As he had hurt her.
But he ducked and grappled. His hands wide, his body big—too fast, too strong. He caught her wild, flailing arms, his hands tightly squeezing her wrists as he yanked them down and clamped them to her sides.
But it didn’t stop her.
‘You signed them. You bastard,’ she screamed in his face, her body banging against his. ‘You signed them.’
She breathed in fire. ‘Today.’
‘You know what you are?’ She kicked. ‘You know what you are, Sebastian?’
‘Tell me,’ he asked through clenched teeth, his hands gripping her tighter.
‘Heartless. Deformed. An emotional mutant. Not even human.’ She spat. ‘I don’t care how much of a mess your parents made of your life, it doesn’t give you the excuse to treat people like this. To use them so callously.’ She couldn’t believe him. ‘How can you live with yourself? How can you go from being so tender with me, to tearing me apart?’
‘Is that what I’m doing, Ana?’ His face was white with anger.
‘You know you are.’ She twisted against him, trying to break free.
‘No, I don’t.’
‘Exactly my point,’ she snarled. ‘You have no idea how I feel—how anyone else feels. Or what they long for. You’re so bitter, Seb. And you’ll never be happy. You’ll just live your life with your little flings and never know real satisfaction. Real love.’
‘Well, aren’t you as bad, Ana? Aren’t you as useless as I am? You can’t handle love.’ He thrust her away from him. ‘You can’t believe that anyone could actually love you.’
It was like a punch in the gut. And she was knocked out with the one hit. She staggered back. Her tears falling like diamonds cutting her eyes.
‘Don’t you say that to me. Don’t you dare say that.’
‘Why not? It’s the truth.’
And maybe it was. ‘Well, who is it who loves me, Seb? You?’
She laughed—a high-pitched, almost hysterical sound that cracked halfway. ‘Yeah, you love me so much, you’re divorcing me.’
She shook her head. ‘Oh, that’s really the action of a man in love.’ She cursed him, angrily wiping the rivers from her face.
He stood a little distance away, just watching her.
Finally she quietened, turned her face away. He was blocking the door; she couldn’t escape this, the final blow to her heart.
And then he spoke. Quietly, calmly, cruelly. ‘That day in Gibraltar I stood in front of that official and I lied. I said I loved you. I said I’d care for you. That I’d be your husband for ever. But I didn’t mean a word of it.’
‘I’m well aware of that,’ she said tonelessly.
‘So we both know that that piece of paper is rubbish, then, don’t we? Not worth a thing.’
She closed her eyes, but couldn’t stop another tear from falling.
‘Am I right, Ana?’
Why was he tormenting her like this?
Another tear fell as she whispered, ‘Yes.’
‘Ana, look at me.’
She choked. ‘This again, Seb?’
‘Please, Ana. Look at me.’
So she did. And even through her own pain, she saw his—his rough breathing, his wide eyes, the terrible tension in his face.
‘Ana, I know I have my failings. But understand this. I do love you. And you deserve far more than a quick, crappy, insincere wedding ceremony.’ He breathed in deep, seeming to steady himself. ‘After we’re divorced, I want us to marry. I want to do it properly—for us both to mean it. And I want you to have it all. The big rock, the dress, the first dance, the bloody cake and the flowers and frills. Everything you’ve dreamed of. Everything I short-changed you on last time.’
She stared, utterly unable to believe her ears.
‘Did you hear me, Ana? I want us to marry again. Properly.’
‘But I don’t want that,’ she said, shocked. ‘I don’t want the bridal array.’
‘Oh, be honest with me, Ana,’ he shouted, finally losing it. ‘I know you want that. I saw it in your face. You glowed at Dad’s wedding. You loved it!’
She was breathing fast, suddenly sensing that what she wanted most of all might actually be within her grasp. ‘What I loved was the way you were looking at me. It wasn’t the wedding—sure that was sweet, but that wasn’t what made my day. That was you. You couldn’t stop touching me, you wanted to be near me. You made me feel beautiful.’
She looked into his eyes now, saw the sheen in them.