Mr. Irresistible(5)

By: Karina Bliss


Kate squeezed Peter’s arm. “I can tell it’s your design, there’s so much of the Midas touch.”

She felt him relax, and realized he’d been scanning the room. “He’s not here. His partner has come instead.”

Kate accepted a glass of champagne proffered on a silver tray, secretly just as relieved. “And I so wanted to pull Jordan’s hair.”

“Not funny, Kate,” Peter growled. She was glad she hadn’t told him she’d ignored three messages to call King. She wasn’t interested in hearing his spin. Beside her, her escort stirred restlessly. “The thing is, I should really go and talk to the Triton guy.”

“Go ahead. I understand why you’re not keen to introduce us.” She waved to a group of women by the bar. “I’ll get in some practice and join the other neglected wives.”

“You’re wonderful,” said Peter, and was gone.

Kate watched his retreating back, knowing she wouldn’t see him until dinner, and then only briefly. He was an ambitious and tireless worker. Yet another point of difference from her father, who had flitted from one crazy scheme to another.

Exchanging pleasantries with the other women, Kate eyed Peter’s target with some surprise. Jordan King’s partner, also gorgeous, was urbanity personified, as suave and dark as King was brash and blond.

As she wondered idly whether he was as tall, the comparison became unnervingly easy. Jordan King, his arm around the waist of a stunning blonde, appeared beside him. His horror almost comical, Peter sought Kate’s gaze. Abruptly, she turned away, startling one of the women, who had been detailing her child’s case of chicken pox. “It’s not that contagious,” she insisted.

Kate forced herself to turn around again. “I’m sorry.” She searched for an excuse but found none. “Actually, there’s someone over there I don’t want to meet,” she confessed, then could have kicked herself as four pairs of eyes swept the room.

“Male or female?”

“Female,” lied Kate. She knew King’s attention had settled on the group, drawn by the frisson of excitement, and she kept her face averted. It wasn’t in her nature to avoid a confrontation, but she had to do this for Peter.

“What a honey that one is,” said the sales manager’s wife, sending a come-talk-to-us invitation.

Kate gave up. “Excuse me.” Bolting for the powder room, she reflected that if she wanted to remain undetected she’d have to stay away from Peter, plus stick to the company of men, who’d be unaffected by Jordan’s sex appeal.



JORDAN WATCHED HER GO.

Run, Kate Brogan! But I have you in my sights.

It had been so easy picking her out of the crowd. Peter Walker had betrayed her location with one glance. The guy was as good as a heat-seeking missile.

“How the hell did you persuade Jordan to escort you to such a civilized gathering, Monique? I didn’t know a sister carried that sort of clout.”

Jordan turned back to his partner. They’d been friends too long for Christian to really be startled by anything he did.

“Believe it or not, he asked me to come.” She turned to Peter, holding out her hand. “We haven’t met. I’m Monique King, and it appears we’re gate-crashers.”

Though obviously dismayed, Peter managed to say all the right things, Jordan noted with wry amusement.

Until Triton’s software developer had tapped on Jordan’s door that afternoon, their previous acquaintance had been limited to quarterly updates. Christian, who handled the company’s acquisitions, and Luke, before he’d spearheaded their new charitable trust, worked more closely with their contractor. Jordan’s restless vitality better suited him to operational concerns.

Fuming because Kate Brogan wasn’t returning his calls, Jordan hadn’t been in the mood for a quiet word with the project manager, but by the end of the man’s speech he’d been riveted.

Peter would “hate it if Jordan discovered his relationship with Kate from someone else.” He wanted to “reassure” Jordan that none of Kate’s information for her column had come from him. Peter would never be that “disloyal.”

Jordan had assured him that he was now fully aware of Peter’s capacity for loyalty.

“Champagne?” Accepting the glass Peter offered, Jordan returned the man’s toast, and wondered what the hell Kate saw in him. Not that he could criticize, given his own recent poor judgment.

Though he was as angry with Penny as her cuckolded husband, Jordan saw no honor in petty revenge. So when the scandal broke, he’d kept his mouth shut and hunkered down to weather it.

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