Grayson's Vow

Page 26


"Our appointment is for two thirty tomorrow afternoon. Appointments, that is. We have one to get the license and one directly afterward to tie the knot."
I nodded vigorously, as if this was all just fine and dandy. Married! Tomorrow. Two thirty. Tying the knot! That made it sound so casual. No big deal. Just tying the knot—if you tie it loosely enough, a knot can be untied just as easily. I had the sudden desire to laugh crazily, perhaps until I cried. Grayson's mood seemed different too—more subdued.
"Are you going to tell your father before or after?" he asked.
"After. Once we've cashed the trust check." Nervousness assaulted me at the mere thought of confronting my father.
I saw Grayson nod from my peripheral vision, but didn't look over at him. He seemed to be studying me. "If you . . . want to back out, I—"
I shook my head. We'd come too far. "No. I don't." I looked over at him. "Do you?"
He drove us straight back to the house, and I followed him inside, intending on getting something to eat. In the dimness of the foyer, I removed my sunglasses and stuffed them in my overfilled purse, pushing them toward the bottom where they were less likely to fall out.
"I'll meet you here at two o'clock tomorrow then," Grayson said, obviously intending on getting to work for the day, doing whatever it was he did down at the stone building.
"Okay," I agreed, trying to sound nonchalant.
"Oh, here. You dropped this." Grayson bent and picked up a piece of paper and began handing it to me. I creased my brow.
"I don't think that's—" And then I realized what it was by the color of the paper. It was the list I'd made about Grayson. The one I'd also scrawled "Kira Hawthorn" on several times in the margins, testing out my new signature. It must have fallen out of my purse. I felt heat rising in my face, and I grabbed for it. Grayson, eyeing me suspiciously, pulled the paper back. "Don't you dare," I breathed.
He looked down at the paper in his hand and back at me, obviously more interested now that I was making such a big deal over it. Stupid, Kira! It had just happened so quickly, and I hadn't had time to mask my reaction.
"What do we have here?" Grayson asked.
"It's personal," I said. "Give it back."
"Personal? We're about to be married, pet," he said, his words dripping with sarcasm. "We shouldn't have any secrets between us."
"Very funny. Let me have it."
He unfolded half of it as I lunged. He sideswiped me gracefully, grinning as I let out a squeak and almost fell on the ground. He turned and walked briskly to the large living room to the right of the foyer. "I think I'll pull up a reading chair and see what this is all about."
"Give it back!" I yelled, sounding like a petulant child. He unfolded it the rest of the way as I ran behind him.
"The Dragon, AKA Grayson Hawthorn: Pros and Cons," he read aloud. He looked back over his shoulder at me, raising one dark eyebrow, and then stepped behind the large, leather sectional and turned to face me. I tripped over the matching ottoman, almost falling again.
"Don't," I warned, trying to put all my much-deserved wrath into that one word.
He tilted his head, obviously reading my scrawled signature. "I'd really prefer it if you kept your maiden name," he said. Ouch.
"Yes, well, of course." My face was throbbing with heat. "Give it to me." He didn't.
"Pro: He's an ass, but his actual ass is easy on the eyes." He lowered the paper and looked at me over it. "You like my ass, little witch? You should have told me. I warned you not to develop feelings for me. But I suppose it's okay to admire my ass, if you do in fact find me . . . appealing." He smirked. "You're only human after all," he said, scratching his chin as if in thought. "Are witches human? Hmm . . ." He looked back to the paper.
"You . . ." I sputtered, unable to think of how to finish that sentence, flailing my arms in utter helplessness, seething with rage. He seemed to enjoy deliberately arousing my anger. I wanted to wipe the arrogant look off his stupid, handsome features.
"Con: He's a pompous dragon," Grayson read calmly.
"Proven fact," I growled.
"Pro: He needs me." Grayson's eyes darted to mine, darkening.
"Correction—I need your money."
Well, he wouldn't get it now! He had crossed the line. I'd never give this dragon a damned thing. I looked around the room wildly for something to wound him with, spotting a bottle of wine sitting far back on a buffet next to a door that presumably led to a cellar. I ran over to it, grabbed it and went to throw it at him.
"No!" he yelled, a note of panic in his voice that stopped me in my tracks.
"Kira," he dropped the list and put his hands up in a pose of surrender, "that bottle of wine is irreplaceable." He bent slowly to pick up my list and rose just as slowly, holding it out to me. "Trade," he said, moving cautiously in my direction as if I were an untamed animal.
I looked down at the bottle in my hands. Something French. When I looked back up at Grayson, his face was white. "This one?" I asked innocently, switching it to my other hand with a little toss. A choked sound came from his throat. "This one right here? Irreplaceable?" Surely he was exaggerating. Otherwise, why would it be sitting out on a buffet in the living room? Still, it obviously meant a lot to him. He went to move toward me again.