Mistresses: In His Bed: The Billionaire's Trophy / Strictly Temporary / Whose Bed Is It Anyway?. Robyn Grady
a split second before he reached for her.
Emmie was so startled by the manoeuvre that she froze like a rabbit in headlights. She had convinced herself that she had nothing to worry about with Bastian Christou. After all, he wasn’t going to be getting much time alone with her at a big family wedding. Not only was she not his type, being blonde and about a foot too tall, but he also only wanted her on his arm for show. And then he kissed her and her every conviction that she was safe fell at the first hurdle.
He caressed the corner of her mouth with his firm male lips and she tingled all over, every sense awakening. Her lips parted and then he surged in like an invasion force and took shameless advantage. It was an explosive kiss and she was lost in it as unfamiliar excitement blasted through her slender body with every delving dart of his skilful tongue. It was agonisingly intimate, much more so than any kiss had ever been for her. Little tremors of shocked reaction quivered through her, the inner burn at her core exercising an almost unbearable ache as he set her back from him with strong hands, eyes so dark they glittered like polished jet in his hard face. Her legs felt dislocated from the rest of her body and that ache, that ache she dimly recognised as unfulfilled desire, clawed cruelly at her. For a split second she wanted to snatch him back into her arms and conduct a wild experiment on him. It didn’t matter that he was her boss or that they were in a public place. All that was driving her in that moment was a fierce need to feel that same wild conscience-free excitement again and see where it would take her.
‘I wasn’t expecting actual ph-physical contact,’ Emmie told him shakily while in the background a man with a camera argued volubly with one of Bastian’s security men.
‘You can’t be that naïve. We’re supposed to be lovers. Anyway, what’s a kiss worth?’ Bastian derided with an elegant shrug of dismissal.
On her terms it had been more than a kiss; it had been the kind of intoxication she felt as if she had been waiting for all her life. But that was a silly immature thought more worthy of a teenage fantasist than a grown-up, she scolded herself, fighting to stay cool and in control. A kiss was just a kiss: he was right. And that he should know how to do it so well was hardly surprising with his reputation. Even less surprising was that she should finally lust after a man in earnest. It was only proof that she was a normal breathing woman, nothing she needed to agonise about…at least as long as she didn’t surrender to the temptation.
Bastian was still seething with himself as they boarded his private jet, hostile eyes veiled, jawline clenched, handsome mouth compressed. Diavelos, she was a freaking escort, admittedly not a hooker, but he remained deeply suspicious as to exactly what following such a profession entailed. Obviously pleasing men went hand in hand with the role, so was it really a revelation that she turned him on hard and fast? No, to cope with such a job she had to be a practised flirt and seductress and confident she could handle a man. Well, there was no way that she was going to get the chance to handle him! He had principles, standards and hell would freeze over before he went to bed with a hired escort!
Listening to Bastian growl at the steward’s efforts to ensure his comfort, Emmie rolled her eyes and picked up a magazine. He was in a bad mood and he wasn’t polite enough to keep it to himself. Those lustrous eyes below those thick sooty lashes were positively smouldering, his spectacular bone structure set like granite below his bronzed skin. Why? He was the one who had launched the kissing thing. Men! Who needed them? Odette always had, she reflected unhappily.
Emmie had few happy memories of her childhood years with her mother. Odette had divorced her father when he went bankrupt. It had been a very bitter divorce and when the twins’ father had remarried and begun a second family, he had immediately decided to forget that he already had two children. Emmie had last seen her father when she was twelve years old. She knew where he lived, knew what his wife looked like and the names of her half siblings: that was the joy of the Internet, which enabled spying from afar and which had satisfied her curiosity. With her sister, Kat’s encouragement she had written to her father when she was a teenager requesting contact but he had never bothered to respond, his silence making his lack of interest clear. His detachment teamed with her mother’s lack of affection had hurt deeply.
While she was still getting work as a model, Odette had enjoyed a never-ending stream of men in her life and she had brought every one of those men home. The only one who had even been passably nice and semi-interested in Odette’s daughters had been the father of Emmie’s youngest sister, Topsy, a South American polo player, whose affair with her mother had died a natural death when he went home again.
Emmie had sworn that she would never need a man in her life. Men were demanding and difficult; men took over; men were selfish. She watched Bastian help himself to a drink from the built-in bar without offering her anything and suppressed a sigh: he was putting out enough moody bad-tempered vibes to cast a claustrophobic storm cloud inside the spacious cabin.
‘You sulk like a girl…Do you throw a tantrum afterwards as well?’ Emmie heard herself say without even thinking about what she was saying. But she was fed up, really fed up. Here she was dressed up exactly as he had requested, punctual, smiling…well, not perhaps smiling, she conceded reluctantly, but at least she was willing to try, which was more than he was.
In astonishment, Bastian swung round and settled outraged golden eyes on her in disbelief. ‘What did you say?’
‘You’re very temperamental and I’m doing the best I can but I suppose I shouldn’t have used those particular words,’ Emmie responded ruefully. ‘If it wouldn’t be too much trouble, I’d like a drink as well. A pure orange if you have it…’
The slightest tinge of colour accentuated his carved cheekbones at the unspoken reminder that he had not offered her a drink. He lifted a bottle and uncapped it.
‘It’s all right, you can relax,’ Emmie told him with helpless amusement as he extended the glass to her. ‘I already know you don’t have any manners.’
‘What the hell gives you the idea that you have the right to insult me?’ Bastian thundered down at her.
Emmie was not intimidated. ‘I didn’t think it was an insult to tell you the truth. You never say please or thank you and you walk through every door first. You’re a very rich and powerful man, most people you meet are subordinate to you and naturally you have learned to take advantage of that. Might is right. Money talks. That’s how the world works, so I can’t even blame you for it.’
Bastian was stunned by the level of sheer indignation rising inside him, but then he could not remember ever having been attacked in such a way by a woman before. Generally women bored him stiff with their fawning flattery. Who did she, a little office worker going nowhere, think she was to criticise him? And if this was ‘trying to please’, what did she do for an encore? Pull a gun on him?
‘I do not take advantage of my employees!’ Bastian shot back at her, because although he would very much have liked to say otherwise he could not recall the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ ever figuring much in his vocabulary. But then he was a man of few words, he reminded himself furiously, but he made those few words count and issued clear concise instructions that were rarely misunderstood. In addition, for the past two years running his company had won an award for being one of the best to work for, offering as it did unrivalled working conditions to its employees.
‘Well, you certainly take advantage of Marie,’ Emmie fielded without hesitation. ‘I did her time sheets and I know that for a fact. I’m sure you pay her an excellent salary—’
‘I do,’ Bastian sliced in grittily on the score of his trusted PA, while wondering how on earth he would tolerate Emmie for an entire weekend without killing her.
‘But I doubt if it’s enough to warrant keeping a married mother of three working until eight at night on Christmas Eve,’ Emmie tossed back. ‘Or for taking her abroad to work on her fortieth birthday, so that she had to reschedule her party.’
‘I didn’t ask Marie to work late on Christmas Eve. As for her birthday, as I have no idea when her birthday is I can’t comment.