The Greek Commands His Mistress(10)

By: Lynne Graham

Bastien was a very powerful, enormously wealthy male, and perhaps for the first time she fully appreciated that reality—because she knew it would take thousands and thousands of pounds to get the factory up and running again, never mind build the business up to survive in the long term. It would be a hugely expensive challenge, but it would turn around the lives of so many people, Lilah reflected with a sinking heart.

‘Like Tinker Bell, you’re quite taken with the offer of a magic wand?’ Bastien quipped with brooding amusement as he watched her expressive face intently. ‘I suppose your response will depend on how much of a do-gooder you are. So far you’re ranging fairly high in that list of good works now that you have your whole family living with you. You’re keeping them too, aren’t you?’

Lilah was furious that he should have access to such facts about her personal life, and the label of ‘do-gooder’ offended her. ‘I’m not a do-gooder.’

‘By my estimation you are,’ Bastien countered drily. ‘You’ve saved your wicked stepmother from living in emergency accommodation and you also raise funds for abandoned dogs and starving children.’

Lilah stood up again in a sudden motion. ‘How on earth do you know so much about me?’

‘Obviously I’ve kept an eye on developments here.’

‘My stepmother is not wicked,’ Lilah added uncomfortably. ‘How do you know my family are staying with me? How do you know about the volunteer work I’ve done for the dog sanctuary?’

‘I had to check you out before I came up here,’ Bastien pointed out impatiently. ‘If you’d got married or picked up a boyfriend since we last met there would have been little point in my approaching you. I don’t like to have my time wasted.’

Lilah’s chin lifted. ‘I did have a boyfriend!’ she bit out resentfully.

‘Not for very long. He dropped you the minute your father’s business went down.’

Angry words brimmed on Lilah’s tongue, but she swallowed them whole because she wasn’t going to sink to the level of arguing with Bastien over someone as unworthy of her defence as Steve, her ex-boyfriend.

Ironically, Bastien’s reading of Steve’s behaviour exactly matched her own. Steve had turned out to be very ambitious. He had started dating Lilah when Moore Components was thriving and had tried to persuade her father to take him on as a junior partner. It mortified her that Bastien should know about the revealing speed and timing of Steve’s defection.

Rigid with self-control, Lilah lifted her head high. ‘I can’t believe that you really mean those options you outlined. They’re immoral.’

‘I’m not a very moral man,’ Bastien told her without hesitation. ‘I don’t apologise for what I want and I always get what I want...and I want you. You should be flattered.’

‘I’m not flattered. I’m shocked and disgusted at your lack of scruple!’ Lilah told him angrily, her blue eyes bright with condemnation. ‘You’re trying to take advantage of this situation and play on my affection for my family.’

‘I will use any advantage I have and do whatever I have to do to win you. Of course whether or not you choose to accept one of my two preferred options is entirely your decision,’ Bastien pointed out, his wide, beautifully shaped mouth firming as he stalked fluidly closer to tower over her. ‘You’re the glittering prize here, Delilah. Doesn’t that thrill you?’

Lilah stiffened even more. ‘No, of course it doesn’t.’

‘It would thrill most women,’ Bastien told her drily, staring down at her with burnished dark golden eyes that sent an intoxicating fizz of awareness and frightening tension shooting through her every limb. ‘Most women like to be wanted above all others.’

‘I very much doubt that you’re capable of wanting one woman above all others,’ Lilah retorted with sharp emphasis. ‘Women seem to be very much interchangeable commodities to you, so I really can’t understand why you should have a fixation about me.’

‘It’s not a fixation,’ Bastien growled, dark eyes hard, strong jawline squared.

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