Bound by the Billionaire's Baby(9)

By: Cathy Williams


‘We could—although I’ve often found that there are far more interesting things to do with a woman than talk. Now, are you going to get in?’

Susie hopped in, breathing in the smell of expensive leather and feeling the warmth of the car wrap around her. She shifted over to the window, still not entirely sure what had propelled her into doing something as extraordinary as climbing into a car with a guy she’d known for all of five minutes.

‘Club or my place?’

Sergio turned to her and all at once she felt the intimacy between them like a force.

His beautiful face was all shadows and dark, brooding angles. God, she could stare at this man and keep staring. The cute guys she had met in the past seemed like inept little boys in comparison. Actually, they probably were. This was a powerful alpha male, the leader of the pack, the king of the jungle, and a shiver of unbridled excitement rippled through her.

‘Well...’

She let that one syllable drag out and for Sergio that was answer in itself. He leaned forward and told his driver to head home, and then he relaxed back, sprawled against the car door and looked at her.

He liked this game she was playing. How many men had she approached in the past? he wondered. How many stories did she have up her sleeve? That hesitant, glorious air of innocence could go a long way...

‘So if you didn’t like secretarial work,’ he said obligingly, very happy to chat to her about the past she probably altered according to her audience, ‘why did you go in for it in the first place?’

‘What do you do?’ Susie asked curiously, as always reluctant to point out all her deficiencies—at least as compared to her gifted family members. Especially to this man who, for reasons unknown, she was driven to try and impress.

Sergio threw her an amused, vaguely disbelieving look and she stared back at him and laughed.

It was an infectious laugh. It was the laugh of someone who enjoyed laughing. His own lips twitched.

‘Share the joke?’ he drawled drily.

‘You think I know who you are, don’t you? I bet you still think I’m after whatever money you have —even though I’ve told you that I’m not.’

‘You surely must have heard of me?’ Sergio heard himself say.

Her laughter subsided into a grin. ‘Why?’

‘Because my name crops up regularly. I’m either making money or giving it away.’

‘What does that mean?’

The undercurrent threading through their conversation felt dangerous, heady and compelling. The way those deep, penetrating eyes roved over her made her feel hot and breathless, and she had never enjoyed a sensation more in her life.

‘It means I make money—and lots of it.’

‘Doing what?’

‘All sorts of things,’ Sergio said with a shrug. ‘I buy things, take things over, invest in things, build things... I own the restaurant, as a matter of fact. It’s one of five scattered across the country that specialise in superb food and an edgy atmosphere.’

‘You own that restaurant?’

Her mouth fell open and Sergio couldn’t help himself. He laughed.

‘Are you telling me you weren’t aware of that?’

‘Why should I be?’ She looked at him, bemused. ‘I honestly had no idea,’ she told him. ‘And if you really and truly believe that I only went there to try and get your attention because you’re rich, then you can ask your driver to stop and I’ll get out and find my own way back home.’

‘You don’t mean that.’

She didn’t answer. Instead she rapped on the glass partition separating them from his driver. He caught her wrist and held on to it until she reluctantly met his eyes.

‘You headed straight over to my table,’ he said grimly. ‘You sat down uninvited until you managed to wangle dinner, and now here you are, in my car, heading back to my place... What’s a billionaire supposed to think?’

Susie yanked her hand away, stung, because what he said might make sense on the surface but was so far from the truth that it was laughable.

Sergio noted the glimmer of tears glazing her eyes and for a few seconds had some doubts about the conclusions he had drawn. She had squeezed herself tightly against the car door and he had the impression that if she could have made herself disappear in a puff of smoke she would have.

‘Well?’ he persisted roughly. ‘What am I supposed to think?’

‘You’re supposed to believe what I’ve told you.’

He laughed humourlessly. ‘Women have an unfortunate habit of acting out of character the second they’re exposed to a man with a lot of money.’

‘Do they? I wouldn’t know. I want to get out. I want to go home. I should never have agreed to get in this car with you in the first place. You think I’ve only done it because I’m after your money and you don’t want to believe me when I tell you that you’re wrong. Well, how do I know that you’re an honourable guy? How do I know that you’re not going to take me back to your place and...and...?’

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