He kissed the top of her head, murmuring, “I thought you’d say that.”

Even as her toes curled at the tender gesture, she mumbled half-resentfully, “You’re too manipulative.”

His mouth moved to the side, and she shivered uncontrollably when she suddenly felt his tongue lick her ear. “Not manipulative, Vivi,” he said softly. “I simply know what I want, and I prefer not to waste time in getting it.”

When the car stopped in front of the building’s revolving doors, Luca stepped out first, but instead of following him out, Vivian tried pulling the door shut. Startled, he kept the door open and bent down to peer at her inside.

“Why aren’t you coming out?”

Vivian stared at him like he was mad. “I thought you wanted your driver to drop you off first, then he’ll take me to my first job.”

Ah. Shaking his head, he murmured, “I apologize. I forgot to let you know that I already spoke with your other employer.”

Chapter Eight

Vivian gaped, asking faintly, “E-excuse me?”

“He understands the change in your circumstances and wishes us well in our new life together.”

“But—-” Even as she started to protest his high-handedness, Luca was already gently but firmly pulling her out of the limousine, and Vivian tried not to cringe at the way all eyes immediately swung towards them.

She looked up at Luca, expecting him to at least feel marginally self-conscious at the way they were attracting attention, but his handsome face only had its usual impassive expression.

Seeing the way Vivian was staring at them, Luca raised a brow, asking, “What is it?” He curved an arm around her waist as he spoke and led her towards the revolving doors. He felt her trying to inch away from him, which of course only made him pull her even closer.

“They think it’s odd I’m with you,” he heard her mumble under her breath.

He drawled silkily, “And I should care about what strangers think because?”

If he put it that way, then of course she wouldn’t have any good answer for that, Vivian thought ruefully. Stealing another furtive look at him, she couldn’t help but be impressed at how his arrogance seemed not to have suffered one bit even though everyone they passed was clearly thinking he was crazy for dating someone like her – a plain, boring cleaner—-

As they walked, Luca suddenly lowered his head and whispered into her ear, “I can hear you putting yourself down, Vivi, and I forbid it.”

She nearly stumbled in surprise. “W-what?”

He eyed her shrewdly. “Am I not correct?”

Vivian bit her lip. “It’s just…I don’t even blame them for what they’re thinking. You and me, it doesn’t make sense—-” She stopped speaking mid-sentence when she realized where they were heading.

Oh, fudge.

“Luca, I don’t—-”

But it was too late. Luca had already stopped in front of reception, forcing Vivian to stop beside him – as well as come face to face with the very same blonde receptionist who had treated her condescendingly yesterday. She then felt Luca’s arm drop from her waist, making Vivian blink in confusion. After making such a show of possessiveness, he was letting go of her now…why?

Ida was busy texting under the reception counter when a shadow fell over her, forcing her to look up. Shock had Ida dropping her phone when she realized that it was her employer standing right in front of her, but she recovered quickly enough, straightening with a smile as she pushed her breasts as far out as she could.

“Good morning, Mr. Valencia,” Ida simpered just before she noticed the girl standing impossibly close to the Italian billionaire. Oh my God, wasn’t this the cleaner yesterday who had the audacity to give her added work? What did she think she was doing, clinging to Luca Valencia like some desperate leech?

Fluttering her lashes at her boss, Ida said with a sigh, “I am so sorry you had to be bothered in such a way, Mr. Valencia.” When the billionaire nodded, Ida shot the cleaner a triumphant look, now feeling perfectly assured that she had read the situation correctly, but when she turned back to face her boss, her lips were curved in a helpful smile, and her tone was just the right touch of concern as she asked, “Would you like me to call security, sir?” The last one, however, was spoken in a suggestive tone, Ida unable to resist the chance of coming on to someone who was the embodiment of her ideal man: handsome, sexy, and most importantly of all, loaded beyond her wildest imaginations.

“Yes, please,” Luca murmured. “Let them know that I would like to have someone escorted for sexual harassment.”

Vivian’s eyebrows shot up.

Ida’s gaze glittered. “I’ll make the call right now, sir.” When it was done, she reported in a sweet, dutiful voice, “They’re on their way, Mr. Valencia.”

“Good. Women who think they can get their way and have men falling for them simply by flashing some skin and acting aggressive are delusional and pathetic.” Gazing at the blonde under hooded lids, Luca drawled silkily, “Do you not think so, Miss—-”

Tags: Marian Tee Romance
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