Undercover in the CEO's Bed

By: Coleen Kwan

By that time, Jacinta had been seeing Lex for four months. She’d pleaded with Lex on her brother’s behalf. She didn’t expect special treatment just because they were together, but at the back of her mind, she’d hoped that their relationship would have some influence on him. She was crazy about Lex, and he seemed equally taken with her.

So had it been so out of line for her to ask him to show a little mercy toward her brother? He’d reacted as if she’d tried to bribe him. And then he’d gone out of his way to punish Kevin to the hilt. Not satisfied with a severe reprimand, he’d contacted the dean of the faculty, and Kevin had been expelled, just one semester away from graduation.

Her brother had moved in with her and sunk into a depression that grew deeper with every passing day. Lex had kicked her little brother to the curb, and she would never forgive him for that.

Jacinta picked up the Nordstrom shopping bag and handed it to Kevin. “Hey, look what I bought for you today.”

His face lightened a little as he examined the new headphones. “Oh, cool. I need a good pair for when I’m playing Grand Theft Auto.”

Jacinta blinked. Why hadn’t she bought him a stylish new tie instead? The headphones would only make it easier for him to shut out reality, whereas a new tie might have helped him in his interview today.

“Maybe you shouldn’t play computer games so much,” she mildly suggested.

“I guess.” He shrugged. “I made a spinach quiche for dinner. It’s in the oven right now.”

“Oh.” She watched as Kevin tried on the headphones. “The thing is I have—”

“And afterward I was hoping you’d help me jazz up my résumé.”

Well, that was better than playing Grand Theft Auto. She’d have to cancel her date with Calvin. Funny, she could barely recall what Calvin looked like. She frowned. Was she using Kevin as an excuse to cancel the date? Maybe, but in all honesty she wasn’t interested in Calvin anyway, so canceling the date would do them both a favor.

“Sure, that sounds like a good idea,” she said.

“What would I do without you?”

She laughed. “I can’t imagine.”

But beneath her attempted cheeriness, she knew Kevin was her responsibility. She’d been looking after him practically all his life. She was six when he was born, their dad had taken off seven months before, and there’d been no relatives or friends to help their single mom. As soon as Kevin was old enough, their mom had worked two jobs, often taking night shifts because the pay was better. Jacinta had been put in charge of her younger brother. He was a skinny, pale boy with behavior problems that sometimes made him impulsive, but his disadvantages had brought out all her protective instincts.

But in the past year, she’d let him down. Her tumultuous affair with Lex had consumed all her attention, and she’d neglected Kevin. Now, despite all her help and encouragement, he was sliding into an even deeper funk.

She couldn’t let that happen. She had to do something more concrete this time. And Lex was the answer. He needed something from her, and he was in a position to help her brother.

She’d almost let him kiss her today even though she couldn’t stand him. Shame on her. It was degrading to lust after a man she didn’t respect. She needed to cut the cord that still shackled her to him, or she’d never be free.

The realization braced her like a cool sea breeze. She would use Lex to help her brother. She’d ignore his charms, and when she was done, she’d walk away from him, head held high.

The Maritime Museum Visitor Center was usually quiet on Friday mornings, which was why Lex had chosen it as his meeting spot with Jacinta. He adjusted his wristwatch and smoothed down his tie as he approached the museum. The faint fluttering in his stomach surprised and dismayed him. He couldn’t be anxious about seeing Jacinta again? Okay, hearing her voice on the phone earlier today had given him a jolt. He’d expected her to call, just not so soon. She’d sounded businesslike as she said they should meet, and when he’d suggested an early time, she’d hesitated only a couple of seconds before agreeing. Everything was falling into place, so why did he feel antsy about meeting Jacinta? Christ, he wasn’t a teenager anymore.

Top Books