She might not feel uncomfortable having him seated in front of her, but he also expected her to not let it be a hindrance…and he was right. After a grumble or two, she settled down and went back to work, and he opened his iPad to do the same.
Three hours later, however, he caught her staring, and sexual satisfaction purred inside of him. She hastily looked away, but of course it was too late. If his beautiful little doll was in the mood for some time out from work, then perhaps…
They could play a little, and so the game started, with Ioniko reaching for her hand.
“You’re welcome to do more than just look.” The look that she shot him at his words almost had his smirk turning into a grin. While most women would’ve cried tears of joy at such an offer, his Schuyler was looking at him as if he had just suggested for her to pair her coffee with stir-fried worms.
A moment later, he saw her gaze jerk down to their clasped hands, and an idea came to him. “Are you done for work?” The question was innocent enough, but it was only so she wouldn’t think much of the way he started playing with her hand. A stroke here and there, fingers twining and untwining, and throughout it he was rewarded by the way she gaped and winced, cringed and bit her lip…
Ah, koukla mou, you enchant me.
But because her now-red face looked fit to explode, he took pity on her and slowly withdrew his hold as he asked, “Can I take you out for lunch?”
He waited for her to make her usual protests, but instead he heard her say, “Yes.”
His brows shot up. How unpredictable she was. And a little while, he found himself surprised yet again, with the way she mumbled an excuse before making a dash for the ladies. Extremely unpredictable, he mused, but undeniably cute, and she got even cuter when she joined him outside the cafe. One look at her face told him that she had finally figured out the truth about him, and he braced himself for disappointment. Just as a leopard would never be able to change its spots, something would always inevitably clue Ioniko in on how people truly felt about his money.
It could be anything from an avaricious gleam in their eyes to an outright change in their attitudes and a complete switch to deference that typically bordered on a sickening level of obsequiousness.
He waited for Schuyler to be just like everyone else, but instead…
She couldn’t even get the word ‘billionaire’ past her lips, was treating it like the term was a blasphemy, and relief blazed inside of him. Schuyler mou…thank you. He hadn’t realized how much her reaction mattered until that moment, and he wasn’t able to stop his lips from twisting into a crooked grin.
“It just sounds so ridiculously unreal.”
She also sounded ridiculously defensive, like she was ashamed of her reaction, and he had to clench his fists to keep himself from hauling her into his arms. She might not know how rare her attitude to his wealth was, but he did, and when he saw Schuyler lift her gaze upwards as if she was blaming God that she had to be tangled up with a billionaire…
He was almost tempted to do the same but for the opposite reason. Doxa to Theo. Thank God. And then he took hold of her hand.
She was immediately panicky, which was cute, and she became even cuter when she told him, “This is stupid.”
“My holding your hand?”
“No, of course not.” Her tone was impatient, yet another thing most women wouldn’t dare use in his presence, and this only pleased him more. “I’m talking about you…and me.”
“I thought you were out of my league, but obviously I was wrong.”
“So I’m no longer out of your league?”
For Ioniko, that pretty much sealed it. Maybe there were other women who could be just as immune as Schuyler was to his billions. But another woman who unthinkingly referred to him as…dude? That was a rarity beyond compare right there, the one-of-a-kind variety, and he knew then.
He took her hand and brought it to her lips.
“You enchant me, koukla mou.”
Translation: I will never let you go.
But since she was too stubborn to read between the lines, she kept trying to pull out of his hold, and it was only the unmistakable growling of her stomach (another one-of-a-kind variety) that eventually persuaded her to having a meal with him.
“Where would you like to eat?”
“The fanciest place you can afford.” And when he raised a brow at her, she told him, “That should tell you something.”
“I’m a gold-digger.”
Ioniko only laughed and even magnanimously gave her a chance to prove it by taking her to McDonalds and making her pay for their meal. A gold-digger would’ve left him and angrily stomped away the moment a big, yellow M showed up in front of them. Schuyler, on the other hand, completely forgot about being a greedy little bitch the moment she had her triple cheeseburger and fries in front of her.