By:  Emma Swan  Completed
Language: English
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He wanted a family... at any price! Brody McLean was a wildly successful businessman who had it all. His one remaining ambition was to find the right woman to become his wife and to start his own family... Alanis ‘Lanie’ Roswell's dreams of marriage and babies had been shattered by tragedy. She had to live with the knowledge that she'd never experience the joy of holding her own child. Her career was now her life, and she couldn't allow herself to get close to Brody. If he married her, he'd forget his dreams of fatherhood. Surely that was too heavy a price for any man to pay?

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37 Chapters
“Lanie? There's a man over there who's been staring at you for a good ten minutes. Do you know him?” “Where?”           As Alanis ‘Lanie’ Roswell turned, her wide, green-flecked eyes following Shelly's glance across the crowded, noisy room, her face wasn't even slightly interested. She was used to men staring at her… it came with the territory.           As one of the highest-paid and most successful promotions executives in Chicago, Alanis knew she presented something of an anomaly to the average male. She was seen as ‘the exception that proved the rule’. This meant the women in this male-dominated environment in which she worked weren’t always welcomed.             Graceful and tiny, at five feet one, and with a mass of gleaming strawberry blonde hair, creamy skin, and large expressive eyes in
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         Silver-grey… His eyes were silver-grey, like ice-cold polished steel. “I…”           ‘He must have heard my last remark,’ Alanis thought helplessly.           How could she explain it wasn’t so, that she wasn’t going away yet? That she told Marcia she was going just to avoid a long and futile conversation. “I…” she mumbled again.             Then she took a firm grip on herself, years of training coming to her aid. “I don't think we've met,” she said formally as she held out her hand politely. “I'm Alanis Roswell.” “Yes, I know.”           He smiled coolly but it didn't reach the mesmerizing eyes. “I’m Brody McLean. Nice to meet you.”        &nbs
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          She had to raise her eyes to meet the silver-grey gaze, and again the sheer breadth and height of the man sent something hot flickering down her spine, especially when her senses registered a whiff of the most delicious scent.“Of course, Mr. McLean.”“Have you finished here?” he asked smoothly, his face quite impassive.“Finished…?”          Alanis looked sideways at him.“I… Yes, I've done all I can do…”“Good,” he drawled, watching her with narrowed eyes. “Then we can take this talk somewhere more private, perhaps? There is an excellent little Italian restaurant just a stone's throw away, so maybe you would allow me to take you to dinner?”“Dinner?”          If he had said he w
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          The next morning, while traveling to the city in a cab, Alanis was looking out the window, with a ferocious frown on her sweet, gracious face. Absently, she touched her thick briefcase, packed with papers for that morning meeting.            Brody McLean… McLean… The moment she walked into the cab to go back home from the gallery, she realized who the arrogant man was. Only the most powerful tycoon in the country… She should’ve known the name but she just hadn't connected it with ‘McLean Marine’.          The moment she got home and looked at the e-mails and all the data George and Michael sent her, Alanis had a shock. Yes, she had just given the brush-off to one of the most powerful men in the States.          ‘Brody McLean&helli
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          No… No, she wouldn't, but she couldn't say so. Alanis knew Brody was going to tear all her ideas apart… He was going to get this revenge that would be incredibly satisfying for him and painful for herself, but there was absolutely nothing Alanis could do about it.          She looked around and hid her frustration behind a very polite smile. Even if she was annoyed by Brody’s presence, Alanis knew she had put herself there.“Certainly, Mr. McLean,” Alanis said but she avoided his intent eyes as she lifted her briefcase onto her lap and extracted the night's work. “I've approached the concept from several different angles, actually, as I wasn't sure how formal or extravagant you wanted the launch to be. Now, this was the first idea I had…”          As always while she
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          John Dixon was ten years older than she and quite out of her reach, with his flashy red sports car and his succession of tall, model-type girlfriends that he seemed to change like socks. Their parents had been friends since they moved to Chicago.          Alanis had loved John from afar, absolutely tongue-tied if they ever happened to meet around town, watching him like a lovesick puppy and hanging on his every word. When he had started to flirt with her was still a blurry memory.          She had heard rumors that his last girlfriend, a sophisticated, leggy blonde with the face of an angel and the figure of a goddess, had thrown him over and that he was upset about it, but she hadn't been able to bring herself to believe the hearsay. Who in their right mind would reject John Dixon?         
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“Alanis. How nice to see you again. I trust you had a good flight?”          The deep, dark voice poured over her like liquid fire.“It was fine, thank you,” she responded carefully.          As Brody took her small hand in his, his large fingers swallowing hers whole, Alanis forced herself to betray none of the agitation that had taken over her as soon as he had stridden into the hotel's small conference room.          On arriving in Germany, she had been met at the airport by an impressive limousine that had swept her in style to the luxurious first-class hotel where she was going to stay.          There she had been received with such regard that had left her confused until she'd realized the place was part of a hotel chain that belonged to
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        While saying that last words, Alanis kinda lost her voice as Brody stood looking down at her, his silver-grey eyes gleaming in the dull artificial light overhead and his face perfectly still. Even if he wasn't speaking, especially when he wasn't speaking, the cold, compelling aura of the man was fiercely strong.“You don't lie very well… Unlike most of the other women, I might add,” Brody replied thoughtfully after a few tense moments had passed. “You'd really find my company so unpleasant? So difficult to endure?”“I-I… It's not that. I'm just…”“Tired?”          He cut into her red-faced mutterings with cool composure as the elevator doors glided silently open, and Alanis knew her legs were trembling slightly as she stepped into the carpeted box.“Alanis, you are 28 years of age and free as a bird&he
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          As they reached the ground floor and the elevator opened onto the luxurious reception area, Alanis smiled coolly, her back straight.“Of course, I relax,” she said. “Often.”“Wow, did I saw a smile?” Brody said looking at her and smiled back.          Since she avoided looking back and didn’t answer his laconic remark, Brody kept going.“When?” he challenged quietly.“What?”          This time, Alanis stared up at him as he brought her to a halt by turning her to face him, his large hands under her elbows.“When do you relax?” he asked patiently, his voice soft. “I mean really relax, Alanis.”“I… All the time.”         
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“Red it is, then.”           When another waiter handed her the menu, she was immensely thankful to see that it was printed in German, French, and English, although even so most of the dishes were unknown to her. “If I may… I would recommend you the lobster and avocado salad,” he spoke after she had been eyeing the list for a few moments, his voice casual as he kept his eyes on his own menu. “That sounds wonderful.”           Alanis nodded her approval, and as Brody spoke swiftly to the waiter in rapid German, the wine waiter came back, his face wreathed in smiles as he poured a small amount of what was clearly a very expensive wine for Brody to taste.           Once they were alone again, Alanis forced herself to speak lightly as Brody settled back comfortably in his chair, his strange silver-grey eyes narrowe
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