I am beyond excited for this series of reading companions for the Consequences series. These are some of my very favorite books, and seeing things through Tony’s eyes is bound to be an exciting, and slightly disturbing, ride! MakAleatha Romig can write one hell of a story! Make sure you all get to 1-clicking! Here is a nice long excerpt to tide you over until you start to devour this book!
Long Teaser #2
Behind His Eyes – Consequences
By: Aleatha Romig
Shall we go to the movies? – August 2010
At a little after 3:30 AM, there was no need for formalities. Catherine didn’t knock or address him with any sort of conventionality as she opened the door to his office, secured her bathrobe, and began speaking, “Just because you can’t sleep, doesn’t mean that I don’t. Tell me why on earth you summoned me here at this ungodly hour. Besides, don’t you need to leave for New York this morning?”
“Good morning, to you, too. I will be leaving in a few hours, and I woke you because I’m taking Claire. You need to pack her things.”
Catherine shook her head. “You’re what? Have you lost your mind?”
“I’m taking Claire with me to New York, and I believe that perhaps it’s you who’s delusional. This early hour has taken your candidness to the extreme. Do you have a problem with my decision?”
Catherine sat at one of the chairs by his desk and shook her head from side to side. “First, you start sleeping in her suite. Then, you take her out on public appearances. Now, you’re going to take her to New York? They’re already speculating about the two of you in the press, are you trying to put her in the spotlight?”
Tony shrugged his shoulders as a faint grin emerged.
Catherine cocked a brow. “Explain yourself. Tell me, are you falling for her?”
“No. How about you? Is she fulfilling some unmet motherly need?”
Catherine suddenly stood and the chair where she’d been sitting pushed against the wall. Her gray eyes glared in response. “Anton, that isn’t even possible. You know I don’t want to discuss that.”
“Fine,” he agreed. “I won’t make assumptions about your motives, if you don’t make assumptions about mine.”
“My motives. My motives!”—her volume increased—“I’ll tell you my motives. They’re to keep the two of us out of jail. I mean seriously, if you’d stayed with the plan—the one we’ve had for a long time—if you’d stuck to that, there would be no witnesses, no connections, and we’d be safe. This”—she waved her hands toward the ceiling—“was not our plan, and now you want to make her even more publicly visible?”
“My dear Catherine Marie”—it was his way of calming her. She no longer used the name Marie; yet it reminded them both of his grandfather and therefore, usually helped to sooth the discussion—“it’s all about appearances. I’ll admit that I’ve been spending most of my nights in her bed.” He leaned forward. “If you were in my shoes, or out of them, I believe you’d do the same. It has more benefits than sleeping alone. Besides, technically, it’s my bed, in my house, on my estate, and I can sleep anywhere I damn-well please.”
“I believe you’re putting too much emphasis on those benefits. They’re affecting your thinking.”
He chuckled. “You see, that’s where you’re wrong. I know very well what I’m doing. I’ve taken her out in public. She’s been seen with me. While we’re in New York, I’ve told her that she’ll shop.”
Catherine resumed her seat. “Shop? So you want her to be visible?” She sat for a moment and contemplated, “Do you believe she’ll be seen? I’m not sure that the press will recognize her yet. Not without you, I mean.”
“Maybe not, but Eric will. He’ll get pictures.” Tony’s grin grew. “I consider it part of our insurance policy.”
“She’ll need to spend more money than she did last time. If you want to convince the world she’s after your money, she’ll need to buy more than a few blouses and a book.”
“I’ll emphasize that in my directive”—he leaned back—“faith, Marie, have faith.”
“All right, since you’ve already put her out there, the more insurance the better. I just think it would’ve been better to not have had her out in public with you in the first place.” She stood and walked toward the door. “I think it would’ve been better to stick with the original plan.”
“She’s not on a vacation.” Tony reminded in a low, yet direct tone.
“Really?” Catherine turned toward him. “She dresses in the best, she doesn’t lift a finger, and now she’s traveling. So, she’s satisfying your needs—I don’t think she hates that—anymore.”
He smirked. “Are you surprised? For your information, I could provide a long list of references who…don’t hate it.”
“Do I really care? No, I don’t. I’m concerned.”
“That you’re letting down your guard. I mean, who’s really in control? How much is you, and how much is her manipulating you? You’re a man. Men—well—men forget sometimes what part of their body should do the thinking.” She softened her tone. “Anton, I don’t want you to be swayed.”
As Catherine went on about her concern, Tony remembered the night before in Claire’s suite. It was the first time she’d willingly offered herself to him—and he allowed it. He didn’t direct her movements or give instructions. He’d allowed her to seduce him, and now he’s taking her to New York. Could Catherine be right?
When Catherine quieted, Tony replied, sounding more confident than he truly felt. “That’s ridiculous. I didn’t wake you for a debate. I woke you so that you could do what you do, and have her ready to board my plane by 6:00 AM. Do you think you can do that? Do you think you can do your part of this project?”
“Yes”—her neck stiffened—“I can do that.” She rubbed her hands over the softness of her robe. “I’m sorry. You’re right. I’m sure Claire Nichols isn’t manipulating you. You’re in much more control than that. I know you wouldn’t want to disappoint Nathaniel that way; besides, it sounds like this public appearance thing is well planned and thought out.”
Tony nodded as Catherine disappeared around the partially open door.