Read His Allure, Her Passion Online

Authors: Juliana Haygert

His Allure, Her Passion (12 page)

BOOK: His Allure, Her Passion
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Dylan whirled around and walked away.

“Where are you going?” his father asked.

“To fix the damage you did,” Dylan yelled back, without slowing down.

 

***

 

Hayley fell on the couch, her tears ruining her once-perfect makeup.

During certain moments, she felt weak for having left the ball, but Dylan’s father was right. She wasn’t a first-class girl, daughter of a noble of society, to date Dylan Deveraux, the multi-millionaire playboy. And his father had been right that she’d handed her heart to a guy with a very dubious past. Who guaranteed her he wouldn’t go back to it and hurt her in the process?

Anyhow, that was how it was supposed to be, what they agreed to in the first place. Because of their pretend dating, Dylan had gone to the ball and presented his ideas to his father. He would be taken seriously now and, hopefully, join the ranks of the company.

She was proud of him.

But she knew what she had gotten herself into, too. Now she needed to work to get herself out of it.

Her cell phone rang, and she quickly reached and answered it, so as not to wake up Chloe.

“Are you home?” Dylan asked.

She thought he would want to talk to her about sneaking out on him, but she didn’t think he would do that the same night.

She could lie to him, tell him she wasn’t home. But why not to get it over with? She would have to face him sooner or later.

“Yes.”

“Then buzz me in. I’m outside.”

Already?

Feeling as old and heavy as a mummy, Hayley walked to the kitchen and buzzed Dylan in.

Once he stepped into her living room, Dylan asked, his voice loud and hurt, “You shouldn’t have left. Whatever happened, we would’ve sorted it out together.”

Hayley put her finger over her lips, indicating him to be quiet, and beckoned him to follow her.

In silence, they went to her bedroom.

When she closed the door behind her, she explained, “Chloe is sleeping.”

“Okay, now answer me,” Dylan paced in her tiny room, his eyes impassive, “why did you leave?”

“I…I just noticed you didn’t need me anymore,” she lied, willing her voice not to betray her. “You had been invited to the ball, you presented your cars. Our deal was done.”

He halted and faced her. “I thought the deal had been forgotten a couple of weeks ago.” It was true, but she had to hold on to something. “And I know you’re lying. I know my father was the reason you left.”

Hayley froze, colder than the door on her back. “No….”

“I talked to him, Hayley.” Dylan took a step toward her. “I know what he called you, and that he said our last name is above you.”

She averted her gaze from his stare. “It’s true.”

“No, it isn’t.”

“Look at you, Dylan.” She gestured to his clothes. “Your tuxedo probably cost more than a whole year of my rent. Perhaps even more than two years. I can’t compare to that.”

He threw his hands up, exasperated. “I can’t believe what I’m hearing. You never cared about that before.”

“Before you were just a guy who came here drunk to find a friendly shoulder to cry on.” Dylan flinched, but she kept going. “These few last days, it was different. Everyone is comparing us. Or better, contrasting us. People are saying I’m not Deveraux material.”

“Since when do you care about what others think?”

“Look who’s talking.” She wanted to yell at him, but she remembered Chloe in the room beside hers. “You just went through a whole lot of mess and hard work to impress your father.”

He nodded, a slow gesture. “Yes, I admit, I wanted to impress him. But I think you know almost as much as I do, that I
had
to do this. For me.”

“I know. I’m glad you did,” she admitted. Though she kept her main argument secret. She wouldn’t break down. She couldn’t break down.

“There’s more. I can see it. Talk to me. You know you can talk to me,” he pleaded.

She gulped, trying to conjure the strength to say what she
had
to say. “I just don’t think we’re right for each other.”

“That’s not true.” He took another step closer to her, his eyes begging her to give in. “Come on, Hayley, meet me halfway here. Until earlier this evening, I thought you were enjoying my company, that you were as hot for me as I’m for you…that you might actually like me.”

She sighed, on the verge of tears. How to admit her own feelings for him when she didn’t want to admit them to herself? To put words to her sentiments would be like throwing them in the air and waiting for the wind to carry them away. She didn’t feel ready to hand her heart out.

“I can’t. I’m so—”

“Stop.” He interrupted her, his hand held high. “I don’t want to hear excuses anymore. I want to be with you, Hayley, for real, but I won’t crawl behind you and beg forever. If you want to be with me, then meet me halfway.”

He stepped toward her, but she retreated.

After a last shattering gaze, he pursed his lips and walked out.

Thunderstruck, she collapsed on a chair. She gaped at the open door, trying to make sense of what had just happened.

Dylan had just left. He had just told her he wanted to be with her, then left.

Images of the past weeks flashed before her eyes. Dylan had been spending more time with her lately. He had come to her whenever she needed. Even when he said he couldn’t, during the college show, he ended up coming for her. He had shown her how much he had changed, that he had a bright future before him, that he was a serious guy with sharp ideas, a great professional who enchanted his public—all that she had been dreaming for the last three years, when her immense crush for him began.

The crush had developed to full passion during the last two months.

He had her heart.

So why was she so afraid of handing it out when it wasn’t hers anymore?

Hayley darted out. Barefoot and without a coat, she ran down the stairs and into the streets.

But when she got outside, Dylan was gone.

 

 

Chapter Sixteen

 

 

It was past seven when Dylan walked out of the conference room. The all-day-long Friday meetings were by far the worst thing about working for his father. He had only been to two so far, but both had run late.

He was dragging himself down the hallway when he heard his father’s voice. “Dylan.”

Dylan turned around and nodded. “Yes?”

His father put his hands inside his pants pockets and gazed at the floor. “I just wanted to tell you you’re doing well.”

His father wasn’t one to throw compliments out there. Yes, his father had softened a little in the past two weeks, but praise wasn’t part of his normal vocabulary. Not since Bryan died.

Dylan squinted. “Really?”

“Very well, actually.” His father’s eyes returned to him and he saw a little light there. A little hope. “I’m glad you’re here.”

Dylan smiled.

It wasn’t “I apologize for neglecting you the past two years” or “You’re a genius! How come I never saw it before” or “I’m sorry for being such a jerk and shooing Hayley away”…but it was a start. A very good start.

“Me too,” he said.

Without another word, his father spun on his heels and headed in the other direction.

Shaking his head, Dylan let out the breath he didn’t know he was holding. The old man was finally seeing him. It was a victory. A small one, but still a victory. If he worked his way in slowly, he was sure he could get close to his father again.

Undoing his tie, he walked into his office. He stopped before the glass table and looked out the window, to the skyline of Manhattan across the Hudson River. The lights shimmered, and he could feel the city’s energy. It was a pity he was tired.

Yes, he was tired, but he was also satisfied with his work, especially after his father’s compliment.

The engineers were studying his cars to add them to their line in the near future. He had also applied for a transfer from Princeton to New York City College of Technology. His father wasn’t too happy he was going to a public school, but Dylan didn’t care about that. And he was now looking for a loft in Manhattan. If it all worked out, he should be ready to move in June, so he had only three more months of commuting.

It was almost perfect.

Dylan sighed, and an invisible band tightened around his chest.

He tried not thinking about Hayley, but it was impossible. He missed her. He missed her laughter, her conversation, her hesitation, her touch, and her kiss. Before the deal, he had believed he would never truly fall for any girl. Man, he had been so, so wrong. He was head over heels for Hayley. But she had made it clear she didn’t want him. As much as he wanted to go crawling after her, he didn’t want her to be with him because of his insistence. He had told her how he felt. And still she hadn’t said anything.

His cell phone rang, and he jumped.

“Damn,” he whispered, pulling it from his pocket. It was Celine. “Hey, baby sis.”

“You didn’t forget, did you?”

He glanced at the calendar over his desk. “Forget what?”

“The dinner?” Celine cursed in French. “Oh, my God, you forgot.”

“I forgot.” He ran a hand over his hair. She had invited him for a dinner with her, Alexis, and their boyfriends two days earlier. He had gladly accepted, but now it didn’t seem like such a good idea. “I just got out of the longest meeting ever. I’m really tired, and I still have to drive to Princeton. Can’t we reschedule some other time?”

“Oh, no, no.” She sighed. “Please, just get your ass over here. I promise we’ll have a good time, and you won’t regret it.”

He looked at his wristwatch. “Okay. But that’s just because I’m starving. See you in the restaurant in a few.”

They disconnected and Dylan let out a deep breath. It was going to be a long night.

 

***

 

Her hands wouldn’t stop shaking, so rather than holding her glass, Hayley fidgeted with the hem of her skirt. Every time she saw the waiter approach the door of the private room she had rented, she held her breath, waiting for
him
to step in and smile when he saw her instead of his sisters.

But time was passing, and he wasn’t coming. Had he found out Celine had lied to him and didn’t want anything to do with her?

A painful pang assaulted her. What was she thinking? This was stupid. It had been almost two weeks since Valentine’s Day. He certainly had moved on.

She glanced at the candles on the table, the red balloons on the ceiling, and the false calendar on an easel beside the door, indicating it was still February 14th.

Yeah, she had lost it. This was totally stupid.

With tears brimming in her eyes, she grabbed her purse and stood. She would simply pay the bill and go home, drink a huge bottle of wine alone, and cry some more.

The door opened and a disheveled Dylan entered the room. His eyes were wide, but she could see he was tired. And gorgeous, even with the unknotted tie and the crumpled shirt.

Her heart paused for a second, then hammered against her chest.

“What’s this?” he asked, looking at her.

“Uh….” And she couldn’t think of anything to say.

His gaze scanned the room. There wasn’t much to see. A couple of tables and chairs, the decorations, but nobody else besides them.

His eyes narrowed. “Where are my sisters?”

And she thought he would smile.

She gulped her fear, counted to five, and spoke, “I arranged this with Celine.”

He just stared at her for the longest moment, suspicion all over his features. “And why the sudden change?”

“Well.” She put her purse on the table and dared to take one small step toward him. “Your sister called, telling me you weren’t doing so well….”

“That traitor.”

“And we ended up talking a lot. I’ve confessed to her that your father had told me he would disinherit you if I insisted on dating you, and that’s why I pushed you away that night. Because I didn’t want to be the reason you lost your fortune, your lifestyle.”

One corner of his lips twitched up. “Disinherit? Are you serious? He wasn’t—”

“Yes, I know,” Hayley interrupted him, smiling. “Celine explained to me that your father says he’ll disinherit all of you all the time. But he never does. Still, I was afraid he would this time.”

To her surprise, Dylan took two steps in her direction. “He won’t disinherit me. Especially now that I’m working for him.”

She nodded. “Celine told me about all your hard work and the long meetings these last two weeks…I’m glad you’re doing well.”

“Me, too.” He put his hand inside his pants pockets. “And how are you?”

“I’m good. I’ve been to the therapist four times. I also signed with Gaz, and have five big jobs scheduled for March.”

“That’s great.”

“It is.”

A few seconds passed, and they just stared at each other. Hayley had no idea how to do this. She thought he would enter the room, gather her in his arms, and it would be done. She wasn’t good at making up.

He glanced at the calendar beside him. “So, are you going to tell me what this is about?”

Crap, he was going to make her spell it out.

She took a deep breath and braced herself. “I’m sorry for that night. I want you to know I do like you, Dylan. Besides the inheritance thing, I think I was afraid. I don’t want to be just another one on your list. I think I’m falling in love with you, but the—”

If it wasn’t for his arms around her waist and his hands on her back, Hayley would have fallen when Dylan threw himself at her, his mouth crushing hers, his hands pulling her to him. Powerless, Hayley kissed him back, her repressed need and desire for him exploding inside her.

“I thought you wanted me to meet you halfway,” she whispered against his lips. “You didn’t let me finish.”

Dylan pulled back a little to look at her, a satisfied grin plastered on his beautiful face. “Organizing this damn dinner and admitting being in love with me is halfway.” He kissed her again, slower and deeper, warming her core, flaring her desire. “Will you drop the ‘I’m-not-worthy’ and disinheritance subject forever?” he asked, his mouth on her ear.

BOOK: His Allure, Her Passion
13.68Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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