She clung to Christian and kissed him back. The past and the future became meaningless. The present was all that mattered. If she died in his arms, she’d die with a joyful heart.
She wasn’t frigid.
Her lovers didn’t have to be drunk.
And she enjoyed making love.
She enjoyed it twice more that morning before they went to work.
Decisive by nature, Christian did not second-guess himself as a rule. Once he made up his mind, it was final. However, in the case of Bianca he wavered back and forth between thinking she was an angel and wondering if she were really the devil in disguise. Now that he’d taken her to bed and changed the course of their lives forever he couldn’t think straight. Despite what she said about not wanting marriage, he had his doubts. If he’d been right the first time in pegging her as a nester, he was in deep trouble. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt her.
He sat at his desk for over an hour without doing any real work. His body tightened at the memory of making love to Bianca. She’d given herself so willingly, so courageously. His protective nature kicked up at the mere thought of anyone hurting her. After he discovered the name of her ex, he vowed to destroy the cruel bastard. The man should be in prison. Christian would settle for taking everything from him that he loved.
His intercom buzzed. He reluctantly pressed the button to answer it only to find his most important business connection was in the outer office. Ron Haskell didn’t have an appointment, but Christian knew it had to be something big for him to drop by unannounced.
Seconds later Ron entered with a stunning blonde on his arm. Eye candy. Ron liked them pretty, dumb, and half his age. That fact didn’t used to bother Christian, but since he met Bianca his views had changed. Without introducing them, Ron left the woman near the door and approached Christians’ desk alone. The woman blew a pink bubble while texting on her pink phone using both thumbs.
After Ron shook Christian’s hand in greeting, he spoke in hushed tones as if he didn’t want his companion to overhear. “I need a favor from you, old friend,” Ron said. “Shari has her heart set on being a model, and I told her I could get her a magazine cover. She’s considered old in the world of modeling, if you can believe that. I am having trouble keeping my promise. Then I heard about your magazine. What is the name of it?”
Christian sighed. “Love Life. It’s not really mine. My father started the stupid thing, and someone else is running it.”
“Couldn’t you put Shari on the cover? One cover? Look at her. She’s beautiful. She belongs on a cover.”
“She is lovely, yes, but I have nothing to do with the running of the magazine.”
“But it’s under your corporate umbrella.” Ron grinned. “I would consider it a great favor. Believe me, I wouldn’t have come to you if I had any other choice.”
Christian had promised total creative control to Bianca. She wouldn’t appreciate his interference. On the other hand, the situation might work to his benefit if Bianca got angry. Perhaps she would break up with him before he broke her heart. Then they could return to their perspective professional corners and concentrate on their careers.
Christian grinned. “You know what? I think I can arrange it.”
“I knew I could count on you.” Ron beamed as he turned to his companion. “Shari honey, Christian here is going to give you a cover. Isn’t that wonderful?”
Shari wrapped her arms around Ron’s ample waist even as her eyes took on an appreciative glow while locking onto Christian’s face. A silent message passed from her to him. He could have her if he wanted. In the past, he might have taken her up on the unspoken offer, but the idea of sleeping with her set a rock in his stomach. Her type of woman didn’t interest him anymore.
He wanted someone that could hold up their end of the conversation, someone with more than just a pretty face. The realization he’d evolved stunned him to the core. Bianca had a lot to answer for. She’d dropped into his life and turned everything upside-down. She made him want more than a fleeting stream of meaningless affairs.
He gritted his teeth. He needed to cut ties with her before she did irreversible damage, something he couldn’t come back from or before he did damage to her. If he didn’t stop their budding romance cold in its tracks, he might start believing in something ridiculous like soul mates.
And that was not going to happen.
Wistful smile on her face, Bianca took the elevator to Christian’s office. Instead of calling her directly, he had summoned her through his secretary. She supposed he didn’t want it to look like he was giving her special treatment even though they were engaged as far as the world was concerned. Would it be so shocking if he treated her a little better than the average employee?
She breezed through his outer offices and was waved in by his secretary. Since he was expecting her, she didn’t bother to knock. The second she crossed his office threshold she realized he wasn’t alone. An apology sprang to her lips, and that’s where it stayed as she took in the visual. Christian perched on the edge of his desk, one foot off the floor. A beautiful woman in a white dress two sizes too small laughed at something he said. If the woman sneezed, Bianca suspected her huge bosom would bust free. Her hands were on him. Well, they were on his tie. She was in the process of straightening it even though it wasn’t crooked.
Bianca wanted to grab handfuls of the woman’s bleached hair and rip it out by the dark roots. Jealousy shot poisoned darts into her heart. It was bad enough the woman was practically taking Christian’s clothes off, but the worst part was his reaction to it. He was flirting with her.
Bianca’s jaw tightened. “Did you need something?” she asked a little louder than was needed. “I was busy.”
Christian had the decency to at least put some distance between him and the bombshell when he saw Bianca’s flushed face. “I wanted to introduce you to Shari. She’s going to be on your next cover.”
“Cover?” Bianca blinked, confused.
“Magazine cover. I want you to put her onLove Life’snext issue.”