Bound by the Billionaire's Baby(3)

By: Cathy Williams

She had no idea who the man was, but he actually thought that she had targeted him! Thought that she was making a play for him because she wanted to ask him for money!

‘Are you accusing me of coming here to ask you for money?’

The man gave a bark of humourless laughter and raked his eyes over her. ‘Clever deduction. Now, what’s your choice of exit going to be?’

‘I didn’t come here to ask for money. I don’t even know who you are...’

‘Now, I wonder why I find that hard to believe?’

‘Please—just hear me out. I honestly don’t make it a habit to approach strange men even expensive restaurants...but I won’t be long...’

She had as much right to be here as he did. Admittedly not actually at his table, but in the restaurant...generally speaking.

She actually had her own table booked, and would be forking out for some very expensive food just as soon as her blind date left and she could relax—and that was more than could be said for him, judging from the way his plate had been shoved to one side. One drink wasn’t going to make the restaurant owner a rich guy, was it? In fact he was just the sort of customer a restaurant owner would hate! The sort of customer who booked a table, had a drink, made it last for four hours and refused to budge for the remainder of the evening.

‘I haven’t come here because I’m targeting you for money,’ she repeated urgently, leaning forward, elbows resting on the table. ‘And, by the way, I feel very sorry for you if you can’t talk to a stranger for three minutes without thinking that they’re going to ask you to put your hand in your pocket and write them out a cheque! You’re the only person in this place on your own and I...I...just need to kill a little time before I’m shown to my table. I do have, actually, a valid reservation. And I will be eating.’

She took a deep breath and powered on before he had a chance to throw her out on her ear—because, whether she had a valid reason to be there or not, she certainly didn’t have a valid reason to gatecrash his table.

‘Do you see the guy sitting at the bar?’

Humiliation made her skin prickle. She had always been a people person. Finding herself stared at as though she was something that had crawled in off the streets—something that needed to be bagged and binned immediately—was a new experience for her and she didn’t like it.

His icy silence squashed her natural breeziness like a pin being stuck into a balloon.

* * *

Sergio Burzi was frankly incredulous. Had she just told him that she felt sorry for him or had he misheard? He felt as though he had been run over by a bus, and was momentarily too dazed to do anything but pick himself up and dust himself down.

‘There are a lot of guys at the bar,’ he said.

So she would eventually do one of two things. Ask outright for money for some hare-brained scheme or else try and cosy up to him. He was a target for gold-diggers, and gold-diggers came in all different shapes and sizes and plied their trade with the back-up of all sorts of sob stories and fairytales.

But he was between women...jaded with the opposite sex. He liked them clever, career-orientated...he liked women who had purposeful, goal-orientated lives, who weren’t clingy and emotional. He had had them by the bucketload, but recently...they did less and less for him. Not even the chase was as stimulating as it had used to be, and more often than not the ‘catch of the day’ became boring in a matter of weeks.

What was the harm in letting this woman sit with him for a couple of minutes before he got rid of her?

She was putting on a damn fine show and she was really rather attractive. Big brown eyes, blonde curly hair that looked as though it had only a passing acquaintance with a brush, full, sexy lips...

A sharp pang of pure lust hit him deep in the gut. He had a vivid image of how that cloud of strawberry blonde hair would look spread across his pillow, her pale skin against his much darker bronze.

It just showed how neglected his sex-life had been of late. He had dispatched his last girlfriend over two months ago and hadn’t had the energy or the desire to replace her.

And now this tawdry little gold-digger had stirred him up. He sat back, easing the discomfort of a sudden rock-hard erection, and gave her his undivided attention.

‘Which one are you talking about?’ he asked, angling his big body so that he could extend his long legs to one side. ‘And why should I be looking at him?’

Susie relaxed fractionally. He was prepared to listen to what she had to say. This would be the end of her learning curve. No more blind dates. Ever.

‘Yellow jumper. Mustard trousers. Thin sandy hair. Do you see him?’

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