The Konstantos Marriage Demand

By: Kate Walker

“Sadie…” Nikos said again, and at long last the finger that rested so lightly on her cheek moved softly.

And he bent his head to kiss her.

It felt as if it was the kiss she had been waiting for all her life. It was shocking, heart-stopping in its gentleness. But after that she knew nothing else. Nothing but Nikos and the warmth of his body all around her and the pressure of his mouth on hers.

She was drowning in a dark, heady world of sensuality, aware only of the responses of her body, following blindly where Nikos led. Her own hands rose, arms winding around his neck, drawing his proud head down, taking the kiss into another dimension.

“Nikos…” She choked out his name, restless fingers clutching in his hair.

But the words died on her tongue, crushed back down her throat by the way he suddenly stopped, his whole mood changing. The hands that had held her close were now moving her away from him, setting her aside with cold precision. And then, to her total consternation and horror, he pulled back the cuff of his shirt and checked his watch again.

“Your time is almost up. You have just fifty seconds left,” he declared with flat detachment, completely devoid of emotion. “Was there anything else you wanted to say before you leave?”

KATE WALKER was born in Nottinghamshire, England, and grew up in a home where books were vitally important. Even before she could write she was making up stories. She can’t remember a time when she wasn’t scribbling away at something.

But everyone told her that she would never make a living as a writer, so instead she became a librarian. At the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, she met her husband, who was also studying at the college. They married and eventually moved to Lincolnshire, where she worked as a children’s librarian until her son was born.

After three years of being a full-time housewife and mother she was ready for a new challenge, so she turned to her old love of writing. The first two novels she sent off to Harlequin® Books were rejected, but she was successful on the third attempt. She can still remember the moment that a letter of acceptance arrived instead of the rejection slip she had been dreading. But the moment she really realized that she was a published writer was when copies of her first book, The Chalk Line, arrived just in time to be one of her best Christmas presents ever.

Kate is often asked if she’s a romantic person, because she writes romances. Her answer is that if being romantic means caring about other people enough to make that extra-special effort for them, then, yes, she is.

Kate loves to hear from her fans. You can contact her through her Web site at or e-mail her at [email protected]


IN SPITE OF the driving rain that lashed her face, stinging her eyes and almost blinding her, Sadie had no trouble finding her way to the offices where she had an appointment first thing that morning. From the moment that she left the tube station and turned right it was as if her feet were taking her automatically along the route she needed, with no need to look where she was going.

But then of course she had been this way so many times before. In other days, some time ago perhaps, but often enough to know her way without thinking. Of course then she had been heading in this direction in such very different circumstances. In those days she would have arrived in a taxi, or perhaps a chauffeur-driven car, with a uniformed driver sliding the limousine to the edge of the kerb and opening the door for her. Then, the offices towards which she was heading had belonged to her father as the head of Carteret Incorporated. Now they were the UK headquarters of the man who had set out to ruin her family in revenge for the way he had been treated.

And who had succeeded far more than he had ever dreamed.

Burning tears mingled with the sting of the rain as Sadie forced her feet towards the huge plate glass doors that marked the entrance to the elegant building, blinding her so that she almost stumbled across the threshold. Bitter acid swirled in her stomach as the doors slid open and she recognised the way that the words Konstantos Corporation were now etched in big gold letters on the glass where once she had been able to see her father’s name—her family name—displayed so clearly.

Would she ever be able to come back here and not think of her father, dead and in his grave for over six months, while the man who had hated him enough to take everything he possessed from him now lorded it over the company that her great-grandfather had built up from nothing into the multimillion corporation it now was?

‘No!’ Drawing on all the determination she possessed, Sadie shook her head, sending her sleek dark hair flying, her green eyes dark with resolve, as she stepped into the wide, marble-floored foyer. Her black patent high-heeled shoes made a clipped, decisive sound as she made her way across to the pale wood reception desk.