The Playboy Billionaire (The Romero Brothers, Book 3) (8 page)

BOOK: The Playboy Billionaire (The Romero Brothers, Book 3)
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Sorry?

He was sorry?

“Is something wrong?” she murmured.

“No. We have work to do, Miss Monroe.”

 

“Now,” he said as if nothing happened
moments before. Moments ago, he looked disappointed with himself when he had rearranged
the table and ensured Blue was okay. “I shouldn’t have done that,” he admitted again
in a smooth, deep voice. “Please forgive my moment of…indiscretion.”

“No. I…we…I kissed you. It’s okay…” Blue
dropped her gaze to her notepad. She was feeling terrible for some reason and
she didn’t know why. She was disappointed he stopped. Was she ashamed for
wanting him? Or for him rejecting her?

 

“Let’s start again then, shall we?” He
leaned forward while sitting behind his desk in the sun-filled glass office.
His hands were clasped on the desk. His gaze fixed on hers. “First things,
first. I will need you to work with Venus tomorrow and she will show you around
the office to get a feel of the work that goes on at this end of the business.
You’ll be spending another two weeks in her section.”

“Okay,” Blue agreed, scribbling down the
notes.
 

“She’ll give you access to some of the
material you’ll want for the documentary. And trust me, there will be plenty to
keep you busy in your research.”

“Good. I have a question.” Blue could not
help but feel an overwhelming sense of rejection that he did not pursue her
further. But she was there to do a job. She realized that a man in his position
could not afford another family scandal like the one that plagued his brother. In
fact, the Romeros always seemed to be in the local news for one thing or
another dealing with their love lives or their dating adventures. She really
didn’t want to be one of them.

Yes,
let’s pretend it didn’t happen. Let’s start all over again.
She thought the words in her mind but her heart was crushed by the
sentiment.

So did this mean she would never again have
the pleasure of his lips…or more?

He paused, saying nothing.

There was an awkward silence for a moment
and Blue was aware of her own breathing and the sound of her heart pounding in
her chest.

“Can I interview you about the special new
project that you’re working on for the Viticulture program at the college?
That’s one area we haven’t covered yet.”

“Yes.
But not now.
Much later.”

“Oh. Okay.” Blue spoke softly, trying to
hide her disappointment.
 

“At the end of your research phase, I will
take you personally on a few formal wine tastings.”

“Oh,” was all she could say. What was wrong
with her? She was usually way more coherent and talkative than she was now.
Holy cow! This man had some bewitching effect on her.

“You will have all the information you need
in good time.”

She gushed. “I understand.” Her lips felt
dry again and she nervously ran her tongue over her top lip.

“Can I get you a drink, Miss Monroe?”

“No, thank you.”
I’m just having difficulty thinking right now.

“You seemed to be very talkative when you
worked at Channel 31 News.”

“Oh. I’m just a little…”

“Nervous?”

“No. Trying to make sense of things. We
have only two more months to put this entire film project together and it
doesn’t leave us much time really. There’s editing and mixing to do during
production once I’ve got all the raw footage filmed.”

“I know that.” He paused for a moment and
opened his sweet lips as if he were going to add something else but decided
against it.

She had already spoken to him about what
she had completed so far and he seemed pleased.
A bonus in
her books.

“Earlier, you were asking about some
statistics on the wine business,” he said, seemingly changing the subject.

“Oh, yes. I was impressed with the
numbers.” She reached into her binder and pulled out some sheets of paper. “It
says here that the Canadian Wine and Grape Industry contributes $6.8 billion in
economic impact to the Canadian economy alone. That’s…very impressive!”

“Yes. We do our part.” He was sounding
modest, but also unimpressed. Why? Did money mean nothing to this man who had
an abundance of everything possible—including good genes?

“The wine industry is responsible for
creating more than 31,000 jobs,” Zack continued, holding her gaze. “We provide
employment in manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, research, retail and even
medicine.”

“Medicine?” she queried, incredulously. Blue
had never thought about winery and medicine mixing. She was learning something
new. She loved learning new things every day in her line of work.

It pleased Blue that she was beginning to
feel more relaxed and more comfortable around Zack again. She knew why. They
remained focused on work again. Only work.

Once she stayed focused on only work—and
only work, she was not focused on how hard and long Zack’s erection could
possibly be. And she was not imagining Zack in all his glorious nakedness. Blue
saw pictures of him online in nothing but swim trunks after paparazzi had
captured images of him swimming at the beach. She had to focus, after all. She
had debts from her parents’ untimely deaths to settle. She had a sister’s
college tuition to pay in the fall. She had to survive for her sister and her own
sake.

“Yes, we turn surplus grapes into surgical
spirits.”

“Surgical spirits?” Blue repeated,
scribbling her notes in long hand.

“Yes. We send our surplus grapes to
distilleries to be turned into surgical spirits and industrial alcohol used in
detergents and medicines.”

“Awesome! I really don’t think the general
public knows this.”

“You can get the quote on video later when
I am interviewed at the end.”

“So, will you continue to teach at the
college?”
 

“Well, I’m a guest lecturer for this
semester. I’ll have to see how it goes.”

“How do you like it so far?”

“I enjoy sharing whatever knowledge I have
with eager minds that have a thirst for knowledge.”

“Nice,” she said, writing ferociously on
her notepad while Zack continued to survey her. Aware that she was holding her
breath, she inhaled deeply.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m good. I think I have enough to go on
for now. I’ll work with Venus again and interview her and the other workers
throughout the week for the next segment of the documentary.”

“Good.”

“Um. Do you have any questions or
requests?” Blue asked her boss.

“Yes.”

“Oh?” she asked, breathless. She was caught
by surprise because she really hadn’t expected him to ask her anything else. Her
heart pounded hard and fast in her chest.

“Have dinner with me, tonight?”

Zack’s invitation slid off his sexy tongue
like melted caramel. His voice was low, silky and deep. The reaction sent
shivers of delight running through her belly. Her inner thighs tingled
deliciously.
Oh, no.

Blue felt her breath stop. She could not
answer him. She wanted to. So he wasn’t rejecting her after all. He just wanted
to make it official. But have dinner with him…tonight?

CHAPTER FIVE
 
 

“I…I can’t,” Blue whispered, breathless. Finally,
she managed to squeeze a vocal sound through her nerve-constricted throat. What
was she saying?

Sexy, sizzling, affluent bachelor, Zack
Romero—her boss, just asked her to dinner. Tonight! And she said no. She
said
no
. Was she out of her mind? But
she could not stop herself. She just wasn’t prepared. She couldn’t. After that
kiss, she wanted to do more with him. But she couldn’t. Not tonight.

“No?” he echoed, seductively. A salacious
grin touched the corner of Zack’s sexy-as-sin lips as he leaned forward in his
chair. His brow raised a fraction. It was as if he were amused that someone had
declined to dine with him.

“Um…well. I mean…”

His silence, waiting for her to finish her
sentence, was overwhelming. Blue perspired in her seat. Her mind was all
scrambled. She knew she just couldn’t drop everything she had to do tonight to go
out with him.
To have dinner with him.

It’s
only dinner, Blue. He wants to have a meal with you. Not have you for his meal.

 
Blue really didn’t want to get into her
personal life. She didn’t want to tell him the real reason she wasn’t free to
just do as she pleased right now. But she didn’t want to come off as rude
either. Should she tell him?

 

*
    
*
    
*

The woman
actually
said no? Her response to his question rendered Zack off
guard.
Sweet
. Despite that tasty kiss
a while ago, the woman was not
easy
!

 
That was a good sign. And it took a
minute for him to remember that he was to stay clear of sexual relations for at
least another day. Which was also good. But he still had another day of
abstinence to go. He groaned inwardly at the thought.

Zack leaned back in his soft leather chair
and slid his gaze down this woman’s opulent facial features. How intriguing. A
woman telling him no was not something he heard, often.
Or
ever in his recent years.
His eyes surveyed Blue Monroe as she sat in
her seat across from his desk, practically squirming as if she were his prey.
Why did she react that way with him?

She possessed the most delicate, dainty
features he’d seen on a woman. Her sweet, fully defined lips looked as red as
ripe strawberries and tasted as sweet as the grapes that made the wine in his
winery.

But oh, Zack would love to taste much more
than just those sexy lips of hers. He wanted to taste all of her. This woman
was causing a strangely delicious reaction in his body that was stronger than
he had ever had with a woman.

Her caramel skin was enticing to his eyes.
The contrast with her beautiful, silky, black hair that had a healthy shine to
it brought a warm feeling inside him. My God, this woman was pleasing to his
eyes—and he was sure to any man who became captivated by her beauty. Did Blue
even know this? Judging by her awkward demeanor, she sure didn’t act as if she was
a god-gifted beauty. There she was, so educated and talented and yet she never
displayed a grain of vanity.

A surge of heat raced through him. He
really wanted to hear the reason why she couldn’t or wouldn’t have dinner with
him.

Suddenly the deal he’d made with his
grandfather to give up sex for a month had proven to be a learning curve and at
the same time major inconvenience—a pain in the butt. He loved to romance
and seduce a beautiful, strong woman. He took significant pleasure in pleasing
his ladies. And this one before him was stunning. So fascinating that it almost
stole his breath away.

Damn that deal he’d made with this grandfather!

By now he would have whisked Miss Monroe
off to his waterfront condo in the city for a night of unforgettable passion.
The thought irked him that the past few weeks he had to disallow himself to get
close to her. And now? Christ, she was rejecting him!

“I trust that you have plans tonight,
then?” he asked out of curiosity.

“Um. Well, no. I mean, yes.”

He cocked a brow. Was she playing games
with him? She certainly seemed as if she wanted him while they were kissing. He
could tell these things with women. He loved the chase but he wasn’t sure where
this Miss Monroe was coming from.

“Well. Is it no, or is it yes?”

“Well,” Blue breathed deeply. “I…I’ve
already made
plans
.” She seemed uncomfortable with his
silence but he should probably cut her a break from his humor. She had a right
to not want dinner with him. He was only pulling her leg. Oh, he would love to
do more though.

“I have a younger sister. We live together.
Alone. She’s my responsibility.”

“Oh?” Zack wanted to hear more. The woman
was more intriguing every moment he spent with her.

“Yes. This is her last day of summer school.
 
We always discuss her day at school
and I don’t want to bail out on her tonight.”

“I see. That’s very noble of you, Miss
Monroe. You’re a wonderful big sister. One that every sibling should have.”

The woman appeared embarrassed and he could
see her cheeks turning rouge. “Well, I’m just doing what’s right.” Blue turning
him down for a dinner date after their passionate kiss spoke volumes about her
character. He loved that she as not an easy woman. And he delighted more in the
fact that she had integrity and she had her priorities straight.

“What about your parents? You never
mentioned them.”

She looked down. He wondered why the hell
he was prying into her personal life. For God’s sake, she was his employee.
Nothing more. She could be nothing more. Yet, something about her was too
compelling for him to pass up the chance.

BOOK: The Playboy Billionaire (The Romero Brothers, Book 3)
8.45Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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