“Right. Sex with only you. A lot of sex. All kinds of crazy sex.”
She couldn’t be blushing, she hadn’t blushed since she was a twelve year old whose budding figure had attracted the very verbal notice of the boys in her class. It was merely the heat of the summer day hitting her cheeks. God, please let her not be blushing, not now that she’d come this far.
“Well, not just sex.” But mostly sex. She thought quickly, scrambling for other duties he could fulfill, to make the whole thing worth his while and to convince him that she wasn’t just asking out of the selfish, helpless want that had filled her from the moment they’d met.
She lit upon the perfect thing. “My sister’s wedding! It’s in two weeks, and I desperately need an escort. You can be my date. That’s within your purview, isn’t it?”
He tsked lightly. “Buying another date with me, hmh?”
“Well, you are a paid escort, right? Isn’t that your usual job title? You’d actually be escorting me, rather than, well, you know, just...”
That was very crude. It was also very exciting, almost dangerous. She’d never had a man treat her with anything but gentlemanly restraint, but she sensed that, if she wanted to let him, Jake could be much more aggressive--wildly so.
“But I suppose I could live with being arm candy for a society wedding.”
He’d be a perfect escort, tall and strong and utterly magnificent in a tux, she knew.
She would not think about Tabby laughing her ass off over this, or about Deborah choking on her chateaubriand. There was too much at stake right now. Even more than Maddy had suspected, given the way she could barely breathe and the sweat was probably dripping off her hands to flood the deck. A pirate could probably swab the entire surface already.
"So, what do you say? You’d be doing me an enormous favor,” she insisted, hoping she wasn’t babbling by now. “You already know as well as I do that I have no use for the typical games--romance and love and such. I’m a businesswoman and this is a business proposal I’m making.”
“Strictly business. That’s the only way you want it.”
Gulping, she nodded. It wasn’t exactly a lie.
If she and Jake decided at the end of their thirty days that there was more to this than lust, maybe she’d find her way clear to at least considering dipping her toes in romance waters again. Maybe.
Really, when she thought about it, this was the perfect way to build up to that--with no risks. No embarrassment. No scenes or break-ups. It was like getting to test-drive a sporty little Mercedes for a month without getting her heart set on the pretty pink color. Without expecting it to possibly look as good to her in thirty days as the day she’d first set eyes on it.
And without letting anybody else behind the wheel until she’d figured out if she could afford it.
“So, constant wild sex and a date to a wedding for...how much?”
Constant wild sex...think, damn it. She quickly named a figure off the top of her head, figuring he had to make at least what a top executive at the bank would make. But suddenly remembering that before she had stepped into the fray at the auction the bid had been over five-thousand dollars for one date with the man, and thinking of how incredibly he’d made love to her, she worried she’d offered far too little.
He didn’t respond by so much as the quirk of a muscle.
“If that’s not enough...”