The Secret Spanish Love-Child - By Cathy Williams

Chapter One

GABRIEL heard his secretary’s sharp rap on his office door with a sense of relief.

Perched on his desk, with her high, high heels dangling from her feet and her short, short skirt provocatively and purposefully riding high enough to expose a generous eyeful of thigh, Cristobel had been in full flow for the past twenty minutes.

She needed to really start doing the shops, the wedding was getting closer by the day and everything had to be perfect and there was just no way that she was going to leave all the details to that ridiculous wedding planner his mother had insisted on hiring.

She had punctuated each statement with a flick of her long, curling blonde hair and a jabbing motion with her finger, taking care to lean forward so that he couldn’t fail to notice her deep cleavage and the full swell of her breasts under the tightly pulled silk top.

Cristobel was nothing if not sweepingly confident about her ability to use her body to its maximum advantage and while Gabriel would concede that he had been distracted by it for all of two minutes, right now he just wanted her out of his office and safely tucked away in whatever mind-blowingly expensive shop she favoured. He really didn’t care. He had calls to make and several reports to look at and the high pitched, insistent staccato of her voice was beginning to give him a headache.

Naturally he had contained his impatience because she was, after all, his fiancée but he had almost given his secretary a standing ovation when she had tactfully suggested that she had checked the personnel files and found a Spanish speaking employee who would be delighted to take Cristobel to Knightsbridge, where she would be able to shop to her heart’s content before she headed back to Madrid.

‘But I want you to come with me,’ Cristobel pouted now, leaning further forward and sweeping aside several documents as she planted her hands flat on his desk. ‘It’s important for you to get involved with the planning.’

‘You don’t want me involved with the planning, Cristobel,’ Gabriel told her dryly. ‘At any rate, you know how I feel about these things. Lavish weddings are not my cup of tea.’ Nor, he mused now, were weddings of any sort, at least in so far as they pertained to him, until a year ago when he had finally and philosophically ceded to loving but insistent parental pressure.

His parents were both keen to see him married and settled. They were getting older. They wanted grandchildren. Whilst they were still at an age to enjoy them. Before they died.

And Gabriel had finally acknowledged that perhaps the time was right to take a wife. There was a very thin line between the desirable bachelor and the oldest swinger in town. He was now in his thirties and life had a habit of racing on.

Cristobel would make a perfectly suitable wife. Her family tree was as old as his was and as wealthy. She understood the unspoken rules of the way his life operated and would abide by them. Whatever she wanted, she would have and in return she would understand that his work was a priority for him. She was also a beautiful woman, small, voluptuous and well groomed.

On paper, it was a union brokered in heaven and any doubts were expertly fielded by using common sense and reason, two things which had never let him down in his life before.

‘You’ll enjoy Harrods with another woman.’ His phone rang and he answered it, his mind already on work, watching distractedly as Cristobel slid off his desk and stood up, smoothing down her tight cream skirt with her hands and pouting at him.

She was moving towards her bag when the door opened and in walked his Spanish-speaking saviour. A number on a file somewhere in the bowels of his cutting-edge glass building, a name he hadn’t even been told because it was such an insignificant detail. But that face. The memory of it leapt out at him as though it had been lying just below the surface, nudging the edges of his consciousness.

Gabriel had a moment of utter speechlessness, while Cristobel continued to sort herself out, dabbing some lipstick on her mouth and angling a little compact mirror so that she could inspect her handiwork.

Alex Mcguire. He didn’t need Janet to announce her because he realised that he could put the name to the person in an instant, even though it had been years