Billionaire Unmasked

By: J.S. Scott

“I thought you were going to fatten her up and find her a home,” Jason remarked knowingly.

“I couldn’t.” Not that Hope had tried very hard to get rid of the kitten. In fact, she’d never tried at all. It had only taken her five minutes to fall in love with the adorable baby feline. “She’s deaf. Nobody wanted her,” she added defensively as Jason gave her a skeptical look. Her blue-eyed cat couldn’t hear, but it didn’t slow Daisy down. The kitten had probably been deaf since birth, and didn’t seem to miss something she’d never even had. However, Hope could never let her out of the house because of the danger of the cat being outside without being able to hear any imminent danger, a fact that didn’t seem to faze Daisy at all.

“I’m sorry,” Jason said remorsefully. “I never meant to saddle you with a deaf cat.”

“Don’t,” Hope said hastily. “I love her. She’s good company.” It wasn’t easy for Hope to have an animal with her travel schedule, but she managed with the help of her next-door neighbor when she couldn’t take Daisy with her.

“Better company than your ex-boyfriend?” Jason asked in a disgruntled tone.

Oh yeah…him.

“Definitely,” she countered adamantly. Jason ran his finger sensually down her cheek and she shivered.

“You’re cold.” Jason took her frigid hand and led her to the door back to the party. “Let’s get out of here. Come away with me,” he said persuasively as they reached the door.

Come away with me.

I just don’t feel like pretending tonight.

Hope looked up at Jason, searched his eyes, tried to figure out his urgency. His expression was cocksure, his jaw still hard-set, but there was a look of persuasion in his eyes that she couldn’t ignore.

I can’t. No, no, no. Not with Jason. I can’t let that slightly pleading light in his eyes get to me.

In the end, it was her own heart that betrayed her. “Okay. I’ll meet you out front. But I’m not sleeping with you, so if you just want to get laid, don’t show up.” Something troubled Jason, and she wanted to know exactly what was going on with him. Besides, she wanted to be with him. They were both leaving tomorrow, and it would probably be a long time before they ran into each other again. Even though being alone with him was dangerous, it was also such a compelling temptation that she couldn’t resist. Beyond the lust, she’d missed him.

I only have tonight.

“That’s not all I want,” Jason answered ominously as he opened the door for her.

Apprehension ran down her spine like a cold finger as she noted the deep timbre of his voice and the fact that he didn’t deny that he wanted to sleep with her. She handed his jacket back to him. “So you won’t try to seduce me?”

“I most likely will at some point because I won’t be able to stop myself, but you can always say no,” he told her gravely.

That was the crux. I’ll have a hell of a time saying no.

She straightened her shoulders, and gave him a disapproving look. “I have no problem saying no,” she lied as she skirted the room to avoid the crowd.

“Hope?” Jason caught her arm gently from behind.


“It will still be a good night, even if you do say no. I just want us to spend some time together.” His voice vibrated with intensity.

Damn. Damn. Damn. I’m sunk.

He’d sealed her fate with those words. Just that statement tore through her defenses like no other words could. Jason actually wanted her company, too, and it touched her. She could sense his loneliness, and she wanted to assuage it by letting him know she just wanted to be with him.

Without another word, Hope turned on her heel and went to say goodbye to her four brothers and Emily before she grabbed her jacket and exited the Youth Center where the party was being held.

By the time she arrived outside, Jason already waited for her. As she took his outstretched hand and felt the zing of electricity spark between them, she hoped to God she wasn’t going to regret this night.

I’m never going to live through this night.

Jason Sutherland had to swallow a groan as he watched Hope sit in front of the fireplace in her house and moan as she took her first bite of the s’more he’d created for her. He watched her eat the graham cracker, melted chocolate, and toasted marshmallow concoction: her eyes closed, and her tongue darted out to catch the drops of chocolate and marshmallow that stuck to her lips. Never had chocolate seemed so erotic.

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