Heat Exchange:The Alpha Billionaire's Virgin Book 1(4)

By: Deana Farrady

She glanced around and saw the guy was still leaning against the wall, still all into his phone. Guilt made her rethink her position on the silent treatment. If she was thirsty, he probably was, too. It was, after all, lunch time.

"Do you want some water?" she offered.

He glanced up, frowned when he didn't see her, then found her on the floor. Wow. He'd seriously been unaware of her if he didn't even know she was sitting down now. Janey took it in stride. The story of her life.

"No, thanks, it's—" he broke off, his eyes narrowing as they took in her see-through blouse. Then he seemed to catch himself and moved his gaze to her face. "No," he said slowly.

"Are you sure? I have extra. I've already had one." She dug into the bag and held out the bottle to him.

A shiver traveled through her as she caught his gaze on her again. He was definitely noticing her lack of a jacket, looking at her breasts through the shell in their simple bra. Pretty openly, actually. It probably should have been offensive but offended wasn't how she felt. The opposite, actually.

But she didn't fool herself about it. It probably just meant that her own version of Murphy's Law had struck again and he wasn't available. Of course he'd be attached. Rich, good-looking, thirtyish guys like him were never single. Well at least, if they were, and they were heterosexual, they never gave her a second look. The fact that this one was doing so now had to be due either to the very boring scenery in here or her Curse of Attracting Sleazeballs.

Janey seriously wanted to cry now.

He spotted the empty bottle she was crumpling in her hand. "That? You drank that whole bottle?"

"It's not that big," she sniffed. He didn't need to talk about it like she was a lush, for goodness sake.

"Nor are bladders," he said dryly. "And we don't know how long we're going to be on this thing."

"Oh. You're right. That wasn't too bright." Her voice broke a little.

He stared at her. His phone made a sound and absently he glanced at it, tapped something, then tucked it in his pocket. "You are claustrophobic," he said abruptly.

Janey became aware then that the tears she'd been fighting since she read Vince's email were now trailing down her cheeks. "No," she said. "I'm sorry. It's nothing to do with being in the elevator."

The tears weren't stopping. She bent her knees, wrapped her arms around her legs, and tucked her head between them. "I'm just having a bad day. Ignore me," she said in a muffled voice. "You can go back to your surfing. I won't disturb you again."

"I wasn't surfing, I was working," he said. To her surprise, his voice came from lower down. She lifted her head and found him sitting against the side wall of the elevator with his knees up. "Do you normally burst into tears in the middle of the day?'

"Whenever I haven't eaten," she said. "Missing meals makes me weep."

There was a beat of silence, then he gave a chuckle. "Is that where you were going just now? Lunch?"

Sitting down like that, he looked almost approachable. Janey wiped her cheeks with her arm. "No, I was providing it. I'm catering a lunch on seven. What about you?" she asked shyly.

"Dentist appointment." He grimaced. "Not that I was looking forward to it, but I wanted it over with."

Well, that was very human and normal. "I'm, uh, I'm Janey. Janey Pankowski." She reached into her bag and fished out a business card and handed it to him.

"Nyall Anderson."

Janey didn't fail to notice that he tucked her card away without looking at it, and he didn't reciprocate with his own business card.

"How much time do you think has passed?" Janey said.

"An hour and a quarter," he said after checking his phone.

"That long? Oh, my God. We're really stuck in here." The fact that there hadn't been a peep from anybody outside boded ill in her mind.

"It's looking like we'll be here a while," he agreed. "You might as well tell me why you were crying."

Just his mentioning it made it start happening again. Janey didn't understand it. She was sitting here with a man that she had nothing in common with and he was inviting her to confide in him.

"Why do you want to know?" she said. "Do you like listening to strange women tell you about their miserable lives? Are you a psychiatrist or something?"

"Lord, no." He sounded repelled. "Curiosity, I guess."

Well, that fit in with the calculating businessman image, at least, she thought. "I'm afraid you'll be disappointed. It's nothing exciting. I just asked a guy out on a date and he said no."

"That's it?" He didn't seem impressed. "That makes you cry on elevators?"