Billionaire Unmasked

By: J.S. Scott

Jason shrugged. “I did pick the most attractive woman at the party, and I don’t need to kill time. I just don’t feel like pretending tonight, Hope.”

The profound sense of loneliness in his voice echoed in her soul. Hope wasn’t even going to act as if she didn’t know what he meant. She knew. Jason was surrounded by people, lived in the world of the mega rich, but Hope knew from experience that it was difficult to know what people’s motives were when they claimed to be a friend, or when they claimed to care. Most of the world they’d both grown up in was superficial at best, which was why she avoided the media and chose to live outside of that sphere as an adult. However, Jason didn’t have a choice. He was a little young to retire, and it wasn’t part of his personality anyway. He was driven, and always had been.

Hope lifted her hand to his face and stroked over his rugged jawline. She loved the feel of the stubble beneath her fingers. “You have more to offer than money,” she told him softly, honestly. Beneath his brutal, businesslike exterior, Jason had the heart of a man who had done just about anything to cheer up a grade school geek who had been bullied during her childhood years. He’d even been willing to make a fool of himself when he was supposed to be a cool high school kid. That heart still beat in this man’s chest. He’d just learned to cover it well with social ennui and the “kill or be killed” survival instinct in business, just like her brothers had.

“And what else do I have to offer?” Jason asked gruffly. He wrapped one strong, muscular arm around her waist again while he traced her lips absently with his index finger.

You mean something other than the fact that you have a good heart and the body and face of a god? Um…you mean other than the fact that you’re hot enough to melt almost any woman’s panties right off her body? Oh yeah, and did I forget to mention that you’re also freaking brilliant?

Jason wasn’t just attractive; he was every woman’s secret fantasy. She’d never seen him naked, but she had no doubt he was breathtaking. It wasn’t difficult to see that he was ripped, even with his clothes on, and his broad shoulders and over six foot height made him appear dangerous and formidable. His golden hair was several different shades of sexy blond, and it was cut in a style that made him look constantly mussed up. It was amazing that he could make that style so damn sexy and sophisticated, even in a tux. Okay…especially in a tux. On Jason, the cut was polished and urbane, even if it was a “messy hair” look that made every woman— especially her—want to rip off his clothes and take him to bed just to make him look even more disheveled because he could rock that particular look so damn well.

“You have a good heart, Jason,” she finally answered, distracted by the sensual feel of his finger on her lips and the look of hunger in his eyes. She thought it was best to leave out the hotness factor for now.

He threw his head back and roared with laughter.

“What? You do,” Hope answered firmly, getting annoyed.

He sobered slightly and shot her a wicked smile. “I’m an asshole, Hope.”

She couldn’t dispute that. Anyone who was as rich as Jason had a part of them that was ruthless. “Just on the surface,” she mused quietly. Her hand fell from his face and to his shoulder.

He fiddled with a lock of her hair, his expression pensive. “You’d be surprised how deeply the asshole part of me goes.” He let out a masculine sigh. “My sweet Hope, rescuer of all creatures in need, do you want to try to rehabilitate me?” he asked woefully.

Jason didn’t need to change. He just needed someone who understood him. She cringed at his description of her, but sometimes she was a sucker for any animal or human in need. Almost always, that particular characteristic actually ate at her soul because of the path she’d chosen to take with her life. “I still have Daisy,” she confessed. Jason had brought her the mostly white kitten with a few tan spots when she’d seen him at her high school graduation. Daisy had been pathetic and starving, abandoned on the side of the road. Jason had brought her to Hope, and she’d never had the heart to get rid of Daisy. It had been love at first sight for her and her faithful companion.

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