I hate Liam Alexander.
I hate his Rolex. I hate his scowl. I hate everything his multi-billion-dollar company stands for.
When the pompous, rich, arrogant jerk comes strutting into the coffee shop, I barely manage civility.
But people make mistakes, and when I screw up, it's epic.
I never expected the jerk would actually be a well-respected member of Club Verge.
I never should have trusted the masked stranger when he beckoned me.
I never should have taken him up on his offer.
And the biggest mistake of my life?
Letting him kiss me.
I want her and I hate that I do.
I fucking want her, and I shouldn’t.
She’s a damn brat, and way too young for me. Poorer than a church mouse and worst of all? She’s got kids she’s responsible for. Almost as bad as a single mom and that is fucking anathema to me. I don’t care who a woman is, how beautiful she is, how much I enjoy her… children are a hard limit.
A hard fucking limit.
Why am I even thinking about what I want to propose?
The elite women I socialize with don’t pose a challenge to me. The only challenge is who to pick. Cora, though… Cora is playing hard to get, and I doubt it’s even intentional.
After I told her my name, she closed her eyes and groaned, and I got my shit together. I released her and smoothed out my suit while she righted her hair and grumbled, though I didn’t miss the flush on her cheeks and chest, the wide, bright eyes and the way her pretty lips are slightly parted.
Christ, what I’d do with that mouth.
“You look oh so happy to be going out to eat with me,” she mutters, shaking her head and staring out the window. “Not super sure what your problem is.”
My problem is her, damn it.
I don’t do relationships with strings attached. Hell, the past half dozen relationships I had, we had contracts. There wasn’t anything beyond the bedroom involved. The exchange of power. Control.
I like what I want, and what I want is a woman who obeys me, who accompanies me to events, and who leaves with a cool sum of cash so there are no hard feelings when I’m ready to move on.
This is not good.
Not to mention the fact that she’s openly protesting the largest business deal I’ve had in well over a decade.
Christ, I’m a moron.
Everything in me says, run, and yet here I am, bringing her to the rooftop of Fiamatta because the girl needs a good fucking meal, and I love this place. It’s casual enough for what she’s wearing, and the rooftop gives us privacy because I already called in and reserved it.
“You’re the guy,” she says, her lips thinning when she pauses between words. “You’re the guy that wants to pave The Greenery.”
I shrug. “You make it sound like I want to skin live rabbits and sell their fur. I’m not that cruel, Ms. Myers. I’m a businessman. And I prefer not to discuss that at the moment.”
“No? You don’t make sense, though. You don’t know me at all and clearly don’t even like me. And yet here I am, in the back of your fancy-pants car, getting something to eat. I don’t know what it is you want from me.”
God, that mouth of hers.
It’s been too long since I’ve had a contract with a woman, and I haven’t had one with a kink virgin like her. What I could introduce her to. What I could show her…
“Tonight, I want dinner,” I tell her. “Now stop complaining for a damn minute, will you? Are you hungry or not?
“Starving,” she says, glaring.
I roll my eyes and huff out a breath. After one good night with her hands cuffed behind her back while sucking my cock, a jeweled plug in her ass, and her body striped good and well with a short-handled whip, I bet she’d find that mouth of hers doesn’t run so freely.
My cock hardens. God, do I want a chance to tame this wild girl. If only she didn’t get on my nerves so much.
“Then for the love of God, shut up and let’s get something to eat.”
“How charming. You tell all your dates to shut up?”
“No,” I mutter between clenched teeth. I give her a pointed look. “I typically gag them if they’re mouthy, after I give them a good spanking.”
It’s actually amusing how she opens her mouth then clamps it shut, her bright eyes wide.
But we’ve pulled up to the curb and Manuel is opening the door. “They’re waiting for you, sir. Go right on up.”
We get out of the car, but before we enter the restaurant, I take her hand.
“A quick word with you before we go upstairs,” I tell her.
Pretty, angry eyes meet mine. “Yes, sir?” she parrots.
“Behave yourself. My reputation matters to me. I don’t allow people to speak to me the way you have, and if you do, I’ll put an end to it.’
Rolling her eyes, she asks, “Oh? What will you do, daddy? Spank me?” Oh, that lyrical little voice of hers wouldn’t sound so saucy if she was panting out a plea.
“Not yet,” I murmur. “A spanking on bare skin is far more effective, but I don’t like the idea of anyone else’s eyes on you but me. Sorry to disappoint you, but that will have to wait.”
I like the way her pretty mouth falls open when I continue. That one little spanking over her fully-clothed ass was just a warning.
“If you get mouthy, I’ll kiss you again to silence that tongue of yours. Got it?”
“Sounds terrible,” she mutters.
“Cora,” I warn.
“Silencing me with a kiss. Next thing you know, you’ll punish me with chocolate cake.”
I sigh with practiced patience.
“Buy me roses to teach me a lesson?”
Christ, she’s mouthy. I shake my head, take her wrist, and give her a sharp crack to the ass when we approach the entryway door. The spank has the desired effect and she clamps her mouth shut.
USA Today Bestselling author Jane has been writing since her early teens, dabbling in short stories and poetry. When she married and began having children, her pen was laid to rest for several years, until the National Novel Writing Challenge (NaNoWriMo) in 2010 awakened in her the desire to write again. That year, she wrote her first novel, and has been writing ever since. With a houseful of children, she finds time to write in the early hours of the morning, squirreled away with a laptop, blanket, and cup of hot coffee. Years ago, she heard the wise advice, “Write the book you want to read,” and has taken it to heart. She sincerely hopes you also enjoy the books she likes to read.