The billionaire noticed the way Kady suddenly started gnawing on her lip as her gaze warily darted to his, and he said softly, “You can ask me anything, little chick.”
Color stole into her cheeks at Slade’s intuition, and Kady wondered glumly if she would ever be able to keep a secret from someone so consummately experienced.
Unable to help fidgeting even as she avoided his gaze, she said haltingly, “You told me if men like Eric say I’m beautiful or something, I should just take it as my due.”
“But what if men like you say it?”
Slade couldn’t keep his lips from twitching.
So that was what had been bothering her.
“First of all…”
Kady’s gaze flew up to his, and seeing her look at him hopefully, like he was about to give her the secrets to the universe, almost had him losing it.
Clearing his throat, he said solemnly, “There aren’t any men like me.”
What in the—
But then she saw the laughter in his eyes, and she realized he had simply been pulling her leg. “Oh my God, you’re impossible—”
“Irresistible,” he corrected her mildly. “You keep forgetting ‘irresistible’ is what you genuinely intend to say.”
Kady tried her very best not to laugh, but this, too, proved irresistible – no, wait, impossible!
“If this is another joke,” she muttered warningly.
“When I tell you I find you beautiful and sexy…”
Her gaze narrowed suspiciously.
“It simply means I want to fuck you.”
Her jaw dropped.
“I want to fuck you so damn bad—” Slade’s voice turned guttural. “You wouldn’t believe just how many times I was tempted last night to sneak into your room and seduce you.”
Oh. My. Gaaaaaah.
“I’ve given you as much time as I can bear,” the billionaire rasped. “What’s it going to be, Kady?”
But she was still torn, and when she found herself taking a step back, she saw frustration flare in Slade’s blue eyes.
“I’m sorry,” she said helplessly. “It’s just…I…”
“There you guys are!”
Farica, walking from the direction of the kitchen, came up to them, a look of puzzlement on her face. “Don’t you guys want breakfast?”
At Farica’s words, the billionaire saw Kady’s face light up with relief, and he knew right away what the stubborn little chick was thinking.
“Kady,” he said warningly.
But it was too late. She was already backing away, saying in a rush, “Now that you mentioned it, I think I’m rather famished, so—” She fluttered her fingers weakly in a wave. “Um. I think I’ll, um, go ahead?” She turned away and practically ran for the kitchen, thinking that if looks could kill, Slade would’ve had her buried six times six feet under by now.
Farica blinked, feeling like she had been missing something. “What was that about?”
Figuring that it was best to let the cat out of the bag instead of having to waste time skulking in the dark to hide his interest in Kady, Slade said curtly, “I told her I wanted her in my bed.”
“YOU DID WHAT?”
Seeing her appalled expression, he said forcefully, “Being up front about things will ensure she won’t be hurt once things run its course.”
“God.” Farica’s voice was rich with disgust. “You do know we’re talking about real people with real feelings here, right? Or are you so used to dating women with dollar signs in their eyes you don’t realize that Kady isn’t like any of your past mistresses?”
“I’m not an idiot,” he snapped. “Of course I know that, and it’s not like she isn’t getting anything out of this either—” He saw Farica’s expression turn into one of shock, and he realized she had misread his words. “It’s not that. She still doesn’t know about who we really are—”
His business partner regarded him dubiously. “Are you saying she just wants to have sex with you?”
“In my fucking dreams,” the billionaire muttered under his breath.
Farica couldn’t believe what she was hearing. It was almost as if her friend wasn’t at all certain he would succeed with Kady.
A young girl who wasn’t supposed to be his type, a girl who hadn’t even a fraction of his experience or sophistication – that Kady, Farica thought disbelievingly. That someone of Slade’s caliber would actually find himself questioning his ability to attract an innocent like Kady…didn’t he realize what that meant?
I Want To Know What Love Is
* * *
“Gets your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.” ~ Mark Twain
* * *
“Thanks for this,” Raj said as he placed the cafe vouchers inside his drawer. Since one of the main components of The Hartland Initiative was for Internet to work only in the police station and the mayor’s office, emails and Airdropping of files might as well have been alien technology, and documents typically had to be hand-delivered between locals.
“Appreciate it, especially since you took the time to leave during business hours to get them to me.” His friend only grunted, and because the taciturn response was not typical for Slade, the sheikh could only guess it had something to do with the cute new waitress working at Redwood Cafe.