The Millionaire's Proposition(4)

By: Avril Tremayne

Amy gave Scott a smacking kiss on the cheek before enveloping Kate in a hug.

‘Kate!’ she squealed. ‘It’s been an age.’

Kate laughed as she returned the hug. ‘Well, two weeks, anyway—you didn’t drink so many mojitos at Fox that you’ve forgotten?’

What the hell…? Scott wondered if he was the only one of the group who’d never met Kate. Well—him and Willa’s brother, Luke, who was still in Singapore. Was this some kind of Weeping Reef conspiracy? Would Chantal turn up at last—because God knew how he’d deal with that—and Brodie? He could picture Brodie sauntering over, snatching the heart of another of Scott’s women…

Not that Kate was Scott’s woman.

Jessica and Kate were hugging now. Okay—this was officially out of control. Even Jessica knew Kate?

‘It wasn’t the mojitos that were news at Fox,’ Jessica said. ‘It was one very particular martini.’

The blush was back on Kate’s cheekbones. ‘The less said about that the better,’ she said with a theatrical shudder.

Scott was suddenly desperate to hear the story. ‘You don’t like martinis?’ he asked—only to have Willa, Amy and Jessica burst out laughing.

He looked at Rob, who gave him a don’t ask me shrug.

‘It was a dirty martini,’ Amy said, putting him out of his misery. ‘Bought for her by Barnaby, my arch nemesis at work, who just happened to be drinking at Fox too. Blond, blue-eyed and gorgeous—that’s Barnaby. Thinks he’s God’s gift to marketing. And to women. And to be honest, he kind of is. Just not to Kate.’

Kate shook her head, laughing, as though batting the subject away.

‘It was the way he said “dirty”,’ Jessica put in, helping herself to a glass of punch. ‘It’s one thing being presented with a dirty martini. It’s quite another to have it presented with a slimy pick-up line. “Just how dirty do you like it, baby?” Yep—that would make any woman want to jump you. Not.’

More laughing from the girls as Kate covered her eyes with a hand.

Rob was practically cringing. ‘Seriously?’

Willa kissed Rob’s cheek. ‘Not all men are as evolved as you, Rob.’

Rob turned to Scott. ‘You ever used that one?’

‘Dirty martini? Nope. And, given the reaction Barnaby got, I doubt I ever will. Although in my youth I did once embarrass myself with a comment to twin girls about a Ménage à Trois.’

Jessica’s eyes bugged. ‘Twins? Like…a real ménage à trois? Or is that the name of a fancy-pants cocktail?’

‘It’s a cocktail,’ Scott assured her. ‘And delicious, apparently—because, as it happens, they both ordered one and made very…approving…noises.’ He cleared his throat, all faux embarrassment. ‘As they sipped, I mean.’

‘They ordered one apiece—with a side order of you?’ Amy asked, batting her eyelashes outrageously.

Scott smiled. The lazy, teasing smile he reserved for flirty moments with women he wasn’t ever going to take to bed. ‘A gentleman never tells a lady’s secrets.’

He saw something flash across Amy’s face. Something like…distress? But it was gone so quickly he wondered if he’d imagined it. And the next moment she was laughing again.

‘Well, anyway, enough with the “in my youth” talk. If I’ve got my arithmetic in order you’re twenty-seven—one measly year older than me. And I’ll have you know I still consider myself to be in my youth.’

An odd gasping sound from Kate had Scott turning to her. It looked as if she’d spilled punch on her dress, because she was brushing a hand over the bodice. It must have been only the tiniest drop—he certainly couldn’t see any sign of it—but the next moment Willa was ushering Kate to the guest bathroom and Amy was asking Rob what exactly was in the punch, because she’d never seen Kate’s nerves of steel so much as bend before, let alone be dented.

The punch, apparently, was a combination of vodka, white wine, white rum and champagne, with an occasional strawberry waved over the bowl—that did not sound girly! It was a miracle everyone in the house wasn’t stumbling around breaking bits off sculptures, staggering into walls and pitching face-first into pot plants.

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