Undercover in the CEO's Bed

By: Coleen Kwan

“Wait.” He didn’t know where that came from, but suddenly he found himself hurrying after her. “Wait a minute.”

As she paused, she made a show of checking the time on her phone. His stomach clenched. Yeah, she was enjoying having him on a string.

“Well?” One arched eyebrow rose. “You’ll take Kevin back?”

He wasn’t going to concede everything to Jacinta at once. Make her work for it, if she wanted a job for her brother that badly. “Only if you find this security leak within the next three weeks.”

“Three weeks? That’s not much time.”

Three weeks was all he had before his meeting with the bank. “Too difficult for you?” he drawled, folding his arms.

“I didn’t say that.” She raised her chin, proud, watchful. “But I can’t guarantee I’ll deliver.”

“Which is why you should take the money instead.”

“No,” she replied without hesitation. Damn, this woman was single-minded. “If I agree to help you, then in the meantime you have to at least give Kevin a job interview.”

“Even if there’s no job for him in the end?”

“Do you know how depressing it is to apply for hundreds of jobs and only get one or two nibbles? An interview will at least give him some hope, especially if it’s not too harsh.”

Lex shrugged. “Okay, sure. I’ll set something up.”

“And you’d better have a genuine job lined up because I’m going to try my damndest to find this leak of yours.”

He cocked a wry smile at her. “Now isn’t it nice when we’re working together instead of fighting?”

“I wouldn’t go that far.” Her eyes glimmered. “But we have a deal.”

He hadn’t realized what a tough negotiator she could be, but he’d got her agreement, and that was all that mattered. She would be his fake girlfriend.

But there was nothing fake about the thrill of excitement than ran down his spine at the thought of having her back.

“Before we go any further, we need to take care of a few formalities,” Lex said to Jacinta as they sat in a café near the museum. “I just need you to sign this.” He pulled out a folded piece of paper from his jacket and laid it on the table between them.

“What is it?”

“A confidentiality agreement. It’s a standard form.”

Jacinta kept her hands firmly in her lap. “I thought you said you trusted me.”

“It’s not that. It’s just that I’m about to discuss some really personal details with you, and I would hate for any of it to get into the wrong hands.”

“So...you don’t trust me.”

He sighed, and she sensed his impatience building. “Why is everything such a struggle with you?”

“I don’t know, Lex. Maybe it’s because you don’t trust me.”

He lowered his head, eyes drilling into her. “It protects you, too, you know.”

“What do I have to hide?”

“Do you really want Kevin to find out what lengths you’re going to just to get him a job interview? Pretending to be the girlfriend of a man you described as a mean, vindictive bastard?”

Beneath the table she squeezed her shaking hands between her knees. “Okay, have it your way.” After all the passion and rage they’d shared, a confidentiality agreement felt cold and clinical and just plain wrong, but she signed it anyway.

Their coffees arrived. When the waiter had left, Lex leaned his elbows on the table. “I’ll give you a brief rundown of my problem. Someone inside the company has been leaking information to the media and our competitors. I don’t know exactly how long it’s been happening, but I suspect it’s been going on for at least five or six months.”

“What kind of information?”

“It varies. Some of the stuff leaked to the media is financial—memos about our refinancing issues.”

She almost choked on her coffee. “You’re having problems refinancing?”

“Not problems, no. Issues. I’m figuring them out, but it doesn’t help to have out-of-context rumors circulating.”

Lex had only been the CEO of Jubilee Holdings for about eighteen months, since the unexpected death of his father from a heart attack. The company was a lumbering behemoth, with interests in hotels, resorts, and property management. They made millions of dollars in profit, and it seemed unthinkable that they would have refinancing issues. Plus, she knew Lex was a shrewd businessman. He hadn’t been promoted just because of his name; he’d been working in the company for years and proven himself by turning around several underperforming divisions. For someone as competent as him, it must be aggravating to have these false suggestions circulating. From his guarded expression, though, she sensed he wasn’t telling her the full story.

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