The Greek Commands His Mistress(9)

By: Lynne Graham

In a desperate attempt to regain control of her disordered thoughts, Lilah said with careful precision, ‘I refuse to believe you’re serious about this, Bastien. A man of your stature and wealth cannot possibly want a woman like me so much that he would make such a bargain.’

‘What would you know about it?’ Bastien cut in, whiplash-abrupt in that dismissal. ‘I haven’t reached option three yet.’

Outraged by his persistence, Lilah rose to her feet again. ‘I refuse to listen to any more of this nonsense!’

‘Then I sell this place today,’ Bastien fired at her with cold finality as she walked towards the door. ‘Your choice, your decision, Delilah. You’re lucky I’m giving you options.’

Lilah was still and then spun round again, black hair sliding in a glossy fall across her shoulders. ‘Lucky?’ she exclaimed in angry disbelief, her temper stirring as she thought about the contemptible offer he had made to her. Bottom line: Bastien Zikos was willing to do just about anything to get her into bed. Was she supposed to be pleased about that? Was it normal to feel as insulted as she hurt? Why did she feel hurt?

‘With my backing you can wave a magic wand here and be a heroine if you want to be,’ Bastien imparted very drily. ‘Option three—I do almost anything you want, up to and including employing your father as consultant and manager.’

That startling suggestion not only stopped Lilah’s thoughts mid-track and froze her feet to the carpet, it also made everything else inside her head blur. For a split second she pictured her deeply troubled father restored to some semblance of his former confident, energetic self, able to earn again and provide for his family. What a huge difference that would make to Robert Moore!

‘So that’s what it takes to stop you walking’re a real Daddy’s girl!’ Bastien remarked with galling amusement. ‘Are you ready to listen now, and stop flouncing around dramatically and asking me if I’m crazy? The answer to that is that I’m only crazy to have you in my bed...’

Colour blossomed below Lilah’s skin and ran up to her hairline in a scalding surge. She could barely credit that he had said that without even a shade of discomfiture. But then she reckoned it would take something considerably more shocking than sex to embarrass a male as resolute and dominant as Bastien. ‘All right...for my father’s sake I’ll agree to hear you out,’ she conceded with flat reluctance.

‘Then sit!’ Bastien indicated the chair.

It occurred to Lilah that Bastien had spoken to her just then as she spoke to Skippy when the dog was playing up.

Raising a wry brow at his disrespectful mode of addressing her, she sat down again. ‘Option three?’ she reminded him succinctly.

‘You become my mistress and stay with me for as long as I want you.’

‘Keeping a mistress is an astonishingly old-fashioned concept,’ Lilah remarked, to mask the reality that inwardly she was knocked sideways by that proposition.

Bastien shifted a broad shoulder in a careless shrug. ‘In my world it’s the norm.’

‘I assumed sex slavery of that sort ended about a hundred years ago.’

‘But then you don’t have a clue what the role entails,’ Bastien said drily, watching her while picturing her slender body sheathed in decadent silk and lace and diamonds purely for his private enjoyment.

The image gave him both a high and a hard-on.

‘In return for your agreement to become my mistress I will set this business up and invest in it. As the owner of a network of companies I can easily provide contracts to keep the factory busy. I will instruct your father to rehire his former workforce. After all, skilled employees are difficult to replace. With my full financial support, virtually everything could go back to the way it was before Moore Components lost that crucial contract.’

Lilah was floored by those comprehensive assurances. Now she understood Bastien’s jibe about her having the opportunity to play the heroine and wave a magic wand. Everything back the way it was! How many times in recent months had she longed for that to happen and for everyone to be content again instead of stressed, broken and unhappy? Countless times.

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