before and I would have enjoyed a more memorable occasion. Of course, what I might want doesn’t matter in the least to you…you’re not just naturally authoritative, Leandro-you’re well on the way to being a domineering tyrant!’
‘You’re hysterical,’ Leandro informed her coldly.
‘No, I’m not. If I was hysterical I would be throwing things and screaming. As it is, I’m just furious with you. Of course I wanted photos of my wedding! Some pretence that this was a normal marriage may come in useful in the future. Or would you be happy to tell our child that we have no photos because it was a shotgun wedding and you didn’t see the need to dignify or celebrate the occasion in the usual way?’
Simmering dark golden eyes lit on her with punitive force. ‘If you had wanted a photographer you should have mentioned it to me-’
‘When? You were abroad and I wasn’t allowed to have anything to do with the arrangements,’ she reminded him.
‘I assumed you’d be relieved to have everything taken care of for you,’ Leandro retorted with cool assurance.
‘What was wrong with asking me how I felt about it? But then you don’t ask me anything, do you?’ Molly sniped. ‘You don’t care how I feel, so why would you bother?’
‘If I didn’t care about you, you wouldn’t have that ring on your finger,’ Leandro shot back at her with deflating conviction.
‘No, if you cared you wouldn’t have threatened me to ensure you got that ring on my finger!’ Molly traded without skipping a beat. ‘That was the act of a very ruthless guy, who doesn’t care what he has to do to get what he wants.’
Smouldering dark golden eyes collided with hers in direct challenge. ‘I regard it as a necessary act, driven by my understandable concern for your welfare-an action which ensured that I am now in the perfect position to look after you and my unborn child. Right now, I see that role as my primary purpose in life.’
Her cheeks hectically flushed and her eyes bright with indignation, Molly wanted to jump up and down with thwarted rage. He wasn’t yielding a shamefaced inch to her perfectly reasonable complaints. Even worse, he was justifying his behaviour without a blush. How was she supposed to argue with a guy who wouldn’t roll over and play dead for even twenty seconds? Worse still, a guy who clearly genuinely thought she couldn’t cope without him.
‘You don’t know how to have a relationship, do you?’ Molly accused next, one hand fiercely gripping the back of a seat to stay steady as air turbulence buffeted the plane. ‘Instead of trying to win my trust and appreciation, you used threats. Maybe aggression works well in business, but you can’t forge healthy relationships with human beings that way.’