“Congratulations, again,” Aisha said. “I have to get back to work, but you two go celebrate.” She hugged Danica tightly. “I was wrong,” she whispered into Danica’s ear. “He stares at you like you’re a rare steak and he’s a contestant on a wilderness-survival show who hasn’t eaten in a week.” She drew back and gave Danica a wide smile. “Call me. But I expect you to be otherwise occupied for a month, maybe two.” She waggled her eyebrows as punctuation.
Danica laughed, even though Aisha was wrong. If Luke looked at her with any hunger, it was because he wanted the acquisition and she was the means to achieving it. Aisha waved goodbye and then Danica was alone.
With Luke. Her husband. Her mouth suddenly was parched and the world spun, once, before it righted itself.
He cleared his throat. “I still owe you that lunch. Hungry?”
Since she had barely been able to eat a bite since he’d walked into her office the day before, she nodded.
“Good.” He took her hand. The left one, now sporting a three-carat diamond. “Your fingers are cold.”
His weren’t. “I did just get married. Better cold fingers than cold feet, I suppose.” She tried to smile at him. She was somewhat successful.
His grip tightened. “Thank you, again.”
“A deal is a deal. And it’s only until you secure the acquisition.”
A crease appeared between his eyebrows. “But in the meantime, we are married.”
“Of course,” she said lightly. “We are. But it’s not like that was a real ceremony.” She was babbling, but she couldn’t stop it.
“I have a certificate that says otherwise.”
“I know. But—” she threw out her free hand “—my family wasn’t there. And no organist playing ‘My Shot’ from Hamilton.”
He stopped walking, causing her to jerk to a stop. “What is the organist playing?”
“I can’t have ‘Here Comes the Bride’ played at my wedding. I hate everything about it.”
He laughed. It made him devastatingly handsome, his eyes crinkling in the corners. “Of course. Who doesn’t?”
“It’s such a cliché.” She could feel herself relaxing, her shoulders descending to their normal position as they resumed walking. “It’s practically a parody of itself. Give me something with more personal meaning.”
“And the song you mentioned?”
“It’s about taking all the opportunities life hands you. Taking a risk. Like—” She stopped, suddenly aware of who she was talking to. And why.
“Like marriage.” He nodded. “I get it.” They reached his car and he unlocked the passenger door and ushered her in.
“Like love,” she added under her breath while he went around to the driver’s side and slid behind the steering wheel. The car didn’t have the largest interior to begin. With him in it, all the oxygen seemed to suddenly disappear. All she had to do was move her hand and she could stroke his thigh. “Where are you taking me to lunch?” She winced. It had come out far too loud.
“That’s up to you.” He pushed the ignition button and the car purred to life. “I know a nice place not too far from here. Or...”
He turned to her. With a shiver, she realized perhaps Aisha wasn’t too off base in her estimation. He did look hungry. The tiger was back. “Or,” he said in a deep rumble, picking up her hand and pressing a kiss in her palm, “we go to my place.”
Heat instantly pooled between her legs. “You weren’t kidding about this being a real marriage.”
He shook his head, his blue gaze watching her closely. “No. But as I said, up to you.” His thumb gently caressed the back of her hand, drawing lazy circles. Her breasts ached to have the same attention paid to them.
He was hers now. Well, legally, and for as long as the contract was in effect. This may be a business arrangement, but she’d agreed because of the perks that went with it. Like a naked Luke Dallas, tangled in sweaty sheets, about to ensure his prowess would leave her unable to see straight. She smiled and let her hand settle on his thigh. “Do you have champagne at home?”