Propositioned Into A Foreign Affair(2)

By: Catherine Mann

“Okay, Muffin, cross your paws, ’cause here we go.”

Her sweet little fur baby yawned.

Bella tucked into the dimly lit hall, empty but for ornately carved antiques. Her bare feet pounded along the thick Persian carpet on her way past a lush green tree, tiny lights winking encouragement. She paused at the first office.

Locked. Damn.

She ran her hand along door after door on her way down. All locked. Double damn.

An echo sounded behind her. The sound of someone running. She glanced over her shoulder and…

Click. Click. Click.

She recognized the sound of a camera in action too well. The short but bulky photographer had overpowered Henri.

Bella ran faster, Muffin’s cloth cage bumping against her leg. She wasn’t a novice in ditching the press. She’d been aware of the media attention on her family since she was born twenty-five years ago.

Gilded, framed photos of employees stared at her in a weird pseudo voyeurism. She rounded the corner and yes, yes, yes, found a mahogany door slightly ajar. No lights on. Likely empty. She would lock herself inside and call for help.

Panting, she raced the last few steps, slid through the part in the door.

And slammed into a hard male chest.

One without a camera slung over his shoulder, thank heaven, but still a warm-bodied—big-bodied—man. She looked up into his cool gray eyes. She didn’t need to check the formal photo by the door to confirm the identity of this dark haired, billionaire bachelor. At only thirty-four, he’d already been featured on plenty of “most eligible” lists. This expatriate bad boy had broken hearts from the Mediterranean to South Beach.

She’d fallen into the arms of hotel magnate Sam Garrison.

Sam stared down into the panicked blue eyes of film star Isabella Hudson.

Where the hell were her clothes?

He was used to dealing with eccentric behavior from his star-studded guest list. But a woman running around in nothing more than a sheet? That was a first.

He kept his eyes firmly locked on her panicked face and mussed red hair while waiting for her to clue him in. No need to check out the luscious cleavage on display. He could feel every voluptuous curve of the near-naked beauty pressed enticingly against his chest.

“Media,” she gasped, pressing her breasts more firmly against him. “Paparazzi!”

Damn. His libido took a backseat to business. God, he hated the press.

He prided himself on his hotel’s privacy, an essential element in attracting high-profile clientele. A breach like this could cost him. Big time. Nothing was more important to him than his hotels.

Not even a potentially distracting pair of amazing breasts.

Where was the man she’d been trysting with? Must be a wimp if he’d left her to face the media on her own while clad in nothing more than a sheet, her body slicked up enticingly.

Was the guy married? Or a high-profile politician? His mind raced with possible publicity landmines. This temperamental actress could spell big trouble.

Sam gripped her by the shoulders, her silly, pink dog carrier thumping him in the knee. “Stay in my office. I’ll take care of this.”

“Thank you. But hurry, please.” She backed into the office, her foot peeking out from beneath the sheet to show a gold toe ring. “He’s right around the corner—”

Footsteps pounded down the hall.

Sam had spent the past ten years of his life delivering on the promise of privacy and luxury at his branches of the family’s exclusive Garrison Grande Resorts. Even a resort magnate had to roll up his sleeves and play bouncer on occasion.

Today, apparently, was one of those occasions.

He stepped back into the empty reception area leading to his office. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting to pounce.

Behind him, he could hear Bella scooping her dog out of the carrier and soothing the restless pet until the bell around the dog’s neck quieted.

The footsteps grew louder. Closer.

He stuck an arm out and clotheslined the media hound. Sam lunged out just in time to press a Berluti loafer flat against the guy’s chest as he tried to arch up. Bella’s dog yipped from inside the office.

Applying more weight, he made sure the burly man became one with the floor. Yeah, he recognized this peon. The guy freelanced for a national gossip magazine.