The Firstborn Prince (The Billionaire Dynasties)(8)

By: Virginia Nelson

He respected that, even if it might prove inconvenient for him. He didn’t need a woman Connor could squish like a bug or ignore, and from his short acquaintance with Natalie Stolen, she could prove perfect for the position. Even more so than he’d initially intended, as there was something about her passionate responses that triggered him on a base level.

Which means she’ll likely drive Connor wild, he reminded himself. She wasn’t for him.

“I’ll try,” he agreed. “I want to hire you as an image consultant, with the open and public job of helping my brother clean up his questionable reputation, to repair the damage done by his recent ad campaign, in the hopes that he can continue as a valuable part of Boyd Cosmetics. However, that’s not your actual job—”

“Gathered that,” she pointed out.

He didn’t allow her interruptions to annoy him, or at least hoped he managed to mask his frustration. “Your actual position would be primarily to distract my brother. If he’s busy with you, working on his reputation, I’m in a position to garner the loyalty and public support needed for me to take over the company.” He couldn’t help but notice the way she moved, the way the pulse fluttered at the base of her throat, practically begging a man to place his lips just there to feel the delicate flesh under his mouth. “But you can’t let him know your actual goal is his distraction, make sense?”

She didn’t answer for a long time, so he pinned his gaze on her. Maintaining eye contact was an important technique to get people to do what he wanted, but he was impressed that she bore the weight of his stare for long moments. He’d seen men in much more powerful positions than this woman cave in far less time to his stare. Finally, she answered him. “You made it sound more unsavory at first, as if by distracting him, I would be doing more than trying to mend his public persona.”

She was sharp. Which was good. His brother shared Foster’s love of intelligent women. “I did, and that wasn’t unintentional. My hope is that Connor will find you somewhat intriguing, fascinating to the point of distraction, making it easier for you to do your job, really. If he’s focused on you, he can’t really get into any reputation-damaging trouble, right?”

“Okay, right there, you’re suggesting a romantic entanglement, and that isn’t what I do,” she explained.

“Not exactly,” he explained. “As a matter of fact, I want you to rebuff—”

“Rebuff? Archaic language doesn’t make the task you’re suggesting any less unsavory, Mr. Boyd.” That delicate brow of hers arched again, challenging him.

He refused to rise to the bait, ignoring her comment for long moments before asking, “May I continue?”

She waved a hand before reaching for a glass water bottle with a distant look. “Feel free. This is all fascinating.”

“As I was saying, you’ll resist any entanglements he might wish to begin. Therein, you’re not being hired as an escort or anything equally unsavory, as you suggested.” He hoped that would be enough information, but her quick smile let him know she wasn’t letting it go quite yet.

“Mr. Boyd, if you don’t mind me pointing this out, your brother is quite an attractive man. Working with him in the capacity of distracting him could easily become a distraction, so to speak, for whatever woman accepted your unusual proposal.” Her smile grew, but he found himself annoyed.

Was she saying, in a very careful way, that she thought his brother was hot? Because… “Under no circumstances could you become involved with Connor. He’s like me, you see,” Foster explained.

He also swallowed the lump in his throat that tasted a lot like inconvenient jealousy. It took quite a bit of his self-control to resist the hot spike of annoyance he suffered at the thought she might find his brother attractive.

“I do not see,” Natalie said, tapping one fingertip on the top of the glass bottle as she considered him through half-slitted eyes. “Please, explain, Mr. Boyd.”

If this particular woman set out to seduce him, Foster had to admit he’d let her. She’d be fabulous in bed. “We swore off commitment,” he explained, trying to find the words to pretty it up. Giving up, and knowing she wouldn’t let it go at that, he added, “If you sleep with him, you’ll no longer work as a distraction. We do not go where we’ve been, not if we can help it.”