Her Boss by Day...(85)

By: Joss Wood

But it’s the deal of a lifetime, whispered a little voice.

Wanting to assert his position more, Gianni pointed out, ‘That may very well be the case but don’t forget that your own business will be reinvigorated by a new association with a luxury Italian brand of products, the first merger of its kind.’

O’Connor inclined his head with a spark in his eyes. He obviously didn’t like to be reminded that his motives weren’t exactly altruistic.

And then Gianni asked abruptly, ‘Why is it so important to you that marriage to your daughter is part of the deal?’

The spark in O’Connor’s eyes was quickly veiled as he said easily, ‘She’s our only child and heir. I’m an old-fashioned man, Delucca. I want her future to be secure, and through her and you, we keep our name alive.’

Gianni felt a niggle of suspicion but then something caught his peripheral vision and he looked past O’Connor to where a group of framed photos were hung on a wall. He walked over. There were pictures of O’Connor with various celebrities, including two American presidents, and then presumably his wife—an attractive woman with strawberry blonde hair and green eyes.

And below them all was an image of a young woman on a horse, head back and wide generous mouth open, clearly laughing. Slim shoulders. A snug T-shirt hugged generous firm breasts. He could just make out a narrow waist, gently flaring hips. Taut thighs. She was stunningly beautiful. Almond-shaped green eyes, lighter than her mother’s. Vibrant red hair pulled back into a messy ponytail. Pale skin with flushed rosy cheeks. Freckles.

Something deep in Gianni’s gut clenched at her unadorned beauty. Even though she wasn’t remotely his type.

He barely picked up on the faintly smug tone in O’Connor’s voice when the man said, ‘That’s my daughter, Keelin. So have you come to a decision?’

Gianni didn’t answer out loud. He didn’t need to. They both knew the answer.

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