Her Billionaire's Bargain

By: Yvette Hines

That wasn’t the same for Kourtney. No, he wasn’t even attempting to fool himself into thinking that the reason he invited her to dinner was because he wanted to talk business. Yes, he wanted to get her to sign the contract. The project was important to him, but more than that she fascinated him. And honestly turned him on in a way that had not happened so intensely in years.

The fact he couldn’t figure out what had pushed him to make the offer for dinner. When he’d turned around and seen those large greenish-brown eyes gazing up at him and her full mouth, his heart had stopped beating for a moment, all thoughts from his brain ran south. He wondered instantly what it would be like to kiss her and how dark her eyes would become when filled with passion and lust.

Shit. He didn’t have time for this. Too much was riding on the project and he didn’t have a spare moment to start up a new relationship. Hell, he’d never had time for anything in the last few years. Zac Acquisition & Development had grown in leaps and bounds in the last five years and he enjoyed it. Most of that time he’d spent on his private jet going from one destination to another. His lifestyle and work were fulfilling and exhausting, but he wouldn’t change a damn thing about it.

So, why he was sitting at Ruth’s Chris in the South Park area waiting on a woman he didn’t have time to see was something he’d analyze later.

In the opening of the doors to the private room, he could see the maître d’ direct someone toward him, letting him know the other half of his party had finally arrived.

Rising, Zac stared through the archway and watched his dinner companion move with a grace and elegance around the tables of other dinners.

She made a striking image in an Egyptian blue gown—long, strapless and a hint of sequin. The dark brown tresses that had been pulled back into a bun earlier in the week were now cascading over one side of her head, showcasing a dangling diamond earring swaying in one ear.

The impact of her beauty struck him again and let him know that the other day in her store had not been a fluke. There was something about this woman.

“Mr. Powers, your guest, Ms. Deen.” Bowing the older gentleman stepped to the side and allowed Kourtney to move deeper into the room.

Stepping forward, Zac held his hand out to her. “Ms. Deen, thank you for joining me.”

With only a brief hesitation, she slipped her slender long fingers over his palm. Enveloping it, he stroked the back with his thumb wanting to know the softness of her skin.

She gave him a tentative smile, before drawing her hand away.

Kourtney appeared a little on edge or out of sorts as she glanced around the opulence of the private room. “This place is amazing. I’ve never eaten here before.”

Waving the maître d’ away, Zac assisted her into her seat. “I’m glad I can be honored with bringing you here.”

When the bare skin of her back brushed his hand as she sat, he didn’t miss the shiver that ran through her or the heat shooting from his gut south goading an already stirring dragon.

“Thank you.” She placed her small clutch purse into her lap, as he rounded the table and reclaimed his seat.

“Don’t you think that this is a bit much for a simple business meeting?” She asked as the maître d’ picked up her linen napkin and placed it into her lap, a quick, efficient drape over her thin clutch purse.

“I’d say yes, but I have never been a simple person.” Zac leaned back in his seat and allowed his gaze to caress her features.

“That I can believe.” The smile she gave him, pulled her full lips wide.

Tonight they were covered in a deep plum color gloss, instead of the clear shine they’d held at her store. Her makeup, complementing her complexion, still was very subdued compared to most ladies he spent evenings with. He enjoyed the fact she didn’t mask her beauty with layers of cosmetics.

“When your assistant contacted me with the information, I thought he’d mixed up your schedule.” Again, she glanced around and took in the room.

Zac placed the wine order and once the older man had left, he said, “Dillon, my assistant, rarely makes mistakes.” Thinking of her small shop and doing a quick calculation of the income she most likely brought in, he considered what his dinner plans may have cost her. “I hope I didn’t cause you any hardship in inviting you here tonight.”

Her gaze shifted from the chandelier above them to him. Hazel eyes were clouded with confusion briefly, then cleared in understanding. “No, Mr. Powers, I have a few gowns that would get me entry into places like this.”

He inclined his head, taking in that bit of information. Why would a cupcake maker have a closet full of expensive dresses? He wasn’t in the design business, but he knew custom-made fabrics when he saw them. The dress she was wearing now was expensive. He never considered what she would wear to the fine dining restaurant, however, now seeing the design and cut of the dress he wondered now if she had taken a chunk out of her small business funds to purchase it. From his company’s research into her cupcake shop’s financials it was a successful business that was well in the black over the last year, but it wasn’t swimming in excess profits. A part of him felt a little guilt if he had caused her to use funds she didn’t have.

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