The playboy's virgin

By: Mia Carson

“God, you’re gorgeous,” he let slip before he stopped himself.

Her eyes widened, and she glanced down at herself. “What are you doing here?” she asked, completely ignoring his compliment.

“Came here for a drink. I needed it after today,” he said smoothly as every fiber in his being shook with the urge to drag her against his body and kiss her until she moaned his name.

“That's not my fault,” she muttered and crossed her arms, pushing her breasts up even more.

“Really? That’s what you’re going to say to me?” he said, astounded by her nerve.

“Yeah, it is,” she snapped. “What do you want me to say? Sorry I refused to be treated like your lackey? Like I wasn’t even good enough to rate a thank you? No wonder the other ones quit! You’re only nice to the people you need or so you can get them in bed.”

Fuming, he straightened and glared down at her. “You know nothing about me.”

“And you know nothing about me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to find my friend and get a new drink.” She turned around with a huff and pushed through the crowd that closed in around them.

Greyson considered letting her go for a split second before he followed her.

“What are you doing?” she asked hotly when she glanced over her shoulder at him. “I’m fine, really. Thanks for saving me. Now go away.”

“I think we need to talk,” he said loudly as the music changed to a song with a deep bass and pounding drums. “Belle, please.”

“Why?” she asked, whipping around to poke him hard in the chest. “Give me one reason.”

“Because,” he yelled and glared at the speakers by their heads. “Can we talk somewhere a bit quieter?”

She rolled her eyes but took his hand and dragged him through the crowd. He stared in amazement at the warmth flowing from her palm to his and the firm grip she had on him. Once, a long time ago, he had felt a shock like this rock through his body, but he always had a feeling something would go wrong. Belle was different, and it baffled him. He could picture them together for a long time, being happy together.

Chilly night air hit them as they reached the outdoor patio, and she didn’t release his hand until they found a quiet corner, alone. She dropped his hand, and he wanted nothing more than for her to take it again.

“It’s quiet. What do you want to talk about?” she asked.

Goosebumps broke out across her bare shoulders as the night air enveloped them, and he frowned, shrugging out of his black leather jacket. Ignoring her protests, he draped the jacket over her shoulders.

“Didn’t you bring anything?” he asked with a frown.

“No. I didn’t plan on being outside,” she said and watched him curiously. She tugged the jacket around her tighter, and when she let out a sigh at the warmth from his body, his jaw clenched and he forced his feet to stay where they were. He wanted to kiss her. God, did he want to kiss her. “What do you want to say?”

What did he want to tell her? That she was wrong about him and everything she’d said? That she was being an idiot for quitting what was potentially a great chance at his company, being his assistant and helping him every day? As the reasons ran through his mind, he dismissed each one as he realized they were all about keeping him happy. He scuffed his boot on the patio and shoved his hands deep into his pockets.

“You may have been right about a few things,” he said quietly, not meeting her eyes.

She didn’t speak for a minute, and he chanced a glance up as her eyes narrowed. “I’m listening.”

“I have been treating you like a lackey because that was what I needed,” he told her. “However, you took this job to be an intern and work with my team. And you do have talent. I lied about that.”

“I know,” she said simply, a smirk on her face.

He tugged his beard. “How did you know I lied?”

“You’re not as mysterious as you think.” She tugged on the jacket harder, and her smirk turned into the smile he loved seeing every morning when he reached the office.

“Well, either way, I… uh, I wanted to say that the job is still yours if you want it.”

She laughed sharply. “You’re kidding, right? Is that seriously your way of apologizing?”

“I never said I was apologizing,” he growled.

“And that, right there, is the problem,” she said, pointing at him. “If you can’t apologize, then why would I come back? So you can treat me the same? I worked my ass off all week, and I never got a simple thank you.”

Greyson paced away from her, staring at the street and the people walking down the sidewalk. He knew she was right about that, too, and honestly, he couldn’t even come up with a reason to explain his coldness to her. Had he really done it simply because she had turned him down? Ignored all his attempts at flirting? Was he really that much of a bastard?

He turned back to face her and nodded. “I’m sorry for treating you like a secretary,” he said and held out his hand for hers. “Mind if we start over?”

Belle hesitated but finally slipped her hand into his, gripping it hard. “And what does that mean, exactly?”

He didn’t let go and stared down at their clasped hands. “It means I want you to come back.”

She laughed and tried to pull her hand free, but he gripped it in his. “Greyson?”

“I know I can be an arrogant asshole,” he said and blew out a breath, “but you’re the first person to call me on it and I think… I think I need that around more.”

“You want me around to tell you when you’re being a jackass?”

He nodded firmly. “Yeah, I do, and you’re the first assistant I’ve had who managed to keep me on track. I need you back.”

“That's not good enough,” she announced and moved to within a few inches of him, their clasped hands the only thing separating their bodies. She licked her lips, and his eyes narrowed on her mouth, enjoying the way her cheeks immediately reddened. “If you want me back, make it worth my while.”

He leaned in closer, and her breath caught. “I will have you shadow Tim and the rest of the team when they’re working on the new game,” he promised. “You’ll be able to get your hands dirty with them, and when we have time, I’ll help you with your personal designs, but I still need you as my assistant. Deal?”

As she mulled over his proposal, his eyes flitted across her face again, the soft curves in the low lighting behind him, the piercings he hadn’t noticed on her right ear. This was the Belle he wanted to see every day at his office. She was a hard woman, which was just what he needed. Someone to put him in his place when he stepped out of line. If Tim hadn’t come clean and said he could be just as arrogant as she’d said, he would’ve ignored her words completely.

No one else was willing to stand up to their boss. No one except her.

“Deal,” she said and squeezed his hand tighter. “But if you don’t hold up your end, I’m quitting and you’ll never see me again.” She whispered the last part, and her blue eyes shimmered with confused attraction.

Greyson knew just how she felt and smiled. Instead of leaning down to brush his lips across hers, he said, “Perfect.”

“Good, that’s good,” she whispered and pulled her hand from his. “I need to find my friend and get home. I have to work in the morning. Here’s your jacket,” she said and tossed it at him.

“Work?” he asked, but she was already back inside and had quickly disappeared into the crowd of party-goers on the dance floor. “What is she talking about?” He held the leather tightly in his hands then brought it up to his face. Apples and cinnamon hit him hard and he cursed. She was going to be trouble.

He slipped his jacket on and headed back inside. A hand fell on his arm, and he turned, hoping it was Belle, but it was the blonde from the bar.

“Hey, I was wondering where you ran off to,” she said and leaned in close enough to kiss him. “Care to dance with me?”

“I have to go,” he said gently and pulled away from her. “Sorry, doll, maybe next time.”

She pouted but let him go. He was near the front door when another pair of hands snaked over his shoulders and gripped his jacket hard, forcing him to turn. “Greyson, you haven’t called me,” Aiden, one of his usual weekend women, crooned as she leaned in to kiss him, but he pulled back. “I’ve missed you. Haven’t you missed me?”

He eyed her clingy blue dress that barely covered anything vital and coughed. “I have, but I'm just not feeling it tonight. Maybe next weekend, alright?”

She narrowed one eye at him and pursed her lips. “You’ve never turned me down before.”

“An off night,” he said. “I’ll call you soon, promise.”

“You'd better,” she called after him, but he didn’t turn back around. He stalked to his Mustang, Belle’s scent surrounding him, and wondered what it was about the woman that got under his skin so easily.

One week and she had managed to force him to apologize for being an ass. What would happen when she was there a month? He slid behind the wheel and revved the engine, wondering if either of them would be able to handle whatever happened next.

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