Home > The Man's Outrageous Demands (Royal Cordova Family Trilogy #2)(13)

The Man's Outrageous Demands (Royal Cordova Family Trilogy #2)(13)
Author: Elizabeth Lennox

Marabeth looked into his eyes. She thought there was a teasing look about him but wasn’t sure. “I can’t have all my appointments come here.”

“Why not?” he asked, raising an eyebrow questioningly.

“Because…” she tried to think of a reason. “Because it just isn’t feasible.” Marabeth knew that it was weak but she just couldn’t think with him sitting so close to him and looking so handsome.

Sam was unrelenting “Well, despite your articulate argument, I can’t allow you to leave the palace today.”

“But why? What is the reason behind this sudden restriction?”

A shadow came over Sam’s face. Marabeth saw it but couldn’t explain it. It made her very curious though. “I’m not at liberty to discuss it at this time but you’ll have to trust me on this issue.”

“Trust you?” she gasped. Marabeth wanted to laugh but was too nervous. “Why on earth would I trust you?”

“You’re father trusts me,” he replied, leaning back with a slight smile on his face.

“That’s my father. And he trusts you with the defense of his country, not my schedule.”

“It all falls under the same category.”

“I disagree.”

“You’re free to try and leave the palace and test my authority, princess.”

Marabeth gritted her teeth. “What are you doing to me?” she demanded, standing up with her hands fisted at her sides. “This is completely unreasonable.” Knowing that her temper was getting the better of her, she tried to calm down.

Sam didn’t rise with her but looked up at her, a hand on his chin as he watched her furious expression. “I’m sorry you think so.”

She sat down again, wishing she wasn’t so angry but unable to get control while he sat there so calmly. His words just indicated that he was not going to relent no matter what she said. And she knew that no one would enter or leave the palace without his permission. “What about tomorrow?” she demanded, her temper getting hotter as the conversation went on.

Sam’s eyes were hooded as he replied, “We’ll have to see about tomorrow. At this point, I won’t make any promises.”

Marabeth jumped up angrily, her hands on her hips as she challenged him. “You can’t do that to me or my staff!”

“I don’t care about your staff, but yes, I can do that to you,” he said calmly, this time standing up as well and moving slightly closer to her.

Marabeth stepped back, intimidated despite herself. “No. I won’t allow this to happen. I have things to do and people to see. I won’t allow you to restrict my movements like this,” she said and walked over to the window in an effort to find some argument to make this man see her point of view. She swung around to face him. “You can’t do this!”

He didn’t dare follow her but moved a few feet closer and looked down into her face. “It is already done,” he said.

Marabeth wanted to slap his calm face. “Why?” she demanded. “What on earth could be happening that would force you to eliminate my public appearances?” She noticed the shadow again and the curtain fell into place, effectively shutting her out.

“Nothing specific and nothing I can discuss with you at this point,” he said evasively.

His reply was so ambiguous she just couldn’t accept it. “Let me get this straight, you’re not allowing me to leave but you don’t have any specific threats that indicate a danger for me appearing in public. Or at least none that you’re willing to discuss with me despite the fact that they may pertain to my personal safety. Does that sum up the situation accurately?”

He put his hands in his pockets and nodded. “That’s pretty accurate,” he replied.

“That’s a completely unacceptable stance. Let me go about my business and Add extra men, I don’t care. But restricting me allow the security team to do the same. to the palace is going to drive me nuts.”

“I’m sorry that you don’t like the situation but I can’t lift the order. Not at this time anyway. I don’t think that would be safe at this moment.”

“Why?” she demanded, reading between the lines and understanding that something was going on that he wasn’t telling her about.

Sam hesitated, which confirmed her suspicions that he knew something that he wasn’t telling her. “Why don’t you let me worry about that?” he suggested.

That only infuriated Marabeth further, if that was possible. “Minister, you’re being ridiculous. And furthermore, if there is a security issue that involves me, I want to know about it.”

“Let me worry about security issues, Marabeth,” he said calmly. “That’s my job,” he explained.

Marabeth was so angry she could barely think anymore. She knew it would be better to calm down and figure out a way to approach him that would be more effective. As rationally as possible, she turned to face him saying, “I disagree with you on this issue but I understand that you’re not going to listen to anyone’s argument other than your own right now. And I’m too angry to be reasonable myself so I’m not being very effective either. Let me just say that I think you’re being ridiculous and I’m done discussing this with someone as hardheaded and apparently arbitrary as you,” she said and stormed out of the office.

She was halfway back to her office when she turned and made her way towards the gym instead. She was too angry to work and knew that she’d only stomp around in her offices until she worked her anger out of her system. “Please tell my secretary that I’ve gone to the gym,” she asked a passing servant.

“Yes, your highness,” the servant said bowing and then immediately rushing to convey the message.

Marabeth stormed into her bedroom and pulled on a pair of leggings and a cotton shirt, then headed for the gym so she could work off her anger. She knew it was the middle of the morning but she was just too angry to work now. Not that she could, she thought angrily to herself as she punched the buttons on the treadmill. That obnoxious man wouldn’t even let her leave the palace so what work was there to do? She really didn’t have any obligations except to be present and lend her name to different causes. It wasn’t the most intellectually stimulating work but she felt it was worthwhile and she was contributing to society instead of just being a well known face and a convenient hanger for designer clothes.

She punched the speed button three more times, increasing the pace in an effort to get thoughts of that arrogant man out of her mind. How dare he cancel all of her meetings! He really had no right. She was going to discuss this with her father at the very first opportunity. As soon as she could calm down, she told herself and increased the treadmill’s pace again.

Thirty minutes later, she still felt angry and sweat was dripping off her face. She’d forgotten a towel but wasn’t ready to get off the treadmill. Marabeth was too busy coming up with ways to get back at the odious man. Unfortunately, none of her ideas were very practical and not many were able to be put to use without special training, of which she didn’t have. Some involved sharp objects. Although she couldn’t actually do them, just imagining doing them to Sam made her feel better.

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