Exhilaration drummed through my entire body as I walked out of the bathroom and back into the throng of bodies on the terrace. The music hummed in the background, making me feel dizzy with need. Although what I craved was beyond me. As if in answer, Blake appeared in my line of vision and raised his glass in salute. I lowered my chin and gave him a sultry grin. Rose was one hell of a flirt.
Praying I wouldn’t trip on something, I walked slowly and it became my walk of seduction. I smirked when his eyes took me in from my four-inch stilettos to the top of my head. For once, having curves was a good thing. He seemed to enjoy the view.
“I see you found another drink.”
I looked down and smiled. “Yes. But I think this will be my last.”
He turned and grabbed something from the granite counter that housed a bar complete with bartender. “I have one more for you. It’s lite.”
I put the one I had down and took what he offered. I wasn’t about to drink them both. There were limits I had to adhere.
Studying the cobalt blue glass, I swirled the liquid and tilted my head. “Pretty. What is it?”
“Blue dragon. It’s a new drink we are introducing at the restaurant.”
My stomach flipped, bringing my reality back into focus. Jody spoke in my head and I didn’t want to hear what she was saying. I wanted tonight to last forever.
“Are you okay?” He asked.
“Yeah. Just tired.” I took a sip and the sweetness hit my tongue, making me close my eyes.
I felt his hand cover mine as he took the glass. I watched as he sipped where my lips had been.
“Perfect. Don’t you think?”
I studied his handsome face then lowered my gaze to his broad shoulders. “Perfect.”
He grabbed my hand and pulled me toward the penthouse. I followed only because I was too curious not too. The living area was huge but at the end of the hall was the largest master suite I had ever seen. It had it’s own seating area complete with a mini bar.
I tugged my hand back. “I don’t think I should be in here.”
He turned to face me. “I just want to be alone with you—away from the crowd.”
I put both hands on my hips. “For what?”
He smirked and walked over to a large black leather chair. “For this. Have a seat, Rose.”
My hands dropped to my sides and I sat opposite him, just to be sure he didn’t think I was loose. He leaned back all sexy and nonchalant while I perched on the edge of the chair, my back rod straight. The drink was still in my hand and I was afraid to drink it. My gaze swung to the huge king bed just a few feet away.
“Do you want to go back outside?”
I thought about his question for a moment. Would he think me a prude if I said yes? We were in his bedroom but he hadn’t implied anything or made a move. I could do this. The champagne had helped, otherwise I would have already bolted.
“Good.” He crossed his legs at the ankles. “So tell me, Rose. What do you do for a living?”
My brain scrambled around to answer his question. I couldn’t very well tell him I was a waitress, the series of follow up questions would be too risky so I went with my major instead.
His brows rose. “I didn’t see that one coming. Nice.”
I smiled a secret smile. That’s because you haven’t seen me in my natural state, which includes glasses and books.
“Well, don’t let the outside appearance fool you. I’m really a closet nerd.”
He busted out laughing. It was rich, sexy and hot. He rose and gestured for me to take his hand.
“Come on. I want to show you something.”
I glanced toward the bed.
“Not that.” His eyes twinkled.
I reached up and let him guide me to the massive windows on the other side of the spacious room.
“Since you like the views. Take a look at this one.” He grasped my shoulders; the feel of his skin against mine sent a shock through my entire body. I allowed him to move me closer while he took a stand behind me. I looked out into the night, my breath hitching at the beauty of the city and the lights. I couldn’t imagine going to sleep with this view and waking up to it. My entire life had consisted of apartments and rentals. My parents were lower middle class and had to bust ass for everything they had. Being an only child, I got a little more but not much. I was glad they were both retired and living in a one-bedroom condo up north. Their pension sustained them and I swore they would be comfortable when I became a lawyer. All this wealth could make you take everything else for granted. I never wanted to be that person.
“Splendid. You’re a lucky man.”
He must have noted the slight resentment in my voice. He turned me to face him; his hands remained on my shoulders.
“I wasn’t always so lucky. Hard work and patience got me where I am today. No one gave me anything.”
Part of me felt ashamed for making him think I had doubts—The other still had a tad bit of skepticism.
He glanced down. “I’ve never told anyone this and I never felt the need until now. The doubt in your eyes is slaying me. You’re not like any other woman I’ve invited up.”
“I’m sure they all throw themselves at you?”
He looked past me and out to the glittering lights. “At my money but I haven’t had it as easy as you might think. My childhood was not—” He struggled for his next words. “Pleasant.”
My head snapped back on my neck. “How so?” Now I was interested.
“I was orphaned at the age of ten. This—” He gestured at the richness of his bedroom. —is my hard work and sacrifice.”
I could believe him. My gut told me he was being sincere but I didn’t know him. He was the rich owner of the restaurant where I worked, coming in once a month to survey the establishment and go behind closed doors with the management team. I hadn’t heard any negative comments and everyone seemed to genuinely like him but I didn’t know him.
His hands moved to my neck and before I knew it, his face was coming closer. My heart accelerated in anticipation of something that should not be happening.