It was hard enough keeping his mind on Carly’s words all this while. He wished now that he had found a way to cancel this trip, or at least postpone it – and make this all about pleasure. His and Miranda’s. But no, he had very vital contacts to make in London that whole week, which had taken almost a year to arrange. And he had been unable to wait till he got back from London to get his chance with Miranda.
No, it had been a now-or-never move, and he’d taken it. And now, he knew that it was only a matter of hours, give or take – and then the sexy, voluptuous Miranda would be his. He would focus on work when he needed to, but he’d make sure that when the time came, he’d make every moment with her count. He only hoped he’d have the inclination to let her go once their deal came to an end in seven days...
London was a gorgeous city – and any other time, it would have been more than glorious to be there. They touched down late in the evening, and Miranda felt the sense of ancient history all around her as they drove from the airport to the hotel, passing by monument after monument. The city was well lit, beautiful, and filled with a kaleidoscope of people that seemed to swarm around in droves. Miranda was enchanted by the diversity and culture she saw, and wished that she was here on some other mission, and not just as a billionaire’s one-week plaything.
And what a billionaire, she thought; glancing across at him as they sat in the spacious limousine that had picked them up once they’d arrived. Every time she stole a look at him, she marvelled at the fact that he would be attracted to someone like her. She’d read up recently about his last girlfriend, one that everyone had believed he would propose to. In fact, the model, a little over twenty three, had just a week before the split, boasted that she’d got wind of Jude checking out rings at some mega-expensive jewellers. Obviously, nothing had come of that. But Miranda had seen at least, the kind of woman he must be used to being with. Model-types, the kind who’d make great trophies to a man like him. Women whose beauty and looks conformed to what people would expect of a rich, influential man like him.
And yet, it was her he wanted. For just a week, maybe. But he’d wanted her so bad he was ready to lose control of what had been her father’s company and a now very lucrative holding - one he’d taken several months to map out its ruthless takeover.
Miranda guessed she should feel flattered by it all, at least. She didn’t get propositioned by dashing billionaires every day that was for sure. And it wasn’t something that would be likely to repeat itself either. So she might as well make the most of it, she decided, as she settled back against the sinfully plush seats of the limousine. Finally, she was making the decision: it may be only business, but damn it, she’d enjoy every second of it. Roll with the thrills, live it up to the max. If she was to have a man like Jude Stone to herself for a week, then she was sure as hell going to make it one week to remember. For both of them...
Checking in, then going up to their exquisitely appointed suite...Carly heading off to her own room on some other end of the floor while she and Jude took up space in what had to be the most fabulous room Miranda had ever stayed in. The bed itself was like an entity on its own: a mass of pillows set on the king-sized, silk-spread expanse of the sinfully beautiful bed. Miranda gulped, turning round to find Jude backing into the door, shutting and locking it without taking his eyes from her.
They were alone. Finally. The ominous element of that very prospect should have daunted her, but no...It was electrifying. Was this the time of reckoning? Would he want to take her now, the first chance he got - or would he draw out the suspense? Perhaps, they’d dress for dinner first, and then go out for an elaborate meal – or maybe he’d just order up room service and then take things from there?
They’d mapped out most everything of the whole arrangement – except this most vital, pressing part. Exactly what, Miranda wondered, was expected of her?
“You must be tired from your journey,” he said mildly, at last advancing from the door and smoothly unbuttoning his top shirt buttons as he loosened his tie.
“Would it matter if I was?” Miranda queried, standing still in the middle of the suite. He came forward, standing close enough that when he looked down into her face, she could see the golden flecks in his piercing eyes.
“You’ll cut me out for an insensitive brute, wouldn’t you? But you’ll find that I’m far from the unfeeling, ruthless bastard you think I am.” As he spoke, his tone softened, just as his gaze lowered to her parted lips, which started to tremble in anticipation beneath his fixed, darkened stare. They’d never kissed, had barely had any kind of contact since that first night they’d danced. Miranda felt her eyelids flutter to a close as any moment, she expected his mouth to claim hers in manifestation of the intent she saw burning on his face.
But he did not kiss her, at least not on the mouth. She felt him press his lips to her forehead, his voice barely above a whisper as he added, “I know we have an arrangement, and now it’s just you and me, just like I wanted. But I’m no savage. I’ll let you get some rest, freshen up from the trip. I have an important meeting in the morning, so I’m going to want my beauty sleep.” He grinned suddenly, drawing away from her.
Miranda was surprised by his tactics – which was what they had to be. He was pulling the humane card, playing nice and probably seeking to soften her up in some way. Could he sense her resentment? Knowing that even as she’d succumbed to all this, even as she was playing along, she felt indignant of the position in which she was placed?
Don’t Miranda; don’t let him fool you, she warned herself. Keep your guard up and keep reminding yourself that you were dealing with a man far, far different from you in the way you reasoned and felt. They were as different as chalk and cheese, and though she felt his physical appeal, she couldn’t distance her mind from the fact that he was manipulative, opportunist. A man who would use what ever he had to get what he wanted.
But then with a jolt, Miranda knew she could very well say the same for herself at this point. Here she was, about to pay the ultimate female price: yielding her body in return for something she desired most in the world: to see her father, her whole family, happy again. To get the pieces of her life back together since the day it was shattered when they’d practically lost all they had.
So maybe she wasn’t so different from Jude Stone after all.
Miranda found herself in a fitful doze when he returned.
He’d left the room several hours ago, after he’d showered and changed. He said something vague about having to see to some matters with Carly in time for the meeting tomorrow, and that he’d discuss in the PA’s room so that Miranda could rest without disturbance.
Once she was sure he was gone, she’d slowly undressed, then indulged in a leisurely soak in the majestic marble tub in the bathroom. She’d been almost reluctant to finally rise from its scented, warming depths. She’d spent almost an hour in the bath, and still he wasn’t back. Wondering at the strange pinch of perverse irritation she felt, she quickly unpacked, retrieving her lace and satin lingerie, which she’d chosen to wear. Before she put it on, she caught a glimpse of her naked frame in the mirror, and paused.
Standing in front of the full length, gilt-framed glass, she viewed her reflection and tried to be impartial in her judgement of herself. Miranda had always taken pride in her body; she’d always been full-figured, and had never known what it meant to be skinny or even slender. However, she kept fit, and her body was supple, firm. She had smooth, unblemished skin, which felt very soft as she ran her hands over her shoulder blades and upper arms. And she felt she had nice breasts; they were a high-profiled D-cup, with only the slightest droop that added a somewhat erotic sway to their mounds. Her belly was just a bit rounded, yet flat, and her hips flared out if not delicately, then at least with shapely elegance. Her legs were what she considered her favourite features; they were long, with well-formed calves ending in ankles that were surprisingly narrow for her weight. She also had small feet – another surprise.
She didn’t think she was doing badly at all, for a plus-sized chick. She turned to one side, and then the other. And then she backed the mirror, looking over her shoulder at her generous rump, the cheeks perfectly curved and silky-skinned. It was firm and soft, and slightly jiggled when ever she moved. She remembered that though she’d always felt it was far too big, at least two of her exes had told her it was the best they’d seen on a woman. She couldn’t help wondering if Jude would think the same when the moment of truth came.
Oh, so now she was looking forward to it, hmm, her inner voice mocked – but she ignored it. She’d be a fool to pretend to herself that she wasn’t more than a little sexually drawn to Jude. A woman would have to have dry, bloodless veins in her body if she claimed not to find him deeply attractive. Every time he was near, it was hard not to stare at him, or to feel switched on by his effortless magnetism. She’d felt it all from the second she’d set eyes on him, smiling and offering to take her off Kirk’s bumbling hands – and feet. And yet, though she could not find herself to totally like the man – she sure as hell wanted to fuck him like crazy. There was no two-way about it, no doubt. When the time came, she would want it as much as him, just as he’d assured her all those days ago.