Bound by the Billionaire's Baby(10)

By: Cathy Williams


‘Don’t even think of going there!’

Sergio was genuinely outraged that she could believe the worst of him but he grudgingly recognised the irony of the situation. He wasn’t prepared to believe a word of what she was saying so why should she believe a word of what he was telling her? He clearly had money, but that didn’t mean he was...an honourable guy...

He vaguely wondered what she’d meant by that anyway.

‘I don’t need to force myself on women,’ he said flatly.

Susie could believe that. He had a point. ‘So if I told you that I wanted to get out—right here, right now...?’

‘I wouldn’t try and stop you.’

He raked impatient fingers through his dark hair and shot her a fulminating look from under his lashes. Had he ever had so much conversation with any woman before getting into bed with her? Sure, he might discuss the state of the world, what was happening in the news, politics... The women he dated always enjoyed displaying the length, breadth and width of their intellect...

But feelings...?

He met her stubborn stare and sighed. ‘Why were you trying to find a man through the internet? Hasn’t anyone ever told you that it’s not safe?’

Susie relaxed. He had meant it when he had told her that he would drop her off if she asked. She had seen it in his eyes. And she believed him when he said that he had no need to force himself on a woman. She imagined his danger was in trying to escape women forcing themselves on him.

He might be suspicious and downright offensive, but he was up front. And so, so exciting.

‘Have you any idea how hard it is, finding a date in London? When you don’t do the clubbing scene and don’t have a fancy, high-powered job where there are loads of unattached eligible males?’

‘No.’

‘Hard. I mean, I know a lot of guys, but my friends tend to be...well...’ She frowned. ‘They’re creative types. A couple of graphic designers who freelance... One makes amazing designs for wallpapers...three work in publishing...’

‘And eligible men?’ Sergio asked, moving the conversation along, curious in spite of himself.

‘Lots of men—but none of them are what you might call “eligible”. To be honest, quite a few of the guys I know are gay...so when one of my friends suggested I see what was out there on the internet, I didn’t think it was such a bad idea. Besides...’

She talked a lot, but strangely he didn’t seem to mind. He wondered whether it was the lingering effect of the red dress. Or the novelty of someone who didn’t see it as her duty to show him how bright she was and how many degrees she had obtained to get where she had. Or the way her blonde hair spilled over her shoulders in unruly curls.

‘Besides...?’ he inserted encouragingly.

‘I have a wedding coming up.’

Sergio could smell a convoluted story in the making. For the moment, however, his initial suspicions about her were on the back burner. He hadn’t discarded them completely, but he wasn’t going to allow them to dictate the outcome of this very, very unusual encounter.

‘I’m boring you, aren’t I?’

‘On the contrary. You’re taking me down all sorts of roads I’ve never travelled before.’

‘Am I?’ Susie wasn’t sure whether she should be flattered by that or offended. She hesitated, distracted by what he had said. ‘What sort of roads do you normally go down with...er...women...?’

Sergio spread his hands wide and shot her a rueful, amused smile that did all those wonderful tingly things to her body. ‘The women I date are almost exclusively career women...’

‘Oh. Right. I see.’ Disappointment bit into her because it made sense. He was rich and he was smart. Of course he would be attracted to smart and probably rich women. Like always attracted like, didn’t it? ‘Career women...’

‘Big jobs...daily decision-making that in some cases can affect the lives of the people around them...packed agendas and hectic schedules...’

Saying it aloud made him wonder what he saw in those types, but that was just a fleeting thought because he knew exactly what he saw in them—just as he knew exactly the sort of women he had programmed himself to avoid like the plague.

Dominique Duval.

It was a name that didn’t often spring to mind. He had ruthlessly and successfully eliminated it from conscious thought. But vocalising the sort of women he dated had thrown up the comparison and his lips thinned with instant distaste. The past might be buried deep but it was never truly forgotten, was it?

‘What’s the matter?’ Susie leaned forward, startled by his darkening expression and immediately jumping to the conclusion that she was somehow responsible for it. And then almost as quickly she got annoyed, because she hadn’t said anything that could remotely be construed as offensive.

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