His to Keep (Beauty and the Brit)(7)

By: Terri Austin


“Call me Iain. I’ve been told I require a management makeover. Are you the woman to give me what I need?” He hadn’t intended the innuendo, but he didn’t apologize for it either.

Her gaze fluttered from his throat to his eyes. “I’m not sure. To be honest, I’m not really a teacher. I just write the curriculum.”

He knew that, of course, had paid Cassandra Delaney a few thousand extra to have Brynn teach the class personally. “I’m not much of a student, so I’d say we’re well matched.” When her eyes swept over his face, he smiled. But Brynn didn’t smile back, as most women would. In fact, she stared at him with a faint frown on her generous lips.

Well, that was new. Women generally flirted with him. And he wasn’t foolish enough to believe they were attracted to his delightful personality. Although he did all right in the looks department, his face wasn’t what lured them, either. No, Iain’s main draw was his fat bank account. He was fine with that. Made things simpler. Everyone walked away happy. There were no expectations, no fuss. No emotional ties.

But Brynn didn’t respond to him like other women, and he couldn’t say why that intrigued him so much.

Brynn Campbell wasn’t his usual type. Perhaps that’s why he was utterly enchanted by her. She didn’t wear her sexuality like armor. She was small, nearly flat-chested, and dressed as if she were attending a music festival rather than a business meeting. With copper bracelets stacked on her slender wrist, she wore tattered jeans and very little makeup. And the way she watched him with those wide, wary eyes…

When he took a step toward her, she tensed. What did she think? He was going to make a lunge for her? He never dreamed she’d be so skittish, at least not in a professional setting—or that he’d find it so compelling.

A knock sounded at the door and Amelia peered in. “Would you like some tea, Miss Campbell?”

Brynn glanced over her shoulder. “That would be nice, thank you.”

While she was looking away, Iain took the opportunity to study her breasts. The blouse was deceptively sheer. Tilting his head, he tried to see through the crinkly material, but he couldn’t even detect the outline of her bra. It was maddening and enticing at the same time. As soon as Ames shut the door, Brynn faced him again. And caught him staring.

Swallowing audibly, she raised the black binder, clutching it to her chest and blocking his view. “Why don’t we get started?” she asked.

“Yes, why don’t we?”

She stared at him for a beat, then squared her shoulders and stuck one hand in her purse. She pulled out a pen and opened her book to the front page.

Iain tried to get a peek at what she jotted down, but she snapped the notebook closed before he could read it. “Are you taking notes on me, love?”

Brynn angled her head to look up at him. “If I were your employee, your suggestive glances might be considered actionable.”

“Actionable how? Like we’d clear the desk and have at it?”

Her brows drew together and formed a small V. “That comment would definitely qualify as actionable.”

He leaned down, caught a whiff of perfume—vanilla and something floral. “Pretend you never heard it.” Iain breathed her in. Absolutely delicious.

Her lips parted slightly, but she didn’t move away. Brynn Campbell might be wary, but she was also interested.

“The key to running a successful business,” she whispered, “is keeping a professional attitude. Sniffing me probably isn’t professional.”

“Depends on what your profession is, I suppose. And here I thought the key to running a successful business was making money. Shows how fucking little I know, eh?”

“Do you always use that language?” Brynn opened her notebook and scribbled again. “With employees, I mean.”

“Yeah. I don’t believe in censoring myself.” He hadn’t moved away, was still leaning toward her. Her shallow breaths caused her chest to rapidly rise and fall, and that became the focus of Iain’s attention. Her breasts were so tiny, he’d be able to suck on the whole damned thing. The thought made his mouth water.

“Um, I don’t feel very comfortable when you look at me like that.”

Iain reached out, his finger grazing a red splotch on the side of her throat. “I wasn’t trying to make you feel comfortable.”

“Oh.” She paused. “I feel that, together, we can create a work environment that is both productive and respectful. I don’t feel respected as a colleague right now.” She stepped back two paces, leaving Iain’s hand dangling in the air before he let it fall to his side.

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