The Tycoon's Very Personal Assistant

By: Heidi Rice

CHAPTER ONE




‘I TOLD YOU I’m not a working girl.’ Kate Denton shifted on the stiff leather chair and shot the man sitting on the other side of the mahogany desk her don’t-mess-with-me look. Jetlagged, shaken and as good as naked under the hotel robe she had on, Kate knew the look wasn’t one of her best.

He didn’t reply. The insistent tap of his pen against the desk blotter seemed deafening in the silence. Bright Vegas sunlight shone through the wall of glass to his right and cast his face into shadow, making it impossible to tell his reaction.

Oh, goody, Kate thought grimly. After the most humiliating experience of my entire life, I get interrogated by a hotel manager with a God complex.

Apprehension slithered around in Kate’s stomach like a hyperactive snake. Why on earth had she demanded to see the hotel manager in the first place? It had seemed like a good idea when the concierge had started making noises about calling the police, but once she’d been whisked up to the penthouse suite of offices and ushered in here, she’d started having serious doubts. The guy wasn’t behaving like any hotel manager she’d ever met.

She felt more intimidated now than before.

Obviously hotel managers had a much higher profile in the States. This guy’s workspace would have made the Oval Office look tacky. A lake of luxurious blue carpeting flowed to floor-to-ceiling windows, showcasing the hotel’s enviable position towering over the Las Vegas Strip. The view wasn’t the only thing giving Kate vertigo. The room was so big it accommodated a separate seating area with three deluxe leather sofas, and Kate had recognised the striking canvas on the far wall as that of a modern artist whose work now went for millions. She’d also noticed the guy had not one but three secretaries standing guard outside.

No wonder he had a God complex.

‘A working girl? You mean a hooker?’ His deep voice rumbled out at last, sending an annoying shiver of awareness up Kate’s spine. ‘I don’t recall saying I thought you were a hooker, honey.’

Kate heard the hint of amusement and her jaw tensed. ‘Who gave you permission to call me honey?’ she said, grateful for the crisp note of condescension in her voice.

‘I don’t need permission,’ he replied dryly, ‘when the lady in question was trying to break down a door in my hotel wearing nothing but a bra and thong.’

Kate swallowed. Okay, there was that.

‘It’s not a thong. I have proper knickers on,’ she blurted out, and then winced.

The memory of getting caught by the bell captain and bundled into a robe flooded back to her. Embarrassment scorched her cheeks. The fact she had something slightly more substantial than a thong covering her bottom suddenly didn’t seem all that relevant. That she’d mentioned it to him was mortifying. She’d yet to get a proper look at the guy and already he knew far too much about her underwear.

The metronome taps of his pen interrupted her thoughts. ‘Proper panties or not, you were causing a disturbance.’

The heat in Kate’s cheeks soared. What was this guy’s problem? She was the one who’d been manhandled. So she’d raised her voice and kicked the door a little, but wouldn’t anyone who got stranded in a hotel corridor practically naked?

‘I was trying to get back into the room.’

‘Yeah, but it wasn’t your room, was it?’ He leaned forward, propping his elbows on the desk, and the sunlight illuminated his features at last.

Kate’s heart pulsed hard. Hooded green eyes studied her out of a tanned face that was quite simply dazzling in its masculine beauty. Sharp black brows, chiselled cheeks and short dark hair that curled around his ears only added to the firepower. Even with his face carefully devoid of expression, the guy might as well have had a huge neon sign over his head flashing the word ‘irresistible’ at her.

From the way he was watching her, she wondered if he was waiting for her to swoon. She tightened the tie on the robe, absolutely determined not to start drooling.

Luckily for her, she was currently immune to the alpha male of the species.

‘It was my room, or at least it was supposed to be,’ she said, annoyed by the quake in her voice. She wrapped her arms round her waist, far too aware of the air-conditioned breeze chilling her bare legs.

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