The Player (The Game Maker #3)(4)

By: Kresley Cole

In reality, I was so pissed I almost stomped up the steps. But I controlled my temper, keeping my heels from striking the tile surface. Maybe I could sneak up on Dmitri and observe him unawares.

I knew the basics about him from Pete’s copious notes. Thirty-two years old, a resident of Russia, raised in Siberia. Youngest of the three brothers. A computer and math prodigy.

He’d graduated at the top of his class from Oxford, then founded a company that revolutionized aspects of business computing. He’d cashed out with a couple of patents, retiring a billionaire. Yet there were few mentions of him online—and zero pictures.

As I stepped onto the deck, I raised my brows at the beast’s extravagant lair. Fire pits lit the area. A hot tub steamed under a wisteria-covered trellis, and a mosaic-tiled fountain sloshed against the back wall. A fully stocked bar stood off to the side, unmanned.

I spotted Dmitri at the railing, taking in the city’s vista. Not another soul was up here.

I silently approached, noting details about him. He had a muscular build and stood well over six feet, even taller than my ex’s six foot three.

My grandmother would call Dmitri Sevastyan a mountain of a man. He’d tower over my five feet four.

His expensive clothes were so well made, I nearly salivated. He wore tailored gray slacks that highlighted his narrow hips and tight ass. His charcoal-colored shirt clung to his back and arm muscles.

Beneath the thin material, I could see his triceps bulging as he white-knuckled that railing. Like Bruce Banner warding off the Hulk.

Pete had told me he’d picked up intermittent tension in Dmitri and Aleks, the oldest Sevastyan brother. Perhaps they’d fought and Dmitri was taking out his frustration on others?

If Dmitri was so angry, why not go back to his room? Why not take his fortune and fly somewhere else?

In the next second, everything I speculated got turned upside down—because Dmitri’s head tipped back, and his broad shoulders rose and fell on a breath. Even from this angle I could tell he was gazing at the full moon.

People didn’t normally do that when stewing; they did it when they felt regret, or even longing.

A flare of pity arose. His family was right downstairs, but he remained here all by himself.

That was the thing about the beast from fairy tales; he didn’t want to be a beast. He didn’t want to be alone.

Dmitri finally released his grip to rub his temples.

Curiosity to see his face won out, so I headed toward the opposite end of the railing, letting my heels click.

He dropped his hands, and his muscles tensed even more. “How many times do I have to fucking say this?” he bit out, his accent thick. As he turned toward me, he snapped, “I—AM—NOT—GODDAMNED—INTER . . .” He trailed off, looking staggered.

I knew the feeling. Dmitri Sevastyan was . . . magnificent.

His flawless, masculine face swindled your breath and left your lungs holding the bag.

Thick black hair, chiseled cheekbones. Proud, slim nose and a rugged jaw. His eyes were blazing amber.

Beautiful, beautiful beast. I nearly reeled on my feet. I never did that, except as a ruse for pick-pocketing.

Once the angry set of his jaw eased, his lips went from thinned to oh-so-kissable. That vivid gaze of his roamed over my body from my heels to the top of my head. “You . . .” he breathed.

Make the talk, Vice. “Me?” I knew we hadn’t met. Because his face would’ve been seared into my brain forever.

“. . . are stunning. The sight of you has defeated my wits.”

Huh? Guys thought I was pretty, but in the land of long-legged showgirls and surgically enhanced models, it took a lot to stand out. (I’d always told myself I would crush it in Reno.)

And what about Karin? Maybe he’d forgotten his contacts last night.

Instead of chasing me away, the beast strode over to join me. I had to crane my head up to meet his gaze. Well, hello there, big guy.

He stood so close I could feel the heat coming off his body. I caught a hint of his aftershave—evergreen and something mysterious—and I wanted to purr. No, not a hint—a hit. His scent was a drug spiking the air.

“I am Dmitri Sevastyan,” he said in a deep voice. “You must tell me your name.” With way too much familiarity, he lifted that loose lock of my hair, the color stark against his tanned skin.

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