“Because you like playing up to the media’s worst expectations?” Millie’s voice was unintentionally tart. Whoever Acheron’s new woman was, if she was that big of an idiot to buy the media’s lies about her boss, then she didn’t deserve the Greek billionaire at all.
“I couldn’t care less of what strangers think of me—”
“And that’s the reason why all those women are quick to say the most outlandish stuff about you,” Millie retorted. “They get paid to lie, and you’re letting them get away with it.” She shot him an admonishing glance, saying, “I get that you grew up in a world where showing weakness would get you killed, but that part of your life is over. Don’t you think it’s time to show the world who you really are—”
“And that’s what exactly?” His voice was of cool amusement. “An ex-mob boss foolishly trying to turn over a new leaf as the long-lost heir of a Greek empire?”
Her lips curved, but her next words, albeit spoken lightly, held a meaningful undertone. “A man who gives a damn about the women he takes to bed, more than most men would.”
A text from Wickham came at five in the afternoon, containing detailed instructions on how to make it to the CEO’s private apartment without detection. Apparently, all of the public elevators actually had access to the penthouse. It just required someone from the inside to perform technology’s equivalent to Open Sesame, and the doors would magically unlock like Alibaba’s cave.
How very much like a fairytale, Pippi grumbled to herself, only the real-life version was more like a nightmare. In the Arabian Tales at least, the sultan had made no attempt to hide the number of princesses that had made their way to his tent. With Acheron Simonides, however – didn’t this secret elevator access mean he had every chance to carry any number of affairs with his female employees…without anyone being the wiser?
Was it possible that Millicent Longbourn wasn’t the only female employee he had taken to bed?
But even if that were the case…
Why should it matter to her?
The perplexing state of her emotions had her so distracted and conflicted that Pippi ended up literally jumping in fright when, upon exiting the elevator, a deep voice came out of nowhere to murmur, “Welcome back, Ms. Jones.”
“Mr. S-Simonides.” Her voice came out a croak, the sight of him causing her heartbeat to race as if it were practicing for a marathon.
She had always been too busy to care much about boys – or men, for that matter – but now she realized it was only because none of those she met had been able to affect her the way Acheron Simonides did.
The billionaire lounged before her in a picture of effortless elegance, with the silky ebony locks of his hair still slightly wet and his sculpted frame dressed in a black, buttoned-up shirt and a pair of loose cotton slacks.
He was so blasted mesmerizing it was a struggle not to stare. He just wasn’t like all the rich men she had the misfortune to meet, but neither could he be described as ordinary. He was just…unique, a man so obviously comfortable in his own skin that his powerful presence was made more magnetic by a seamless blend of sophistication and grittiness.
He was all that and more, which only meant one thing.
He really was a Greek god, and that made him completely out of her league.
The thought was super unoriginal, but it was also super apt, and Pippi was equally resigned and chagrined to feel the way her entire body trembled at the mere nearness of him. If only that night hadn’t happened, she thought despairingly. Then she would’ve still been safely ignorant of this man’s hotness and he, in turn, would be similarly unaware of her existence.
If that night hadn’t happened, the Jones’ curse wouldn’t have found its way into her life, and she’d never have a forbidden taste of the hardness of his body, which Acheron was now revealing more and more of, with his buttons being loosened one at a time –
Pippi let out a yelp when she realized she wasn’t daydreaming.
Acheron truly was undressing himself in front of her!
“Stop that!” But another button went loose, and she let out another gasp. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Was I wrong, mikrí mou?” A voice of sham innocence, belied by the way his blasted eyes glinted with wicked amusement. “You were staring so hard I thought you wanted to see more.”
“I w-was not,” she stammered even as her face flamed with guilt.
“You’re sure?” Another button popped free under his dexterous fingers, exposing more inches of the smooth hard wall of his chest.
Oh my God, those abs!
“S-stop undressing yourself.”
He almost laughed at the tone of her words. Was she even aware of how reluctant she sounded? Schooling his expression into one of casual inquiry, he asked, “Do you mean I’ll stop just for now?”