His Instant Heir(6)

By: Katherine Garbera

She dropped her arms and pulled her blazer around her to ensure that he couldn’t see the wetness that would be a sure giveaway that she had a baby.

She sighed. She wasn’t ready for Dec to come back into her life. She’d just settled into her routine with her job and her son, and now Playtone Games and Dec were throwing her back into a tornado. She wanted to grab DJ and her staff and head for the cellar until this passed, but she knew she couldn’t run away. She was the one in charge of everyday operations and the takeover meant she was the best person to advise Dec on her staff. It was up to her to somehow persuade Dec to keep as many employees as possible.

He laughed. “Was my kiss that bad?”

“That good,” she said, opting for honesty. She’d always been a lousy liar. Something her sisters had twigged on to the first time she’d refused to name DJ’s father. But it had been important to keep her secret from them given the bad blood between Dec’s family and hers.

“Then why the sigh?” he asked, his fingers flexing and drawing her nearer to him.

She put her hand between them to preserve the distance and her illusion of control, because it was becoming startlingly obvious that she hadn’t been in charge of anything from the moment she’d walked into this conference room. She stepped back and stumbled into the door.

He reached out to right her but she shook her head. “I can’t do this, Dec. We need to talk and there are things—”

“I’m not doing this for revenge,” he said.

“What?” she asked. She hadn’t even considered that, but now that he’d mentioned it, wouldn’t it be fitting for one of Thomas Montrose’s grandsons to take sexual revenge on his sworn enemy’s granddaughter?

“I just wanted you to know that what is between us has nothing to do with business or our families. This is you and me. Just us,” he said.

“Ah, that’s a nice thought,” she said, thinking of her son and her sisters and the fact that no matter what he wanted to believe, they didn’t live on an island. It would never be just them.

“It’s my opinion. I’m not one to let my cousins dictate my personal life,” he said, touching a strand of her hair, tucking it back behind her ear the way she normally wore it. “I had the impression that you were someone who made her own decisions, as well.”

“Of course I am. Stop trying to shame me into—” She stopped. “What exactly is it that you want from me?”

She felt panicked and nervous, but not because of him. It stemmed from herself and the fact that it would be easy to surrender and give him what he wanted. A casual affair. But that wasn’t like her at all. Dec Montrose was danger, she thought. She had to remember that.

“I want a chance. I don’t want you judging me based on my cousins or this takeover. That has nothing to do with what is between us. It didn’t eighteen months ago and it still doesn’t now,” he said.

“I agreed to dinner,” she said. She struggled to believe him. If she was a sap, she’d fall for his lines, but she wasn’t. Was she?

She crossed her arms over her chest, not really caring that it was a defensive pose. She had to figure out how to manage Dec. But managing people wasn’t always her best strength. She preferred to help people find their happiness. And Dec wanted two things that wouldn’t leave her in a good place. He wanted her company and she was almost 100 percent certain once he knew about DJ he was going to want their son.

“I want more than dinner,” he said.

“That was obvious,” she said.

“I’ve never been subtle. Kell says with this mug I can’t be,” he said, gesturing to his face.

He wasn’t classically handsome, but there was something about that strong determined jaw and those dark brown eyes that had made it hard for her to look away from him in the past, and now. “You use that to your advantage.”

He shrugged. “I figured out early in life that I had to play to my strengths.”

“Me, too,” she said. “I was never going to be as strong as Emma or as rebellious as Jessi. I had to find my own way.”

“You’ve done well from what I can see. Everyone I talked to about Infinity Games said you are the heart of the company.”

She closed her eyes and wished her staff had said she was the ballbuster of the company. That would make it easier for her to deal with him. What could she say about that? She genuinely cared about her staff and had made it her purpose to make sure they all worked to their maximum. “You’re the axman of Playtone Games.”

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