The Millionaire's Deception

By: Wendy Byrne

Why did the idea that she and Frankie were intimately involved make Rafe grind his teeth? He dismissed the errant thought and concentrated on the task at hand—culling for information.

“How long have you worked here?” Getting some insight could only make this whole thing a slam dunk in quick order. And it would be a nice win-win for him if he got to spend a little quality time with Titi. Maybe invite her back to his hotel room and let nature take its course.

“I think forever.” She ran her fingers through her hair and settled into the bench seat across from him.

“Ever think about doing anything else?” Keep her talking—that was his agenda right now. The more intel he got, the better and quicker he could get the hell out of this Podunk town and head back to his comfort zone in Manhattan. He might very well go insane if he had to stay here more than twenty-four hours.

“Yes and no. Went to college, but working here is in my blood.”

“You Italian?”

She bit off a sexy laugh. “Born there. Francesca Antonia Ritacco. Frankie for short.”

Oh holy hell…wait a damn minute. The implausibility of it hung in the air. This was the gun-toting monster who’d fended off and terrorized anyone Probst sent her way? He couldn’t get that lucky, could he? Hells yeah, of course he could. He barely resisted doing a fist-pump to celebrate his good fortune. Schmoozing her into submission wouldn’t be a hardship at all.

Thinking about X-rated activities with the person he needed to persuade would only help his cause. Seduction would be the way to play this. She was attracted to him. He was attracted to her. What would be the harm of letting his libido take charge and get the deal done?

His smile broke free. This would work in record time. Rafe was the Closer, after all. And he was even better at this particular game.

Could this job get any easier? Sweet-talking beautiful women until they pretty much did anything he wanted them to was another one of his specialties. Can you say, piece. Of. Cake?

Chapter Two

“Since I’ll be hanging around the area for a day or two, what’s there to do?” Rafe asked with his panty-melting smile firmly in space.

Frankie barely resisted the urge to fan herself.

Was he flirting with her? Was he going to ask her out? “You do know you’re in Iowa, right? If you’re into gambling, there’s a—”

He stopped her with a hand to her lips. Yowza. There was something about a man’s slightly calloused fingers on sensitive parts of the body that was a huge turn-on. Then again, maybe she was thinking about sensitive areas other than her lips.

“I’m not into gambling. Besides, you can pretty much do that anywhere across the country. I was thinking of something unique to do.”

His eyes were mesmerizing her. They had to be. Maybe he was some kind of hypnotist, because try as she might, she didn’t want to stop looking at him.

“If you like outdoor stuff, which it seems like you might…?” She flapped her hands in the air like some kind of crazy Italian woman. Yes, the legend was true. Italians spoke with their hands. Tie her hands behind her back, and she probably couldn’t utter a sound. Bad to think about tying when in the presence of his hotness. “I mean…you look like…” Holy crapola she’d dug herself into a hole. She didn’t want him to think she found him attractive. Did she? “Rock climbing.” The words spurted out. Finally. For some odd reason it gave her a sense of victory.

“I’ve done some rock climbing. Sounds like fun.”

“There’s a place near Monticello called Indian Bluffs. It’s not far from here. It’s a little more private than many of the other places around.” Finally she’d reestablished her talking rhythm.

“Do you want to come with me?” Was it her imagination or did his voice become more gravelly?

She opened and closed her mouth several times before the words tumbled out. “I have a restaurant to run.”

“You give yourself time off, don’t you?”

She drew in a breath. If she wanted to stave off the takeover of Wilcox, she needed to be strategic, and she needed to be at the top of her game. Getting drawn into a fling with a knock-your-socks-off handsome stranger wasn’t going to help in that regard. “Not possible.” The words that spurted from her mouth were not the ones circling her brain. That was so not a good idea. But a gal needed a little fun while the big bad Probst wolf was knocking at her door, didn’t she?

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