The playboy's virgin

By: Mia Carson

“I pay attention more than you think,” he said and let his arms fall away slowly. Without her, he was cold and his arms desperately wanted to hold her again. “Quit your other job.”

Her eyes widened, and she shook her head so hard her hair came loose. “I can’t. I’ve worked there for years, and there’s a gallery opening this weekend and—no offense—but this is only an internship. It doesn’t pay enough.”

“What about family? Can’t they help you out?”

“I… uh, don’t have any family,” she mumbled and shoved her hands in her back pockets. “I’m an orphan.”

Greyson wanted to hit himself for digging into her life. “Sorry, you never said anything about your family. I shouldn’t have assumed.”

“Not that you ever asked,” she snapped. She sighed and dug the toe of her boot into the floor. “Sorry, I’m stressed and tired, and it’s going to be days before I get any sleep.”

He wanted her paycheck to be a surprise, but seeing her in such distress, he blurted, “You are an official employee of this company. You’ll get your first full paycheck next week. Please quit your other job. I really don’t want you dropping dead from exhaustion in my office—it'd be a mess for legal.”

“I can’t,” she said slowly. “Wait, you made me an employee? Already?”

He lifted one hefty shoulder. “If you make enough here, you can quit your other job. This one is demanding enough, and you have a full class schedule, right?”

“Well, yeah, but—”

“No, no buts,” he said firmly.

She pushed her tongue behind her lips, and he waited for her to argue with him, but she thanked him quietly instead. “Fine, but I have to get through the opening for the gallery. I can’t leave my boss hanging.”

He grabbed his leather jacket off the back of his chair and told her to grab her things. “Well, let’s go then.”

“What do you mean we?”

“Get your stuff,” he repeated and stalked to the elevator. “If you’re going to insist on overworking yourself, I’m not going to let you do it alone. You helped me, now I’m going to help you.”

She followed quickly, slipping into her jacket as he took her bag and dashed into the elevator with it when the doors opened. “Greyson!”

“Let’s go. You don’t have all night,” he said with a deep laugh, and she jumped in just as the doors closed, running right into his arms. He laughed as her face lit up. She stayed against his body until they reached the garage level.

Greyson wanted an explanation for the attraction to this woman, but nothing came to mind and he didn’t care. He leaned down to kiss her, and at the last second, she panicked and turned so he only kissed her cheek. The contact sent a shock through his body anyway, and by the way she shivered in his arms, she felt it, too.

“We should… uh, we should go,” she said and pushed the elevator door back when it started to close.

He led her to his Mustang and laughed to himself. She was definitely going to be harder to crack than he thought, but he had all night with her and planned to take advantage of it. She wanted him, and one way or another, she’d succumb to his charm.

They reached the gallery, and she unlocked the door to let them in.

“So you tell me what to do, I’ll do it,” he said, “and you can work on your project.” He handed over her bag with her laptop, shrugged out of his jacket, and grinned. “What’re your orders, boss?”

Her crooked grin twisted his gut as she took her jacket off and tossed it aside. “If you mess this up in any way, I will kick your ass from here to the east coast.”

He held up three fingers. “Scout’s honor, I won’t.”

She picked up a stack of papers nearby and held them out to him. “Let’s get this done, then.”


When Greyson took Belle’s bag at the office, she had no idea what he was planning, but two hours later, with the gallery set-up nearly finished, she enjoyed seeing a different side to this rough man. She never cried in front of anyone, never broke down. Now, all she wanted was for Greyson to hold her again and maybe kiss her. She stood at the desk and glanced up as Greyson whistled, working his way around the gallery.

“These are impressive,” he said, examining a few sketches on the far back wall.

“Thanks,” she said.

He glanced at her curiously. “Are these yours?”

“Some of them. The show this weekend is for students,” she told him proudly. “This is the first time my work’s being shown.”

“And you’re still worried about not making it?” he asked. “If I’d seen these, I would’ve hired you on the spot. Your detailing is insane—better even than mine when I started out.”

“Oh, really?” she smirked. “You’re willing to admit that?”

As he walked back across the gallery floor—the dim lights making him look more like a predator stalking its prey—he nodded. “I know I have an arrogant side, and I’m sorry you had to see that.”

“Earlier, you said I reminded you of yourself,” she said quietly, swallowing hard as butterflies fluttered around her stomach when he didn’t stop his approach. “What made you so hard?”

He paused for a second but kept walking until he was only a foot away. When he licked his lips and breathed out through his nose, she worried she’d pushed too far with him and he would tell her to back off, but it was only fair. He knew she was an orphan. She wanted to know what made him act like such a hard-ass.

“I spent years trying to prove myself to a dad who was never happy with the path his son took,” he admitted and leaned his hip against the desk. “He was into banking, and I wanted to mess around with computers.”

“What does he think now that you’re successful?”

Greyson lowered his head and laughed bitterly. “He died before I launched my first game. The night before he died, he was in the hospital, but I was too busy… too damn busy to go say goodbye. We’d gotten in a fight, and I swore I’d never talk to him again. I kept my word.” He bit the words out, and Belle reached out to rest her hand on his arm, sensing his pain.

“He knows,” she told him firmly. “I’m sure he understands.”

He shifted on his feet but didn’t speak again. Belle smiled, though, and glanced back down at her laptop. He wasn’t as tough as he thought he was. She liked him a lot more than she’d first thought.

“And I’m finished,” she said happily, saved her project, and sent it. “Damn, thanks for this. I would’ve been screwed if you hadn’t helped.”

“And now you don’t have to come back here tomorrow night, right?”

“Right,” she said and yawned. As she stretched her arms up over her head, her sweater rose, revealing her midriff, and Greyson grunted quietly, his eyes flickering to her exposed skin before he turned to walk away. Nervous as hell, not even sure what made her do it, Belle reached out and stopped him.

She faced him and, letting her emotions guide her, stepped up onto his toes and tilted her head slightly just before he leaned down. Their lips met in a sweet kiss. The kiss was meant to be simple, but her lips stayed pressed against his and his hands went up to fist in her sweater, pulling her even closer until she was trapped in his arms. His mouth moved languidly against hers, and when his tongue danced out to caress her lips, she parted them on a sigh.

Her emotions swirled around her like a tornado, and Greyson was the raging storm that caused it. The gallery fell away, and all she felt were his arms holding her steady as she let herself be swept along. Panting, she broke away to catch her breath, and the raw desire in his eyes turned the storm into a force much more dangerous than she was ready for. Carefully, she drew back and he let her go, but his hands held on reluctantly for a moment longer.

“Sorry,” she mumbled. “I’m not sure what came over me.”

He tilted her chin up with his fingers. “Don’t ever apologize, not to me.” The sincerity in his voice threw her off and the words stuck in her throat. “If you don’t have to be here tomorrow night, then you’ll come to dinner with me instead.”

“Was that a request or an order?” she teased.

He chuckled quietly. “I meant it as a request. You can think on it while I drive you back to the dorm. You’re not sleeping here another night, and I’m going to give you a set of keys for a car tomorrow.”

“No, you’re not,” she said as she packed up her laptop. “You’re not giving me a car! Are you crazy?”

“I never said I was giving it to you,” he corrected. “But I don’t like you taking the bus.”

“There’s nothing wrong with the bus. It runs just fine.”

“No,” he said sternly. “I don’t care, and I don’t like it. You’re out too late at night on it, and if I’m not around and something happens to you…” He trailed off, and Belle frowned, watching the panic and worry dance across his normally stoic, unbreakable face. “Please, just take the car. It’s my older Mustang. Just for a while.”

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