Undercover in the CEO's Bed

By: Coleen Kwan

“Hello, Jacinta.”

No, it couldn’t be. This wasn’t happening.

“Lex? Wh-what are you doing here?” Damn, why did she have to stutter?

“I’m catching the streetcar,” Lex said.

Since they’d broken it off, she’d imagined all kinds of scenarios where they’d bump into each other. There was no reason why they should; San Francisco was a big city, and they didn’t move in the same circles. He was the big shot CEO of Jubilee Holdings and a member of the fabulously wealthy Rochester family who owned the company, while she was a hard-working but obscure IT security consultant, and the only family she had was a nervous kid brother.

The chances of them running into each other were slim to none, but it hadn’t stopped her from imagining how she would react if their paths crossed. She’d always visualized herself being poised and dignified, while Lex would be startled and mournful, regretting he’d ever let her go. Instead here she was, caught off guard, with her makeup faded after a long day, her hair all frazzled, and a soup stain on her shirt.

Lex Rochester didn’t look startled or mournful. In fact, he’d hardly changed a bit. The same muscled, athletic build, the same dark tousled hair and wolfish pale blue eyes, the same classically contoured face with the dimpled chin above firm lips. In his tailored Italian suit and bespoke shirt, Lex was as handsome and vigorous as the day she’d first met him. No pining over a broken heart for him.

Lex doesn’t have a heart to break, stupid. That’s why she’d left him. That, and the fact he’d declared it was over between them, forever.

A treacherous lump wedged in her throat. “Slumming it with us wage slaves?” she managed to get out.

“It’s been an interesting ride.” His deep voice made her ears tingle, unlocking memories of the husky, dirty endearments he’d whispered to her in the bedroom. He undid the single button of his suit jacket and stretched one arm across the back of the row of seats, exuding the self-assured sex appeal that was so characteristic of him. Her senses quivered, swamped by his presence. He was too overwhelming, too attractive, damn him. She shifted away an inch, annoyed at her weakness.

She frowned as his eyes remained on her. He knew she always caught the N-Judah streetcar home at about this time.

“You got on just to see me?”

Despite herself, she couldn’t stop her pulse from leaping. It was already thudding wildly, had been ever since she’d opened her eyes to find him sitting beside her, but now her blood was surging as if she were jogging up Lombard Street.

He wants to see me again. Why? Could it be… No, she wouldn’t allow herself to entertain the unthinkable.

Instead of replying, he glanced about them as if concerned about eavesdroppers. He shouldn’t have worried. The streetcar was half empty, and the remaining passengers were too busy with their newspapers or phones to notice her and Lex.

“I wanted to talk to you,” he said.

“About what?”

“It’s...” He cast around the car again. “It’s sensitive. I’d prefer it if we discussed it in private.”

“Oh?” The air caught in her throat. From deep within her, hope came winging out like a shot of pure oxygen.

She’d never thought a man like Lex would be interested in someone like her. The Rochesters were worth billions, and Lex was a bachelor oozing with an overabundance of sex appeal, whether in faded jeans or a tailored tuxedo. He could have had his pick of countless women, but he’d chosen her. He’d dazzled her, first with his charismatic looks, and then with his wit, his drive, his overwhelming confidence. Nothing was impossible for Lex. He’d captivated her and turned her whole life upside down until she was giddily addicted to him.

But then she’d discovered what he was really like, and after their bitter argument, she couldn’t bear to be with him anymore. She despised Lex, she told herself over and over again. They didn’t share the same values, they could never be happy together, but...but, here she was, her heart pitter-pattering and her body shaking with anticipation because Lex wanted to discuss something sensitive with her. In private.

“Let’s get off at the next stop and catch a taxi back to my place,” Lex said.

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