The Billionaire's Unexpected Baby (Winning The Billionaire)(4)

By: Kira Archer



“Likewise,” she said, her fingers tightening around his ever so slightly.

Hmm, intriguing. He’d expected her to be a bit shy. And while her voice was quiet, it was strong, straightforward. Confident and sexy as hell.

“Would you care for a walk around the deck before the party really gets underway? I saw the DJ setting up near the bow, but there’s a perfect spot to view the islands from the stern.”

“That sounds great,” she said, glancing back at Cole and Kiersten. “If you don’t need me right now?”

Cole glanced at his wife, his forehead slightly creased, but Kiersten grinned. “Go on. It’s about time for me to feed Piper anyway.”

Brooks held out his hand and waited for Leah to take it. He wasn’t completely sure she would, which was an unusual experience for him. He was young, rich, and good-looking—that was a winning trifecta right there.

The woman before him, however, was not his usual prey. For one thing, she took care of children for a living, which typically meant she was a responsible adult. Responsible adults rarely had fun. And Brooks liked to have fun. She also had a bright-eyed innocent look about her. Unlike some of the other guests who were lounging in bikinis and sarongs while sipping champagne, Leah wore a cute sundress, complete with a gold crucifix necklace, and was drinking what looked like an ice water with lemon. Not the type he usually went for and certainly not the type that went for him.

“You look confused,” she said, slipping her hand into his.

“Maybe a little,” he said with a short laugh. “Kiersten just smiling and encouraging you to go off with me instead of beating me off with a stick is unusual.”

“Hmm, should I be worried?” she asked, though her tone remained flirtatious.

“Not at all. I’m a pretty decent guy. Just not looking for anything serious.”

“Why do I feel like you’re trying to make a good impression in a job interview?”

Brooks gave her his best aw-shucks-you-caught-me grin. “Well, it’s not a job interview, but I am trying to make a good impression.”

“Really?”

“Really. How am I doing?”

Leah took a sip of her water and shrugged. “The jury’s still out. I’ll let you know.”

That surprised a laugh out of him. “I guess I’ll have to try harder.”

“Or you could be yourself and we’ll go from there.”

Brooks lifted his glass in a small salute. “A novel approach.”

“Sometimes the simplest line of attack is the most efficient.”

“Wouldn’t it have been even more efficient to gather intel on me from Kiersten?”

“You’re assuming I didn’t already do that.”

Another surprise. She was full of them. “And she didn’t tell you to run screaming in the other direction as fast as possible.”

Leah laughed, a throaty, rippling sound that was both infectious and sexy. “No, she didn’t. But even if she had, I can make my own decisions.”

He leaned in a little closer. “Then I guess I should be thankful both for your impeccable decision-making capabilities and for Kiersten not throwing me under the bus.”

Leah shrugged. “Maybe she thought we should get to know each other since I’m Piper’s godmother. The godparents should know each other, I suppose.”

“True.”

“Or, maybe she thought I was a big girl and could handle you,” Leah said. At his raised brow, she grinned. “Or at least handle myself.”

“Is that right?”

Leah stopped and leaned an elbow against the railing. He followed suit, standing much closer than necessary. She didn’t move away.

“I get it. I know what I look like. Sweet little inexperienced Catholic girl. Naive, innocent.” His gaze raked over her and she shrugged. “See, men assume because I’m quiet, dress a little conservatively, and go to church most Sundays that I’m an innocent child who needs to be guided and protected. It’s infuriating, and a little creepy.”

“For the record, the thought never crossed my mind that you were a child.”

She gave him an eye-rolling grin.

“So, what are you then, assuming most men’s assumptions are wrong?”

Her expression was a curious mixture of shy confidence. “A full-grown woman who can take care of herself.”

Brooks grinned. “Point taken. So, oh experienced woman of the world, what do you do for a living? Cole mentioned something about becoming a nun?”

Leah opened her mouth, then grinned, a slight blush staining her cheeks. “No, I am not becoming a nun. I’m a teacher at a private girls’ school run by nuns.”

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