Every Girl's Secret Fantasy. Robyn Grady
And she did, unable to hold back a whooping laugh as they shot out into a break in traffic.
Phoebe Moore could be summed up in two words.
Reaffirming that truth, Pace leaned his machine into a corner and sweet Phoebe cuddled in close. Feminine fingers clutched, warm thighs pinched, and firm breasts pushed. Smiling, he gunned the throttle for an extra burst of speed.
No contest. This woman grew more alluring each time they met. She was cute, though not ditsy. Sassy, yet kind of shy. Open, but not overbearing. Hell, she was a whole lot of things. In other words, he wanted her. And, despite driving him crazy with an impressive array of excuses, the truth of the matter sparkled in her eyes.
She wanted him too.
Pace deciphered Phoebe’s flailing arm directions and slid into a vacant space outside the well-situated northside apartment block. Slanting his long legs down to steady the stationary bike, Pace felt his heartbeat slip into third as Phoebe wiggled free of her mount. Smoothing down the skirt hitched up on those heavenly hips, she removed the helmet and shook out a satiny stream of pale blonde hair. He’d dreamed of that hair. Tonight he planned to touch it.
“Thanks for the lift.” Phoebe handed back the spare helmet with an exuberant smile. “I must admit…it was fun.”
A heavy throb condensed in the pit of his stomach at the thought of all the fun they would have.
He shot a casual glance around the mix of suburban weatherboards and trendy complexes huddled between towering gum trees. No graffiti. Buckets of kids. Nearby, someone had removed what smelled like a lamb roast from the oven.
“Nice neighbourhood,” he said, meeting her gaze again.
“I was lucky to get a place so close to the city that’s almost reasonable in rent.” She nodded at the adjacent park. “There’s barbecue areas and swings close for families. Alfresco restaurants and a mall down the road, too. It’s a good combination. Pretty and full of possibilities.”
Drinking her smile in, Pace felt his blood simmer.
It certainly is.
Bringing himself back, he glanced over his shoulder. “We passed a Japanese restaurant on the way in.”
Phoebe’s eyes flashed with approval. “I eat there all the time. It’s the freshest in town. Their rainbow rolls are to die for and—” She stopped, her head tilting as though she were embarrassed or disappointed with herself. “Sushi isn’t everyone’s favourite.”
“I’m an atmosphere man,” he confirmed. “If the service is good, lighting right and the company special…” He pictured them in a darkened corner, touching, kissing, and eased into a grin. “Well, I’m usually on my way to being satisfied.”
Her eyebrows gradually knitted. “Satisfied…” she murmured, then, “I can imagine you’d want to be.”
Pace frowned. The luminance in her glittering jade gaze was fading, eclipsed by that familiar, infuriating restraint. When she took a step back on those sexy heels, as if yanked by an imaginary lead, he almost spilled off his bike.
“I’ve kept you long enough.” She smiled her dimpled smile and turned away. “Thanks for the lift.”
As she swept up the paved steps, disappearing into the building without a backward glance, Pace grinned to himself. If she wanted to play impossible to get, he’d simply get more inventive. He liked a challenge. In fact, he’d been raised on them.
And he always won.
Well, almost always.
Kicking up the stand, Pace prepared to pull out into the next break. At the same time the cellphone on his belt vibrated. Ditching the helmet, he studied the ID and groaned. It was the weekend, for crying out loud. What did his brother want now?
Actually, his half-brother. His father had married soon after his first wife had died in childbirth. His second marriage had produced another son. In a perfect world the two brothers might have become inseparable. Instead Pace and the slightly older Nicholas Junior had grown up at loggerheads, competing at everything, including their busy father’s attention, each step of the way. As grown men, nothing much had changed.
Setting his jaw, Pace thumbed a button and connected. “Hey, Nick.”
Nick didn’t bother with pleasantries. “Have you addressed the consignment arrival problem for that Bugatti? I need to know by eleven Monday morning. No later.”
Nick would still be sitting at his big desk, surrounded by paperwork, dark hair spiked from numerous run-throughs with his hand. In his absolute element.
“Hello? Anyone there?”
Pace grated his back teeth. “I’m here.”
“You could show a little more interest,” Nick growled, and Pace growled back.
“And you could quit with the attitude.”
“There’s something wrong with wanting to get things done and done right?”
Steam rose beneath his leather collar, but Pace kept his response to an almost civil warning. “Nick, don’t go there.”
He could do without the thinly veiled reminders.
Five years ago Pace had taken on the presidential seat of the family business, Brodricks Prestige Cars, but not because he was partial to reams of figures and boardroom meetings. After his father’s death, his will had left Pace in charge. The younger son had seen the promotion as a responsibility he couldn’t shirk, even when Nick, the brother with the accounting skills and economics letters behind his name, had made it clear he was the best man for the job. Pace, a practical rather than academic type, with an engineering background, wasn’t sure he disagreed.
No secret—Pace had enjoyed the lifestyle his inheritance and position provided. He’d partied hard, had chalked up some amazing experiences, and had entertained some exceedingly attractive company. But there was a definite downside.
He was happiest when talking cars, analysing precision engines or test-driving the fastest, classiest automobiles in the world—Jaguar, McLarens, Mercedes, Porsche—vehicles available for sale or lease through Brodricks. Design and hands-on tasks were where he excelled. Being locked behind a desk during working hours was far from his ideal existence. It had shown—not only in his demeanour but more tellingly in Brodricks’ books which, after his first two years at the helm, hadn’t looked nearly as healthy as they should. The final straw had come when he’d made a couple of glaring errors regarding funds in a foreign investment account.
At the subsequent board meeting to analyse the extent of the damage he’d maintained a firm chin, but had secretly wanted the floor to open up and swallow him whole. Hell, it wasn’t as if he’d asked for the job. He’d been too young—too full of juice—for the conservative life of a suit. His father should have considered that instead of constantly pushing. All concerned would have been far better off if he’d stuck to what he did best and left the tricky, aka boring bits to others.
Of course Nick had agreed.
With a handshake and a smirk his half-brother had stepped up, while Pace, needing to dodge unwanted media attention, had taken on an alias and spent the next two years overseas, incognito, researching premium automobiles all over the globe. He’d come back to Australia pumped, and champing at the bit to reclaim control over the technical side of the business. But he’d got used to his new identity, and the screen it provided from the media radar, so he’d kept the twist on his name—Pace Davis, rather than Davis Pace Brodrick.
Nick maintained that their father had chosen the slightly younger son to head the company because Pace had been his favourite. But Nick refused to examine the more valid reason underpinning their father’s