The Greek Commands His Mistress(8)

By: Lynne Graham

Lilah dropped back into the seat she had vacated, her brain buzzing with bewildered thoughts. How could Bastien’s continuing physical desire for her have anything to do with the business and its prospects? And how could he still find her attractive when he had so many other more sophisticated women in his life? Was it simply the fact that Lilah had once said no to him? Could a male as clever as Bastien be that outrageously basic?

‘I don’t want to keep you all morning, so I’ll run through the three options.’

‘Three...options...?’ Lilah queried even more uneasily.

‘Option one—you choose to walk away from me,’ Bastien extended grimly, shooting her a glance of warning that made her pale. ‘In that event I sell the machinery in the factory and sell the site to a developer. I already have a good offer for the land and it would turn an immediate healthy profit...’

Lilah dropped her head, appalled at that suggestion. The town needed this factory for employment. The closure of Moore Components had already damaged the small town’s economy. Shops and entertainment venues were suffering from a downturn. People were struggling to find work because there were few other local jobs, and many had already had to put their houses up for sale because they could no longer afford their mortgages.

Lilah was well-acquainted with the human cost of unemployment and had done what little she could in her HR capacity to offer her father’s former workers guidance and advise them on suitable retraining schemes.

‘Option two—you choose only to spend one night with me,’ Bastien framed, impervious to the slight sound Lilah made as her lips parted on a stricken gasp of disbelief. ‘I will then make the business function again for at least a year. It will cost me money and it will be a waste of time, because the factory requires sustained and serious investment to win and retain new contracts. But if that’s the best I can get from you I’m prepared to do it...’

Lilah lifted her head and focused on Bastien’s lean darkly handsome face in sheer wonderment. ‘Let me get this straight. You are using Moore Components as a means of bargaining with me for my body?’ she spelled out incredulously. ‘Are you out of your mind?’

‘Be grateful. If I didn’t want you there would be nothing at all to put on the table. But for you I wouldn’t even have bothered coming up here. I simply would have sold the land,’ Bastien informed her with lethal cool.

Lilah had great difficulty hinging her jaw closed again, because she was stupefied by the options he was laying out before her. ‘You can’t possibly want me that much,’ she told him involuntarily. ‘That would be crazy.’

‘Obviously I’m crazy.’ Bastien dealt Lilah a slow, lingering appraisal that began at her lush pink lips, segued down to the small pert breasts outlined by her sweater and glossed over her delicately curved hipline to her shapely knees and ankles. ‘You have terrific legs,’ he mused, fighting the sting of awakening interest at his groin with fierce determination.

Two years back Delilah Moore had kept him in a state of virtually constant arousal that had given him sleepless nights and forced him into cold showers. He was damned if he was going to let her have that much of an effect on him again! He wanted her and that was that—but their affair would be on his terms only.

Option two was probably the wisest choice for him, because once he had bedded her, her fascination would surely wane fast and he would tire of her as he had tired of all her predecessors. But although he was convinced that one night should completely exorcise her from his fantasies, he still didn’t want to be forced to agree to that restriction.

Lilah yanked her skirt down over her knees, suddenly boiling up below her clothing, her whole skin surface prickling and reacting to his visual assessment with a rush of heat. He was such a very sexual male, she conceded in bewilderment. The atmosphere pulsed with astonishing tension and she hurriedly snatched her attention from him, recognising the swelling tautness of her nipples and the surge of ungovernable heat between her thighs as totally unacceptable reactions.

But she couldn’t prevent those reactions—couldn’t stop them happening around Bastien. On that level two years earlier Bastien had drawn her like a moth to a flame, because the wild, seething excitement he’d evoked in her had been incredibly seductive.

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