“Why not?” He sighed. “I’m too tired to play games, so why don’t we both put our cards on the table? I’ll go first.” He downed the entire glass of champagne before refilling it. “The chemistry between us is palpable. Maybe you’re too young to realize how rare this attraction is, but I can tell you it doesn’t come around very often. At least not for me.”
“What are you saying?”
“I want to have a physical relationship with you, but I am not offering anything more than that. I’m not going to marry you. There will be no talk of love or empty promises. I can offer you a luxurious lifestyle for however long this thing between us lasts. Whatever you want, all you have to do is ask.”
Despite the delicious smelling food set in front of her, she totally lost her appetite. “Are you asking me to be your…mistress?”
“Mistress is an ugly word.” He leaned back in his chair while finishing off his second glass. “We are two consenting adults. Why shouldn’t we indulge in a passionate affair?”
Her hands curled into fists on the table’s surface. “I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt because you’ve been working yourself to death, and I know you must be exhausted to the point you can’t think straight. Otherwise, you would understand how badly you just insulted me.”
Christian blinked at her, uncomprehending. “I don’t… what?”
“I wasnotyour father’s mistress, and I will not be yours.”
“Mistress was your word, not mine.”
“What would you call it when a man offers to buy a woman whatever she wants if she sleeps with him? It’s one step above prostitution.”
She shot to her feet, prepared to storm from the room. The look on his face gave her pause. Poor Christian didn’t seem to understand why she was offended and angry enough to slap him if he were any closer. Even if he wouldn’t admit it, he was tired enough to fall asleep at the table, and drinking two glasses of champagne on an empty stomach hadn’t helped. She decided to take pity on him. They could argue over morality later.
Instead of walking out on him, she grabbed an arm and dragged him to his feet.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
Hands on his back, she gently pushed him through the house to his bedroom. She helped him remove his jacket, tie, and shirt. Her fingers grazed his hard abs. She tried not to look too closely at what had to be the most perfect male body she’d ever seen. He seemed to lose his balance and dropped onto the edge of the mattress. She took the opportunity to remove his shoes and socks. She would have stopped there, but Christian unzipped his trousers. In half a second they were on the floor next to the bed.
Bianca yanked back the covers. “Get in.”
“Will you be joining me?” he asked in a sexy drawl that almost made her forget her good intentions.
She scowled at him. “You need to catch up on your sleep.”
“I slept twelve hours last night.”
“Then you need another twelve. Get into bed.”
He saluted her in a mocking way before stretching out on the bed. He immediately turned onto his side, silently inviting her to join him. Part of her was tempted. They were both consenting adults. He was right about that, but she wanted to get one thing straight with him. She wanted him to understand he couldn’t buy her.
Unable to stare at his handsome face while opening herself to criticism, she walked in the direction of the doorway. Twisting her fingers, she made a quick confession. “I was married. I don’t know if you have that information or not. Your mother’s investigator might have dug it up. If so, I appreciate you not asking about it. Getting married so young and to a completely self-absorbed jerk was the worst mistake of my life. He was a lot like you. Well, no. You’re a lot nicer, believe it or not. But he has money and power, and he comes from a wealthy family with a multi-million dollar business. So the last thing I want is to get involved with another… Thomas Carstairs.”
When Christian didn’t say anything, she turned back around.
His eyes were closed. His breathing was deep and rhythmic. He had fallen asleep on her for the second time in as many nights and had completely missed her confession. She took a step toward him, wanting to shake him awake. The need to be honest with him was at an all-time high. What if it didn’t come around again? What if she’d missed the perfect opportunity to tell him everything?
He began to snore.
A wry smile slightly lifted the corners of her mouth. She decided it was a good thing he hadn’t heard her. Maybe it was the universe stepping in to keep her from making another huge mistake. The only reason to tell Christian anything was if she was getting involved with him, which she was not.
His earlier words floated through her mind on instant replay. He wanted to give her the world, whatever she wanted, in exchange for sharing his bed. Didn’t he understand there was no need for him to offer her money or clothes or jewelry? Christian without a dime to his name would be enough for her. She wanted to spend every night in his arms.
The realization hit her hard. For the first time ever she actually wanted to make love to somebody. She wanted to share her body with him. But that wasn’t all. She wanted to share hopes and dreams, past experiences and funny stories, everything that made her,her.
In other words, she wanted everything he just told her she couldn’t have with him
Oh boy, she was in trouble.