Maxine Sullivan - Baby for the Billionaire Page 0,2

“I’m supposed to be working.”

“Then add an extra hour’s wages to the bill. My father can afford it.”

She tipped her head to one side, her straight blond hair swaying like a sheen of silk over her shoulders. “You’re very generous with your father’s money.”

“He wants me to talk to you.”

She tensed. “Oh. I see. He’s firing me, is he?”

“No, it’s not that at all.” But she was going to wish it was.

Relief fluttered across her face. “Then what can you possibly say to me that he can’t himself?”

Marry me.

He opened his mouth to say it but realized it would be a bit too much all in the space of a minute. No need to break a record with this.

He gestured toward the salon. “The coffee first.” He waited for her to precede him, then used the intercom to ask Iris to bring in some coffee.

When he turned to look at Sasha she was standing by the fireplace. Suddenly he couldn’t take his eyes off her. It was crazy but she looked so right standing there in tailored white pants and a soft-knit green top, slim and refined and such a contrast amongst all this heavy, ornate furniture.

“It’s not polite to stare.”

Her words broke through his thoughts. “You’re different from what I remember.” It was more than a physical difference, but he wasn’t sure what it was yet.

Her eyelids flickered. “What do you remember, Nick?”

“Our kiss.”

She gave a soft gasp. “It’s not gentlemanly of you to bring that up.”

“I was only being honest.”

“Ever heard of being too honest?”

“I don’t work like that.”

“True. You were nothing less than honest after that kiss, weren’t you?” she said, a wry twist coating her lips.

“If you mean that I didn’t profess everlasting love, then you’re right. I’d prefer not to sugarcoat things.” It had been a kiss—a stunner of a kiss—but that’s all it was. “Why, did I hurt your ego?”

“What? No way,” she said quickly, perhaps too quickly. “It was my first kiss by a man, that’s all. Up until then they’d all been boys.”

“No doubt you’ve been plenty kissed since then.”

“I’m not naive.”

“Yes, I remember Randall. You had a fling with him, didn’t you?”

Strangely, the thought of her with other men—with Randall Tremaine—had always unsettled him, but he forced himself to ignore it. She could kiss whomever she liked, make love to whomever she liked. And she had. It had nothing to do with him.

Until now.

She gave a shaky sigh. “I can’t believe the first thing we talk about after seven years is kissing.”

“I can.”

A blush rose up her cheeks but just then Iris appeared in the doorway with the tray of coffee, interrupting the moment. They exchanged a few pleasantries, then Iris put the tray down on the coffee table and left the room.

“Shall I pour?” Sasha said, taking a seat on the sofa.

“Thanks.” He sat down opposite, watching as she poured with an elegance that was innate. Once again he had the feeling she looked right in this setting. He grimaced to himself. Or perhaps it was just because his father had implanted the idea in him.

“So how long has it been since you left for London?” he asked as she passed him the cup and saucer.

“Five years.”

“You were twenty when you left. That’s young to be in a big city by yourself.”

“I wasn’t by myself,” she said, and just for a moment his breath stopped at the thought of her living with another man. “I have an aunt who lives there, so I stayed with her for a few years. Then I got my own place.” She picked up her own cup and saucer but didn’t drink from it. “Our fathers are friends. I’m sure your father would have told you all this.”

“He probably did,” he said without thinking, angry at himself for caring even for a moment that she may have lived with some guy.

“But you didn’t bother to listen, right?”

He didn’t like being put on the spot like that. He was usually the one putting people on the spot. “It’s been five years. I’d probably forgotten it long ago.”

She held his gaze for a moment. “I’m sure.” Her tone made him stiffen but before he could analyze her response, she put her coffee cup down on the table. “Now. Please give me the message from your father. I need to get back to work.”

Fine. So did he.

He placed his own cup on the table, then leaned back on the sofa, giving himself a full view of her face.