He'd been the Latino boy from the wrong side of the tracks and she'd been the golden debutante with dollar signs in her blue eyes.


I figured it must've been pretty hot between them.


We talked for a few more minutes, both of us excited to see each other again.


I'd hoped we wouldn't drift apart after I moved away after college, which was why I'd made it a necessity to have a weekly catch-up call on Saturdays.


Having him visit so soon helped to ease that worry.


I'd just hung up when Cary strolled in, looking every bit like the model he was."Still plotting?" he asked.


I stood.


"All done.


That was my dad.


He's coming out to New York next week."


"Really? Rock on.


Victor's cool."


We both moved into the kitchen, and he grabbed two beers out of the refrigerator.


I'd noticed earlier that a number of items and products I used at home had been stocked in the suite.


I wondered if Gideon was just that observant or if he'd found the information another way - like from looking at my receipts.


I couldn't put it past him.


Recognizing the boundaries between us was very difficult for him, as evidenced by his siccing his guards on me.


"When's the last time your parents were in the same state together?" Cary asked, prying the caps off the bottles with a bottle opener.


"Let alone the same city."


Ah, God .


"I'm not sure.


Before I was born?" I took a long pull on the beer he handed me.


"I'm not planning on putting them together."


"Here's to best-laid plans."


He clinked the necks of our beers together.


"Speaking of which, I was considering a quick bang with a chick I met at the pool, but I came up here instead.


Figured you and I'd both go without today and just spend the time together."


"I'm honored," I said dryly.


"I was going to come back down."


"Too hot out.


That sun is brutal."


"Same sun we have in New York, isn't it?" "Smart-ass."


His green eyes sparkled.


"How about we clean up and go out to lunch somewhere? My treat."


"Sure.


But I can't say Sheila won't insist on tagging along."


"Fuck her and her boss.


What is it with rich people and control issues?" "They get rich because they take control."


"Whatever.


I prefer our kind of crazy - we pretty much only screw with ourselves."


He crossed one arm over his chest and leaned into the counter.


"You gonna put up with his bullshit?" "Depends."


"On what?" I grinned and started backing out toward my bedroom.


"Get ready.


I'll tell you about it over lunch."



Chapter 6


I'd just barely finished repacking my bag for the trip home when I heard the unmistakable sound of Gideon's voice in the living room.


A rush of adrenaline pumped through my veins.


Gideon had yet to say a word to me about what I'd done, even though we'd talked the night before after Cary and I had gotten back from clubbing and again this morning when I'd woken up.


Feigning ignorance was slightly nerve-racking.


I'd wondered if Clancy had even managed to do what I had asked of him, but when I double- checked with my stepdad's bodyguard, he assured me that all was going as I'd planned.


On bare feet, I padded over to the open door of my bedroom just in time to see Cary walk out the door of our suite.


Gideon stood alone in the small foyer, his inscrutable gaze on me as if he'd expected me to appear at any moment.


He wore loose-fitting jeans and a black T-shirt, and I'd missed the sight of him so much my eyes stung.


"Hi, angel."


The fingers of my right hand toyed restlessly with the material of my black yoga pants.


"Hi, ace."


His beautifully etched lips thinned for a moment.


"Is there a particular meaning behind that endearment?" "Well .


you ace everything you do.


And it's the nickname of a fictional character I have a crush on.


You remind me of him sometimes."


"I'm not sure I like you having a crush on anyone but me, fictional or not."


"You'll get over it."


Shaking his head, he started toward me.


"Like I'll get over the sumo wrestler you have shadowing me?" I bit the inside of my cheek to keep from laughing.


I hadn't been specific about appearance when I'd asked Clancy to arrange for someone he knew in the Phoenix area to guard Gideon the way Sheila was guarding me.


I'd just asked for a man and provided a relatively small list of things to intercede with.


"Where's Cary going?" "Downstairs to play with the credit I arranged for him."


"We're not leaving right away?" He slowly closed the distance between us.


There was no mistaking the danger inherent in the way he stalked me.


It was visible in the set of his shoulders and the gleam in his eyes.


I might've been more worried if the sinuousness of his stride hadn't been so blatantly sexual.


"You on your period?" I nodded.


"Then I'll just have to come in your mouth."


My brows rose.


"Is that right?" "Oh, yeah."


His mouth curved.


"Don't worry, angel.


I'll take care of you first."


He lunged and caught me up, surging into the bedroom and toppling us onto the bed.


I gasped and his mouth was on mine, the kiss deep and ravenous.


I was swept away by his passion and the beloved feel of his weight pressing me into the mattress.


He smelled so good.


His skin was so warm.


"I missed you," I moaned, wrapping my arms and legs around him.


"Even though you're seriously irritating sometimes."


Gideon growled.


"You're the most exasperating, infuriating woman I've ever met."


"Yeah, well, you pissed me off.


I'm not a possession.


You can't - " "Yes, you are."


He nipped my earlobe with his teeth, causing a sharp sting that made me cry out.


"And yes, I can."


"Then you are, too.


And I can, too."


"So you demonstrated.


Have any idea how difficult it is to do business with someone when they can't get within three feet of you?" I froze, because I'd made the three- feet rule applicable only to women.


"Why would someone need to be that close to you?" "To point out areas of interest on design schematics spread out in front of me and to fit alongside me within camera range for a teleconference -  two things you made very difficult."


Lifting his head, he looked down at me.


"I was working.


You were playing."


"I don't care.


If it's good for me, it's good for you."


But I was secretly pleased that Gideon had put up with the inconvenience, just as I had.


Reaching down, he caught me by the back of the thigh and yanked my legs wider apart.


"You're not going to get a hundred percent equality in this relationship."


"The hell I'm not."


His hips settled into the opening he'd made.


He rocked against me, rubbing the thick ridge of his erection against my sex.


"You're not," he repeated, his hands pushing into my hair to grip my scalp and hold me in place.


Rolling his hips, he massaged my hypersensitive clit.


The seam of his jeans was in the perfect place to stir my ever-simmering lust for him.


Arousal spiked in my blood.


"Stop it.


I can't think when you do that."


"Don't think.


Just listen, Eva.


Who I am and what I've built makes me a target.


You know the score, because you know what it's like to live with wealth and the attention it attracts."


"The guy at the bar wasn't a threat."


"That's debatable."


Irritation burned through me.


It was the perceived lack of trust that bugged me, mostly because he didn't trust me with whatever secrets he was keeping, and I was dealing with that.


"Get off me."


"I'm comfortable right here."


He hitched his hips, rubbing against me.


"I'm pissed at you."


"I can tell."


He didn't stop moving.


"That won't stop you from coming."


I shoved at his hips, but he was too heavy to budge.


"I can't when I'm mad!" "Prove it."


He was way too smug, which made my anger swell.


Since I couldn't turn my head, I closed my eyes, shutting him out.


He didn't care.


He kept on flexing against me.


The clothes between us and the lack of penetration made me even more aware of the elegant fluidity of his body.


The man knew how to fuck.


Gideon didn't just shove his big dick in and out of a woman.


He worked her with it, exploiting friction, changing angles and depth of penetration.


The nuances of his skill were lost when I was writhing beneath him and focused only on the sensations he stoked in my body.


But I felt them all now.


I fought against the pleasure, but I couldn't stifle a moan.


"That's it, angel," he coaxed.


"Feel how hard I am for you? Feel what you do to me?" "Don't use sex to punish me," I complained, my heels digging into the mattress.


He stilled for a moment, and then his mouth was suckling at my throat, his body undulating as if he were fucking me through our clothes.


"I'm not mad, angel."


"Whatever.


You're pushing me around."


"And you're driving me insane.


You know what happened when I realized what you'd done?" I glared at him through slitted eyes.

***

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