Authors: Cynthia Dane
Tags: #Billionaire Romance
What a dumb question. Obviously the answer was yes.
Jasmine walked into the Jackson-Cole building that Monday morning feeling both confident and absolutely petrified.
She knew that Ethan Cole wanted her. That was as evident as a fish loving to swim in the open waters. She also knew that she could do the job of personal assistant with her hands tied behind her back – something that Ethan may well ask of her soon.
But she didn’t know these people, this world. When she stepped out of the elevator wearing her black body hugging coat, she was instantly aware of the eyes on her. They were more judgmental now than they had been the previous Friday.
They know I’m here.
Last time she could have been anybody. But somebody coming out of Ethan Cole’s office with a perplexed look on her face, and then coming back a bit later dressed like this? There was only one reason for that. Jasmine had to square her shoulders and boost her own confidence by reminding herself that this was all for her.
“I’m here to see Ethan Cole.” Jasmine stood before the beautiful woman behind the front desk and pretended that they were gal pals. She was almost willing to flirt with her if that meant getting to see Ethan sooner.
The woman put down her phone and stared at Jasmine as if she were from another planet. “One moment, please.” She dialed something on another line and waited for a reaction. Soon enough she hung up again and told Jasmine to go ahead into Mr. Cole’s office.
I wonder if he’s sleeping with her.
A woman as beautiful as that? Maybe she was an old flame that Ethan liked to keep around anyway. Jasmine wouldn’t begrudge him of that.
As if she had déjà vu from a week ago, Jasmine found Ethan sitting behind his desk once more. This time he was more focused on her as she entered the room, taking the time to size up her every curve as she sauntered up to his desk. She did not sit down.
“I hope that such a gait and gaze means good news,” Ethan said as he relaxed. “Once again I am sorry that I had to ask you to leave so suddenly the other morning. Things like that happen often. It’s one reason why it’s not feasible for me to have a serious girlfriend.”
Jasmine pulled the manila envelope out of her coat and dropped it on the desk. “Hot contract. I especially liked the part where you talk about tying me up.”
Those perfectly groomed eyebrows went up, and Ethan leaned forward, folding his hands on the desk. “Does that mean you’re saying yes?”
She stepped around the desk, her fingernails scraping against the wood as she placed her feet carefully on the carpet. “Not so fast.” She flipped the manila envelope open. “I have my own conditions. I do believe that I get to make some changes if I want, yes?”
Now it was more than arousal swirling in this man’s eyes. There was a hint of intrigue there as well. “What kind of changes?”
“Well, first I’m not crazy about this 12 hours thing. Make it 10 during the work week.”
“Done. But in return I want your whole Saturdays.”
“Seems like you’re busy on Saturdays to me.”
“Fine. But I get Sundays off. From both work and you if I choose.”
“Sounds fair. Anything else?”
“Oh, lots of other things. I want a proper lunch break during the week. Don’t think I don’t know you’re going to try to fuck me in the supply closet when everyone’s eating lunch. I’m not into that. If I’m dealing with your shit all morning, it’s only right that I get off lunch every day. This means I can do what I want, and tell you no with no repercussions.”
“Hard bargain. But it’s not like I’m usually free during lunch anyway. Done.”
“You will also agree to never put me into any mortal danger. I noticed that was missing from the contract.”
“Good eye. Of course I won’t.”
“I also will not break the law for you. So no sex in the middle of the street.”
“Darn. That’s one of my favorites.”
Jasmine sat on the edge of his desk right next to him. She was close enough to touch him, but she wouldn’t. She would rather tease him with her presence, to make sure he knew what he was getting into. And of course, how much he still wanted her. “There are a few other things that we can go over later,” she said. “But first there is one big demand that I have, and if you won’t agree, I will run out of here right now.”
Finally, the hardened man in the business suit, the very man who controlled so many destinies, was fidgeting a little. “Yes?”
Jasmine sucked in her breath. “I want three million.”
The air went quiet. For a moment Jasmine thought that he would laugh at her. But he merely smiled, his fingers drumming against the arm of his chair.
I wouldn’t mind hopping in his lap right now.
Restraint. Jasmine was sure that plenty of that would come later… if he agreed to her terms.
“Three million dollars is a lot of fucking money.” Ethan turned toward her in his chair, both hands clasping either side of it. “What’s wrong with two million?”
“Nothing.” Jasmine opened the top of her coat where she had nothing but bare skin hidden beneath. “But you seemed to have such a good time Friday night. If you really want me still, you’ll be willing to pay more for it.” This was something she had to recite in her head before she came here.
Now I really feel like an escort or something.
But if Jasmine was essentially going to accept the money in exchange for her love, by God she was going to get paid for it. She didn’t quite know what she was getting into. For all she knew these next six months could be utter hell. If she was going to go through all that, she was going to get the Benjamins to prove it and set her up for the rest of her life. She knew that she risked him turning her down entirely. He may even call her bluff and keep it at two million, knowing that she would take it anyway.
“My mother once had a saying. There’s no point buying the cow and getting the milk for free. Granted, it doesn’t really apply to this situation, but you’ve got some serious balls if you’re going to raise the amount after we’ve already done it once.”
“That’s the thing. You know I’m worth it.”
To prove her point, Jasmine slid off the desk untied the front of her coat, and opened it to reveal that she wore absolutely nothing underneath.
He looked at her, long and hard. Ethan’s eyes roamed her body, lingering on her breasts, before going down to her navel, and then even farther below that.
I groomed extra nice for you.
Jasmine wasn’t shy about her body. Or at least not with a man who had already seen it in all its glory. She was confident that she was sexy to him. She just needed him to think that she was worth another million dollars.
To his credit, Ethan did not try to touch her. Instead he leaned back in his chair with the most satisfied grin in the world. “Three million it is. You can start today.”
TO BE CONTINUED IN PART 2
Coming This Week!
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THE DARK HORSE TRILOGY
Kerri and Hunter come from two different families feuding in the biggest election the state has ever seen. Their unlikely star-crossed romance is about to change their families’ fates forever.
Love? Family? Who wins the election of the heart? Find out in Cynthia’s first full-length serial, now available in Kindle Unlimited and in one convenient box set!
What’s in store for Cynthia’s future? Billionaires, rockstars, and more!