Living the Charade(9)

By: Michelle Conder

‘I travel a lot.’


That got a hoot of laughter. ‘Sunshine, I’m thirty-three—a bit old to be a backpacker.’

He threw her a smile and Miller found her eyes riveted to his beautiful even white teeth.

‘I travel for work.’

She blinked back the disturbing effect he had on her and once again scanned the questionnaire. ‘Driving?’ She couldn’t keep the scepticism out of her voice as she read out the answer under ‘Occupation’. ‘Driving what?’

He threw her a quick look. ‘Cars. What else?’

‘I don’t know. Buses? Trains?’ She tried not to let her annoyance show. ‘Trucks?’ God, don’t let him be a taxi driver; Dexter would never let her hear the end of it.

‘Don’t tell me you’re one of those stuck-up females who only go for rich guys with white collar jobs.’

Miller sniffed. She’d been so busy working and establishing her career the last time she’d gone for any man was back at university. Not that she would be telling him that. ‘Of course not.’

But she did like a man in a suit.

He snorted as if he didn’t believe her, but he didn’t elaborate on his answer.

Sensing he might be embarrassed about his job, she decided to let it drop for now. Maybe he wouldn’t mind pretending to be an introverted actuary for the weekend. No one really knew what they did except that it involved mathematics, and not even Dexter was likely to try and engage him in that topic of conversation.

She flipped the page in front of her and found her eyes drawn to his commanding scrawl near the bottom.

Her nose wrinkled. ‘I don’t need to know what type of underwear you wear.’ And she didn’t want to imagine him in sexy boxer briefs.

‘According to your little summary we’ve been dating for two months. I think you’d know what type of underwear I wear, wouldn’t you?’

‘Of course I would. But it’s not relevant because I’ll never need to use that information.’

He glanced at her again. ‘You don’t know that.’

‘I could have just made something up had the need arisen.’

‘Are you always this dishonest?’

Miller exhaled noisily. She was never dishonest. ‘No. I loathe dishonesty. And I hate this situation. And what’s more I’m sick of having men think that just because I’m single I’m available.’

‘It’s not just because of that?’

‘No,’ she agreed, thinking of TJ. ‘My client isn’t really attracted to me at all. He’s attracted to the word no.’

‘You think?’

‘I know. It’s what has made him his fortune. He’s bullish, arrogant and pompous.’

‘Not having met the man, I’ll have to trust your judgement. But if you want my opinion your client is probably more turned on by your glossy hair, killer mouth and hourglass figure than your negative response.’

‘Wha—? Hey!’ Miller braced her hands on the dashboard as the car swerved around a bus like a bullet, nearly fainting before Valentino swung back into the left-hand lane two seconds before hitting a mini-van.

‘Relax. I do this for a living.’

‘Kill your passengers?’ she said weakly.

He laughed. ‘Drive.’

Miller forgot all about the near miss with an oncoming vehicle as his comments about her looks replayed in her head.

Did he really think she had a killer mouth? And why was her heart beating like a tiny trapped bird?

‘I don’t think we can say we met at yoga,’ he said.

‘Why not?’ She didn’t believe for a minute that he could be interested in her, but if he thought he would be getting easy sex this weekend he had another thing coming.

His amused eyes connected with hers. ‘Because I don’t do yoga.’

Miller felt her lips pinch together as she realised he was toying with her. ‘You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?’

‘More than I thought I would,’ he agreed.

Miller released a frustrated breath. No one was going to believe she was serious about this guy. Her mother had always warned her not to lie, and she mostly lived by that creed. Yesterday, she’d let blind ambition get in the way of sound judgement.

Okay, maybe not blind ambition. Possibly she was a little peeved that she’d felt so professionally hamstrung in telling TJ Lyons what she thought of his lack of business ethics.

‘Maybe we just shouldn’t talk,’ she muttered, half to herself. ‘I know enough.’ And she was afraid if he said any more she’d ask him to pull over so she could get out and run away as fast as she could.