The Wedding Bargain. Yvonne Lindsay
paid to that, she realized. And no wonder she felt safe with him, given the way he’d helped and protected her today. She owed him, big time. Not many men would have done what he did.
She sighed and sipped her wine. The silence between them was companionable, but she felt compelled to say something about the way she’d absconded from her own wedding.
“I guess I owe you an explanation,” she started, turning to face Raif, who stared out into the darkness beside her.
* * *
Raif had no need to know what had finally brought Shanal to her senses and sent her flying from the cathedral this morning. And frankly, the less time they spent talking about her would-be groom, the better Raif would feel.
“Look,” he interrupted. “Burton Rogers and I might have been at school together. We might even have resembled friends once upon a time, but we’re not now. To be honest, I’ve wondered more about your reasons for agreeing to marry him than I have about your reasons for running away. You don’t need to explain a thing.”
Shanal sat up a bit straighter in her chair. “You really don’t like him, do you?”
“Don’t like him, don’t trust him.”
“That’s what you tried to talk to me about, back when we announced our engagement, wasn’t it?”
He drained his glass. “Another?” he asked, standing up and putting out his empty hand.
“No, thanks, I’m okay. In fact, I think that glass has completely gone to my head. I was too nervous to eat this morning and—”
“I’ll go warm up dinner. Mac left us a chicken casserole in the refrigerator. We’ll have to cook our own meals from tomorrow.”
He went inside before Shanal could realize he’d completely avoided answering her question. But he hadn’t counted on her dogged determination to see things to an end. He should have known better. It was what made her a good research scientist, but not necessarily good company right now.
“What was it that you didn’t say to me at the time, Raif? Why do you dislike him so much?”
“It doesn’t matter now.”
“I’d like to know.”
He set the microwave to reheat and popped the covered casserole dish inside before straightening to face her.
“He killed Laurel,” he said simply.
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