Her Lion Billionaire(9)

By: Lizzie Lynn Lee

“No, I don’t do that. Makeup isn’t my thing,” said Charlotte.

Anika rolled her eyes and said something that sounded like Russian. “I promised Danny that I’d make you shine. Let’s try some on.”

Charlotte flinched.

“Don’t worry. I won’t touch you. I don’t want you snooping inside my head. I have plenty of secrets of my own.”

“Ah. Did Daniel tell you about my… ability?”

“A little. I’m sure Danny kept the most important matters to himself. My brother doesn’t let anybody get too close to him, even his own family, but he let you, even though the two of you have just met. You must be pretty special to him.”

“That’s not it,” Charlotte muttered under her breath.

“No?” Anika’s hearing was surprisingly sharp.

“It’s my ability that he wants.”

“I’m quite sure it’s more than that. If Danny were only interested in your special power, he’d install you as his employee, not as his potential mate.”

Hearing the words “potential mate” mad Charlotte blush. Yeah, like that’s really going to happen. “Actually, I came here to decline his offers. It has become a bit too much for a nobody like me.”

“Good luck with that. Once Danny has set his mind on something, nothing on Earth can change it. Didn’t I tell you that already? Now, how about I pretty you up for the dinner? Just think of it as secret leverage for the negotiation. Makeup is a woman’s battle shield.”

“Battle shield,” Charlotte echoed, marveling at the sound of it.

“Yes. Danny is a born and bred businessman, as he is the alpha, and let me tell you something, alphas loves challenges. He wants something from you, and you should use it as leverage to protect your interests.”

“But I don’t want anything from him; I just want him to leave me alone.”

“Then, isn’t that something you want?” Anika’s pupils slit into feline form.

Charlotte blinked. “You’re right.”

“Of course I’m right. Make him comply with your own terms. Dictate your rules to him and set your own boundaries that you’re comfortable with.”

Charlotte let out a small laugh. “You seem experienced with this kind of stuff.”

“Why of course, just ask my three ex-husbands.”

Charlotte remembered Anika had blurted out some long last name when they were introduced. She let Anika put on some light makeup. Everything was done by brush with no direct skin contact. When Anika was finished, Charlotte couldn’t believe what she saw. She almost didn’t recognize herself in the mirror.

Anika watched her with satisfaction. “Just as I expected. You have much hidden potential. High cheekbones. Lovely big eyes. A little makeup will highlight those gems. All right. You’re ready. Shall we see him now?”

“I think so. Let’s get this over with.”

“Get it over with? Charlotte honey, my brother hasn’t even begun yet.”

Chapter Four

Daniel entertained her in the kitchen. Anika didn’t join them for dinner, so it was only the two of them. The table was set with white linen, Japanese chinaware and porcelain cups. White candles and an ikebana of white phalaenopsis orchids set the evening’s ambience.

Charlotte sat idly while watching Daniel expertly work his magic on the kitchen counter. She hadn’t recovered from his compliment about her new look. She was one hundred percent giddy. Strange. Usually she wanted to disappear into the background when someone paid special attention to her, but this time, she wanted to look pretty for him.

Oh, geez. Her cheeks heated. Am I starting to like him too?

Daniel brought two plates to the table. The food looked sumptuous.

“Broiled baja clam with Monterey Jack, chipotle seasoning, garlic and butter.”

“I’d never have guessed you’re such a chef.” The clams were served in half shells. The aroma of citrus, cilantro and melted cheese teased her appetite. Charlotte scooped one and tried it. “Oh my. Very delicious.”

“Thank you. I find cooking soothing. A Zen way to relieve stress.” Daniel sipped the red wine. “Besides, my friend once said that cooking for someone you like is love.”

“Is that so?” A sliver of happiness slipped inside her heart. The feeling didn’t linger long when she thought of how many women Daniel must have invited to his special dinners before. Surely she wasn’t the first one.

This is ridiculous. Why am I getting jealous for no reason at all?

She sipped the wine and began, “About our conversation earlier—”

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