Big Shot(7)

By: Carly Phillips

A muscle in his jaw twitched with the effort it took to hold back his own grin. “I’ll never admit it, because there’s no way you have more expertise in this luxury real estate market than I do,” he countered easily. “This has been my playground for over six years, whereas you’re just getting your feet wet. Today’s sale was nothing more than you having the right client at the right time with the right property. Pure and simple luck.”

She gave her head a small shake. “Don’t be such a poor loser, Sinclair.” She reached across the table and patted the back of his hand in a placating manner. “Maybe next time you’ll manage to come through for your client . . . if I don’t sell the listing first.”

Next time, there was no fucking way he was going to lose, and he was suddenly willing to gamble his reputation on it just to prove his point. She started to pull her hand back, but he grabbed her delicate wrist to stop her retreat, which caused her lips to part on a startled gasp and her widened gaze to shoot straight up to his. Ahhh, that definitely caught her attention, as well as threw her off guard. And finally gave him the upper hand. Perfect.

“You willing to bet on that, Minx?” he asked, trading in her old nickname for a newer, more appropriate one, considering just how impudent she’d become. He skimmed his thumb across the pulse point on the inside of her wrist and could have sworn he saw her shiver at his sensual touch.

He let go of her hand, and she quickly pulled it back to her side of the table. He saw a glimpse of that heated awareness that always seemed to simmer between them—hotter and brighter now that he’d stoked the fires a bit—but in the next moment, she tossed her hair back and was all sass again.

“So, you want to bet that you’ll sell a listing before I do?” she asked, her voice surprisingly steady.

“Yep,” he confirmed as he sat back in his chair and rubbed his fingers along the condensation on his bottle of beer. “Unless, of course, you think these recent sales were all just a fluke and you don’t want to take that risk.”

“You’re kidding me, right? The month isn’t even over, and I’ve managed to ‘steal’ not one, not two, but three listings right out from under you,” she pointed out, sounding too gleeful with her success. “The way I see things, the odds are quickly stacking in my favor, not yours.”

Jesus, she was so fucking hot when she was all fired up. And that made him think of all that blazing energy erupting between them in the bedroom. He was certain the push-pull friction they’d been engaging in for years now would coalesce into the wildest, steamiest, tear-each-other’s-clothes-off frenemy sex in the history of fucking. Or at least in his history of fucking.

Too bad it would be nothing more than a fantasy for his spank bank.

He leaned forward, folded his hands on the table, and did his best to ignore his unruly dick. “Since you’re so confident, how about a friendly wager?”

“Friendly?” she reiterated, a doubtful note to her voice.

He nodded. “I’m willing to put aside the fact that we’ve become adversaries for the sake of the bet, and to prove who deserves to be on top.” He let a slow, teasing smile ease up the corners of his mouth. “Which, I have to admit, is my favorite position.”

She laughed at his double entendre, but he didn’t miss the slight flush rising on her cheeks. “Of course it is, and I’ll accept your friendly wager. What are we betting?”

“Anything you want. Nothing is off-limits.” He was that confident he was going to win, so it didn’t matter to him what was at stake.

She finished the very last of her drink as she considered her options, then pushed her empty glass aside, lifted her chin determinedly, and met his gaze. “If I win, I want to work at Premier Realty, and not as a menial agent but a broker just like you and Max.”

Wes was impressed, and not at all surprised by her request. She was going for the brass ring, the one thing she’d been denied, and topping that off with an even bigger requirement that she be hired on at the same level as himself and Max. Clearly, she was testing him, and expected him to backpedal, but he wasn’t at all nervous. In fact, her demand gave him even more of an impetus to win.