Authors: Elizabeth Ward
Romance: What The Billionaire Wants
Romance: What The Billionaire Wants
Copyright © 2015
Published by Run Free Publishing
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior permission in writing of the publisher.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Also by Elizabeth Ward
Romance: One Night with the Billionaire
Romance: Two Nights with the Billionaire
Romance: Three Nights with the Billionaire
Romance: Her Dangerous Stepbrother
Romance: What The Billionaire Wants
For all those who have loved, lost and regained the strength to love again.
My feet are aching but the music is good in the Star Nine-Five bar, so I manage to keep the smile on my face as I carry yet another tray of cocktails to table seven.
As I lean down to place the drinks on the table, I can’t miss the way the guys check out my boobs and butt. The one closest to me isn’t even trying to hide his pervert session, even though he’s got one tattooed arm around his girlfriend’s shoulders.
Oh, and she’s glaring at me.
I stifle a sigh. I probably won’t be getting a tip from this table now. How is it my fault that her boyfriend is a sleazebag?
As I head back to the bar, three sets of lustful eyes on my butt, I roll my eyes dramatically at my boss, Gemma, and she sends me a wink before turning to another customer with a wide smile.
Gemma is a machine. She’s been on her feet even longer then I have and yet she still looks radiant and bubbly. I might resent it if she hadn’t been my best friend since high school. We’ve seen each other through enough hard times to be soul mates and I know that her exterior is a mask, just like mine; she’s just better at holding hers in place.
Her father owns the Star Nine-Five and put Gemma in charge while he travels and generally enjoys his retirement. Under her management, she turned it from a back alley dive into a popular, out of the way club serving scrumptious cocktails and meals, and offering a stage to various indie bands passing through. It has become the ‘It Place’ to people in-the-know almost overnight.
“Yo! Can we get another round over here?” A rowdy group of guys at table fourteen yell and I set my smile in place before making my way over.
“Looking good sexy,” the loudest one states while staring at my breasts.
Two hours later, the band is packing up and the crowd is thinning.
“Heads up,” Gemma warns, peering over my shoulder. “Your stalker’s arrived.”
A thrill ripples through my veins but I refuse to let it phase me. He’s just another guy looking to get lucky, nothing more.
“He’s not my stalker,” I say, poking my tongue petulantly at Gemma as I drop the cloth I’d been using into the bucket.
I turn just in time to see our newest regular making his way towards the bar and feel my breath catch in my throat.
He’s been coming to the bar every night for the last two weeks.
And always dressed impeccably in three-piece suits and ties.
He never arrives before ten and always sits in my section, always alone. Although he’s usually sitting when I talk to him, I know he’d dwarf me if he stood up.
Everything about him seems to be at war with everything else.
His black suit and crisp white shirt stretch over a seriously hard body, wide shoulders, and long legs.
His hair is long, hanging almost to his shoulders in jagged edges and is almost as black as his suit.
And a damn handsome face.
A straight, slightly too long nose, angular jawline and delicious lips all seem to make his already severe expression that much more intimidating.
And that’s what makes his impact that much stronger.
He strides into the bar on those impossibly long legs, looking like he’s forging into battle. Then his gaze lands on me, just like it has right now.
I swallow hard, my stomach flipping as tiny lines form either side of his cool blue eyes and his mouth curls into a smile that could only be described as heart-stopping. He gives me a salute with two manicured fingers and takes a seat in my section.
“My gosh, he wants you…” Gemma gives me a cheeky smirk when my face flushes. “To take his order.”
“Funny,” I smile, grabbing a pad and making my way over.
When I reach his table, I offer a bright smile and say, “Hello, again. Are you ready to order?”
“Scotch and ice.” His voice is deep and smooth with a slight accent, possibly Irish.
His voice alone sends chills down my spine.
My gaze drops to his lips just in time to watch him lick them and my mouth goes dry. His gaze drops to my low cut blouse, lingering on my breasts for a bit longer than necessary but then quickly shifting back to my face.
“Sure thing,” I manage to say without stuttering and I start backing up, but he speaks again.
“Looks like I just missed the band.”
I smile and shrug. “You always do.”
“Well, my job keeps me very busy. I seem to be missing a lot of things.”
“I get that,” I say, understanding. Between studying for my master’s degree and working in the bar, I don’t get a lot of time to do much else. “Sometimes I think you just have to make time for what you want.”
“Even if what I want is a drink before closing and a pretty girl to bring it to me?”
I narrow my eyes at him but there’s no hiding the smile twitching at my mouth so I settle on a warning shake of my finger at him and walk back to the bar to get his drink.
“Scotch on ice,” I hand the order to Gemma, ignoring her amused expression. “And if you could do that without the smirk, that’d be real good.”
“Why don’t you just ask him out?” she asks, dropping a mountain of ice into the glass. “He’s not coming for the music and it’s sure not my gorgeous face that makes him smile like a boy at Christmas every time he comes in. He likes you, the poor guy has been trying to work up the courage to ask you out for two weeks.”
“Are you kidding?” I grip the bar to stop myself from turning to look at him. “I just got free of my last boyfriend and the pain he caused. Why the hell would I want another one?”
She grabs the bottle off the shelf and pours, lifting and lowering the nozzle with a flourish, something she liked doing even when there wasn’t an audience.
“You don’t have to marry the guy, just, you know, spend a bit of time with him… in bed.”
“We’re not having this conversation.”
I grab his drink, put it on the tray and carry it out.
But I know Gemma’s right.
I’ve been sensing it in the way he looks like he has something to say but then he just orders another drink or makes a safe flirty comment.
The truth is, him liking me isn’t the issue.
Only one kind of man ever takes an interest in me, and he’s a lying cheating ass-clown.
Ever since my father passed away before I turned seven years old, my relationships with men have been dreadful. My father, Andrew Thomas Fellows, was a great man. He was well respected in the community and was known for his charity and love. I remember him as strong, resilient and happy, even though the final two years of his life were spent slowly dying in a cold hospital bed.
He was, and still is, the only good man to have been in my life.
First there was my mother’s string of bad boyfriends, including arrogant lawyers, fifthly gym junkies and mocking bar owners, before she settled on Mr. A-hole himself, David Blundell. He became my stepfather when I was twelve years old and I should have learnt then that men are no good. He was verbally abusive, rude and extremely egotistical.
But the cycle just keeps repeating itself, and I seem to have less luck with men than my mother.
In the last two years I’ve had three relationships and all three went bad with a capital B.
I met Karl in college and I thought we had the perfect relationship until I walked into the bar where I worked to find him with his pants around his ankles, standing between the thighs of the busty blond waitress.
John, was the next guy and even more perfect then Karl.
He loved dancing and shopping and watching Project Runway and America’s Next Top model with me. I should have picked up on those clues. That relationship ended pretty much the same as the first, only I caught him in my bed with another guy.
And then there was Daryl.
Handsome, charming and delicious.
Oh so sexy.
My hand moves instinctively to my right cheek but I pull it away. Daryl was the reason I left New York and moved to L.A.
He was the worse.
I didn’t find him in bed with one woman or one man… nope, Daryl was in my apartment, yes
apartment, with three other women and one other man. An orgy. He was having a fricken’ orgy in my apartment when I wasn’t home.
And when I found out, he admitted it wasn’t the first time…
They say you learn from your mistakes.
Well I’ve learned.
I’ve learned that the only person I can depend on is myself and my best friend, Gemma. I’m determined never to let another man have power over me again—not my mind, not my body, not my heart.
I have never made a conscious decision with a man.
I’ve always been reactive.
I’ve always reacted to what men want and I’ve always done what they’ve wanted me to do.
But I’m done with that now.
It’s time for me to stand up for myself and assert control in my life.
This is my life and I don’t need a man to control it.
And what better way to assert that control then to have a one-night stand with a sexy stranger?
It’s my life and it’s my chance to do what I want.
I can own this moment.
“Shut up, brain,” I mutter.
But even as I’m scolding myself for considering spending the night with a man I barely know, I can’t help looking over my shoulder to catch him staring right back at me.
And my heart skips a beat under his stare.
Maybe, just maybe, I can take control of this situation…
With bated breath, I watch the beautiful man uncurl from his seat and stride towards me, his body language that of a hungry panther on the prowl, his gaze never leaving my face.
His long fingered hands clench and unclench, a muscle in his angular jaw ticks, and he licks those lips again as he gets closer.
Every time he does that, heat floods my veins and I hope I’m not blushing.
My head fills with air as he gets closer and I have the sudden need to run, run far and run fast.
I think I’ve always sensed the danger, ever since he first came to the bar, first laid his eyes on me and let me see his expression change from hard to soft, machine to man.
But my feet are rooted to the spot and all I can do is watch like a deer or a rabbit in headlights as he closes in.
“Was there something else?” I ask when he reaches the bar and lays his hands flat on the polished wood.
“Yes,” he confidently says and his gaze bores into mine as though trying to read my soul. “I come in here nearly every night for the singular excuse to see and speak with you.”
“No,” The word explodes out of me in a tone much harsher than I expected.
His expression shuts down, the warmth and even that slight edge of humorous curiosity disappears behind a shutter of the cool, businessman mask.
“Understood,” His voice is all business and he removes his hands from the back and backs up.
He’s going to walk out and never come back.
I’m surprised by how much that thought disturbs me.
A moment ago, the idea of him asking me out had been the worst thing I could imagine, filling me with fear and panic.
But the thought of him leaving, the knowledge that he might never come back, is somehow far worse.
“Wait,” I grab his hand and suck in a sharp breath as the electric pulse of energy surges from him to me.
I let go just as quickly.
“It’s not that I don’t…”
Like you, want you, secretly wait every night for you to come to the bar.
But out loud I say, “My life is just not my own right now. It wouldn’t be fair to start something I might not be able to – keep.”
Did that even make sense?
Maybe he’ll decide I’m crazy and be relieved at his narrow escape.
He looks at me for a long time, long enough to be awkward then nods as though he’s come to a decision.
He turns away, pulls out his phone and walks towards the door.
My heart drops into my stomach and down into my feet as I watch his departing back.
“Aw, sweetie,” Gemma is suddenly standing beside me, her hand rubbing my back. “If you’re not ready then it’s the wrong time. A one-night stand might have been fun though. He looks like he’d be very good at…”
“I’ll close tonight if you stop talking.”
She giggles and kisses my cheek before returning to stacking glasses.
I busy myself clearing tables and trying not to think about spending another long lonely night alone.
Nights are the worst.
I like to think of myself as independent; I don’t need a man to set up my WIFI and I’m even okay swishing spiders out of my apartment, assuming they’re not too big… but sometimes the nights alone in my silent bedroom yawn on for hours.
I’m so absorbed in my own thoughts I don’t notice the handsome man returning.
Feeling the air move and the hair on the back of my neck prickle, I stand up straight and spin around to fine myself facing a wall of hard chest.
“Oh!” I jump back and almost tumble over the chair behind me, his long fingers wrapping around my arm, saving my dignity and the potential sore butt and possible head injury that might have followed had I actually fallen.
“Th… thank you,” I manage to stutter as I gather my composure.
“It was my fault,” he says, frowning down at me. “I wanted to give you this.”
He holds out a white card and I take it but before I can look at it or say anything he turns and disappears out the door.
“What was that about?” Gemma asks coming around the bar.
“I don’t know.” I look at the card and immediately pull out a chair and sit, before I fall. “Oh.”
Four Seasons: Room 281
Gemma snatches the card out of my hand and her mouth actually falls open. “Oh my, girl.”
“Is he…” I clear my throat and try again. “Is he inviting me to his incredibly expensive hotel room for…”
“A night of incredibly hot sex? Oh yes. Oh yeah. Oh baby yes, right there!”
I slap her in the arm but we’re both laughing. “Will you grow up?”
“Nope.” She hands me back the card but snatches my wiping cloth out of my hand and the tray of empty glasses off the table. “You. Go. As your boss, I order you to leave early. Cam and Marcy are washing up out back. We can finish up together.”
“You can’t order me to have a one-night stand with a perfect stranger.”
“Oh, yes I can. Oh hell yes, yes, yes…” Her voice takes on a deep throaty purr. “Ooh yeah!”
“I’m leaving,” I squeal, covering my ears and running round the back to grab my bag. “I smell like stale beer.”
She just gives me an impatient look and I hug her.
A mixture of excitement and fear are fighting for domination, but at the same time my whole body thrums with pent up energy, energy I haven’t used in a long time.
“Wait!” She pulls out her phone and snaps a picture of the card. “Just in case I don’t see you tomorrow.”
That stops me in my tracks but she spins me away and shoves me towards the door.
“Brain off, libido on. This is L.A baby. There’s nothing wrong with a one-night stand as long as you’re safe.”
She pulls three condoms out of her pocket, slips them into mine and gives me a cheeky wink.
“Make it count, girl. Make the memory of this night last a lifetime.”