Her Billionaire's Bargain

By: Yvette Hines


He placed his hands on the sides of the frame, filling the opening and her vision with his body. “If you’re so set on staying, nothing I could say would convince you otherwise so why not allow me at least a moment to give you my pitch.”

Ugh! She wanted to scream. The only thing that she wanted was for him to walk his high dollar shoes out of her store with him in them. However he didn’t appear inclined to do that without her agreement. Running a hand over her bun, she let out a sigh. “Fine. When would you like me to come by your office?”

He shook his head. “Too formal. We need some place that is neutral.”

“Like?”

“Dinner.” A smile appeared on his perfect mouth and a small amount of light flickered in his gaze.

She wasn’t prepared for the change and the impact of his face becoming more friendly and less business. Her heart did a flip. Having him serious and business minded was a lot safer for her. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“What could it hurt? You afraid that a couple glasses of wine and good food may lead you into doing something…”

Yes. “No. I just think we should keep things in perspective.”

His smile stretched his lips wider. “No worries. I just would like a chance to talk this out. Explain the city’s side and the benefits to the community.”

“I’ve heard this pitch frequently from everyone else that has been around.”

He leaned his shoulder against the jamb. “Not from me.”

“You think you’re more convincing?” Tilting her head, she stared up at him. She didn’t want to, because the more she stared at him the more drawn in she felt and she needed to keep her wits about her.

“Absolutely. I’ll send my car around for you. What is your address?”

There was no way she was giving him her address. “I’ll drive myself.”

“So, you agree?”

Damn it. “Fine. Dinner.” She allowed a small chuckle at the man’s audacity to come out.

With a brisk nodded, he stared at her for a long moment. There was something in his eyes, not quite recognition, but something. In a blink it was gone, and he pushed away from the door. “I’ll have my assistant contact you with the details.”

Before she could respond, he was moving back through the kitchen area and into the store front.

He couldn’t have made it fully out of the store before Stacey and Eric were before her.

“Oh, my word, that was some impressive man.” Stacey was fanning herself.

“Overbearing is more like it.” Eric stood with his hands shoved deep into the back pockets of his jeans.

They were both correct, but instead of commenting she simply said, “It’s the city project. Whatever the officials are attempting to have go down must be big. Especially if after all the lawyers and representatives have come to us, the head man decided to grace our humble facility.”

“So, are you going to sell?” Stacey’s face was filled with concern.

Kourtney glanced at Eric and saw the same level of worry. They had been with her for over a year and she understood when times were tough as it was for all Americans now, no one wanted to hear that they may be looking for new employment.

Eric took care of a sick mother and Stacey’s husband had been laid off for two years now and they had three kids.

Easing their minds, she placed a hand on both their shoulders. “No, I’m not selling. C.o.J. was started right here and it will stay right where it is. They can build around us.”

Eric pretended to wipe his brow in relief. The bell chimed in the front.

“Okay, back to work everyone.”

When her employees had left, Kourtney turned around and walked to her desk. Sitting down in her chair she took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Her body was shaking inside so badly she thought she’d be sick.

It had been years since she’d seen Zac Powers. Stayed out of his path. She never anticipated him strolling into her little slice of Charlotte. Last time she saw him was in Durham and she would have preferred to keep it that way. Apparently he didn’t recognize her and she had no plans of enlightening him to the fact either.

Glancing across the spreadsheets, order forms and calendars on her desk she stared at the eyes watching her, a picture of someone who was her heart. Her life was vastly different since their lives had crossed. It would work out best for all if she kept that knowledge in perspective.

Picking up the phone she made a call.





Chapter Two




Three days later, Zac was still plagued by the desirable Kourtney Deen. Sitting in the restaurant awaiting her arrival, she was now ten minutes late for their dinner appointment, he allowed his mind to fixate on her face again. Since the day he was in her shop, the hazel-eyed beauty, with dark brown hair had driven him to distractions. Normally, since he was around beautiful and attractive women all the time, those in the corporate industry and those just trying to get into his bed, it took him a while to warm up to a woman.

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