The Millionaire's Deception

By: Wendy Byrne

He graced them with his deal-closing smile. “Maybe I have.” Okay, so that was a little bit of a stretch. Maybe he’d download it when he checked into a hotel room tonight and see what all the fuss was about.

Frankie pointed to the table of ladies. “Oh look, I think Bette is in need of some help with the signs.”

Louisa slid back out of the booth. “Well, it was nice chatting with you, Rafe.”

She rolled her eyes and giggled after the woman left. There was something very likable about Frankie. It was a shame he was going to have to figure out her weaknesses so he could take advantage of her.

“Can’t say I didn’t warn you about Louisa. The rest of them are equally straightforward.” She shrugged. “Maybe it has something to do with old age.”

He needed to get her back on track in order to probe a little further for his cause. “What’s all this talk about Probst scum? Is it some kind of environmental crusade?”

He thought he might have oversold his naïveté for a second or two when she scrunched her nose like a foul odor had headed her way. “‘Scum’ is way too kind a word for what they’re doing.” She huffed. “They’re trying to ruin our town. And that’s not happening on my watch.”

“Your watch? Sounds like you’re kind of in charge of the crusade.” Which made sense if all his intel was right. The only thing that wasn’t accurate was the gender of the Frankie in question.

She shrugged. “Pretty much. Crossroads Café is ground zero for the Break Probst movement right now. We can’t sit around and do nothing while they ruin our way of life.”

“And by ruining it you mean…?” He left the question open for her to fill in the blanks so he could work on a strategy. It was pretty clear she would be a force to be reckoned with. Not that he couldn’t reach his goal, but it wasn’t going to be quite as easy as he’d anticipated.

Another group of people entered the café.

This place was hopping; Probst could make a fortune here. The food might not be as good when they took over, but then again, these folks wouldn’t be around to miss it.

Frankie gestured to the group making signs. “I’ll give you the whole story later. But I’ve got to go. Things are getting out of hand.” Without a second thought, she started to move away until he grasped her hand. He had to get into her good graces and amp up the sexual foreplay.

“Let me help you out.” He barely knew the woman and needed to tread slowly in his approach. She’d already turned him down for a date, so he had to figure out another way to ingratiate himself into her life for the next twenty-four hours. Hopefully that’s all it would take. He kept his touch light, a mere grazing of his hand on hers.

“Are you up for washing dishes?”

Crap. Washing dishes. He was hoping for something a little more up close and personal, but tried to keep the smile on his face when he nodded. “Sure.”

“I could use some help with the pots and pans. How does that sound to you?”

“I’ve always aspired to immerse my hands in a bunch of bubbles. Ideally, it would have something more to do with a bubble bath with an incredibly hot dark-haired Italian woman, but I can work with this.”

She barked a laugh. “Oh, you really are a charmer, aren’t you?” She waved her hand. “Follow me, sucka.”

He couldn’t say he minded the view as he rose and walked behind her. Her ass was quite spectacular. There was that nice sway to her hips that could only be appreciated from this direction. From the front he’d missed the perfect roundness with a hint of muscle encased in denim. He’d also missed the full impact of her hair, the curly mass of it that ran to the middle of her back in the most amazing display of femininity he’d seen in a long time.

While washing pots and pans wasn’t a gotta-happen moment for him, solving the mystery of how to induce her to sell was on the top of his list.

Enticing a woman was like solving a puzzle. Some wanted to be reeled in slowly, like catching a large fish, letting out the line, pulling back on the rod, and repeating until nothing was left to do but call them done.

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