Russian's Ruthless Demand(4)

By: Michelle Conder

‘Speaking of orgasms...’ Lulu’s voice lowered by about ten octaves. ‘Have a look at what the cat just dragged in.’ She leant her elbows on the bar. ‘A sexy, lonely businessman looking for some company for the night.’

‘He’s probably married.’ Eleanore glanced up at the mirror and caught a glimpse of cropped dirty-blond hair, a Viking-hard face and powerful shoulders encased in a heavy black cloak. His tall frame oozed power and authority and he scanned the room as if he were the next line of terminators come back from the past to decimate someone. He was also without a doubt the most striking man Eleanore had ever seen and then his blue eyes connected with hers and her stinky mood hit a new low.

She knew him.

‘I think the ice bar is starting to melt,’ Lulu murmured, fanning her face with one of her ski gloves.

‘Don’t waste your breath,’ Eleanore advised. ‘He’s a complete jackass.’

‘You know him?’ Lulu’s tone was awestruck.

‘I know of him.’ Lukas Kuznetskov—billionaire businessman who guarded his privacy like a lion guards its pride and who was revered for being both enigmatic and ruthless. She’d only ever seen him in person one time at a fashion event she’d been lucky enough to score an invite to a year ago. He’d been dating the lead model at the time and he had reminded Eleanore of a peacock strutting around with her afterward. It had been a competition as to who had been the most beautiful. ‘He’s one of those superficial guys who are too good-looking and too wealthy for their own good.’

‘I’m not against superficial as long as it’s good in bed and something tells me that he is.’

Eleanore glanced up and found him watching her. A strange sensation zinged through her body and her breathing was a little quick as she forced her attention back to Lulu. ‘Believe me, he’s so self-important he’d be too concerned with his own pleasure to worry about yours and you could forget that hot chocolate afterward. You’d be lucky to see the door close as he ran through it.’

Lulu eyed her suspiciously. ‘You have a very strong opinion of him...’ She let her voice taper off and Eleanore knew what she was thinking. That she liked him. Nothing could be further from the truth. Two years ago, just before her father had passed away, he’d made a horribly disparaging comment about one of their hotels that had affected their brand for months afterward.

‘It’s not what you think,’ she said emphatically. ‘I can’t stand the man.’

‘Well, he’s definitely interested in you because he keeps looking this way.’ Lulu leaned across the bar. ‘I dare you to flirt with him.’

‘Oh, please,’ Eleanore scoffed. ‘He’s so obnoxious and self-important I’d rather flirt with a snake.’

‘I hope you don’t mean me, Miss Harrington.’

Eleanore’s stomach dropped into her numb toes as she realised that Lulu’s position in front of her had blocked his approach in the mirrored wall and that she’d been clearing her throat for a reason.

She glanced sideways and up and her heart stuttered inside her chest at his amused half smile. He didn’t believe she’d been talking about him at all. He was just trying to be charming.

Wishing he didn’t know who she was she put on her professional face and decided to skip over his question. ‘Good evening. Welcome to Glaciers.’

It was an automatic greeting rather than a sincere one but he didn’t seem smart enough to pick that up.

‘Thank you,’ he murmured in a voice designed for radio—or the bedroom. ‘You created this ice bar, I understand.’

It wasn’t so much a question as a statement and Eleanore forced herself to focus on who he was and not how he looked or sounded. ‘Yes.’

‘It’s spectacular. Congratulations.’

The way his gaze held hers made Eleanore’s breath quicken. He was the spectacular one. His eyes so blue it was like looking at a cloudless summer sky. Her eyes drifted over his face. Straight nose, high cheekbones and a carved jaw not even the hint of a beard growth could soften.

No, he wasn’t spectacular, she amended silently. Spectacular was somehow too girlie for a man who reeked of power and authority. Someone so confidently male. Or maybe he just seemed that way because of the scar that cut through the edge of his left eyebrow as if someone had taken to him with a knife.

‘Cat got your tongue?’

Maybe an ex-girlfriend, she thought churlishly as she realised she had been caught staring. She chugged down the last of Lulu’s lethal cocktail and composed herself. ‘Not at all,’ she said smoothly. ‘I was just thinking about leaving.’