Undercover in the CEO's Bed

By: Coleen Kwan

He stopped dead when he caught sight of her in the entrance lobby. She stood in front of a huge wooden anchor, appearing absorbed by the exhibit. Her crisp white shirt and tailored navy skirt showed off her curves and long legs. She still looked like dynamite. Her thick chestnut hair was achingly familiar, and the sight of the shining mass falling down her back caused his chest to constrict. From her glossy hair down to the tips of her polished navy pumps, Jacinta looked competent and professional, but he knew from experience she wasn’t always so poised, knew the kind of untamed passion that could come flaring out of her.

Unbidden, a memory flashed through his brain. A memory of bending her over his office desk, of unzipping that tailored skirt and unbuttoning that crisp shirt, of her hair all tossed and wild as she wrapped her legs around his hips and urged him on in that husky, excited tone of hers...

His trousers tightened as blood throbbed in inconvenient places. Hell, get a grip, man. Think of something else. Think of her face when she’d called him a mean, vindictive bastard. Yeah, that would do it. He clenched his jaw and strode forward.

“Jacinta.” He gave her a brief nod. “Let’s go somewhere quiet.”

She raised her eyebrows at his tone. He hadn’t meant to sound so abrupt, but he had to get his balls under control. Without speaking, she allowed him to usher her further into the museum. When he got a sideways glimpse of her, he couldn’t help noticing the faint shadows beneath her eyes, the telltale signs of insufficient sleep.

He frowned. “How was your date?”

She started, then gave him a Mona Lisa smile. “Great. Really great.”

He forced the scowl away from his brow. “Tapas must agree with you.”

“Oh...tapas. Yes, very yummy.”

“I hope you didn’t have any gambas.”


“You’re allergic to shrimp, remember? Makes you break out in a rash.”

Her face flushed with annoyance. “No, no gambas,” she muttered.

“Late night then?” he couldn’t help asking.

“Must have been. I can’t even remember what time I got back.”

Did you sleep with the guy? The question pounded against his skull, but he’d be damned if he’d show such weakness. Too bad he hadn’t slept with anyone else since Jacinta. There’d been plenty of opportunity, but every time his body had failed him before he’d reached first base. Only Jacinta did it for him.

“You know you’ll have to break it off with this guy,” he said. “I don’t allow my girlfriends to have lovers on the side.”

The flush spread to the roots of her hair, and he felt a perverse satisfaction that he still had the power to get her worked up.

“You just assumed I’ve agreed to your plan?” Her voice dripped with ice.

“I don’t assume anything with you.” That was the truth. She was different from every other woman he’d ever met. “But why else did you agree to meet me here?”

“You haven’t heard what I want. You said I could name my price.”

“So how much do you want?” He narrowed his eyes at her. Jacinta had never struck him as greedy. She hadn’t been impressed by his wealth, despite the expensive baubles he’d showered on her, every last one scrupulously returned to him after their breakup. But things were different now. If she was going to help him, then she’d make him pay a fair price, maybe even an exorbitant one just to punish him. The question was—how much?

“I don’t want money.” She took a deep breath. “I want you to hire Kevin. Give him a job in your IT department. A proper job, not some made-up role.”

“No.” The answer came out before he’d even had time to think about it.

She blinked. “What—”

“No, I won’t do that. Never.”

“Don’t you want to think about this? After all, it won’t cost you much.”

“I’ll pay you two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.”

Her eyes widened to the size of saucers. “Two hundred and fifty thousand? That’s crazy.”

“No, I’ll tell you what’s crazy. Expecting me to take back your brother as if he did nothing wrong, that’s what’s crazy.”

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