“I always get what I want…and I want you.”
Making billions and bedding beautiful women couldn’t make Bastien Zikos forget the lustrous dark hair, haunting eyes and outrageous defiance of Delilah Moore. So Bastien has gone to great lengths to ensure that the one-and only-woman to have ever turned him down returns to him. If Delilah wants to save her father’s ailing business, she must agree to Bastien’s commands: be his mistress, wear his diamonds and wait for him in his bed! But what will this exacting tycoon do when he discovers that his sassy mistress is a virgin?
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‘IT’S OVER, REBA,’ Bastien Zikos pronounced with finality.
The stunning blonde he was addressing flashed him a pained look of reproach. ‘But we’ve been great together.’
‘I’ve never pretended that this is anything more than it is…sex,’ Bastien traded impatiently. ‘Now we’re done.’
Reba blinked rapidly, as though she was fighting back tears, but Bastien wasn’t fooled. The only thing that would reduce Reba to tears would be a stingy pay-off. She was as hard as nails…and he was no more yielding. Indeed, when it came to women he was tough and cold. His mother, an eighteen-carat gold-digging promiscuous shrew, with a polished line in fake tears and emotion, had been the first to teach her son distrust and contempt for her sex.
‘You got bored with me, didn’t you?’ Reba condemned. ‘I was warned that you had a short attention span. I should’ve listened.’
Impatience shivered through Bastien’s very tall, muscular frame. Reba had been his mistress. and terrific entertainment in the bedroom, but it ended now. And he had given her a small fortune in jewellery. He took nothing for free from women—not sex, not anything.
Bastien turned on his heel. ‘My accountant will be in touch,’ he said drily.
‘There’s someone else, isn’t there?’ the blonde snapped.
‘If there is, it’s none of your business,’ Bastien told her icily, his dark eyes chilling in their detachment as he glanced back at her, his lean, extravagantly handsome features hard as iron.
His driver was waiting outside the building to ferry him to the airport for his scheduled flight north.
A very faint shadow of a smile softened the tough line of Bastien’s mouth as he boarded his private jet. Someone else? Maybe…maybe not.
His Finance Director, Richard James ,was already seated in the opulent cabin. ‘Am I allowed to ask what secret allure—evidently known only to you—exists in this dull northern town we’re heading to, and about the even more dull failed business enterprise you have recently acquired?’
‘You can ask. I don’t promise to answer,’ Bastien traded, flicking lazily through the latest stock figures on his laptop.
‘Then there is something special at Moore Components that I haven’t yet picked up on?’ the stocky blond man prompted ruefully. ‘A patent? A new invention?’
Bastien dealt the other man a wryly amused glance. ‘The factory is built on land worth millions,’ he pointed out drily. ‘A prime site for development close to the town centre.’
‘It’s been years since you played asset-stripper,’ Richard remarked in surprise, while Bastien’s personal staff and his security team boarded at the rear of the cabin.
Bastien had started out buying and selling businesses and breaking them up to attain the maximum possible profit. He had no conscience about such things. Profit and loss was a fact of life in the business world. Trends came and went, as did contracts. Fortunes rose and fell as companies expanded and then contracted again.
Bastien was exceptionally gifted when it came to spotting trends and making millions. He had a mind like a steel trap and the fierce, aggressive drive of a male who had not had a wealthy family to give him his breaks. He was a self-made billionaire, who had started out with nothing, and he took great pride in his independence.
But just at that moment Bastien wasn’t thinking about business. No, indeed. Bastien was thinking about Delilah Moore—the only woman who had ever rejected him, leaving him tormented by lust and outraged by the frustrating new experience. His ego would have withstood the rebuff had she been genuinely uninterested in him, but Bastien knew that had not been the case. He had seen the longing in her eyes, the telling tension of her body when she was close to him, had recognised the breathy intimate note in her voice.
He could forgive much, but unquestionably not her deceitful insistence that she didn’t want him. Fearlessly and foolishly judgemental, she had flung Bastien’s womanising reputation in his face with as much disdain as a fine lady dismissing the clumsy approaches of a street thug. In reaction, Bastien’s rage had burned, and now, almost two years on, it was still smouldering at the lack of respect she had demonstrated—not to mention her lies and her sheer nerve in daring to attack him.