Read His Allure, Her Passion Online

Authors: Juliana Haygert

His Allure, Her Passion (7 page)

BOOK: His Allure, Her Passion
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***

 

Hayley’s stomach churned as she stood before the tall, glassy building, the cold wind whipping her ponytail. She would have entered the building and waited for Dylan there, but the snow and the chilly air helped her sick stomach. The problem, she realized, this time it wasn’t only about the show in three days. Seeing Dylan after what he had done added to it.

Hayley pulled the hood of her coat over her head and tucked her hands in her pockets.

Where was he? Crap, they were going to be late. Was he playing with her?

The silver and blue sports car appeared, coming fast, zigzagging its way through the lanes, and then stopping beside her on the street. Dylan loved that car, a car she didn’t even remember the name, brand, or whatever other details he loved pointing out.

She sighed as the window lowered and Dylan leaned over it with a small smile. “Hey, baby, is this the place?”

His blue eyes shone from among the black interior. Why did she have to react to him like that?

“Yes.”

“I’m gonna park the car. Wanna come with me?”

“No.”

The smile vanished. He nodded and drove away. For a moment, she couldn’t breathe. She watched him as he took the right on the next corner, her heart tight, as if he were leaving and never coming back.

Her erratic breathing only returned to its normal pace when Dylan appeared on that same corner, head low, black hair over his face, hands tucked inside the pockets of his jacket.

He’s perfection
.

“Why the hell are you out in this cold?”

Hayley walked into the building without answering. When Dylan caught up with her, she marched to the elevators. “Let’s get this over with.”

For the next hour, they played a game in which they stood side-by-side, but didn’t speak directly, even when talking to J.P. Sun in his office and finalizing the details with his assistant.

Despite her best efforts, she couldn’t help but steal glances at him. She imagined him laughing on the inside when making the deal with her, thinking how stupid she was, then disgusted when she got sick in front of him.

Her gaze darted to the door, and a desperate urge to cry and run away overcame her. She couldn’t break down now. After taking several deep breaths, she endured the whole thing without embarrassing herself. Besides, being here was a victory, and the contract was a dream come true. She couldn’t be happier. Except, she wasn’t.

In the lobby, she didn’t stop to say goodbye to Dylan, but he closed his hand around her wrist.

“Come on now. Ask me a favor and pretend I don’t exist?”

“What do you want?” She pulled her arm away. “I already asked for the favor. Want me to kiss the ground you walk on, too?”

A teasing shine flashed on his eyes. “That wouldn’t be a bad idea.”

The same jerk from yesterday, last month, and three years ago. Revulsion replacing the nausea, she shook her head and headed to the main door, just to halt when Dylan walked into her path. “I’m not in a good mood, Dylan. Please, let me pass.”

“First, we have to discuss one thing.” He was trying to be serious, but failing. “If I’m gonna do a favor for you, you need to do a favor for me.”

“No, Dylan, there—”

“I’ll only show up on the photo shoot on Saturday if you agree to go with me to my father’s ball, and really go.”

Hayley forgot how to breathe for a second. What? He still wanted that damn deal?

“Seriously, Dylan, you can take some other girl with you.”

“Not really. You’re the only one I actually have been seen with for a while. I can’t start over from zero. There is no time. Valentine’s Day is a month away.”

“Will your father think you’re serious about me after your stunt at that beach?”

His eyes hardened. “Hopefully, he didn’t find out about that.”

“Like you hoped about me, too.”

The muscles on his jaw tensed. “All right. I’m not discussing that. I just made my offer. Take it or leave it. Go to the ball with me, or I won’t go to the photo shoot.”

Crap, why was he doing this to her? Couldn’t he see how much he had hurt her? But, if she didn’t accept it, she would lose her chance.

She could tell him that she would go, then back out after the photo shoot. On the inside, she chided herself for even thinking of something like that. It wasn’t her style. Once she gave her word, there was no changing it.

Closing her eyes, she whispered, “All right. I’ll go. But that’s it. Nothing more.”

“That’s enough.” A hint of a smile unfolded over his lips.

Knowing she couldn’t take much more of this, she walked past him. “I hate you.”

 

 

Chapter Ten

 

 

For appearances, Dylan picked Hayley up Saturday afternoon and they went together to the photographer’s studio in Manhattan.

Her sweet scent teased him, making it very hard to keep up the silence.

They arrived together, holding hands. He noticed Hayley was shaking—and still silent. Soon after, they were taken for make-up and hair styling, then to the J.P. and his hangers crammed with clothes.

He chose their outfits and pushed them both behind curtains, so they could change. Together.

Not sure what to do, Dylan stared at her.

“Just turn around and get dressed,” she whispered, rotating so her back was to him. “And don’t spy.”

He spun and carefully slipped off his clothes, except for his black boxers briefs. His movements were steady and controlled, just like his breathing. Because, if he stopped to think Hayley was behind him, wearing nothing but her panties, he wouldn’t resist and he would peek.

He reached for the sleeveless tee J.P. asked him to put on, but it fell on the floor. As he knelt to grab it, he caught a glance of Hayley’s bare feet. He froze, his gaze traveling north, devouring her long, lean legs, her shimmering soft skin.

Then her dress fell over them, and he shot up, his cheeks hot. Damn, he had been staring at her.

“Ready?” she asked, scaring away his thoughts.

He yanked the shirt over his head. “Yeah.” They faced each other, and again he noticed how nervous she was. “How are you?” he asked out of habit. It was the polite thing to do, after all, but it hit him as a stone thrown at his chest, that he really did want to know how she was. That he cared about what she was going through, that he wished she would talk to him, let him in.

She inhaled a deep breath and forced a smile. “I’ll survive.”

He opened his mouth to protest, to try to convince her of opening up to him, but an assistant showed up beside them at that moment. She directed them to the main studio where the photographer, Dorant, and his team waited for them.

At first, posing for the camera felt weird. He never knew what do with his hands and where to look. But after the first hour, Dylan became comfortable. Even Hayley seemed more relaxed when before the cameras with him.

The bright side of the photo shoot was the touching and the hugging and the staring part Hayley couldn’t avoid. Each time his hand landed on her back or on her arms, she shivered. It seemed as if he had some effect on her, but why did she pretend he didn’t?

After nearly two hours, Dorant changed the game. “Now let’s do something sexier.”

 

 

Hayley froze. “What do you mean?”

“Both of you take off your shirts. And bra.” Hayley’s eyes bugged. “Don’t worry, sweetheart, I won’t let any of your parts be seen in the pictures.”

It wouldn’t be the first time she removed her shirt and bra for a shoot, but that didn’t mean she was comfortable with it. Especially because Dylan would see her.

Swallowing hard, she took off her shirt. Couldn’t she keep her bra?

Dylan stared at her.

“What?”

“I didn’t know it was going this way,” he whispered, getting closer. “I don’t think you should do it if you don’t want to.”

“It’s not about wanting or not. Models do this all the time.” Her voice sounded brave, even when her soul was melting away.

“Are you sure?”

“Just do what he says. It’s my career on the line here.”

Dylan took off his shirt, and she swallowed hard again before forcing her eyes to her feet. Crap, he looked very yummy with his lean muscles and broad shoulders. He worked out, she knew that, but she never really thought about what that would do to his body. Stupid her.

After a deep inhale of courage, Hayley unclasped her bra and pushed it aside. She instinctively brought her right arm over her breasts.

“All right,” Dorant started. “Hayley, lean your back on his chest. Romeo, you put your arm around her, over her breasts, to hide them.”

Shaking, and without looking at him, Hayley leaned against Dylan’s hard chest. His breath reached her ear, making her gasp, as his hand snaked around her, hesitant and lost. Hayley put her hand over his and guided him, his palm over the left breast, his forearm over the right one. He shivered.

Many photo flashes sparkled around them, but all she could think or feel was Dylan’s hand on her, his body pressed close to her, his warm breathing on her neck, quickening her heartbeat. Dorant interrupted the thrilling moment. “Now I want Dylan turned to us and Hayley turned to Dylan, her arms around his, and Dylan’s hands on her hips. Look at each other.”

Hayley turned around and met Dylan’s gaze. She had never seen him this serious before, and it scared her. She stepped into his arms, never breaking the stare, gasping when her upper body touched his hot skin, her hands sliding to his back.

He grasped her hips and pulled her closer. She gasped again.

The air around them crackled, supercharged.

Dylan’s blue eyes tantalized her. There was something there, something she couldn’t decipher, a shine she couldn’t understand, but she wanted to. She needed to.

“A kiss now,” Dorant said.

Dylan’s eyes widened, and she nodded. He leaned down and planted a sweet peck on her lips. From where their lips touched, a jolt spread down her body.

“Come on,” Dorant complained. “We’re all professionals here. A real kiss. Like the ones you two share when you’re alone.” Ha! Did he really want a non-existent kiss? “A passionate and long kiss. Just don’t get it going, all right? We don’t need to shoot that part.”

She couldn’t believe this.

Worse, Dylan was frozen. Wasn’t she the one who became sick before cameras? Ironic—she was almost okay, and he needed help.

Hayley stood on tiptoes and snaked her hand up his back, to the nape of his neck. He shivered as she applied a little pressure there. As if he had woken up from a spell, Dylan blinked, his eyes focusing on her again. He leaned down and, when she closed her eyes, took his mouth on hers.

 

***

 

Dylan kissed Hayley, his lips moving slowly at first, afraid of getting her madder than she already was, afraid of falling under her spell more than he already had. But her scent burned his nostrils, her sweet taste teased his mouth, and he lost it. His need grew, and he increased the speed and pressure of the kiss. Startling him, she matched his new rhythm, her soft lips moving along with his, her nails scratching the back of his shoulder, sending shivers down his spine, shaking his core. Wanting more of her, needing more of her, he slid his hands up her bare back, rubbed her silky skin, glued himself to her. He loved her skin on his, her warmth mingled with his.

Dylan could have kissed her forever, and he would have, were it not for Dorant.

“Perfect,” the photographer said, destroying the moment. “And that’s a wrap. We’re done here, people.”

The kiss slowed, their hands drew back, and finally Hayley pulled her head back, breaking the kiss, her wide eyes on his.

Damn, he missed her lips already.

“Hayley, I—”

She walked away without hearing him. Perhaps, it was for the best, since he wasn’t sure what to say. He felt he needed to say something, to fix them, to fix their friendship.

Hayley, on the other hand, didn’t seem eager to fix anything. When he got to the fitting room, she had already changed into her clothes. Dylan stripped and put on his own clothes in record time to catch up with her. Now she didn’t want to keep appearances?

In the lobby, he held her wrist to stop her. “Wait here. I’ll bring the car.”

Hayley pulled her hand back and crossed her arms, all the while avoiding looking directly at him. “Thank you for the photo shoot, but I can take it from here.”

“But you said—”

“I said I’ll go with you to the ball. I will. I just don’t need a ride home.”

“It’s snowing.” He pointed outside.

“I’ve been living in New York for four years. The snow doesn’t bother me anymore.” Her eyes met his, reserved. “Thank you.”

He stared as she ran from him, realizing it hurt. His only true friend—one that took him in during his worst times and never asked for explanations, one who lend him a friendly shoulder, one that listened as he complained about his family—walked out of the building. And it felt as if an important part of his life had just escaped him.

 

 

Chapter Eleven

 

 

A week later, Hayley got a message from Dylan. Somehow, he had learned that a few people from the fashion world—including designers, models, agency owners, and photographers—were having a party at a club in Manhattan, and he could get them in, if she wanted to go.

Swallowing her pride with her mind on her career, Hayley agreed.

Dylan picked her up at ten, and she did her best to ignore him and how utterly gorgeous he looked in a fitted black shirt and dark jeans.

After parking in the club’s private garage, Dylan opened her door and offered his arm.

What was she supposed to do? Ignore him? She was still mad at him, still hurt, but they had a deal until Valentine’s Day. Three more weeks and she could start ignoring him. Forever.

She linked her arm in his. “Thanks for inviting me to this party.”

He smiled at her. Not his cocky smile. Not a wide grin. Just a true smile. “You’re welcome.” He patted her hand. “You look stunning.”

She looked down and shrugged.

BOOK: His Allure, Her Passion
7.99Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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