“Nothing has changed. Let me just be clear—”
“Are you saying you lied about being attracted to me?” he demanded.
“No, of course not.” I couldn’t say the words fast enough since he was doing it again, acting and talking like my being attracted to him was a matter of crucial importance, and oh my God, but it was honestly getting harder and harder to keep my hold on reality. “What I mean is that my attraction to you has never been the issue. It’s entirely expected that I’d be attracted to you, but you on the other hand…”
“You still don’t believe I’m attracted to you.”
His exasperated tone had my lips twitching. “I hate to break it up to you, dude—” This time, the term had his green eyes gleaming, and the adorable but distracting sight had my words trailing off as I forgot my train of thoughts. What was I about to say again…oh…right.
“I’m not the only one who’s going to think your attraction to me makes little sense. It’s going to be me and the whole world—”
“Then that only means one thing.” His broad shoulders moved in a shrug so arrogantly dismissive only someone as rich as Croesus could get away with it, and guess what? Ioniko Vlahos was that, and his next words simply served additional proof of this.
“You and the rest of the world would be wrong.”
Riiiiiiight. Only decades of living the most lavish of silver-spooned lifestyles could cultivate that kind of arrogance, and I had the craziest urge to laugh and cry. “Oh, Ioniko.”
He frowned. “Tell me what I should say or do—”
“It’s not that easy,” I protested.
“But there must still be something,” he cut me off, “that I can do to convince you—”
“Short of giving me a list of reasons to explain why you’re attracted to me?” It was meant as a joke, but the glint in his eyes made me realize that he was taking me seriously. Shit. I quickly shook my head, but before I could even open my mouth he was already speaking.
“Your body’s one of the first things that grabbed my attention.”
My eyes flew open. “I…” I want you to tell me more. But I caught the words in time and stubbornly tightened my grip on reality even as a flush darkened my cheeks and a feverish heat started spreading throughout my body.
“Few women have curves like yours,” Ioniko continued huskily. “Slender but full-breasted and with the kind of hips a man’s hands were made to grip…” His voice had turned into a sexy rough rasp, and oh God, but the texture of that sound…it made me imagine that was exactly how his tongue would feel, the moment it stroked my flesh. “Your hourglass figure is every man’s dream come true, koukla mou.”
Oh God, the way he was looking at me now. Like he was dying to devour me, and it made me want to believe. Made me want to believe so badly that he really was attracted to me—
No, Mathers. Don’t go there. Don’t.
So I lifted my chin and told him, “I’ll start dieting tomorrow then.”
But of course, this only made him grin, and I found myself thinking in Yoda speak: arrogance personified, all billionaires apparently were.
And damn if it didn’t make them all the hotter.
“Do you want to hear more?”
“No.” Hell yes!
A moment later, I saw him smirk and I remembered too late that Ioniko Vlahos’ perfection also included an uncanny ability to read minds. Or just mine at least. Shit.
“More often than not, I find that a woman’s mouth only has one use, and it’s not for talking—”
I couldn’t help wincing. “Dude.” What he just said was more asshole-y than arrogant.
“But you’re different.”
“Ha!” It took teeth-grinding effort not to let his words get to my head. “What you really mean is that I’m eccentric—”
“I’m saying you’re one of the few women outside my family who doesn’t bore me,” he drawled.
“Or maybe you have low standards for dating, and the women you’ve dated so far have forgotten what their own personalities are—” I quickly raised my hand when I saw him start to speak. “But I got it. I’ll get rid of my personality, and you’ll stop being attracted to me.”
“And here I thought the things I’m telling you are meant to prove I find you attractive.”
“It is,” I told him innocently. “So please go on. Any other lies, I mean, reasons—”
While he didn’t actually roll his eyes, the look he gave me was explicit enough. I saw what you did there, the glint in his green eyes told me, and I couldn’t help grinning in response. So you did. But is there anything you can do about it?
“I’m a coffee person.”
Ioniko had spoken all of a sudden, and it had me scrambling for an appropriate response. “I…I think I’m going to start drinking tea.”