“I often see you reading books, and I like it—”
“Actually, I’m just faking it.”
“I believe you’re not the type to spend endless hours taking selfies—”
“You won’t think that once you see what’s stored in my photo library.”
“And then there’s our chemistry—”
“We have one?”
“It’s off the fucking charts, but I love how you keep fighting it—”
“Oh no. Why do I have a sudden urge to be clingy—” Wait. What did I just say?
“I’m glad to hear that, koukla mou.” His hands claimed my waist as he spoke, and he had already hauled me close, my body plastered against his, by the time I realized what just happened.
“You tricked me!” And I was so glad – no, I mean, I was horrified. Horrified! Just plain horrified to feel how horribly hard…and horribly hot…and horribly seductive…
Green eyes glittered down at me, and my heart lurched at the sheer amount of heat in his gaze.
Oh God, I’m dead.
“I always get what I want, my Schuyler.”
The sensual purr in his voice had my body trembling, and it took everything to resist the urge to melt against the devastating hardness of his body. “I’m not yours—”
“But you are.”
His eyes gleamed, and a moment later he purred, “You are.”
Oh! I realized right away what game he was playing, and I was impressed and terrified at the same time. Gaaaah. This man was really, really good, and not just at flirting. He was good with women, period.
I lifted my chin, intending to tell him that no matter what he did, I would never be…
It hit me from out of the blue, and hundreds of images flashed in my mind, all of them featuring the twenty-plus male characters that Sara and I had brought to life…
There was no denying that the billionaire knew his way around women…but what I had forgotten was that I also knew my way around alphas, and maybe…just maybe I knew enough to level the playing field even?
Ioniko stiffened. “I don’t think I like the look in your eyes.”
“I’m not surprised.”
His gaze narrowed. “Schuyler—”
“The reason why I don’t want to let myself believe you’re attracted to me is because I don’t want to fall in love with you,” I blurted out in a rush.
“I see.” His gaze became veiled, which unfortunately was no surprise either.
“I’m betting you wouldn’t want that either.”
After a moment, he said evenly, “You would be right.”
“Ouch, but expected, so that being said and with you knowing what you know now…if I ask you to forget you even know me, would you?”
“I thought so, too, which is why…” I took a deep breath. “I’d like to try going out with you—”
A blindingly gorgeous smile slashed over Ioniko’s lips. “I’d like that, too—”
“And with other guys as well,” I finished.
The smile abruptly disappeared. “Parakalo?”
“If it helps, you can date other women, too—”
“I only want you.”
While the words made my heart skip a beat, the coldness of his tone also made me feel wary and uneasy. “I just think it’s better this way—”
“I am not in the habit of sharing my woman with anyone else,” he cut in icily.
I know, I wanted to say. It was the alpha in him, and it was exactly why I was using this approach to force him to back down.
“I do not appreciate being manipulated.”
“You know it’s not like that.”
“You truly will not change your mind?”
“Then there is nothing left to say.”
My fingers curled into fists as I watched Ioniko turn away. In moments, he was gone, and I told myself this was how it should be. It might hurt for now, but this was the right thing to do, and even if my foolishly romantic heart was insisting I should’ve given us a chance…
Just nope, nope, nope.
I was back at Associate the next day, bright-eyed, smiling, and determined not to let a certain Greek billionaire keep me from enjoying one of my most favorite places in the world. Plus, unlike him, I hadn’t billions of dollars to burn, and I had already paid for a year’s use in advance. I couldn’t afford to keep working at Starbucks when I had free coffee waiting for me—
“Well, hello there.”
I had just gotten past the turnstile when Ioniko’s baby sister greeted me, and while that wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, the slyness in her tone definitely was, and I turned to her in a mixture of wariness and confusion. “Hi—” I stopped speaking when I saw the mischievous grin on her lips.
“Yup,” she said cheerfully. “My brother told me just enough for me to realize you’re the only woman in ages to have said no to him.”
The only woman in ages?
Did that mean there had been another woman…
But I was quickly distracted from my thoughts as I heard Kat call out to her assistant. “Can you take over?”