Acheron’s mood grew increasingly black with every step he took.
No girl had ever said such words to him before, and regardless of Ms. Jones’ true nature, he was experienced enough to know that the fear in her voice had been real.
He had scared her, and he probably was still scaring her.
The right thing to do at this point would be to forget she ever existed. It was clear that she wasn’t cut out to have an affair with him, just as it was equally clear that she didn’t have the strength to resist him all the way.
If he continued pursuing her, it was only a matter of time before she became his.
But at what cost?
Acheron had just stepped inside the elevator when he heard a husky, feminine voice say, “Hold please.” He stiffened, knowing exactly who it was, even before a familiar waft of perfume hit him as a woman joined him inside.
Was this coincidence or the heavens warning him from repeating the same mistakes?
As soon as the doors closed, he heard her speak again. “Hello, Acheron.”
“Hello, Millie.” His tone was pleasant, but his face was deliberately impassive as he met her gaze.
Millicent Longbourn was still as beautiful as he remembered her, and the black dress she wore was a feast for any man’s eyes, with its low-dipping neckline leaving little to the imagination. Although she no longer heated his blood the way it had in the first few days of their affair, it was still easy to recognize what it was about the sultry brunette that had once captivated his attention. There was a wantonness about her that made one imagine she would do anything asked of her in bed – for the right man.
It was just too bad she had insisted, he thought, despite all his warnings from the start, on seeing him along those lines.
“You don’t need to look at me like that, lover boy.”
“I was only admiring your beauty” was Acheron’s smoothly diplomatic reply, to which Millie only responded with a tinkling laugh.
“No, you weren’t.” She gazed at him with eyes that were merry and wise at the same time. “You were looking at me like you regretted ever having anything to do with me.”
Acheron’s lips tightened. Their affair hadn’t even lasted a month, and it had nearly ruined her life. He had seen how the other women – cruel, jealous bitches, the lot of them – had deliberately shunned her, and he had been fit to kill when he realized how the men had started leering openly at Millie, cracking vulgar jokes at her expense –
And it was all because she had made the mistake of thinking she was in love with him, Acheron thought bitterly.
Millie had no problems reading into Acheron’s silence, and she let out the tiniest of sighs. “For the last time – there is nothing for you to feel guilty about.” He had broken her heart, yes, but he had also more than made up for it. She had asked him for a promotion, which they both knew she had damn well deserved, and he had given it to her. She had asked him to sack the man she had been working for – the jerk had thought she was an easy lay just because she had been caught with Acheron’s dick in her mouth – and he had done that, too, labor disputes and potentially harmful conflicts of interest be damned.
He had been willing to give her anything really, almost everything except for what she had wanted the most.
“What are you doing here, anyway? I’ve never known you to use one of the public elevators.” When she saw him hesitate, everything suddenly became so clear it was almost as if she was meant to know…
Millie’s lips parted in surprise. “You’re seeing someone – and she’s working for you. Isn’t she?” The slight clenching of Acheron’s jaw was all she needed to see. She was right, and equally obvious was how uncomfortable the billionaire was at having to discuss the matter with her in any way.
Because he was a gentleman, Millie thought. Acheron Simonides might have been born in the gutters and lived more than half his life with the poorest dregs of Athens, but it still didn’t change the truth. He had more honor and nobility in him than most men who had been born with silver spoons in their mouths could ever earn in several lifetimes.
“I hope she’s smart enough to know how lucky she is to have you.” Her voice was light, but it also carried the faintest trace of wistful envy. She might have gotten over Acheron a long time ago, but it didn’t make Millie any less vulnerable to having fanciful daydreams about having someone tall, dark, and handsome sweep her off her feet.
“Actually…” An odd smile had begun to play on Acheron’s slips. “I rather think she feels the opposite.”