A Trap So Tender

By: Jennifer Lewis

Her enemy was handsome. Slate-gray eyes,  dark hair and aristocratic features—every inch the Scottish laird.

She shook his offered hand. “Nice to meet you. I’m Fiona  Lam.”

“James Drummond.”

I know. She smiled sweetly. His  handshake was firm and his skin cool to the touch. Her own hand suddenly felt  hot and she struggled not to pull it back. The glitzy cocktail party hosted by  an international bank hummed around them, bright young things in expensive suits  meeting and greeting each other, but somehow they all faded into the background.  “I’m new to Singapore. Just moved here from San Diego.”

“Really?” One elegant eyebrow raised.

“I sold my first business and I’m looking around for new  opportunities. Do you work here?”

“Sometimes.” He still held her hand. Cheeky devil. No wonder he  had a reputation as a ladies’ man. “I have a place in Scotland.”

The grand estate she’d heard about. She didn’t care about that.  She did want her hand back, though. It was getting hotter, and an unpleasant  tingling sensation had started to trickle up her arm. She gave a firm tug and he  released her fingers with the ghost of a smile.

She tried not to shake out her hand. “I’ve heard Scotland’s  beautiful.”

“If you like mist and heather.” His steely gaze was totally  unblinking. No wonder he intimidated his business rivals.

“You don’t?”

“I inherited them. Don’t really need to have an opinion. Can I  get you a drink?”

“Champagne.” She sagged with relief as he turned to find a  waiter. This guy was pretty intense. Which was fine. She didn’t have to like  him.

She just needed him to like her.

He returned with two bubbling glasses and handed her one. No  one had warned her he was so good-­looking. It was more than a little  disconcerting. In her experience venture capitalists were usually men in their  sixties with hair growing out of their ears. She sipped, then tried not to  sneeze as the bubbles tickled the back of her throat. She wasn’t a big fan of  booze, but she wanted to look as if she fit into James Drummond’s rarefied  world.

He raised his sculpted chin. “What brings you to  Singapore?”

“I’m looking into a couple of business opportunities.”

Again, his brow lifted. “I’m in business myself. What do you  do?”

“I just sold a company that makes decals. Smileworks.” The name  usually made people smile. It made her smile and she was still sad to have sold  it. But not sad about all the money she’d made on the deal.

“I read about the buyout. Congratulations. That was quite a  coup.”

The sparkle of interest in his eyes had intensified. She felt a  tiny rush of power—or was it pleasure? “Thanks. It was fun building Smileworks  but I’d taken it as far as I could.”

“So what’s next for you?” He leaned forward, clearly  intrigued.

She shrugged, annoyed to notice that her nipples had tightened  beneath her black cocktail dress and hoping he wouldn’t notice. “Not sure yet.  I’ll have to see what sparks my imagination.”

In his dark gray suit and dark gray tie, James Drummond was  sparking her imagination in all kinds of undesirable directions. He was so  buttoned down that the prospect of tearing off his crisp white shirt or running  fevered fingers through his carefully combed hair seemed an intriguing  challenge.

Was it wise to bed an enemy? Probably not, but a little  flirtation couldn’t hurt. She needed to gain his trust, then figure out how to  buy—or steal—her father’s factory back.

She managed another sip of the unfamiliar champagne. She had to  stay focused. Her dad needed her and at last she could prove to him she cared.  It wasn’t her fault she’d grown up nine thousand miles away, calling another man  Daddy. She hadn’t planned the first two decades of her life but she was in  charge of the rest and she intended to right some of the wrongs that had been  committed against Walter Chen. Starting with the wrongs committed by one James  Drummond.

* * *

They left the cocktail party together, and James’s driver took  them to Rain, the hottest new restaurant, where even he had to pull strings to  get a reservation.

“This place is stunning. I had no idea Singapore had so much  nightlife.” She stared around at the minimalist decor with its cool green  lighting. “Clearly, I need to get out more.”