The Billionaire's Forbidden Desire

By: Nadia Lee

Why now? Why this man?

“Your nanny isn’t joining us?” Dane asked, returning to his seat.

She choked back a laugh. “His name is Chad. He doesn’t eat after flying. It upsets his stomach.”

A corner of Dane’s mouth curled. “How unexpectedly delicate.”

Her voice warm, she said, “Chad is special.” He had never complained about having to travel with her, and they’d had to travel often, at least four or five times a year when she was competing.

“Hang onto him, then. Special people are rare.” Dane reached for his scotch, ignoring the baskets of bread and fried shrimp and sauces and fresh salad on the table.

“You should eat first.”

He cocked an eyebrow. “Certainly, mother.”

Her cheeks heated. Looking away, she reached for a dinner roll. The scent of fresh yeast and flour made her mouth water. She sighed softly at the texture and buttery flavor. She hadn’t touched bread in… She couldn’t even remember. Before she knew it, the roll was gone and she was reaching for another.

Dane bit into a shrimp. “When was the last time you ate?” he asked, his eyes on her. There was something dark and primitive lurking in their depths.

She licked her suddenly parched lips. “I don’t know. A few hours ago?”

“You sure? You eat like it’s been ages.”

“Oh.” She stared at the second, already decimated bread roll. Had she really eaten all that? “Well, um… I was dieting.” She laughed at how absurd her effort had been. “Been dieting since forever.”

He frowned slightly. “Whatever for? You can’t weigh more than a hundred pounds soaking wet.”

“That was the point. To maintain the most optimal weight.” Light and strong. That had been the goal. “It doesn’t matter now.”

She bit into a shrimp and almost moaned at the crisp texture of the spiced breading. Jeez. Why hadn’t she had any before? Why had she denied herself every little pleasure in life when it was going to end up like this anyway?

She shoved an empty glass his way and gestured at the scotch. “Pour me some of that?”

Quirking an eyebrow, Dane put half an inch into the glass. She sipped it carefully. The liquor still burned, but it was more manageable now.

“Is this supposed to be a good brand?”

“The very best. I don’t touch bad stuff—or even mediocre stuff. Ruins the palette.”

“I’m such a pleb, I can’t tell.” She gestured at the bottle. “Have much have you had?”

“This is my third bottle.”

“And you aren’t even tipsy.”

“I don’t get drunk easily.”

“Must be nice.”

“What it is is expensive.” His mouth twisted into a sardonic smile. “Can you hold your liquor?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never tried.” The scotch seemed kind of nice with her seafood. She pushed the glass toward him again. “Can I have some more?”

“I don’t want you getting drunk.”

“I’m fine.” She smiled at him. “Besides, you had two full bottles to yourself. I think you can share a third.”

He gave her a bit more.

“Come on,” she said, crooking her fingers. “A full glass. Don’t be stingy.”

He stared at her. Grinning, she drank the scotch slowly. It would be embarrassing to start slurring words after only two tiny glasses.

“What are you doing in Mexico?” he asked.

She considered. I’m running away from my troubles, trying to scrub them from my head seemed a little melodramatic. In the end, she simply said, “Vacation. You?”

“The same.”

“Do you come here a lot?”

“No. I rarely vacation,” he said. “No time.”

“Me either,” she said. “Although I think that’s about to change.”

“You like it here that much?”

She shrugged. “Not just here. There are lots of places I haven’t been yet.” Cities she’d visited for competitions didn’t count, since she’d never had the time or mental energy to enjoy them. “Maybe I’ll tour them all. I’ve got nothing but time now.” And broken dreams.

Chapter Four

Dane regarded his dinner companion. How did a woman go from not having any time to having too much of it? Or from dieting to maintain the “perfect weight” to eating whatever she wanted?

The cynical side of him said she was trying to snag herself a sugar daddy. If so, Chad was doing a pretty shitty job of protecting his territory. Or maybe he was too pussy-whipped to assert himself. After all, he hadn’t even joined them for dinner, letting his woman share a meal with a strange man she’d picked up from the beach.

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