A Marriage On Paper

A Marriage On Paper
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Since she' d joined Dex' s new company, Alicia' s days had been full of excitement and her nights full of passion in Dex' s arms. Then she discovered she was pregnant. While she wanted the baby, would Dex still want her? He' d never shown any desire to marry.Still, the baby prompted a proposal– but no declaration of love. Alicia knew that a marriage on paper could be no substitute for the real thing, but as their wedding day approached, Alicia dared to hope differently. Until their wedding night arrived and a note fell out of Dex' s suitcase…

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“Marry me, Alli, and I’ll make you happy.

“We’ll have good sex, lots of money and even more babies, if you want!”

She laughed through a shimmer of tears. “What a proposal! You’re crazy, Dexter.”

“Can I take that as a yes?” He pulled away to look at her. The car was in darkness, and all he could see was the vivid glitter of her blue eyes.

“I think you can,” she admitted softly.

Who was she kidding? she wondered with a bittersweet satire. The answer had always been yes. She had just been hoping… Her breathing faltered; her mind clouded. She had just been hoping for the impossible…that Dex would say he loved her. But she supposed numbly that you couldn’t have everything….

KATHRYN ROSS was born in Zambia, where her parents happened to live at that time. Educated in Ireland and England, she now lives in a village near Blackpool, Lancashire. Kathryn is a professional beauty therapist, but writing is her first love. As a child she wrote adventure stories, and at thirteen was editor of her school magazine. Happily, ten writing years later, Designed with Love was accepted by Harlequin Mills & Boon. A romantic Sagittarian, she loves traveling to exotic locations.

A Marriage on Paper

Kathryn Ross


















HOW was she going to tell him? The question which had wrecked Alicia’s sleep for several nights still nagged as she answered the phone.

‘Dexter Computer Software,’ she said automatically. ‘Good morning, how may I help?’

‘Hi, Alicia, it’s Maddie McDowell here. Put me through to Dex, will you?’

The autocratic crisp tones made Alicia smile. That woman acted as if she owned this business, she thought wryly, but she admired her cool confidence. ‘I’ll just see if he’s available,’ she said in equally crisp tones, before flicking the switch through to the inner office.

‘Dex, Maddie is on line one. Have you time to speak to her?’

‘Of course. Put her through,’ was the immediate response. The deep, sexy drawl of her boss’s voice brought a shiver to her spine. Hell! she thought as she connected the call. Even the sound of Dex Rowland’s voice could turn her on.

She glared at the phone on her desk, as if it was responsible for the emotional turmoil eating her up.

It was a long phone call; the red light seemed to be on for ever. Or maybe it was just that time seemed to be dragging this morning.

She glanced at the clock above Dex’s door. It was nearly lunchtime. She would wait until he had finished this call, then go in and speak to him. This couldn’t be put off any longer.

The light on the telephone went out. This was her chance. She didn’t move. Apprehension wouldn’t let her. Maybe this was too important to blurt out in the office, she thought frantically. She’d have to find a better time.

‘Alicia, can you come in here for a moment, please?’ Dex’s voice echoing through the intercom made her jump.

Running a smoothing hand down over her simple blue shift dress, she stood up and moved towards the door.

‘Hey, great news!’ Dex grinned at her. He was leaning back in his leather chair, his hands behind his head, looking relaxed and happy.

Alicia could only look at him and think how attractive he was. Every time she met those dark eyes she felt as if he stole a little bit more of her heart. It was insidious, it was extreme, but it happened each time he looked at her.

He was twenty-seven, and he had the kind of regular, handsome good looks usually found on the movie screen. Dark hair, neatly cut, a face that was strong, a physique that always made women take a second look. Yet somehow he seemed unaware of the power his looks had over the opposite sex; his mind was usually preoccupied with his work.

Did he have any idea just how much she loved him? she wondered, with a twist of her heart.

‘Maddie loved my designs.’

‘Of course she did,’ Alicia said with a smile. ‘You’re a genius. One day you’re going to design a computer program that will make you wealthy beyond your wildest dreams.’

Dex regarded her steadily for a moment. ‘I love it when you talk dirty, Alicia Scott,’ he drawled with lazy humour. ‘Tell me some more.’

‘Well…’ She put her hands on his leather-topped desk and leaned slightly forward, warming to her theme.

He watched her absently for a moment. Her long blonde hair was drawn back from her face in a ponytail, and she wore no make-up, yet her skin was perfectly clear and fresh, her lips peachy soft, her long lashes naturally dark.

For all that, she wasn’t what you would call beautiful in the conventional sense of the word. She was more striking. Back home in America they would have described her as ‘preppy’, because she certainly had class. There was something about her that captured attention and held it. Perhaps it was the large blue eyes, the high cheekbones…or maybe it was just that she was tall and had a fabulous body which she held ramrod straight.

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