The Millionaire's Contract Bride. Carole Mortimer

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Название The Millionaire's Contract Bride
Автор произведения Carole Mortimer
Жанр Современные любовные романы
Издательство Современные любовные романы
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      The Millionaire’s Contract Bride

      Carole Mortimer

      Table of Contents


       Title Page













      ‘WHAT on earth are you doing here?’ Casey gasped. She had arrived home exhausted at almost eleven o’clock after working that evening, only to come to a shocked halt in the doorway to her sitting room and stare at the man sitting there so unconcernedly.

      The single source of light in the room came from a small table lamp, casting the man’s face in shadow as he sat in the armchair across the room. But even though she had only met him twice—briefly—in her life before, it was still possible for Casey to recognise the dark overlong hair, the wide shoulders and the tall, leanly powerful frame as belonging to Xander Fraser—a man whose brooding good-looks often graced the more prestigious gossip magazines as he attended the premieres of the numerous films released by his production company.

      A man she hadn’t realised even knew where she lived.

      Yes, they both lived in Surrey, but at completely different ends of the housing scale. The Fraser mansion was set in several wooded acres of grounds near the river, while her own home was on an estate and much, much smaller.

      If she hadn’t been so shocked at finding him here, she might even have found a certain pleasure in having this ruggedly handsome man in her home. After all, he was the first eligible, gorgeous man she had been this close to since her marriage had ended a year ago.

      Or perhaps not, she acknowledged with an inward grimace; she was hardly looking her best at the moment. Her hair probably smelt of the food cooked at the restaurant this evening, she was wearing some of her oldest clothes—for the same reason—and wore absolutely no make-up whatsoever to add colour to her naturally pale complexion.

      Besides which, it was hardly a good idea for her to be attracted to the ex-husband of the woman who had stolen her own husband!

      Xander Fraser shrugged those broad shoulders, shifting slightly so that his face was no longer in shadow, revealing an aquiline nose between high cheekbones, and an arrogant slash of a mouth above a strongly squared chin. He regarded her with hooded blue eyes. ‘I was waiting for you to get home, obviously,’ he drawled.

      ‘Yes, I realise that,’ she answered impatiently; it was why he was here that was important! ‘But—where’s Hannah?’ she asked, her voice sharpening with alarm.

      Now that her first shock on seeing Xander was receding, Casey realised the girl she employed to look after her son on the evenings she worked at the restaurant was noticeably absent.

      ‘Is that the name of the babysitter?’ Xander Fraser quirked dark brows. ‘I told her she might as well take advantage of my being here and go home early.’

      ‘And she just went?’ Casey exclaimed. ‘But she doesn’t even know you! You could have been anybody!’

      ‘Such as?’ Those dark brows rose a second time. ‘A mass-murderer? Or a kidnapper, perhaps?’ He gave a humourless smile.

      ‘Well…actually, yes,’ Casey said with a frown, feeling she had every right to be annoyed with Hannah’s irresponsible behaviour.

      Although Xander Fraser hardly looked the part of either, she acknowledged privately to herself, dressed in those designer label denims and navy blue silk shirt, and possessed of the kind of confidence that only the very rich or very good-looking seemed to acquire.

      Xander Fraser scowled. ‘Believe me, the complications that go along with the one child I have are more than enough for me to cope with right now!’

      His daughter Lauren was six years old—the same age as Casey’s son Josh. But there the similarities ended. Lauren Fraser was the daughter of multimillionaire film producer Xander Fraser, whereas Josh was the son of a single mother juggling two jobs to try and keep a roof over their heads.

      She sighed as she put her handbag down on the coffee table, too tired to be able to make much sense out of this man’s unexpected presence here, let alone his enigmatic conversation.

      It had been a long day for her. She’d got up at seven-thirty, to get her young son ready and at school for nine o’clock, then hurried off to the café she worked in until after the lunchtime rush. Once that was over, she’d collected Josh and spent a couple of hours at home with him, before leaving for her evening job at the restaurant of the local hotel.

      Yes, it had been a very long and very tiring day, and she was in no mood to play verbal fencing games with Xander Fraser, of all people. Whether he was sinfully handsome or not!

      As he was sitting in the only chair in her sparsely furnished sitting room, Casey remained standing, still very unhappy with Hannah—but that, she promised herself, was something she would take up with the girl tomorrow.

      ‘So, what can I do for you, Mr Fraser?’ she challenged tersely.

      With her painfully thin frame clothed in a figure-hugging black tee shirt and faded blue denims, and at only a couple of inches over five feet tall, Casey Bridges had all the appearance of a bantam hen aligning itself against a hawk, Xander decided ruefully. Her soft blonde hair was styled wispily about her temples and nape, and her beautiful heart-shaped face was dominated by dark green eyes that did absolutely nothing to dispel that illusion of fragility.

      And she looked exhausted… Even as he thought it, she swayed slightly on her feet.