My heart jumped to my throat, and I stammered, “H-How did you know?” When he seemed to hesitate, I asked, “Did Kat tell you?”
Another moment passed before the billionaire said finally, “It’s you.”
“You’ve got guilt written all over your face, koukla mou, and it’s not that hard to figure out why.”
He knew, I thought right away, and my throat tightened. He just knew. Without Kat telling him, he knew, and I had to bite my lip hard to stop it from trembling.
“Are you mad?” I whispered.
“I should be. If it had been any other woman, I’d have said fuck it and moved on to the next one, but obviously…” A note of self-mocking humor threaded through his tone. “I want you too much to let you go.”
“I’m sorry.” I felt like I had to say it. “I don’t mean to be so complicated, but…”
“You have a hard time trusting me.”
“Ne.” I was hoping the Greek word would ease the tension between us and make him smile, but it completely backfired, with the way his green eyes blazed with unadulterated, no-holds-barred lust and had my body up in flames in seconds.
“This is why I find you so damn irresistible,” Ioniko said roughly. “You never do things to deliberately impress or seduce me, and yet…every little fucking thing you do is a major turn on.”
“All that,” I said weakly, “just because I remembered the Greek word for yes? Not that I’m complaining, but you really have alarmingly low standards for the women you date.”
Ioniko threw his head back with a laugh, and the sound was so deliciously sexy that it had me smiling helplessly as well. He was just so…perfect. And I—
“Your spending time with other men…”
I couldn’t help jerking when Ioniko suddenly spoke, and when I realized how he had phrased things…ouch. I knew he had every right to describe it as he wanted, but he made it sound so…immoral.
“What exactly is it meant to accomplish?”
“It’s just…” My tone turned awkward. “A precaution.”
“Against falling in love with me?”
“And what will it entail?”
“Nothing physical, definitely.” But when the billionaire kept staring at me, I added clumsily, “No kisses, no anything—”
“You will not let them touch you in any way,” Ioniko said coolly.
I nodded quickly. “Not in any way.”
“Not even a single strand of your hair,” he specified.
“Um…” But then I saw the billionaire glare at me, and I said quickly, “Understood.” I didn’t know whether to start thanking God for making this man blind about me or drive Ioniko to the nearest hospital so he could have his head checked. Or if not that then maybe his eyesight. Ioniko’s every word was making it sound like I was some kind of headturner who had to beat men off with a stick when we both knew it really was the other way around. Ioniko had the kind of looks and presence that literally struck people dumb, and I saw it happen all the effing time.
So the way he was acting now, like he needed to keep men from stealing me away…
A squeal of surprise escaped me when Ioniko suddenly took hold of my waist to pull me close, and in the next second I was pressed against his lethally muscular length. “Nik?”
He stiffened, and it was then I realized I had unthinkingly shortened his name. “Sorry—”
“I like it,” he interrupted gruffly.
He stared down at me, a brooding expression on his darkly handsome face. “I want you, Schuyler…and we both know you want me back. You want to be mine.”
The words messed me up, making my heart squeeze painfully even as my breasts ached and my nipples tightened in arousal. They messed me up so bad because he was right, and I heard myself whisper, “Yes.” With what I was asking him to do, I owed him the truth at the very least. “I want to be yours,” I told him shakily, and it was just crazy, just plain crazy the way his eyes seemed to blaze with relief like a part of him still doubted my feelings for him.
“So be it then.” His voice was taut. “I cannot promise to wait for as long as you need me to, but I will try—”
He stopped speaking.
Because I hadn’t any choice.
Or rather I hadn’t given him a choice, with the way I had raised myself on my toes, curled my arms around his neck, and covered his mouth with mine. I just needed to kiss him. Just needed to so badly, with the way his words had my heart racing like mad and butterflies flying like crazy in my stomach.
The truth was, a part of me had been pessimistically convinced that Ioniko would never say yes to my condition. He was one of the most eligible bachelors in the world, someone whom literally millions of women would practically do anything to go out with. Most people would’ve expected me to drop to my knees in gratitude the moment he told me he liked me, but instead I wanted him to let me “date” other guys while dating him.