She unthinkingly raised her arms, intending to hold on to Acheron as his kiss deepened. But the moment her fingers uncurled, her phone fell from her grip, and the loud, heavy thud it created as the phone hit the floor was akin to an inner fire alarm sounding off inside her head.
Acheron didn’t make any move to stop Pippi from moving when she suddenly pushed away from him, the stricken look on her face explaining everything to him. It was too fast, too soon. He got it. Of course he got it, but goddammit. That kiss was fucking hot – hotter than anything he could remember tasting – and he wanted more.
I don’t know what came over me. She almost blurted the words out but caught herself in time. That was a lie, and she hated lying. She knew exactly what came over her. It was called lust, and she had let it rule her head.
“Pippi…” It was the first time for him to say her name, and she almost closed her eyes in despair. This was no good. Just no good. And yet – why did it feel so wonderful to hear him say her name?
He studied her with a brooding frown, his body still rigid with the desire he was struggling to keep in check. She stood before him, pale and trembling, rosy-cheeked and silken limbed, and the way her breathless panting softly mirrored his own harsh breathing made Acheron clench his fists.
He wanted her so fucking bad, and it didn’t make any sense at all. She was nothing special. Nothing. And yet…
“I want you.”
The abruptly spoken words made Pippi feel faint. She couldn’t – she…just…she couldn’t have heard him right. Could she?
“Did you hear what I said?” Acheron grated out. “I want you, Ms. Jones.”
She had heard him right.
Pippi’s shoulders lifted in a hapless shrug. “W-What do you want me to say?”
“That you want me, too.”
She bit her lip. It was true, of course, but…
Acheron wasn’t at all surprised at the way she shook her head. He had not only expected it, but in some perverse way, her refusal also pleased him. The more she challenged him, the more he desired her, and just imagining the many expressions she would show once he had her in his bed was enough to have him fully aroused.
Ah, for that day to come…
In the back of his mind, his conscience made a last-ditch attempt to sway him from the path he was about to take, but this time he was deaf to its concerns.
He wanted her, and he would have her.
Pippi tried not to feel nervous at the intense way in which Acheron Simonides was suddenly gazing at her. “W-What is it?”
Tread carefully, Simonides. With this girl, his money meant nothing. Worse, he had a feeling his wealth actually put him at a disadvantage, and any attempt to lure her to his bed with jewels and furs would only backfire.
The best way to solve this was to think of it as he would with a strategic takeover. Smaller companies never wanted to be absorbed by big, bad conglomerates. That was just the way the world worked. But if the latter offered the former a face-saving compromise…
Something that would allow her to surrender to him without taking any of those risks she had once spoken of…
“Two months,” he murmured.
“Excuse me?” Pippi felt like she was hearing things, but when he repeated his words, she realized she had heard him right. Brows furrowing, she cocked her head absently to the side, asking blankly, “What about two months?”
“I’ll be the perfect boyfriend for two months,” Acheron drawled, “in exchange for the right to have you in my bed.”
Her jaw fell so hard a part of her was just waiting to hear it crash to the floor. “Excuse me?”
“You can give me a list if you wish, have all of it in writing in order to make things legal. I will be whoever and whatever you want me to be, Ms. Jones. You only have to say the word, and I will make it happen.”
Shock gave way to horror. Did he really think…
“I’ll also have a contract drawn as a guarantee that your job will not be affected in any way, regardless of what takes place during and after those two months.”
This was insane. And what would be more insane was if she allowed herself to hear another word about it. Taking an uneven step back, she shook her head at him, stammering, “I’m s-sorry, it’s just—”
“No one has to know either.” It was the ace Acheron had up his sleeve, and as soon as he had dealt it, the gamble immediately paid off. The words rendered Pippi motionless, and seeing this, he didn’t hesitate to press his advantage. “You can choose who to tell or not to tell about us.” His voice was soft and beguiling, Acheron taking every care not to make her feel pressured. “It will be entirely your call.” His gaze captured hers as he made his move and gradually closed the distance between them.