Risk & Reward

Risk & Reward by Alisha Rai

Book: Risk & Reward by Alisha Rai Read Free Book Online
Authors: Alisha Rai
Tags: Romance
family was around.
    She might yell. Or even throw things.
    Stop being a coward.
    Oh, but he was. At least where Tatiana was concerned.
    His phone beeped again. Are you working?
    Wyatt’s jaw hardened. A coward he might be, but his desire to please this woman was stronger. All she had to do was crook her little finger, and he’d run. It would be terrifying, if it wasn’t so thrilling.

Chapter Ten
     
    Wyatt didn’t notice anything amiss until he closed and locked the door of his home. He dropped his laptop case to the floor and stared at the sight in front of him. “Hi.”
    Tatiana glanced up at him, her hair sliding over her bare shoulder. “Hello.”
    He rubbed his hand over his mouth, trepidation taking a back seat to amusement and arousal. Yes, he enjoyed watching her work. He would have enjoyed it a lot more if he’d ever seen her work like this.
    She lay on her stomach on the carpet in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows, dressed in nothing but a pair of skimpy mint-colored bikini panties and a matching bra. In one hand, she held something that flashed green, a pair of small pliers in the other. Her other work materials were scattered about. Chains of gold and silver snaked over the carpet, twining through a field of crystals.
    He came to stand above her. Nudging a string of pearls aside, he sank down to sit, unsure of what to say. This wasn’t a business associate he had to calm down or a customer who was unhappy. There were no social rules that he was aware of that would help him navigate this path and bring them back to their previous state of bliss. “What’s up?”
    She looked down at her hands and ran the unfinished piece through her fingers. “Not much. Working.”
    Her skin was flushed. He traced his finger along the bridge of her nose. “You look like you got some sun.”
    “Went to the pool at the Wynn.”
    With her mother. Don’t be a dick. Wyatt schooled his face so it remained expressionless. “The Wynn’s pool is acceptable,” he said grudgingly, high praise for him.
    “We went to the topless one.”
    He nudged her bra strap. “I see a tan line.”
    “My mom went European, not me.”
    He did not want that picture in his head. Ever, ever, ever. “Ah.”
    She gave him a small smile. “If you’d been there instead of my mom, I might have.”
    He flicked her nose. “If I’d been there, I would have made you.”
    “I know.” Her reply was contemplative, not throaty and sexy.
    They both looked away. Their silences hadn’t felt like this before, filled with unsaid words.
    A flash of something shiny in her hair caught his eye. “You have something here.” He picked out the green crystal that had gotten caught. The sunlight reflected through the prism, and he froze. “Tatiana.”
    “Yeah?”
    He held the stone up. Small but perfectly cut, the color was vibrant. “This is an emerald.”
    “Yeah. Everything gets stuck in my hair, huh?” Her competent, scarred hands fidgeted with the piece she was working on. Smooth semi-precious beads, darker in shade than the emerald he held, had been strung together, probably the beginning base of some larger piece.
    He glanced around. Jesus. He didn’t have to pick them up to know that the various stones he’d assumed were red and blue and clear crystals were worth a lot more.
    He dragged his avaricious gaze away from what he now realized was a treasure chest of jewels. “Tatiana, why is there a king’s ransom lying around?”
    “Told you. I’m working. Working helps me think.”
    “You’re naked.”
    A bare shoulder lifted in a delicate shrug. “Working pantsless is the best way to think.” Her words were measured and precise.
    Since she was usually meticulously careful with her expensive materials, he figured there was only one explanation. “Are you drunk?”
    She squinted at him. “No. I might have been, earlier. But I’ve sobered up.”
    He placed the emerald on the carpet with a final caress, trying to resist the urge to

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