Playing the Billionaire (International Temptation)(10)

By: M.K. Meredith

If what she suspected was true, Nicolau Mateu Espasa III was about to get played at his own game. All she had to do was make him think her plan was his idea all along.

She was going to have every damn adventure on her agenda, and she was going to let Huntington Place Barcelona pay for it. If they were so desperate to make sure she had a great time, then she’d let them. She would do her job no matter what. Getting where she was in her company hadn’t happened by chance; she was damn good and a professional.

He wanted a five-star review?

Well, some things in life she didn’t give away easily, and a five-star was one of them. She’d do her job based on Huntington’s performance, without Mateu’s presence contaminating the waters.

She refused to waste a single second worrying about the lying son-of-a-Spaniard—no matter how inviting his lips were.

Time to go meet her “Gift of God” for a little business.

Now that she knew the stakes of the game, she was going to let Huntington Place Barcelona spend what she was worth.

Chapter Four

Mateu washed away the bitter taste left in his mouth by his manipulations with a sweet swallow of vermouth. He stabbed the wedge of orange with the clear plastic spear, then slowly circled it around the rim of his glass as he waited at the bar of the upscale hotel nightclub, Oceà.

He didn’t have a problem with making sure London had a great time. On the contrary, he loved the Huntington hotels. He’d bet his most recent investment that his hotel’s success made him feel the same pride his brother did when little Felip brought home straight As.

What he couldn’t stand was pretending to be someone else while he did so.

But, through London, their reputation would bump back up to number one, and he could focus on his family’s orchard and his father’s health.

He gestured to the bartender for two more glasses, then checked his watch—seven p.m. London would be here any minute, then he’d close the deal by making himself indispensable. He couldn’t be sure she was having a great time if he wasn’t by her side. If he was skilled at anything, it was his powers of persuasion.

He turned in his seat just as London approached the bar in a dress the color of her skin. He blinked twice to keep his eyes from playing tricks on him. Carall.

She was stunning. He followed the line of the dress as it dipped in at her waist then flared out at her hips, making his hands itch to take the place of the barely there material. Continuing his exploration to her toes, he pushed up from the table. Her skin was wrapped at the ankle by metal and leather in such a way that his mind went in a very different direction than footwear.

What were the odds that before she left town she might be agreeable to leaving that dress on the floor? This was one bet he’d be willing to throw his money at.

She could keep on the shoes.

No. He stopped that particular line of thought. She was off-limits. Especially to him.

“You are a beautiful woman.” He gestured toward their drinks. “Would you like to sit, or would you rather something a bit more…intimate?” He dropped his voice so only she could hear.

There was a tightness around her eyes that he hadn’t noticed when she’d walked in, but now he was on high alert. Something was amiss. Gone was the carefree “I’m in Barcelona” attitude, and in its place was a clenched smile.

“More intimate sounds perfect.” Her tone indicated it was anything but.

He watched her, somewhat wary, then dipped his head in the direction of an alcove. He followed behind her with their drinks. Barcelona boasted some of the world’s best views, but London Montgomery was giving his home a run for its money. Her dress hugged her curves, even highlighting the cleft of her ass in such a way that he had to focus elsewhere before he embarrassed himself.

He cleared his throat, then lowered onto the padded bench of the secluded booth across from her.

He slid her vermouth in front of her and lifted his own for a toast. “To new friends, and making your vacation truly once-in-a-lifetime.”

She lightly tapped the rim of her glass to his. “Are we friends now?” Her question held a hint of sarcasm. He was about to ask what had changed when she took a sip. “Oh, this is good.”

“Oceà’s house specialty. Since a vermouth barhop was on your agenda, I thought you might like a small sample.”

Her eyes skimmed over his face, as if she were looking for something more than what she found. “You are efficient; I’ll give you that. Not in Barcelona even one night, and I’m already tasting what it has to offer.”

A waitress slid two water glasses in front of them, and London ran her finger along the top of hers.