Her phone vibrated in her coat pocket and she fished for it, snagging it with the tips of her fingers. Better to answer that than him, because she did not have very nice things to say.
Isabella: Sunny in the tropics. ? How are things with S?
Her frown gave way to a real smile. Isabella had added a picture of herself posing by the pool with a couple of hot lifeguards.
Daisy: Fine. Making friends, I see. ;)
Isabella: Yep, from yesterday. Ack! Why are you up?
Daisy: I’m in London with the earl of crap apologies. Why are you up?
Isabella: Getting ready for bed. Don’t judge. Plane leaves early tomorrow. Also, London??? Crap apologies???
Daisy: Not even. Did you ever mention Jules’s last name to Sebastian?
Daisy: K. Maybe Zoe did. Anyway, be safe. Will email you all the details later. K?
Isabella: Fine. *pouts* Better be some juicy ones! Xoxo
Daisy: Night. Xoxo
“At least someone is making you smile,” Sebastian said and Daisy jerked her head up.
“How did you know Jules’ last name was Westmoreland?” she asked.
Before he could answer, the limo came to a stop. A doorman rushed over and opened the car door. Guess she’d have to ask him again later. She shivered in the cold morning, glancing up at the imposing building. “Is this your house?”
He placed one foot out of the limo, and then paused. “No, I’m headed to work. Henshaw will see you to Number Forty-Eight.”
“You’re just leaving me alone? In a place I’ve never been before? Without friends or family? Or—”
“Christ, Daisy. Calm down. You’re in London, not some third world country.” He got out of the car and bent down slightly. “See you for dinner tonight.” His cold eyes travelled over her. “Consider something different than what you’d usually wear.”
The door shut, while her mouth dropped open. “I’m totally cutting you off from cupcakes and me,” she finally managed, watching through the tinted glass as he walked away.
That was not well done of him.
Sebastian pressed the button for the top floor and waited, mentally berating himself. Would it have hurt to see her home himself? Or even to have spent the day with her, showing her around London?
She’d talked non-stop about all the places she wanted to go before falling asleep mid-sentence. Tourist traps, the lot of them. However, he could have taken the time with her, playing the part of fantastically in love man while actually being a fantastically in love man.
However, there was work to be done. The multiple phone calls he’d received had reminded him of that. It was familiar. Purposeful. Nothing had changed there.
Romanov Industries still needed him, even if he had been voted out. He was still the go-to guy. Years of grooming by his father had seen to that.
Perfection, drive, and a firm dedication to the family business were top priorities. Little time spent pursuing anything else, unless it benefitted Romanov.
So polo matches and football teams were turned from great fun into business deals. Though he did love to win, and win often he did. Consideration, of course, was always given to the Princes. Never play better than Royalty does, even if you’re on the same team.
The lift doors opened and he stepped out. “Ah, there you are, Mr. Romanov,” his secretary said, blackberry in hand.
Striding towards his office, he nodded at his office staff. “Cancel my six o’clock meeting with Meldinski. Reschedule for tomorrow at nine,” Sebastian said as they entered his office. The first thing he had done after his father had passed was to move Romanov Industries to this block of Berkley Square. All ten thousand square feet of fully staffed modern and classic office space.
“Very good, sir. I’ll leave you to your tea.” His secretary quit the room.
A butler brought in a tray of tea and scones, placing it on a table near the window. Routine. Efficiency. Thank God for it.
Though as he bit into one, he couldn’t help but compare it to Daisy’s sweets. Maybe he could get her to try making some for him.
He made a noise. Doubtful, since he’d royally mucked things up. The butler would sooner tap dance his way out of Sebastian’s office.
Perhaps he should offer an olive branch. He pulled his mobile out of his pocket.
You may take a nap in any bedroom you choose –S Especially his, he wanted to add, but didn’t.
Less than a minute later came her reply: That’s so generous of you ~D
Yep, he was an ass, and he had to think of an explanation for how he knew Jules’s last name. He was pretty damn sure she wouldn’t go for his Zoe told me, and he suspected she’d already quizzed Isabella about it.
Pocketing his phone, he exhaled.
A discreet knock on his office door and it opened. His best mate, Liam Stewart, strode in with a grim look on his face.
“Cancel whatever plans you have for the next day and a half, we’ve meetings with Liang Technologies and need to prepare.”
Successful negotiations with the Hong Kong based company would greatly improve his standings with the Board. “Of course.” Guilt pricked at him like sharp needles of a cactus. He would have to find something for Daisy to do while he closed this deal. “Is Verity in the country?”
Liam shook his head. “Left this morning. Why?”
Sebastian set down his cup of tea. “Thought she could spend time with Daisy, maybe give her a tour of all the tourist traps.”
“I forgot about your fiancée.” Liam poured himself a cup of tea, adding sugar and a lemon. “Have her taken to The Hall, or the dowager’s house. Your mother would be thrilled to meet—”
“Meet my mother? You can’t be serious.”
“Do you want to be President again or not?”
Sebastian clenched his jaw. “My mother has been emailing Daisy, which made my fiancée uncomfortable.” That was putting it mildly. She’d seemed genuinely upset and had handled his asinine response with her usual finesse and sweetness, until he’d refused to hold her hand. Something so simple, yet he’d been so furious he didn’t trust himself to touch her again.
“Shall I have her email monitored?”
It was on the tip of his tongue to say yes, but he couldn’t. He wouldn’t violate Daisy privacy or ignore her wishes. “No need. She sent the woman to spam.” A smile kicked up the corners of his mouth. “Imagine, Lady Francesca, eldest daughter of the Duke of Everham, denied entry into an inbox.”