Selling Out to the Billionaire

By: Penny Wylder

Not to mention that what someone is going to pay for this house would set me up for life. Even when my bank account isn't dangerously close to zero, I can't imagine having this much money. It must be a completely different kind of life.

I'll settle for my commission which will make the difference between whether or not I even have a place to live. That's the goal, Penelope. Sell him this house. I steel my mind as I exit the car, preparing to make him see that this is a house he can't live without.

Derek had pulled in first, parking his car in front of me. When he steps out I can’t read the expression on his face. Is he upset? And if so, was it because of something I did? I don’t think I can handle him dismissing another house today. It’s already been far more exhausting than I’d imagined.

“This is much better,” he says when I approach him. “But in the future, don’t bother saving the better house for last. I know that's a sales strategy, but I’d rather you not waste my time. I’m a busy man with very little patience.” He reaches up to smooth his hair, never breaking eye contact with me. His voice drops lower. “I told you before—I know what I want, and I’m not accustomed to waiting for it.”

As his gaze travels down my body and lingers, I feel my heart kick up its rhythm. I’m not going to lie, the fact that he’s looking at me at all makes me want to let him into my bed. But why is he acting like an ass? I wasn’t trying to save the best for last, I genuinely thought the last mansion was beautiful. Just because he has a stick up his—

I cut off my line of thought and plaster on a fake smile. It doesn’t matter. Do your job. But... I still let out a bit more sarcasm than needed. “My apologies. I know that searching for a multi-million-dollar home can be so stressful. Shall we look inside?”

Derek takes a single step my way, his face serious and intrigued. My mouth tingles with house close he is to me—we could kiss, if he bent down a hair. "You have quite a mouth on you. Be careful, Penelope. You wouldn't want that mouth to get you into trouble."

From the tone of his voice, I know that his version of trouble and mine are very different. I try not to notice how closely he follows me as I retrieve the key from the realtor’s box. “Maybe we should see the bedroom first,” I say. “If that is of particular importance to you, it’s probably better to judge it before we move on to the rest of the house.”

“I agree,” he says, his voice going rougher... warm around the edges. I want to roll around in his voice like it's catnip.

I haven’t been inside this mansion yet, so I have to consult the floorplan in order to get us to the master suite. It’s on the main floor towards the back of the house, overlooking the spectacular and sprawling lawn. As promised, the bedroom has walls made of windows. I’m not sure I would be willing to sleep in a place that seemed so open. I would always feel like something could sneak in on me. But, as he made abundantly clear, Derek gets what he wants.

When I turn to look at him, I’m surprised. He’s smiling, and not a small one either. The smile on his face is full and breathtaking. All those pictures I’ve seen of him on red carpets and everything else, they don’t do it justice. I find myself getting lost in it.

“This is much better,” he says. “Can you stand over by that window for me?”

I give him a look. “Why?”

“So I can visualize the room better. I find it helps to have someone standing in it, don’t you? So you can imagine what it would be like.”

“I suppose.” I raise an eyebrow, but I move to where he pointed. If it helps me close this house…

“Turn around and look out the window.”

I resist the urge to roll my eyes until I’ve already turned around. The grounds are beautiful. The lawn slopes away from the house, leading down to the pool and the pool house. The pool looks delightful, turning a deeper blue in the darkening twilight. I press my hands against the glass, savoring the coolness on my skin and leaning just a little. My feet are starting to kill me in these heels and the leaning helps relieve the pressure.

Suddenly I realize that Derek is right behind me, and I jump. I didn’t hear him come over. I’m going to turn around, but before I can he places his hands over mine on the glass. His arms are surrounding me, and his body is pressing into my back. Once again I’m surrounded by the divine scent of his cologne, spice and water and mountain. I don’t really know what those things smell like but it’s what comes popping into my head when I breathe it in.

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