Designer For The Billionaire(8)

By: Ashlee Price

There’s a shrug in her voice. “You’d do the same for me.”

“You’re right, I would.” And on that note, I pounce. “When are you going to stop beating around the bush with Dave? At least with him, we don’t need to Google him.”

She pshaws. “We’re talking about your love life. Not mine.”

What love life, I feel like asking, but instead I huff, “Yours is as dire as mine. Dave has no idea you have a crush on him.”

There’s silence, and then a wail hits me. “I know!”

“Want me to drop some hints?” I ask around a chuckle.

“No.” I know she’s pouting. “Maybe.”

“I’ll see what I can do.”

“Thanks, Zia,” she replies, then sighs. “You sure you’re going to be okay at that meeting?”

“I have two choices.”

“Well, I’m here if you need me. And if that guy even mentions any word associated with the bedroom, get ready to sue his ass.”

Snorting, I just say, “Night, Jessie.”

She grumbles off a farewell of her own and then cuts the call. Shaking my head at her, I tidy up in the studio, then wander over to the other side where the door is. Turning off the light, I yawn on my way to the bedroom.

That room has seen decidedly little action over the past year, and I know the thought has only cropped up because I would very much like Marshall Levitt to be the one who changes all that.

I know it’s stupid. I know he’s way out of my league. Even if he’s the one who instigated the flirting, men do all kinds of weird shit for even weirder reasons—maybe, despite his wealth, he’s a tight bastard and thinks flirting with me will make me cut my rate… Stranger shit has happened.

But even though I caution myself as I climb into bed, it’s too late for that.

Though Jessie would be disgusted, if Levitt decides he’d like to do more with me than just eat me up with his eyes, I highly doubt I’ll say no. Christ, I’m looking forward to being made a meal of.

Chapter Three – Marshall

“Miss Grazia Fabiola has just arrived in reception, sir. Shall I escort her up?”

When Miranda’s voice pierces the intercom speaker, I smile. Not at her voice, but at her words.

She’s here.

“Please do, Miranda. Also, upon your return, bring tea.”

“Certainly, sir.”

Miranda, I’m certain, is part robot and part humanoid. Though she’s beautiful, she makes blocks of ice seem warm and cozy. Nearly all my friends have hit on her at some point, and each and every one has ultimately failed. Something that only makes me respect her more. Not that I wouldn’t respect her if she started to date any of the bastards I call pals, but still, her taste tells me a lot about her. All of it good.

Rubbing my hands together, I realign the papers on my desk, quickly brushing the crumbs from the protein bar I ate a few minutes ago into the trash can. I take a quick sip of water, then reach into my drawer for a breath mint. I highly doubt she’ll let me kiss her during this interview, but hell, there’s no harm in a man preparing. Christ, preparation was how I made my fortune, and I’m not ashamed to admit that.

I sit back in my seat, letting it rock as I decide how to greet her. These things matter, I’ve come to realize. First impressions count. And though this isn’t our very first meeting, it’s our first meeting as potential client and contractor… and I don’t just mean to make her my events organizer.

I have three in-house events organizers; I don’t need to outsource, not really. Not that she needs to know that. This meeting is an excuse. Nothing more, nothing less.

I’ve tried to approach her at the various soirees I’ve attended where she’s been working behind the scenes, but to no avail.

Last night, seeing her at the auction, I knew I had to make my move. Especially when I saw Chris Evans staring at her too. No way in hell am I going to let that piece of shit anywhere near her. I saw her first, after all. Grimacing, because that makes me sound like a five-year-old, I try to figure out why I’m going to these lengths to speak with Grazia.

There is something about her, something… Hell, I don’t know what it is. And for a man who knows himself as well as I do, who’s as honest with himself as I am, that’s a large admission to make.

I’m a billionaire. Those billions were made with hard work, determination, and verve. I’m not accustomed to pussyfooting my way through life. If I want something, I get it. I chase after it until I can call it mine.

In this instance, I want Grazia. I want her badly enough to work at getting her. Because, though I will chase, it’s been a long time since I’ve had to.