His blue gaze turned indigo dark. “On ice.”

She leaned her torso toward him until their mouths almost touched. “I’m in the mood. For champagne,” she whispered against his lips.

He raised his hands and tangled them in her hair. “So am I. But not for champagne.” Then he kissed her, insistent, demanding, thoroughly ravaging her mouth until stars pinwheeled around her. She whimpered, irrationally angry at the center console that separated their seats, and he broke away, his breathing heavy. He put the car into drive and they sped out of the parking lot.

This—the way she instantly flared into flame at his touch, the taunt excitement that tortured and pleased them both—would be enough. She could make it be enough. She wouldn’t have love, but she would have passion. She could be happy with that, for the duration of their time together.

Or so she told herself.

* * *

Danica put down the phone, happy to finish her conversation with her parents and Matt. Then she felt guilty for being happy. True to his word, Luke had paid Danica her promised fee plus bonus the day after the wedding, and she’d sent it to her family. Knowing she secured their house for the time being had been almost enough to make up for the twinges of conscience that had come with announcing her marriage to Luke. Her parents had been shocked she’d wed a man they hadn’t met, and she’d finally gotten out of that discussion by promising she and Luke would visit them as soon as Matt, whose recovery still moved too slowly, felt up to it. The weekly conversations since had been still a bit awkward, but so far she’d managed to answer their questions to their satisfaction.

She opened a file on her computer. Since the wedding, life had settled into something resembling a routine, if routine could ever be a word applied to life with Luke Dallas. Luke still needed a director to run Ruby Hawk’s community outreach, and Danica had several new candidates to interview. She also had to finish a report on the charitable causes the foundation could support, as Luke wanted Ruby Hawk’s technology to be involved.

What she should be doing, however, was concentrating on her business plan for her own executive-search company. She wouldn’t be at Ruby Hawk forever.

But facing up to that reality meant facing up to her inevitable parting from Luke. When she’d agreed to marry Luke, she’d known sex with him could be mind-blowing fun. She’d had no idea their first night only scratched the surface of the erotic gratification in store.

When work hours were over and they were alone...she shivered, her mind filled with images from the night before. His mouth, hot, plundering, exploring every inch of her skin, his tongue taking her to heights she didn’t know existed before she shattered into mindless shards. She never imagined—

As if her thoughts conjured him up, he walked into her office, his head down as he read something on his smartphone. Her heart gave a skip and a hop, noting the way his tailored shirt hugged his chest, skimmed over the six-pack of abs she knew was underneath. It would be the work of only a few buttons and her hands could glide over his skin...

He stopped in front of her desk. “Did you put together this proposal for using Ruby Hawk’s technology to make youth sports leagues safer?” he asked.

Ah. He was in work mode. She’d have to save those thoughts until that night. “Is there something wrong?”

“Not at all. It’s good.” He put the phone in his pocket and sat on the edge of her desk. “Why didn’t you say you were passionate about injuries in youth sports? Did you play?”

“Me?” She laughed. “I’m the proverbial wrong-way kid. My first soccer game, I kicked two goals for the other team. I’m much better at providing moral support.”

“But you must have some knowledge. This is a very persuasive proposal. You obviously care deeply about the subject.”

She wasn’t sure if she wanted Luke to probe into her personal life. They were married but their intimacy was strictly physical. The one area she could keep separate from him was her family. If she let him in, all the way, she might not have the strength to walk away when their contract ended. She chewed on her lower lip.

Tags: Susannah Erwin Billionaire Romance
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