The Marriage He Must Keep(77)

By: Dani Collins

‘I don’t think that way of thinking will pay dividends in this particular situation...’ Theo pushed his salad plate to one side and sprawled back in the chair to look at her coolly. ‘We’ve both been put in an unfortunate position and now we have to deal with it.’

‘And you’re not angry...?’

‘Like I said, there’s no point in wasting energy on emotions that won’t get either of us anywhere. We’re going to present the perfect picture of a couple in love. Naturally there will have to be an engagement and a public announcement. Doubtless there will be cameras. You will smile and gaze adoringly up at me.’

‘And what will you be doing while I’m smiling and gazing adoringly?’

‘Controlling the situation.’

‘And this so-called engagement is supposed to long?’

‘It’ll be brief,’ Theo asserted with the sweeping assurance of someone who had given the details a great deal of thought. ‘We can’t wait to tie the knot.’

‘And how is this supposed to make any kind of sense?’ Alexa demanded. She lapsed into silence as their salad plates were removed, to be replaced with soup. ‘Have you suddenly had a transformation and gone from being a womaniser to a one-woman man who’s desperate to get married?’

‘And that,’ Theo said in a hard voice, ‘is just the sort of approach I am warning you to avoid.’ Then he smiled—a slow, lazy smile that made the breath hitch in her throat. ‘I never imagined that you were a spitting cat...’ he mused. ‘Do you think that’s the reason your parents think you’ll end up on the shelf...?’