The Billionaire's Paradise (Sexy Billionaires)(6)By: Victoria Davies
When he’d looked across the lobby and seen her standing there, something in his shoulders had relaxed. A tension he hadn’t even been aware of drained away. Not that he’d had the same effect on her, he was sure. If anything, the tension that had left him had found another home in her body.
He hadn’t been able to stop himself from going to her. For weeks, a world had been between them. Today it was only a few feet of marble, a distance that had taken seconds to cross.
And there she’d been, staring up at him with wide brown eyes, looking much as she always had. Even dressed down, there was a strength in her that was undeniable. No matter what setting Avery found herself in, she was the same calm, self-assured woman he’d first hired years ago. The one who faced him down in a grueling interview. The one who’d let a slow smile curve her lips before promising him better results than any consultant who had come before her. Not only had she delivered, but she’d exceeded every expectation.
He hadn’t wanted her then. Hadn’t thought twice about her, if he was being honest. It had never been his style to pursue women like Avery. They were complicated and intense, women of lasting substance when all he wanted was something fleeting.
She’d fixed problems in a dozen of his hotels, and he’d never been tempted to touch her beyond an indifferent handshake when they happened to cross paths.
Until the Christmas gala. She’d been networking, as she often was at the larger hotel events. Maybe it was the Christmas spirit in the air, or maybe it was the black gown that clung to her curves like it had been painted on, but he’d gazed across the ballroom and felt a stab of lust hotter than he’d experienced before. For a woman he knew better than to want.
Shaking his head, Hayden walked back toward the reception desk.
“Your keycard, sir,” the receptionist said.
“Thank you, Lea.” He took the card and tucked it into his pocket. “Will you have my bags sent up to my suite?”
“I’ve already made the call,” she replied. “They’ll be brought up in just a few minutes.”
“I appreciate it.”
He turned to go, when her small hand reached out to grab his elbow.
“It’s wonderful to have you back, Mr. Wexton,” she said with a smile that was just a little too knowing to be professional.
“How could I stay away?” he replied, the easy words slipping from him automatically.
Her smiled widened. “Will you be staying long?”
“I haven’t decided,” he answered.
“Well, if you need anything, I’m just a phone call away.”
Giving her a closed-lipped smile, he walked away. Under normal circumstances he wouldn’t have thought twice about some harmless flirting. But with Avery’s presence still fresh in his mind, he found he couldn’t summon any interest in Lea.
She’s not the woman I want.
Wyatt would never stop mocking him if he knew what was happening. The man who didn’t let himself grow attached to anyone was infatuated with a single woman. It was a travesty. A crime against nature. The faster he got Avery got of his system, the better. Then he could go back to the easy world of uncomplicated pleasure.
But for that to happen, he needed to convince Avery that a brief affair was in both their best interests.
Unfortunately he knew first-hand how stubborn she could be.
Shaking his head, he strode for the elevator. Good thing he loved a challenge.
Avery kicked her door closed and dropped face first onto the wide, king-size bed. What a day. Her tablet was filled with notes and interview recordings. Karen had even more. Usually she was able to dive into work and use it to block out everything else, but this time it had felt like she was going through the motions. Her mind hadn’t been focused on the task at hand.
I wonder why?
Hayden was messing with her head, and it had only been a day. This project would no doubt take weeks.
Rolling over, she flung an arm across her eyes.
In the silence of her elegant suite, there was no stopping the flood of memories.
Hayden wasn’t the sort of man she ever pursued. In fact, she stayed as far away from his type as possible. Her life was governed by three rules—never mix business with pleasure, never have a one-night stand, and never, ever get involved with a playboy. The gala had caused her to break all three edicts.