Shameless Playboy

Shameless Playboy by Caitlin Crews

Book: Shameless Playboy by Caitlin Crews Read Free Book Online
Authors: Caitlin Crews
of
it at your peril.”
                 “It’s
a bit early in the year to be making such pronouncements, don’t you think?” She
shrugged. “Besides, I believe the intricacies of the London party circuit fall
more within your purview than mine.”
                 “I
want you to stay with me,” he said, baldly. He saw her stiffen, saw her eyes
widen. He smiled. “After all, this is the perfect place to drum up excitement
for the gala, is it not? Who knows what other luminaries we can rope into
attending?”
                 Her
brown eyes were wary—and furious, he noted with growing interest. Why should
she be furious? But he suspected he knew. He felt it, too, the tightening noose
around them. The pull of it.
                 The
difference was, he was not fighting it. Much.
                 “Have
I misunderstood something?” she asked in the tone of one who was quite certain
she had misunderstood nothing. “I was under the impression that the collection
of celebrities was your job—a job you are quite good at, actually.” She waved
her hand at the crowd around them. “And, of course, these are your sort of
people, anyway.”
                 “Famous?”
he asked idly. “Shockingly attractive? Filthy rich and well connected?”
                 “Bored,”
she retorted with that sharp smile and a matching glint in her eyes. “Desperate.
As anyone would be, were their self-worth predicated on how many mentions they
received in a glossy magazine.”
                 He
eased back against the settee and watched the flush of heat that stole across
her face. Passion , he thought with
deep satisfaction. And she was not happy about it.
                 But
he was.
                 “As
opposed to the deep social and philosophical relevance of party planning for a
department store?” Lucas asked mildly, baiting her. “I can certainly see where
your exalted sense of worth comes from.”
                 She
froze, her eyes shooting sparks at him, temper storming across her normally
impassive face. It fascinated him.
                 “I
have a job,” she said from between her teeth. “One that I am very, very good
at. My self-worth derives from my achievements. Not my father’s surname.”
                 That
might have landed a blow on a man less used to hearing such things and in far
more offensive terms. But Lucas only relaxed against the settee, stretching his
arm along the back and smiling at her.
                 “You
just finished telling me that I’m good at the same job,” he said, making his
tone deliberately insulting, wanting to see the fire in her blaze higher.
Hotter. “How difficult can it be?”
                 “Is
anything difficult for you?” she asked, her voice scathing, her hands curling
into fists in her lap. “Or do you just float through life making snide
commentary and endless innuendos, forever the darling of the paparazzi and very
little else? How proud you must be. How deep, indeed, your still waters run.”
                 He
was uncomfortably hard, and delighted with her temper, even though she directed
it at him. He, after all, could take it. Temper did not upset him; it usually
only intrigued him, since he so rarely lost his own. Still, he was a man, and
her words made him long to teach her all manner of lessons. Soon , he thought, watching her
proprietarily. Very soon .
                 “Are
we discussing masks, Grace?” he asked quietly, angling close enough to breathe
in her scent. “Because I’ve been waiting to talk about yours since the moment
we met. What are you so afraid of?”
                 “Becoming
you, of course,” she threw at him immediately, with all of her customary ice
and that fire that he instinctively knew was blazing bright underneath. “Becoming
anything like you. A zombie with a

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