Baby of His Revenge

By: Jennie Lucas


His voice was cool as he focused on the road. “Mimi and I are business acquaintances, nothing more. What makes you so sure I’d have influence on her?”

“Aren’t you in love with her?” Laney blurted out.

“In love!” His hands clenched on the steering wheel, causing the car to sway slightly on the road. Then he looked at her. “What gave you that idea?”

Laney realized she’d gotten it by eavesdropping, and her cheeks went hot. She didn’t want to be indiscreet or spread rumors about her boss. Embarrassed, she shrugged, looking out at the pouring rain. “Most men seem to fall in love with her. I just assumed...”

“You assumed wrong.” He pulled the car abruptly into a spot on the street and parked. “In fact, I’ve been accused of having no heart.”

“That’s not true.” She smiled at him shyly. “You must have one. Why else would you be helping me?”

He gave her a darkly inscrutable glance. Without answer, he turned off the engine and got out of the car.

Laney’s heart pounded as he swiftly strode around the front of the car. He was very tall, at least a foot taller than her, and probably a hundred pounds heavier—a hundred pounds of pure lean muscle. But in spite of his muscle, he moved with almost feline grace beneath his sleek dark suit. Opening her door, he held out his hand.

She stared at it in consternation, wondering if she dared to put her hand in his when it had caused such a powerful reaction in her before.

“Fur?” He said impatiently.

Oh. Blushing, she handed it out to him. He threw the coat casually over his shoulder. It seemed small compared to him. He reached out his hand again. “You.”

For a moment Laney hesitated. She was afraid to make a fool of herself, and the chance seemed high. When she was nervous, she always blurted out stupid things, and Kassius Black made her very nervous.

She timidly placed her hand in his and let him help her out. The warmth and strength of his larger hand against hers did all kinds of strange things to her insides. Dropping his hand quickly, she looked up at the Beaux Arts–style building with a frown. “This doesn’t look like a dry cleaner’s.”

“It’s not. Follow me.”

She followed him through the doors of a very elegant designer boutique. He handed the old fur to the first salesgirl he saw standing inside. “Here. Get rid of this.”

“Of course, sir,” she replied serenely.

“Get rid of it? What are you doing?” Laney cried. “We can’t throw it away!”

But he was looking at the beautiful, well-dressed salesgirl. “Get us a new coat just like it.”

“What?” said Laney.

“Of course, sir,” the girl repeated calmly, and Laney had the sense that her courteous response would have been the same to the request of any wealthy customer, whether it involved tossing a candy wrapper or disposing of a dead body. “We do have one very similar from the same line. The cost is fifty thousand euros.”

Laney nearly staggered to her knees, but Kassius didn’t blink.

“We’ll take it to go.”

Ten minutes later, he was driving her back to the Hôtel de Carillon with the elegantly wrapped new ermine tucked in the trunk, which was confusingly in the front of the car, not the back. Rich people always did some things a little differently, she thought.

But there were some things they did the same.

“There’s only one reason you’d blow all that money on a coat,” Laney informed him as he drove. “Admit it. You’re wildly in love with the comtesse.”

Kassius glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. “I didn’t do it for her.” He gave her a sudden grin. “I did it for you.”

“Me?”

“You know who I am and the resources I have. And yet you haven’t tried to take advantage of the fact that I hit you with my car. You should be claiming whiplash, spinal injury, threatening to sue. That’s what I assumed you were after when you flung yourself in front of my car.”

“I didn’t fling myself anywhere,” she protested.

His dark eyes seemed to trace over her petite, curvaceous body, as if imagining her without her button-up white shirt and khakis. As she blushed, his eyes met hers coolly. “You could be lawyered up, demanding millions.”

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